SXSW Insights: Digging Through The Social Media Clutter

Being a first timer at SXSW this year, I had been advised that schedules change so don’t have too high of expectations on what you want to do or see and that the most influential people you will meet will be in a cab or waiting in line for lunch. Boy, did I figure out quickly to follow that advice. I did my best to soak everything in and just tried to keep up with the pace. SXSW was everything I imagined it to be – overwhelming, exhausting and exhilarating. As I tried to take in as much as I could, there seemed to be one underlying theme to the companies I meet at SXSW and the people that I spoke to. Now that most brands are using social media and are navigating the successes and failures, the next question asked is generally – how, as marketers, can we dig through the clutter of social media to get even more engaged with our customers and find out more about what they want?

Companies are popping up everywhere to try to make sense of all the social media chatter. Here are three companies that showed some promise at the SXSW tradeshow:


In perfect SXSW manner, #shamber stumbled upon Luminoso by having Crystal and Dennis ask us if they could share a cab from the hotel to the Austin trade center. During our shared ride,  the team from Luminoso started telling us about their product. In essence, Luminoso provides a tool that gives brands a visual representation of all the text – i.e, comments, tweets, posts, etc. – that are out there about your brand. From these visualizations you can get an overarching sentiment about your brand. It’s best seen in action to really understand the power behind this tool:

The next company that we ran into and found interesting was Their tagline is ‘Your Social Data is a Goldmine’ and we couldn’t agree more. is an app that starts by taking your brand’s Twitter account and analyzing your followers and the conversations you are having. It then segments your audience into different personas in a matter of minutes. You can segment on a combination of character traits, real interests and sentiment, and then view actionable segmentation results.

The downside is that this app is for brands that have 5000 or more followers. Still, I think it has some merit with bigger brands in being able to segment out your audience so you can tailor your content to appeal to your customer base.


Nestivity has a unique concept – what if you could turn your Twitter handle into a “Nest” or a community for your followers to visit? Nestivity is taking a page from Facebook and turning your Twitter page into more of a fan page so you can organize your followers, engage with your followers on a deeper level, amplify your reach and – most importantly – archive your history.

We all know that Twitter started out with a community feel to it. However, with more and more brands/people on Twitter, your message and that community feel can get lost. Nestivity wants to bring back that sense of community to Twitter instead of it just being a one-way push messaging  platform.

Currently early access is closed but their official launch will be in April.

Here’s a great interview I ran across with the founder of Nestivity and Robert Scoble from Rackspace about what Nestivity is all about.

I’m sure there were other great companies that I didn’t get a chance to see while I was at SXSW, but I’m going to keep my eye on these three for the time being to see how they perform in the coming months.

Were you at SXSW? What start-up companies did you find most interesting?

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