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Are Your Twitter and Facebook Posts for Sale?

It turns out, our Facebook feeds and Twitter streams are a very valuable source of marketing intelligence. And companies are willing to pay top dollar to find out what’s on your mind.

Why? Well, in short, companies are realizing that social data from forums, social networks, review sites and blogs can be a powerful, real-time indicator of consumer sentiment. Thus, it’s a powerful tool for driving new advertising efforts.

For years now, data firms have been making a mint on aggregating consumer-generated content and selling it to huge companies. 

The problem is, that the ad partners of these companies haven’t really figured out how translate the data into major profits from advertising campaigns.

But now, social data firm, Gnip, has devised a plan to use your real-time data to revolutionize the ad building process. And its game-changing strategy set to shake up an industry is expected to grow 440% in the next four years.

Here’s how it works…

Tweets Help Identify the Right Customers

You see, while advertising on social networks is gaining popularity, the ads aren’t nearly as effective as they could be. More specifically, even though 56% of businesses are promoting products on Facebook, only 6% say they’re able to monetize those efforts, according to data from the Economist.

Why such a low return on the ads?

Essentially, their ad tech partners (i.e. – companies that help businesses create, place and optimize online advertising) haven’t figured out how to effectively incorporate the social data into the ads.

So that’s where Gnip comes in.

When you boil it down, Gnip compiles information from public sites and sells it to other firms that monitor social activity. It doesn’t just collect data, though. Gnip unearths trends in social streams so businesses can target advertising efforts accordingly.

The company’s new plan is to help advertising in the tech space integrate social data directly into the ad building process.

So now, Gnip will be able to help its clients identify the best possible customer to target using real-time trending data.

That should be huge a boost for corporations struggling to get mileage out of their current social advertising efforts… And a huge advantage for Gnip as the social advertising market explodes in popularity in the coming years.

Like Business Insider says, this is a “multibillion dollar industry that doesn’t know how to tap [social] data… Gnip has the potential to be a really disruptive company if it can figure out how to weave social data and online advertising.”

Get Ready for a 440% Growth Surge

If Gnip succeeds, the timing couldn’t be better.

Consider this:

  • A whopping 87% of corporations like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) rank social media advertising as either “important” or “very important” toward reaching their marketing goals in 2011.
  • A recent poll by Effie Worldwide and Mashable shows that 70% of large companies plan to ramp up marketing efforts to social media this year.
  • Research firm, Borrell Associates, expects advertising and promotional spending in social networks to hit $38 billion by 2015. That’s a 440% spike over the $7 billion in 2010.

And to get a headstart on the new marketing trend, companies are already snatching up social data analyzing firms left and right. Just this year, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) bought Kosmix. Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) bought Radian6. Heck, even Twitteracquired BackType to analyze tweets.

So with Gnip’s unique plan to revolutionize the industry, don’t be surprised if it’s very high on the acquisitions list for some industry giant, as well. As always, I’ll be tracking any developments very closely. So stay tuned.

Good investing,

Justin Fritz 

Justin Fritz

, Executive Editor

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