Today's Visualization Tools Help Our Brains Understand Social Monitoring

My last post, "Taking Multi-Dimensional Marketing to the Next Level," touched on the amazing capacity of the human brain for learning. Through the process of plasticity, we can interpret more complex messages and make decisions faster than we ever believed was possible. With the amount of input coming at us from all ends of the social universe, tools are being developed that can help our brains quickly sort through this information. Tickr is a visual monitoring tool that helps process information and makes it easy to understand. Similar to a stock ticker that provides information needed to make investment decisions, Tickr provides social media information needed to make marketing decisions.

In its teacher's guide on the brain, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that plasticity relates to the brain's ability to change and reorganize in response to some input. Our brains can form new synapses or strengthen old ones if nurtured and engaged, but can also lose brain functioning if not exercised and challenged regularly. Plasticity is the ability of our brains to change with learning. Social media, when used properly, can keep our brains engaged so we continue to grow and develop. The story changes somewhat, however, for those who are trying to monitor social media for the purpose of brand marketing. Currently these companies and agencies have a number of platforms which are constantly providing information and updates. While their brains are learning to sort through this information avalanche, Tickr points out the crucial bits of information they need to make decisions relating to their product, service or brand.

Companies engaged in brand marketing use Tickr to filter social media mentions in real time and display results in sync with their performance metrics. Case studies show that PepsiCo Gatorade uses Tickr to identify key online influences while Global Financial Services uses it to see the impact of real-word news. Banks of computer screens may have information from other platforms, but often the one displaying the Tickr information is the one that receives attention first.

How Tickr and others adds to social monitoring? "The problem with many existing dashboards is that they quickly overwhelm the senses. They're powerful tools, but they are also very complicated. Now multiply that by five or ten screens, which is increasingly common with digital control centers at big agencies and large consumer brands, and have a degree of complexity and data overload that can actually hinder rather than facilitate monitoring and analysis of digital events. Tickr simplifies the presentation of digital data by selecting the most relevant information, and displaying it in a way that the human brain can quickly and easily process." said Olivier Blanchard, the author of Social Media ROI.

Many brands and agencies use tools like Radian6, BrandWatch and Pulse for social media monitoring purposes, but adding Tickr makes the process smoother and easier to understand. Blanchard adds, "Tickr doesn't compete against those other tools; its value is multiplied when used in conjunction with them. Conversely, their value is enhanced when the most relevant digital information -- call it macro-information -- can be garnered at a glance at one screen. Tickr allows digital and social monitoring managers to quickly go from a macro-view to a micro-view without having to dive into layers of drill-down menus. It's a force-multiplier in any monitoring platform ecosystem. It provides the fastest view of what is happening across the most pertinent channels: news, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even your own internal data, like sales. That's powerful."

In a section titled "Neuroanthropology, Understanding the Encultured Brain and Body," Daniel Lende talks about Timothy Ingold's assessment of the social brain. Ingold was incensed that Robin Dunbar tried to isolate the study of the human brain and separate it from its social functionings. Ingold says that the brain must be considered as part of the universe because our bodies are part of the world.

Tickr is a tool that helps our brains function as a part of the larger, rapidly changing social universe in which we live today.