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IBM and Hootsuite fuel new skills for Social Analytics

IBM and Hootsuite announced a new partnership which will see the companies integrate their cloud and social technologies to fuel new social analytics skills. Hootsuite will integrate its App Directory to IBM Cloud’s Infrastructure as a Service SoftLayer.

The App Directory features extensions and applications for business professionals that are to be added to the Hootsuite dashboard. They allow for the creations of custom views of the social outlets and metrics which are most important to the given customer.

As a whole Social Analytics is forming as a new important trend in the business world. Facebook post reaches, boosted posts and suggested tweets are no longer the A-to-Z of what matters in online social networks. True engagement and brand awareness is what really matters, but that is somewhat difficult to measure and analyze.

Sure, you can count post clicks, referrals, time spent on your site and so on, but there are still many “what ifs”. For example what if the person clicked on the link by mistake? Or was interested but had to do some work and then forgot to come back to the site? Or was so-so, but simply forgot to close the browser tab? All of this are not isolated rare examples of user behavior.

These and many other factors need to be considered when gauging social media engagement and skills. Of course, sadly, most of these events can’t really be measured yet. But even if that were possible, there are simply not enough people who have skills to utilize such powerful tools.

Another problem is that often people with experience of social media lack technical knowledge that sometimes is needed to work with the tools or to simply understand better the metrics and data. On the other hand, people with technical knowledge often aren’t that interested or capable of performing social media campaigns and more and more often both skill sets are needed.

This is where IBM’s Academic Initiative is pairing with Hootsuite’s Higher Education Program. Both will integrate their analytics, cloud training and professional social media skill development programs. As part of the program, classrooms enrolled in IBM’s Academic Initiative will have access to Hootsuite’s Higher Education Program, which provides professors and their students with three months of free access to Hootsuite’s leading social media education resources and courseware.

The IBM Academic Initiative is free and used by over 8000 faculties in universities. They have a 12 month access to Bluemix for faculty members and six months for students. The accounts are renewable and the program is focused on teaching market-ready skills for students.

Hootsuite’s program is used in more than 300 universities. It focuses on social media solutions. Combining IBM Cloud technology with Hootsuite’s social media solutions students will gain the opportunity to increase their technical skill set as well as showcase their social media expertise, the companies think.

“The partnership between IBM and Hootsuite will blend analytics and social technologies to provide students and professionals the skills they need for social marketing,” says Randy Hlavac, a lecturer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and a member of IBM’s Academic Initiative. “Utilizing IBM Cloud and Analytic solutions, students are able to gain deep market knowledge. The Hootsuite tools will utilize this insight and allow students to test messaging immediately and deliver the most engaging content globally.”

“IBM and Hootsuite continue to work together to drive the integration of social and cloud to empower clients with the ability to make data-driven decisions quickly and easily,” said Sandy Carter, general manager, Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, IBM.

The movement of Hootsuite’s App Directory to IBM Cloud is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.