Up to this point, social media has been primarily a communication medium. However, it can take shape as a meaningful intelligence tool when applied to geographic grids to see trends. Tweets, for example, have been segmented locally for quite some time, but when you filter by topic and location, you’re able to track what’s really happening in a particular area in real-time. Examples:
- Sickweather.com aggregates Twitter and Facebook keywords across a geographic grid to track health/sickness trends. Think about how useful this can become for the medical community to track different illnesses as they move across the country or, from an individual perspective, to see what illnesses are in your local area so that you can arm your family accordingly.
- Weather.com now displays a feed of all weather-related local tweets in your selected geographic area to track actual weather. Snow in the forecast? By listening to what people are saying within social media in that actual geographic location at that very moment, weather maps gain meaning. Weather.com now knows the moment snow actual hits by monitoring social media posts and pictures.
This is where real meaning will come from the social graph. Think about how this applies to your industry – all social shared content can be aggregated to tell some really interesting stories.