We’re living in one of the biggest periods of change the world has ever seen. One of those foundational changes is that people around the world are more connected to each other than ever before. That means big changes for the way we do business and relate to the world around us.
Five years ago, my co-founders Mikalina Kirkpatrick, Tyler Gillies and I started a company that was dedicated to analyzing those connections on the social web in order to overcome information overload and discover the most influential people online, in any field. Today we’re excited to announce that Little Bird is taking the company’s technology and know-how to its next stage: as a part of Sprinklr, the most complete social media management platform for the enterprise.
TechCrunch covered the news here. Below, our perspective.
Next Generation Influencer Marketing
The best-known purpose of influencer marketing is to help businesses reach their customers through the influence of the people their customers listen to most. Customers trust peers, experts, and independent voices way more than they trust what a brand says about itself. Our customers have saved an immense amount of time and done more powerful discovery for this kind of influencer marketing than they ever could before by using Little Bird.
An emerging practice in influencer marketing, though, is one that we’ve worked with many of the world’s largest brands to support: research and learning.
By analyzing the connections between people and topics, communities and conversations, the technology we’ve built helps brands discover not just influential people, but also emerging trends, topics, language, risks and opportunities. First we identify who a community is watching, then we use data to make it easier than ever to hear the most important things they’re talking about.
Microsoft content strategist and Little Bird power user Aileen McCraw puts it best: “Little Bird’s data helps my team talk like a living, breathing member of our customers’ communities.” That means relevance, authenticity, and rapid learning at enterprise scale.
Speaking of enterprise scale, big companies have for several years been using Little Bird to discover and analyze hundreds or thousands of thought leaders in any field, in minutes. But one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced has been scaling the ease of acting on that data once it’s inside the enterprise.
That’s where this acquisition by Sprinklr comes in. As Deloitte's John Hagel and others have noted, the purpose of the enterprise has traditionally been to operate at scale. With the rise of automation, however, linking together large networks of human beings to pass the fruits of repeatable labor through an enterprise scale organization is no longer a great competitive advantage. That’s not the kind of work that humans are better at than machines, anymore.
Hagel wrote in a Harvard Business Review article with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison several years ago, about "a massive institutional transformation that will occur as part of the big shift: the move from institutions designed for scalable efficiency to institutions designed for scalable learning."
Little Bird’s acquisition by Sprinklr will enable us to be part of a story of enterprises shifting toward scalable learning for competitive advantage: learning about their customers, learning about those who influence their customers, and learning about important conversations early, thanks to analysis of data.
That will make for smarter companies, happier customers treated well by companies that really see them, and thus hopefully a better, more connected world.
Special thanks to all the people who have helped build Little Bird over the years. Employees, customers, investors and advisors all helped make it what it is today. Thank you! We’ll now take your work to the next level and we’ll do our best to make you proud.