social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Bernardo Huberman, director of the Social Computing Research Group at HP Labs and author of The Laws of the Web: Patterns in the Ecology of Information.

Bernardo shares why HP is studying social media as portal to understanding their customers and consumers. You’ll discover how HP is able to predict sales weeks before a product is released thanks to social media research.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • What you can learn about social behavior on social media
  • How social media monitoring and research can help you learn more about your customers
  • What you need to know about how people pay attention
  • How to measure the degree of the interest people show in your product or service on social media
  • How to analyze people’s behavior on the social web
  • How you can predict the success of new ideas and new products
  • How to determine how influential are you and how this correlates to the number of your followers
  • How to understand the passivity of your followers and how this impacts social shares
  • Why the “winner takes all” phenomenon impacts social media

Connect with Bernardo on Twitter @bhuberman and check out HP’s Social Computing Research website.

Do you monitor or research what social media tells you about your business? What are your thoughts on this? Please leave your comments below.

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  • Great interview.  I agree there’s a lot of great information contained in the conversations your customers have in social networks.  And, it’s just as much about what they say as what they don’t say.  For instance, if visitors to your resort share about how great the rooms were and that they loved the convenient location of the pool, but don’t mention your tennis courts, you know WHERE to focus in your advertising and where to allocate resources when planning capital improvements.  

    I spoke about listening at AMA – DC last year and gave examples of using social media for understanding customers.  You can read more about it here:  Let me know what you think.

  • Thanks Angela – It’s very interesting how data can tell us a lot about a consumer experience

  • Raj

    Hi Michael,

    I guess Hp is more in the enterprise market segment, and if they are taking social media so seriously, its a bell for companies in the consumer market segment, who use social media more.

    In the enterprise market, there is a technique called ‘Predictive Analysis’ which uses regression modeling to predict sales / demand. Its a pretty solid model – the same one that is used in weather forecasting. Just wanted to add to the discussion.

  • Very interesting interview. Semantics within social media listening is something that should be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, not a lot of businesses realize the power of this new phenomenon. Like @facebook-100001232589864:disqus mentions, businesses can optimize their advertising or content efforts based off of this information.

  • I enjoy reading your blog, and it is relevant to the daily life of the people now. I am looking forward to read more thoughts and ideas here in your site.

  • I think one of the most powerful elements of this is that we are for once focusing on the actual human beings doing the social networking rather than the social media itself. This is going to be hugely useful for businesses who embrace these ideas because enabling more customer intimacy is the key to becoming one of the ‘winner takes all’ winners as highlighted in the video

  • coolpurse

    Social Media sites are platforms for real life testimonials to your products/services.  If your clients are talking about using your products and what they like and don’t like about them, they are advertising for you for free, to a market you haven’t tapped into yet.  I don’t ask my clients to do this for me but I certainly reward it!  You can also learn from their actions on social media sites what works and what doesn’t, where to focus advertising, where to re-evaluate marketing efforts, etc.  Learning how my customers use my products, what they say about them, and how much they love them, or what they feel needs improvement, is very valuable to my bottom line.  It also helps me get to know my customers/clients on a more personal level and vice versa.

  • Davis

    I hate to be a killjoy here, but I am not so sure that HP is a good example of social media success. As far as “How to measure the degree of the interest people show in your product or service on social media”, they have not had much luck there especially with the tablet launch they totally botched. There are other companies doing a much better job.

  • Thanks 🙂

  •  I agree Neil

  • Davis – We’re not saying HP is a good example.  But there is this cool little group in HP doing some pretty amazing analysis.  They are a huge company.  Check out the video.

  • Awesome Michael. Great work Bernardo! Very interesting video! Certainly for someone like me who has been involved in marketing research for almost 14 years. Thanks a lot for sharing these valuable insights on social behavior and what it means in terms of predicting ‘ROI’.

  • This is funny because HP just failed doing just this with their tablet XD.

  • Good interview.
    I agree that we need to  monitor or research what social media tells you about your business.
    Because an outcome tend to thrive a business

  •  I have found here much useful information for yourself. Many thanks to the editors for the info

  • trendspottr


    Great article. Predictive social analytics has huge potential and will no doubt play an increasing role in predicting market movements, social behaviors, consumer preferences and impending crises. At TrendSpottr (, we’re focused on an algorithmic approach to identifying and predicting trends based on early social and trending signals we analyze and process in real-time. We are currently identifying trends hours or days before they gain general market awareness. Our next product will take this information and extrapolate the trajectory and impact of trends to provide predictive insights. Stay tuned! 

  • camcontacts

    A great interview. HP appear to be pushing the boundaries while others choose to sit and stare.

  • This was fascinating.  Thanks for sharing.  Going to look into this more thoroughly, for sure!

  • Ben

    This is great. So much of what Bernardo is relating reminds me of the stock market. Its also funny that all of these tools were created by people accustomed to manipulating information -but the challenge is still how do you interpret that information. Information is not wisdom. We’re in for a long ride!

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    Your post really helped me to understand theHow HP Uses Social Media Science To Make Predictions

    By Michael Stelzner
    Published September 23, 2011 Printer-Friendly. It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.
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