Social Media Intelligence

In this article we'll be covering :

  • What is Social Media Intelligence?
  • Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening vs Social Media Intelligence
  • What can Social Media Intelligence do for Your Brand?
  • How is Social Media Intelligence gathered?
  • How to Assess Social Media Intelligence Tools?
  • The Future of Social Media Intelligence
Updated on

What is Social Media Intelligence and Why Does it Matter?

Social media platforms have steadily become an integral part of our daily lives. With new platforms being introduced to users regularly and new brands making their way into the market, social media spending by brands have had to be upscaled. It is no longer enough for brands to simply manage and monitor their social media engagements. Large volumes of content are being published on social media platforms by brands themselves and an even larger amount of data is generated by the customers engaging with the brand. This is where social media marketing strategy calls for the use of data analytics, paving the way for Social Media Intelligence.

What is Social Media Intelligence?

Simply put, social media intelligence is the process of analyzing social media data to glean actionable insights for brands to leverage. A data-driven method for understanding the customer better and how best to serve them. It is the insights derived through data analytics that can help brands make better-informed business decisions, benefitting both the brand and its customers. 

Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening vs Social Media Intelligence

Brands need to be aware of the distinction between these three related terms, to be able to gather insights through the right process and implement their business decisions accordingly. Social Media Monitoring was the first to be implemented. It evolved into Social Listening, and then to Social Media Intelligence as we have it today.

Social Media Monitoring:

Marketing teams monitor the brand’s social media output and customer engagements, in an effort to ascertain if there are risks associated with certain products or services and how the brand image is being reflected online. But the insights gathered through monitoring are mostly subjective to individual marketers and not backed by robust data analysis. Hence the business decisions these insights influence, are reactionary and not always the best course of action. There is a need for detailed data collection, leading us to the concept of Social Listening.

Social Listening:

Social Listening tools can enable brands to collect data from the billions of social media engagements and interactions from users across the globe. You can use the tools to analyze your Owned Media which refers to all the posts made by your brand, along with Earned Media, which constitutes all the unprompted posts by consumers about your brand. 

Some of the popular Social Listening tools today, are Brandwatch, Talkwalker, Meltwater, and Sprinklr. But Social Listening alone is inadequate as it doesn’t offer you an all-round picture of how your brand is performing because of the lack of social media data analysis. Social Media Intelligence helps build your social media presence, and overall business and marketing strategies.

Social Media Intelligence:

Take a delve beyond the vanity metrics such as ‘likes’ and social media mentions, Social Media Intelligence caters to tracking and analyzing the data, to make better-informed business decisions based on actionable insights delivered to clients.

To put it simply, making use of the data from social listening and analytics tools for insights is called social intelligence.

Social Media Intelligence, aka Social Business Intelligence, can help your brand understand customers better, predict their behavior and foresee emerging trends, resulting in staying ahead of the curve. Let data lead the way and help you not just improve on customer interactions online, but influence better decision making, improve customer experience, and enhance brand equity.

What can Social Media Intelligence do for Your Brand?

These business intelligence tools are what will enable your brand to harness the power of social media data and channel it towards enhancing your business.

Social Listening without Social Media Intelligence is like having bullets, without a gun to help you shoot the target.

You can’t just gather customer engagement data and customer feedback but never have it analyzed so you can understand them better. Once you have the right analytics tools to sift through the data and provide you with actionable insights, you can influence business decisions in real-time and make tangible improvements in products, services, customer experience, and brand value.

In fact, Social Intelligence has the power to impact every facet of your business in a positive way.

  • HR personnel uses Social Media Intelligence to better understand public attitude toward your brand and develop strategies to optimize its perception.
  • Research and Development teams can analyze customer feedback and make improvements to existing features in products and create upgrades based on upcoming trends and predictions for the future.
  • Marketing departments can leverage social intelligence for brand tracking and get a detailed view of how their campaigns are being received by customers and prospective customers, along with how their competitors are performing in the same digital ecosystem.
  • Customer service teams can pinpoint customer pain points that require maximum support, and your brand can focus efforts to resolve issues and make improvements for future endeavors.
  • Sales teams can use the insights to get a better understanding of the customers they are trying to reach out to, view problems from the customer’s perspective, and be best equipped to address these problems while letting your products do the talking.

Unique problems require bespoke solutions, and analysis of social media interactions can help your brand not just identify the root of the problem, but address it effectively and improve customer satisfaction.

How is Social Media Intelligence gathered?

Social media data is the key to Social Media Intelligence. You can collect this data from the relevant social media platforms using an Application Protocol Interface, better known as an API. This data does not reflect intelligence on its own but has to be in conjunction with other business data so that it may be leveraged for valuable insights. Social Media Intelligence tools on the other hand are more adept at collecting social data from multiple platforms, and seamlessly integrating it with the rest of your enterprise data.

To get a better understanding of industry standards, data from your brand and competitors have to be analyzed together to get the full picture. Similarly, to better understand how your product is performing, you need to analyze sales data in conjunction with social media data and customer feedback.

Moreover, the sheer amount of data being generated every day by social media platforms is too much for manual analysis by individual social media analysts. The process has to be an automated one, where the social business intelligence tools collect the data, sort it out and analyze it using algorithms. It is only post-analysis that human intervention is needed to spot the pain points or trends outlined in the insights, and take business decisions based on those insights.

Social Intelligence across Platforms

Social Media forms the broad umbrella under which we have various platforms operating in unique ways. There are social networking platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, photograph-sharing sites such as Instagram, microblogging on Twitter, and YouTube is by far the most popular platform for video content.

Algorithms and automation are the keys to analyzing the vast data sets flowing in from across channels. Moreover, the platforms have their own metrics for measuring social media success and each platform can contribute to your market strategy in its unique way.

But social media platforms are not the only source for social intelligence. Any digital source of information ranging from product reviews and search data, to blogging sites and Reddit forums, are credible sources for social intelligence. You should also understand, that even though Facebook and Instagram are two of the biggest platforms on the internet, heavy restrictions and regulations on both Meta platforms make it very hard to access data. Most of the data is unavailable due to privacy regulations, and it is usually just surface level data that can accessed for analysis.

On the other hand, Twitter the microblogging site has evolved into the most prolific platform for instant customer feedback. It has reached the stage where companies have a specific Twitter handle for customer service, which is managed by the company’s CRM team. The platform has proven to be effective for content amplification with hashtags being a prevalent feature, but real-time responses to customer feedback and maintaining the brand’s engagement levels have become a full-time job.

Twitter data analysis offers a direct connection to the audience, their impression of your company, and the conversations regarding the industry you operate in. Retweets and mentions are good metrics for understanding audience sentiments, and social intelligence is in pinpointing the reason behind the retweets. Actionable insights from the analyzed data will help you anticipate a crisis, measure your social media performance against your competitors, and optimize engagements.

Why use Social Intelligence?

These platforms let organizations not just connect with their audience, but feel their pulse and gauge their emotions. Social media intelligence gathered from analyzing data from these online platforms, lets you look further into the data and make meaningful observations. Observations that offer actionable solutions for boosting innovation and product development, and optimizing marketing, messaging, and sales activities. But social intelligence is not restricted to any particular business functions, and can be used by anyone from supply chain teams to UX researchers and UI designers.

In a saturated ecosystem with multiple competitors, every bit of actionable intelligence can offer a competitive edge and tip the scales in your favor.

How to Assess Social Media Intelligence Tools?

You can leverage Social Media Marketing to target specific segments of your business and reach specific goals. You can use the data to:

  • better promote new products and services 
  • introduce special offers and discounts 
  • receive customer feedback 
  • improve on existing offerings 

You need to identify your brand’s objectives, to be able to effectively leverage the right tools. Social Media Listening and Monitoring tools can enable you to better R&D and Troubleshoot problems related to your products and services. But for truly effective social media strategies and evaluating the real results of your marketing efforts, Social Business Intelligence tools are the resource you need to tap into. It can help you analyze your own efforts, analyze your competitors, create better strategies and maximize ROI.

Social Technology Landscape

The Future of Social Media Intelligence

Social Media Marketing is already taking over, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a major role to play in dictating the future of Social Media Intelligence. With an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced every day globally, the amount of data being generated every day is growing exponentially and it is too much for humans to handle. AI has to lead the way and automation is the answer to being able to not just collect, but efficiently analyze all the data and present it in a way that humans can decipher valuable insights from it. AI will enable your brand to identify patterns and predict trends instantaneously, allowing you to make informed business decisions, all in real time.

Course5 Intelligence has been making significant strides in this domain and is geared toward leveraging the power of AI to deliver real-time actionable insights, allowing you to focus on strategy execution and effecting change. Our proprietary platform Course5 Compete, is a scalable market and competitive intelligence platform, designed to help your business improve strategy and drive growth, through enhanced visibility into the market, your competitors, and your customers.

Allow us to enable you to embrace the future.