Monday, August 19, 2013

Brand on Social Media – Are You Leveraging Your Social Intelligence?

Till recently, conducting extensive, in-depth market surveys using lengthy questionnaires was considered as the only reliable method to gather market information and customer data. Customers had to be asked what they felt about the brand. They needed to be urged to share their experiences with the brand.

However, with the advent of social networking and active usage of social media by both brands and its customers alike, gathering customer perception has become a child’s play. Today, customer conversations on the social channels are information mines providing critical, valuable information from customers’ wants and demographics to brand reputation.

Yet, the big question still remains – with social media changing the way business is conducted around the world, is it enough for brands and organizations to merely gather social data?The answer is definitely NO.

Collecting social data is one part of any social media strategy. Gleaning insights from the collected data and using it effectively for intelligent business decision making must be the primary goal of any organization that has an active social presence. What is crucial in this exercise is the critical ability to turn data into actionable insights.

Zacharia Hofer Shall, a researcher with Forrester defines this ability as Social Intelligence in his research, Defining Social Intelligence. According to him, Social Intelligence is, “the management and analysis of customer data from social sources, used to activate and recalibrate marketing or business programs”. Hofer Shall says that Social Intelligence involves monitoring social media, analyzing the content, and using the insights to inform your strategy.

Who needs Social Intelligence?

I believe that Social Intelligence is the need of the hour for any organization that has a social presence and is serious about its social media strategy. That said, Social Intelligence will especially benefit those organizations that deal with large streams of social data on a daily basis; making it necessary to separate valuable conversations from plain noise.

How to Achieve Social Intelligence?

Social Media Analytics tools are the source of Social Intelligence. Using text (Natural Language Processing) analytics and statistical modelling techniques, social media analytics tools monitor social data and convert it into simple but rich intelligent information to aid CxOs in better and informed business decision making.

How important is Social Intelligence for your business? Share your views in the comments below. To learn how Shout Analytics can help you garner Social Intelligence, write to us at

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