New tools help with market insights
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New tools help with market insights

Faced with the task of market innovation the first step is to do some research. You can find a torrent of information about every subject online. But these days the problem is not that there is not enough information, there is simply too much. How can you find information about current trends that are reliable and digestible? How can you make any sense of the 200 million tweets that are sent every day?

If you just look at what is most popular you don’t find much that is helpful. Mashable reports that the top 10 followed Twitter accounts belong to celebrities: @ladygaga, @justinbieber, @barackobama, and @katyperry with a combined audience of 60 million follows. How can you filter out the babble of teenaged Katy Perry followers and understand the trends that are allowing these pop culture icons and others to succeed?

Well, you can start with Trend Hunter, the site that is run from offices just around the corner from ours.

Trend Hunter uncovers new trends

Trend Hunter crowd-sources insights from sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr. Unlike trend reports created by individuals and small teams, this service uses thousands of ideas generated by their global community to uncover whether a trend is in the making.  Using millions of weekly views of their online network they rank trends according to pageviews and the amount of time the audience pays attention. The articles are then reorganized into clusters of ideas and presented clearly, in a way that gives marketers a head start.

Marketers can pay a modest subscription that makes the trends easier to uncover and present.

Trend Hunter’s platform filters the most attractive trends for marketers out of a vast array of popular content. It then reorganizes the best posts into “Pro Trends,” aligning the best trends into leads for marketers.

Storify helps turn streams of posts into coherent stories

Storify is another online resource. It is free and it helps make sense of the information in social media streams.

This is a screen grab of the dashboard Storify provides to create posts using the service. The Storify interface makes it very easy to arrange social media posts.

Still in its beta stage, Storify allows you to find and compile snippets of posts from a variety of social media sources.  With it you can organize photos, videos and Tweets and publish them as simple stories.  In between each cited social media posting, you can include a commentary.  Once the story is published, you can embed the “storified” post in blogs and personal pages.

The Storify format includes additional functionality that makes it easy to repurpose the individually quoted social media posts within its platform stream.  For example, a quoted Tweet has buttons that allow you to retweet or reply to it in real time.

Youtube videos and other embedded media can be interacted with right inside the embedded Storify stream. You can interact with the embed in a live way by using the Tweet buttons.

You can also build audio clips into the Storify using Soundcloud.

Both the Trend Hunter and Storify innovations help you filter out the babble in social media streams and arrange the results into formats that are rich and compelling.