Dachis Group is the latest venture led by Jeff Dachis, who co-founded Razorfish in 1995 and set it on the path to becoming one of the world's leading interactive agencies. Dachis left Razorfish during the turmoil surrounding the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and after several changes in ownership it is now a unit of the Paris-based Publicis Groupe. Dachis Group was established in 2008, with a focus on social business.
"Jeff saw social as the next major disruption that was going to be at the same magnitude" as the commercialization of the Web, Dachis Group chief technology officer Erik Huddleston explained in an interview. Dachis already has many of the world's largest brands as clients, he said, but it is now gaining wider notice because of the introduction of a Social Business Index that ranks companies by their social media presence.
[ Learn how to "speak" social business. See 11 Ways To Explain Social Business Benefits. ]
As of this week, the companies at the top of the list are the movie chain National Amusements, News Corp., Google, Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, Coca-Cola, the BBC, Starbucks, Sony, and Facebook. The index was publicly released in September, and in November Dachis Group followed up with the launch of its Social Portfolio Insights product, which allows brand owners to see more about the analysis of their own properties. In January, Dachis Group will introduce its first fee-based product, which will provide yet more detail, plus features for collaboration around the data.
Dachis Group has built its own big data analytics tools for social media, but the focus is not on the kind of social media monitoring you would get from Radian6 or HootSuite, Huddleston said. Instead, the social business analytics platform concentrates on showing where the greatest volume of conversation is coming from--whether from official company accounts, employees, partners, influencers, and so on. You can see a chart of that breakdown in the Social Business Index results. For example, partners appear to play a much bigger role in the social media conversations around Coca-Cola than is the case with any of the other companies in this week's top 10.
Jeff Dachis has been one of the biggest proponents of the term social business, which he uses as an overarching term for the transformation of business around social media--both the internal, Enterprise 2.0 elements, and the marketing and branding efforts through public social media. The firm has thriving consulting practices in both the internal "connected company" realm and in social media marketing, but the Social Business Index focuses on the public aspect, Huddleston said.
Dachis Group specifically is trying to help correlate companies' actions--which could include things such as mergers and acquisitions or marketing campaigns launched in any medium, as well as social media campaigns--with the rise and fall of their social media brand equity. "This is conversational analysis, trying to understand what resonated with or engaged the market, relative to that behavior," Huddleston said.
Dachis Group is offering a set of free services, partly as a way of building mindshare that will lead to consulting contracts, Huddleston said, but also wants to offer a series of software as service applications built on its proprietary big-data analytics.
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