It’s not easy to tell a story in 140 characters. No wonder we use images so often in our social posts. In our fast-paced, short-attention-span world, we rely on visuals to fill in the rest of the “thousand words” of the message we want to convey – and it works.

We’ve been thinking about images at NetBase lately. Well, we’re always looking for new ways to mine the content shared on social media for actionable insights gleaned from user behaviors and emotions – like our new firehose alliance with Tumblr which gives us access to this visually-oriented social network’s data, the associated text of all the images shared there, and a look at what drives its users to interact in various ways.

And now we’re taking a look at how enterprises can use the power of images to convey key social data insights to top decision-makers in our new white paper, Visualization: New Insight for the C-Suite.

The C-Suite Taking Social Stock

Since it took off, social media marketing has been in a constant state of evolution. Early on, as the advantages of social media shifted into wider acceptance, social marketers and analysts appeared on enterprise payrolls – the first tasked with getting brand messaging out into the social world, the second with measuring the results of the interactions that messaging inspired.

But it could take weeks to sift through the data and boil it down to easily-digestible bullets of crucial insight – all very informative, but only actionable after the fact. Marketers would do what they could to focus the messaging for best results moving forward, but it was sometimes too late to make a difference or save a customer.

Now that technology has expanded to offer greater depth of social data at real-time speed, marketers – while still important in the grand scheme – are not the only ones focused on this data. Now, the C-suite is as focused on social stock as actual stock, recognizing that social data informs on do-or-die moments that happen in real-time, and must be dealt with in real-time.

Customer service has gone social – necessarily – another indication that enterprise executives are taking the power of social seriously. Finding out about a social complaint a week later is a week too late to fix the problem – and you may NEVER get that customer back. Real-time isn’t just this new thing we can do – it’s how long businesses have to make a decision and fix a problem.

Processing of social data must happen instantaneously. Key points must be immediately boiled down, clear, and available in the boardroom for swift decision-making.

The fastest way to convey these key points – clearly and accurately – is visually.

Seeing Solutions

Obviously visual representation of data is nothing new – but visualization of social data in real-time IS. In fact, it’s ground-breaking. Why? Because “Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text,” according to Mike Parkinson at BillionDollarGraphics.

Considering that any competitive social advantage is only as good as the timeliness of your insights, 60,000 times faster is quite the edge.

How will enterprises be able to use this new technology? NetBase offers dashboards (that can be part of an entire command center if desired) that provide these real-time visuals to CEOs.

And we’re not just talking visualization of @mentions and keywords. This dashboard includes visualized net sentiment and brand passion information – the deep social data that C-suite decision-makers need to form a complete picture of how their brand is perceived on social.

Gone are the pages of stats and numbers to pore over, dry Excel spreadsheets that become meaningless when you stare too long.

Welcome to the era of See and Decide.

Enterprises have accepted that social is useful, and many are on the social data train – which is great. But there is still SO much room for brands to get out ahead, and being early to the visualization party is one of them. Is there a better advantage than being an expert at something other brands are just discovering?

This is the opportunity in front of enterprises right now. Are you ready to take advantage of it?

Leave us a comment as to how you’re currently using visual social data. We’d love to hear from you!

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