Social Media Feeds Don’t Tell the Whole Story

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This month, I went to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the first time and it was a real eye opener in many ways. Not the least of these was as a chance to compare my impressions of CES through my social media feeds with what I was seeing first-hand.

I’ve always recognized that our feeds are naturally skewed by our choices. I try to include a broad range of sources but my interests and connections can’t help but colour my selections so like any media source, my feeds are limited by what those publishing to it choose to share and what I choose to seek out.

Based on my feeds, I was expecting to see much more emphasis on non-Apple phones than what I saw on site. My feeds were rife with news about Samsung, LG, Qualcomm and others, driven by big splashy booths, parties, multimedia campaigns and splashy speakers like President Clinton. But on the show floor,  I could not miss the ubiquity of Apple devices. The story on the floor was Apple Everywhere.

EVERY building was packed with iPad and iPhone accessories.

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Sure, there were accessories for other mobile devices, but you couldn’t swing a dead battery without hitting an Apple accessory. If you’ve ever thought, “Someone should make X for the iPhone,” someone probably has and was showing off their X at CES. You couldn’t miss the implication that while the other guys have cool new stuff, consumers LOVE iPhones and iPads so the apps, cases, batteries, keyboards, projectors, speakers, you name it.

My social media feeds kept talking about how Apple was not at CES, but really they didn’t need to be. Their partners were everywhere. In fact, the Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud analysis told the story that I wasn’t hearing from just reading my feeds.
socialcommandcropThat’s right. Even though they weren’t there, Apple was the 5th most talked about brand in Social Media related to CES.

I readily admit to be a number crunching geek, so the opportunity to see some of the stories behind the chatter based on Market Cloud’s numbers drew me in.  I’d seen my own feeds and I’d observed the floor, but  by scanning for #2013CES and many popular brands, the the tool cut through my perceptions and let the numbers speak for themselves. People were talking about Apple more than they talked about dozens of big name brands that were spending many tens of thousands of dollars on their CES presence.

It was a great reminder that while my social feeds are a great way to keep my finger on the pulse, it’s important to seek out other sources, checking perceptions against hard data, sometimes you can’t beat “being there”.

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About Sandi_Jones
Technical marketer, product developer, geek, unconventional entrepreneur. I fell in love with technology in the mid-90's, found my inner geek, and never looked back.

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