Friday, November 18, 2011

The Rise of Social Media Intelligence - A trend worth following in 2011

For several years now we've been told that at the very least we have to listen to the online conversations.  The number of Social Media monitoring tools has exploded and at last count there were over 200 on the market. However, there is much more to be learned from these conversations than just brand mentions, complaints and sentiment.

Savvy PR and marketing folk are digging deep into the conversations – mining that data to find insights that can drive strategy, inform product R & D, give the competitive edge and improve that pesky bottom line.

You start by listening and gathering information about your brand/s, your company and your competitors.  Once you have the data use that old PR skill called content analysis.

  1. Map your brand’s social graph
  2. Find the influencer(s) in each node of the graph
  3. Discover what different groups within one node are talking about and what’s important to them
  4. Find out where they are talking about those things
  5. Tap into what your competitors are doing and what people are saying about them
  6. Identify threats and opportunities
  7. Share the data you find with your team and others across the organization
  8. Brainstorm how best to implement what you find to support the organization ‘s goals

There is a ton of information available in the social networks and conversations, but it takes commitment and work to find all the threads.  A monitoring tool can do a lot of the work, but there is still a lot that  has to be done manually.  And the analysis cannot be done automatically. It takes a  live person with a bright and inquiring mind to read the content and figure out what’s important and what’s connected.  To see those  brewing threats and spot the low-hanging fruit that will bring big rewards.

There is an old PR saying – “Know before you go.”

For the past few years Social Media has been treated as a warm and fuzzy experiment.  Now that we know it works, it’s time to get serious about this data stream and use it to discover really useful information that can move the needle.

Social Media Intelligence is definitely a trend to watch in 2012 & it is definitely the Black Gold of the 21st Century for the World Wide Web (www).

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