$90million is a lot of money. To Manchester-based public relations and social media agencies like ourselves, and indeed every other Briton in the Green and Pleasant Land, it’s the equivalent of £58million- a figure that can’t be sniffed at.
And what can this phenomenal sum buy you? For many the answer’s probably a lifetime without financial worries, luxury holidays and a handful of architecturally impressive homes. From a business perspective, that kind of cash represents the kind of investment you’d expect to see a serious return on, and that’s precisely the case with Twitter- the social media giant has just spent that exact amount of cash on its largest acquisition to date, Bluefin Labs, if stories on AllthingsD, The Guardian, and several other titles are anything to be believed.
Needless to say, they probably are, coming from at least two respected media news and commentary websites. Digressions aside, Bluefin is a social TV analytics firm, meaning the company monitors how much social networking types are talking about brands and television programmes, and of equal importance, the sentiment of that chatter. With more and more broadcasts attempting some type of audience interaction via social media, and Twitter arguably the most popular platforms being put to use, this is a shrewd move to say the least.
Irrespective of your business, studying consumer attitudes, and the way in which people react to your projected messages, affords better far knowledge of any current or desired customer base, and how to communicate with them. In digital, as we’re constantly evidencing here on our blog, this means tracking who is saying what about your firm. There are several ways this can be done, depending on the scope you require and the network in question, but ultimately the end goal is always the same.
The ability to perfectly plan and execute any campaign, not to mention fine-tune and re-think, to suit specific statistical feedback from public engagement is a powerful proposition. By making sure it has a stake in the related research and gathering of this vital and highly valuable information, Twitter is reacting to the perpetual increase in demand for such intelligence, not to mention TV’s adoption of social media as a broadcast-mate. And that’s before we come to the network’s own interest in the public’s mindset. Commercially, then, the potential here is huge, but whether everymen and women will feel the same, what with the ongoing conflict between privacy-annoyance and high-tech advertising, is another question altogether.