A Short Guide to Social Intelligence

People operating in the digital space are inundated with information every single minute as shown by a neat infographic developed by Cumulus Media. Using a 60 second timeframe really puts into perspective the amount of data being produced by digital users around the world. It also reveals interesting trends such as an increasing proclivity for visual information.    

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Systematically collecting and analyzing social media conversations about your brand can reveal valuable insights that may be useful not only for your digital marketing needs but also to assess your brand health, to stay abreast of your audience characteristics and to develop business intelligence. We have deployed social intelligence tools on numerous projects and below share our top three reasons why you should include social intelligence in your daily work.


1.   Evaluate your brand health

Monitoring social media posts related to your brand is key, especially in the B2C space where addressing customer complaints, introducing or improving your products & services is crucial to a brand’s success. A solid social intelligence tool will track conversations in real time and offer insights into brand attributes, customer perceptions, peak times for conversations, key influencers, trending keywords/hashtags, etc.

By monitoring conversations across all social channels and geographic locations, you area able to attain a big picture understanding of your brand, your customers, and what sort of content resonates with them. You can then use those insights to deliver higher-quality and more engaging content relevant to your various audiences. Moreover, after an initial brand audit you are in a position to benchmark yourself and determine over time if your social media strategy is working or not.


2.   Analyze your competition and industry trends

The digital space is fickle with technology constantly evolving and consumer tastes always changing. This means your brand is constantly at risk of loosing its advantage in the social media sphere by being surpassed by a competitor. Such is the nature of a market economy and that’s why acquiring business intelligence is so vital.

The transparency of social media allows brands to collect data on their competition and measure critical metrics such as the share of voice, customer perceptions, sentiment towards various brands, and what services & products are offered within an industry. It is thus possible to devise digital marketing and messaging strategies that different a brand from its competitors and to become a market leader.


3.   Measure your RoI and value of influencers

A successful presence on social media requires significant financial and human resources to be effective. But many companies struggle to quantify if a social media campaign has met its objectives and delivered a return on investment (RoI). Making sense of impressions, reach, engagement, sentiment, click-through-rates, conversions, etc. can be a formidable task and requires a rigorous evaluation framework.

In social media, earned media is typically the online ‘buzz’ generated from people who aren’t directly employed or affiliated with a brand. Often brands will employ influencers to 'push content' on social media and this kind of activity is referred to as paid media. Evaluating just these two types of marketing activities can be difficult, especially when it comes to ascribing a monetary value. This work should always be done independently from an influencer to avoid any biases in reporting RoI figures.