Social Cocktails With Your Dinner? | FirstRain

Social Cocktails With Your Dinner?

I have been known to get home and pour myself a cocktail once in a while (usually a gin and ginger-ale mix with a fresh Meyer lemon from the tree outside). With a little one in the house, dinner is pretty much happening before the ice cubes even start to melt—so, yes, I have had a cocktail with my dinner. And since my daily information consumption is substantially social, when Chris Moody, COO of Gnip, kicked off the Big Boulder conference talking about ‘Social Cocktails‘, I was all ears. It was then I immediately knew that I was in for two days of good content and smart people (and perhaps a couple of cocktails)—and I wasn’t disappointed.

Unlike many other social data conferences I have been to, the first example that Chris brought up on stage was an Enterprise use case—not a PR/marketing/brand management/customer service one—but an actual example of how an industrial parts supplier can use a ‘Social Cocktail’ that can include Twitter, Blogs, Comments, etc., to find early signals that can indicate an opportunity or a risk in their supply chain.

How refreshing, I thought, a conference where I perhaps won’t have to constantly explain that what FirstRain delivers with FirstTweets is not about monitoring and measuring media, but about business intelligence derived from social content.

Clare Tischer, wrote a comprehensive post on Chris’s presentation that you can read here and one of the slides he used (which I have replicated from my notes below) was of particular interest around ‘fast’ and ‘deep’ social data and how they are used within the Enterprise.

  1. Reaction Time: ranging from ultra-fast (example: Twitter at events) to slow (example: the comments on a blog post or a shared video.)
  2. Depth: Data is about the ‘what’. Twitter is concise and deals with the immediate, “This is so adjective!” It’s difficult to get into the reasons in only 140 characters. Platforms like YouTube and Tumblr are at the other end of the spectrum and tend to boast deep, personal content. When you begin to overlay business use cases over these different data sources, you see the social cocktail. On one side is public relations and crisis management. If you have a client looking to manage a crisis, the priority is your speed in rectifying the situation. If a person complains that their cell phone is on fire, you don’t need to ask them how they feel about it. It just needs to be immediately addressed. On the other side is brand management: what does the collective universe think about not only about you, but also your competitors? If you’re the cell phone provider with the faulty and explosive device, what was said about you and what was your response?

Although Chris said that the descriptions of the different groups were not representative of all business units that can take advantage of the ‘Social Cocktail’, there are two specifically that were not on the graphic that I think are very  important because they are direct revenue producing groups that our FirstRain solutions target.

The business needs of Major Account or Global Sales, for example, are just quite different than those of a PR Manager. Take, for example, use cases we are seeing with Enterprise Sales Account Managers who are using FirstRain with FirstTweets. As I have written before, typical coverage for territory and market coverage may require:

  • A targeted list of customers and prospects (averages 10-20 for enterprise sales, much larger for other sales teams—SMB, ISD, etc.)
  • Looking at very specific business lines and end-markets (for example: Backhaul Technology, Blood Glucose Monitoring Devices, Agro-Chemical Industry Trends)
  • The need to be alerted to event topics that drive opportunity and change (for example: plant openings, product launches, management changes)
  • The need to collaborate with internal team on strategies, pitches proposals, etc., on platforms like, Yammer, SharePoint, Jive, etc.
  • The need for mobile access that is consistent across platforms (mobile, iPad, laptop, etc.)

Meanwhile, market Intelligence teams are often looking for a comprehensive view into the movements of their industry peers, partners, competitors and top customers, keyword searches on monitoring platforms sometimes are not enough and can’t scale across the volume of things they look for and need to find, including:

  • The big picture and emerging trends within your very specific business lines and end-markets (for example: Multi-Protocol Label Switching, Light Distillates Industry, Textile Yarns Manufacturing)
  • The event topics that drive opportunity and reduce risk (for example: marketing initiatives, product launches, business expansions and exits)

FirstRain’s patented business-content filtering engines analyze a wide range of global content, including news, blogs, PR, company Web sites, government filings and Twitter of course—extracting only business-relevant intelligence from around the world—without the consumer-related noise that many other social media monitoring tools do a great job at for brands to monitor and support customers.

In part two of my Big Boulder post, I will go more into the other sessions and the messages from the data providers. But overall, the conference was an excellent place to learn more about the value of social data and many of the conversations I had with other attendees and panelists. The conference not only validated, but proved, that with FirstTweets we are taking the right approach to incorporating the ‘Social Cocktail’ for our clients by leveraging our ability to extract and deliver precise, high-value customer intelligence.

(Social Cocktail Menu – Photo credit: