Social Media Trailblazers: Giles Palmer

This week we chatted to Brandwatch Founder and CEO Giles Palmer. Giles started development on Brandwatch in 2005 after leaving BSkyB. From there he's grown the business into one of the world's leading Social Media Monitoring companies, serving businesses across the globe from FTSE 100 companies to SME's. Well we wanted to find out more about the exciting company so went straight to the top to get the low-down.

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Where do you work : Brandwatch

Job Title: Founder and CEO

Twitter handle: joodoo9


Is there a typical day? What does it look like?

To be honest, no there isn't. But we do have regular meetings (product, management, finance, board etc) which are typical. The thing about my job is that I need to be across everything in the organisation and get involved in certain things where necessary. That can be short engagements like spending time with clients or staff issues - interviews, coaching sessions - or they can be bigger projects like working on our Culture Book or fundraising. It's fair to say though that about 20% of my time is spent dealing with communications throughout the organisation and with our customers.

Brandwatch…. Could you tell us more about it?

Sure! We're a company that is helping other organisations monitor, analyse and engage with customers, prospects and other individuals throughout what is now probably best called the social web. We build tools or as we prefer to say a platform to make that whole messy job easier.

How did you see a gap for Brandwatch - visionary or opportunity?

I would say visionary because it took us a long time to get our first half-dozen customers! We were perhaps a little early to the party. But we could see there would be a party because messaging - that key ingredient to building a brand - was no longer owned exclusively by the organisation. Customers and potential customers were talking to each other and forming opinions about products and services without reference to the company that built or delivered them. From cameras and computers to hotels and airlines - we now ask and listen to each other before we buy rather than go to company websites. We could see that Brands would need to watch what was going on so we came up with a working title Brandwatch and built a product to help them do just that. We never found a better name.

What are your top 3 social media monitoring tips? 

1. Just do it - or rather listen first, as you will learn a lot 

2. If possible figure out what you want to achieve first - for example - I want to improve our customer satisfaction by 20% by engaging with customers where and when they want

3. Build up a cross-department team internally. Social touches many parts of a business and you need to break down internal silos if possible.

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.