Guest editor 001 signing off

@Adam_Ketterer standing down.You only analyse social media twice

Our social media analytics month has come to an end, and with it my time as guest editor at the B2B Guide to Social Media. It’s almost time for me to take my leave with a tap of the ejector seat button (I saw Skyfall last night – bear with me), and hand over the controls to your next capable editor, ready to steer you through the gauntlet of B2B social media. So, before I disappear into the night, leaving nothing but an empty Martini glass, a trail of wanton destruction and the bittersweet memory of our short but passionate (and informative) time together, let’s go back over some of the ground we’ve covered. (Spoilers ahead. Not really.)

We had Andy Black of Whiteoaks PR briefing us on the importance of social media as a means of proving ROI and achieving advantage over commercial adversaries. Imagine him in a white coat with a clip board and sinister eyebrows, overlooking a lab full of computers and henchmen in shiny jump suits running up and down metal staircases for no apparent reason. Maybe he’s addressing a large round table of square-shouldered, moustachioed  South American generals and cigar smoking Chinese businessmen. He’s reassuring them that their investment – in social media, laser cannons, whatever – is sound, and will lead to tangible returns. They nod approvingly. SMA is a business tool, after all, and money drives CEOs and master criminals alike.

Jamie Hammond of Jellyfish joined the discussion later, breaking the myth that SMA is only for the big boys. In today’s business landscape, the sole operator can be as ambitious as the multinational corporation, and the word from Jamie is that social media can be put to effective use by businesses with limited resources. Forget remote controlled Aston Martins armed to the teeth. In fact, forget that exploding Parker ballpoint pen, too. This is the time for low cost, high tech gadgetry. This is Q fallen on hard times and departmental budget cuts, showing our social media agent how to blow up the Kremlin with only some Blue-Tak, three paper clips and an old version of Tweetdeck. “Try to bring it back in one piece this time, Mr Bond”, etc. Basically, social media analytics is a viable investment for small businesses. Mr Hammond doesn’t actually condone attacks on the Russian state – ignore that part.

Then Carl Miller from the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at think tank Demos profiled the social media analyst of the 21st century: an agent with integrity, power and an ethical backbone. SMA must borrow from other fields of study to become a more refined craft, rigorous in execution. It must free itself from its old-fashioned roots and embrace new methods in order to process a new breed of information. Only then will it result in meaningful applications and serve the greater good. Imagine Carl is M, training the perfect social media operative, combining the old school grit and determination of Bond with the ingenuity and cyber cunning of the toothy Raoul Silva. Or something. But with less violence and homoerotic kidnapper/captive banter, and no creepy Oedipal thing going on.

Suddenly, from across a crowded blogosphere, we caught sight of Andy Littledale of SecondSync, bringing a bit of sexy glamour to the scene. Audience measurement is changing, and SecondSync is embracing that change like its life depends on it. It can tell broadcasters things they never knew about their own audience, reading their behaviour like an open ebook. SecondSync is making waves in the industry and has made some bold predictions about its fate – and with curves like that, you can’t help but swallow every word.

The special effects came courtesy of our featured social media infographics. There’s no drippy blood graphics, but they’re still good. View them through a kaleidoscope and imagine some sleek, silhouetted ladies prancing around for good measure.

As for the identity of your next guest editor, and their chosen topic for the month, I’m afraid that’s top secret information, and you don’t have clearance. Word is it’ll be declassified tomorrow though, so stay tuned and await further instruction. Now it’s time to sign off. There’s important work to be done, and other blogs to edit, but I’ll always remember our time together fondly.

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