Are You Ready for a Real-Time B2B World?

The past two weeks may have been an eye opener for firms who tend to ignore the “real time” world.  In fact, we may be reaching a tipping point as more and more data comes online via social media. That tipping point comes in the form of a competitive advantage for some. Some companies, like StockTwits, took this trend seriously three years ago and developed ways for B2B firms to use social media. We are now seeing more and more B2B companies, such as the hedge Fund Derwent Capital, put this data to use.

How are you managing "real time"?

And while companies like Twitter and Google (search only since Google+ brands pages have yet to officially launch) have been leading the way for B2B brands to look at and use real-time news and analysis, recent changes at Facebook are now under scrutiny by brands. With these three firms firmly racing to be the platform of choice for sharing information, as communicators in the B2B world we need to think about all of the options to meet the needs of our brand.

A number of stories and posts have come out in the past week showing how the mining of real-time data is making many companies and brands take notice. Here’s a sampling of the stories you should read:

The Economist: What’s in a Tweet

But companies that mine the stream of tweets for marketing and other purposes (see article in this week’s issue of The Economist) get much more information.

The Economist: Sipping from the Firehose

Fed through clever algorithms, a torrent of microblogs can reveal changes in a nation’s mood. Hence the excitement about a new market: the sale and analysis of real-time social-media data.

Think Quarterly (Google): Predicting the Present

Using the publicly available tools mentioned above, we’ve uncovered a number of interesting relationships.

Google: Predicting the Present with Google Trends

Can Google queries help predict economic activity?

Business Insider: What Facebook’s Changes mean for Brands

The key takeaway for brands is that the News Feed matters ⎯ a lot. For most brands, the News Feed is their best chance for interacting with fans (aka consumers).

UPDATE: This story from the WSJ also takes a look at real-time data analysis.

WSJ: Decoding our Chatter

Want to monitor an earthquake, track political activity or predict the upds and downs of the stock market? Researchers have found a bonanza of real-time data in the torrential flow of Twitter feeds.

So what can you do now armed with this info? Here are two takeaways from the recent news:

  • Now is a good time to take another look at your social media strategy and reassess what you are doing and what you are posting. We do this on a regular basis as new trends and technologies are introduced, but also as we connect with new users.
  • Share this info internally. But don’t just share this with the marketing and communications team, make sure the right technology and research managers know that you are watching this trend. You want to continue to push these changes internally and to ensure you can help evolve the business case around real-time information.

One objective of this blog is to continue to raise the business relevance of social media in B2B communications. We continue to look for examples and ways that companies are doing this in order for all of us to learn. Hopefully, we’re helping accomplish that and we can continue to build on this objective. Stories like I mentioned above add further evidence to the important of real-time information, which is taking place more and more online in public forums. As these stories develop we will share our thoughts with you and look for your comments.

If you enjoyed this post you may also want to read:

The Beat Goes on at StockTwits

Need a Strategy? Start by Playing Games

Using Social Networking Sites in B2B Businesses

One thought on “Are You Ready for a Real-Time B2B World?

  1. Pingback: Five Years of B2B Voices | B2B Voices

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