The Science of Social Media

The Science of Social Media

  • Dr Jillian, the first Dr of Social Media

    Dr Jillian, the first Dr of Social Media


  • Oct 30 / 2013
  • 1
Social Media Blog

Dr Jillian @ SMW Lon – The Future of Social

“The key is in understanding the process of perpetual information search and experience seeking; creating relevant and meaningful content and experiences that add value.”

Last month I took a trip to London to present about ‘The Future of Social Media’ at Social Media Week London.

Prior to my London London trip, I was talking with the team at Disruptive Insight HQ and we think that the future of social media is always one of those questions that never produces any truly insightful responses.

The question always reminds me of the research I completed in understanding what functionality and benefits users want from social networking sites.

I believe that the answers to these questions are always limited, as people seem to be happy to work within the confines of what they are provided with. 

We don’t necessarily think beyond what we already know. 

The human mind is a wonderful thing but if behavioural economics has taught us anything, it is that we are lazy thinkers and we are easy to prime.

It could be argued that there are rarely any true innovators. 

However I believe we can look at the question from a number of perspectives, are we looking for the next big social innovation or we looking for a more realistic, incremental outlook?

And of course, with everything social there is also another side to this story – are we asking the right questions?

When I completed the social networking and user requirements research, I found that by asking smaller specific questions I could gather incremental insight to answer the overarching question of: ‘what do users of social networking sites want?’. 

The task then became to piece together the smaller elements to provide enough insight to answer the larger question.

This incremental view was present at the SMW event.  The speakers discussed their journey and how they see their area of social media being shaped in the future.  For some it was 4G capability, for others it was understanding consumer behaviours and others, the world of social and sport.

It may not have been what the audience expected but answers to these grand questions never really seem to do.

I wanted to share my own interpretation to the question: ‘What is the Future of Social Media?’ 

Please be aware that the event was a Pecha Kucha style, 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide.  So while my video isn’t perfectly formatted, it has its own charm and insight. 

I discuss my personal journey into social media, how I became the first Dr of Social Media in the UK, her decision to launch a social intelligence consultancy, where I see my own future going, that of my company and the social media industry in which I work.


I believe that we shouldn’t be adding to the noise but contributing meaning in it.  As the volume of noise increases our ability to search, process and interpret information decreases. 

We need to start from a place of relevance and contribute meaning to our wider business objectives but also our consumers’ wider behaviours.

I believe that in order to navigate this world of social media we need to start from a different place.

It’s not about creating perpetual engagement as discussed in a recent IBM report – I believe it is about creating the right kind of engagement to support the customer journey. 

We don’t always want to stay perpetually connected.  We simultaneously engage with a range of platforms, people and content types to fill our information needs and experience desires. 

The key is in understanding the process of perpetual information search and experience seeking; creating relevant and meaningful content and experiences that add value.

This understanding begins from a place of consumer behaviour analysis and adding relevance to the purchase journey.  This doesn’t always mean creating the next big social media campaign.  It is about incrementally adding valuable content to the channels to support the customer journey.

  • Dec 17 / 2012
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Develop Effective Social Media Strategies
Jillian's Research Blog

Working in Social, NO TIME TO BE SOCIAL

It has been exactly 140 days since I last blogged.  A big rap over my fingers for that – practice what you preach and alike.  As you can imagine life has been very busy and of late all my creative energy has been zapped.  A poor excuse, I know.  I’m also wondering if I have any readers left?!

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  • Jul 30 / 2012
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Jillian's Research Blog

Social Media Week Glasgow: The Education Track

As you may know I’m a returning advisory board member to Social Media Week Glasgow.  This year’s global theme for Social Media Week is ‘Empowering Change through Collaboration’, which I love – thanks to Don Tapscott for that.  I have to confess that I have a bit of an underlying ‘utopian’ view of social media and have always loved the power of co-creation or collaboration that social tools offer.  This year’s theme is right up my street and I am looking forward to seeing the wide range of events!  In Glasgow we also have three additional tracks under the broad global theme of ‘Empowering Change through Collaboration’: access, health/well-being and education.

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  • Jul 17 / 2012
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Social Media Blog

Social Media Metrics: The Real Value of Facebook ‘Likes’

Last week the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones reported on a ‘virtual bagel’ experiment he conducted with Facebook.  The research was simple, set up a ‘virtual bagel’ company page and drive Facebook Likes with paid advertising on the network.  A novelty idea with the ‘virtual bagel’, the question is who would ‘like’ such a company?  Cellan-Jones was definitely testing the value of ‘paid’ advertising on Facebook and to a lesser extent the value of a Facebook ‘Like’. Continue Reading

  • Jun 05 / 2012
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Social Media Research Blog

Social Media Research: Content Generation Process

I would like to welcome Anandan as my second guest blogger.  I ‘met’ Anandan on Twitter last year and we have been sharing out PhD stories since.  Anandan has kindly shared his doctoral research story – he is also looking for brands to participate in his research, please make a difference and contact Anandan to participate!.  Thanks for the post Anandan and good luck with the rest of your research…

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