Social Intelligence of The Future — Focus on shortening the distance between the consumer and the brand

These are questions that we can be answering using insights from social data.

What can social data tell us about our consumer’s actions? What is he/she doing on a daily and hourly basis?

What experiences are our consumers having?

When our consumer turns away from a major brand, what is he/she turning towards?

What is our consumer experimenting with? Can we experiment with him/her?

How can we help our consumer as he/she faces so many choices?

How can we help our consumer determine what sources of information are valid?

Are we discovered in the midst, even at the core, of our consumer’s trusted sources of information? (influencers)

What does it mean to be seen as a basic utility by our consumer?

What does it mean to be the answer to our consumer’s “short term” needs/decisions/desires?

How can we help our consumer with small actions on an every day basis?

How can we be more pragmatic vs ideological as a brand? How can we be the answer for our consumer’s pragmatic questions and needs?

How can we help our consumer as he/she evaluates and re-evaluates his/her decisions about the smallest things? Where can we appear during that consideration phase?

How can we be there when our consumer acts impulsively? Where and when does he/she act impulsively?

How does our consumer’s “operating system” work? How can we “hack” or “patch” into his/her operating system?

How can we create activity that fits within our customer’s existing behavior (based on lots of small data points)?

The Future of Social Intelligence

These are a few initial thoughts on the future of social data intelligence software.

We have reached the year when AI will have more influence upon social intelligence tools. What this means is that AI technologies will play a more significant role in producing insights from social data.

Analysts will continue to play a strong role in social data tools, with an increasing role in training “the machine”. What this means is that analysts will actively work with programmers to teach the machine how to do what they do.

The machine will improve on sentiment assessment but will not be 100% accurate during 2016. Analysts and machine learning experts will work hand-in-hand to improve this.

There will be an all-out fight related to privacy in the coming years, which will end in humans submitting all personally identifiable information (PII) in the interest of finding out more about themselves.The operating system from Spike Jonze’ film “Her” will become possible and will be so appealing that people will willingly submit their PII. This change in attitude to privacy will cause entities such as FullContact API to rise in importance. See this link for the “Installing Samantha” scene from the film “Her”, where Theodore installs the intelligent OS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1AjtIAje3o

All known languages will be scanned by social media monitoring in the next three years.

The ability to run on-the-fly focus groups will also become an important aspect of the value proposition by social media monitoring tools. See this video on the subject: https://vimeo.com/143879132

A Network Analysis Process

A Network Analysis Process:

1. Subscribe to a social media monitoring service with a very hefty set of data (i.e.- Brandwatch)

2. Create an accurate query within this monitoring solution related to your marketplace. Date this query back 24 months. The goal with this step is to discover the largest networks (pages, groups, authors) related to a marketplace.

3. Go to the Export function within the monitoring solution and export the entire data set related to your 24 month query. Every row.

4. Isolate ONLY the Twitter results in an Excel document. In addition, isolate ONLY the Facebook results (in Excel).

5. Subscribe to Full Contact API ( https://www.fullcontact.com/developer/ ) at the highest level you can afford.

6. Download the Full Contact Person Enrichment Template (FCPET) from Full Contact API.

7. Set the Seed at 3 or above (in the FCPET document). Set the source to either Twitter Handle or Facebook ID.

8. Ensure you have a rock solid Internet connection.

9. Paste all Twitter handles from the data export into the first column of the FCPET document. Run the append.

10. Paste all FB handles from the data export into the first column of a second fresh FCPET document. Run the append.

11. Keep the results in the FCPET in exact order from the Brandwatch data export. This is so you can paste in a few columns from the Brandwatch export, such as sample mentions, account type (Individual or Organization), gender, etc.

12. Hire an analyst to meticulously go over the resulting spreadsheets and clean out the junk and spam authors. Use other tools, such as Melissa Data ( http://www.melissadata.com/ ) and Intelius ( https://www.intelius.com/ ) to append more data in additional columns.

13. Organize by Impact score (Brandwatch) or by Region or by any other criteria important to you (use the Data sort function in Excel to do this).

You can use the final sheet to plan content-marketing, derive insights on markets, and understand competitor activity. You can also determine the “real people” talking about your brand using this approach.

Listening is a core muscle for thriving online

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
~Rachel Naomi Remen

Listening and asking for clarification is hugely important in the social networks. People are finding their voice in these networks, often for the first time. People are writing themselves into being in these networks. This requires frequent wisdom and compassion.

Yesterday, I encountered the reality of this needed compassion in a new way: I saw a variety of conversations that convinced me humanity is increasingly thinking as one mind. The weave of personal comments in threads with mass media news with music and images shared by individuals revealed to me the incredible way we have merged into a collective dance. Remember at high school dances when everyone danced on their own and then would merge into a line or a circle and then disperse again into couples and smaller groups? I watched this in real-time yesterday online. Truly amazing diversity woven into one shape, one circle, one global community – the Internet.

For years, I’ve predicted that a single tweet or FB post or YouTube video or Instagram photo would sweep the globe and fundamentally shift humans. Now I see that this is happening regularly. Individuals are offering up their thoughts in myriad networks via various mediums (text, image, video, music) and, in some cases, all of humanity circles around a particular message. An individual can watch a trend using sophisticated social media monitoring tools and jump in early on an emerging meme. He/she can capitalize on this meme and lead it, albeit with extreme aplomb since these memes are “thought-animals” that have a life of their own. The entrance of a meme into a culture, as many know, can significantly alter the individuals in that culture.

I think we have an opportunity to consciously sequence a series of memes in order to alter global consciousness. We have an opportunity to significantly change the way individuals relate to one another through an emphasis on kindness, goodness and empathy. One opportunity humans have online is simply to listen to others. And so we are all, in a way, sitting down in impromptu circles around specific posts and hearing each other out on that issue in the post. And often the issue morphs as participants work out their feelings and past issues. These expressions indicate a swiftly evolving conversation headed towards, we hope, understanding and unity on a global level.

Again, people are writing themselves into being in these networks. This requires frequent wisdom and compassion.

More On The Adjacent Possible

“Think of it as a house that magically expands with each door you open. You begin in a room with four doors, each leading to a new room that you haven’t visited yet. Those four rooms are the adjacent possible. But once you open one of those doors and stroll into that room, three new doors appear, each leading to a brand-new room that you couldn’t have reached from your original starting point.” ~Steve Johnson

Humans are changing as a result of relationships and conversations within social networks. There are two specific types of people in relationship nowadays that are driving this change. The first type are humans who talk about “transcending flesh” through digital life. These people spend the majority of their waking hours online. The other type of person turns ideas into flesh products & services.

So the first group is focused on replicating flesh experience within the digital or virtual realm. And the second is focused on turning digital experiences into physical products and services. The tension of these two seemingly opposing directions within social networks is highly fruitful for creative types. To be clear, those who frequently “exit the flesh” to play in the digital realm (gamers, for example) are complimentary to those who are creating a science-fiction-like reality in the flesh (innovators in health technology, for example).

Digital experience is giving humanity a hint that flesh can be transcended. Digital experience is also giving humanity the vision of a super-body, augmented by implants. Virtual avatars could potentially exist for many millions of years in synthetic bodies. Such “virtually-possessed” bodies could evolve into beings capable of transferring knowledge into the flesh community. Some even talk now about the homo sapiens species being left behind as the entire population enters a stage of being implanted with various devices. This new species could be called homo cyborg, as flesh and technology are increasingly blended.

It could be said that humans are involved in a slow motion “rapture” of sorts at this time. Our digital selves are summoning our physical selves to a limitless experience. This in turn could beget limitless energy technology and limitless health technology. As suggested before, we may be able to place our entire consciousness like a software program into a synthetic body that has a much longer life span.

The contemporary world operates constantly within public and private online networks. We can call these online forums “networks of light” in which human hearts connect every millisecond. In these networks, hearts become entangled and start to respond like joined twins, even at a distance. In fact, we can say that humans carry on relationships at the speed of light nowadays. We literally enter quantum states, wherein entangled hearts interact within a channel that empowers the teleportation from light into matter.

It is this dawning realization of the teleportation of light into matter that drives human curiosity in this present age. We are remembering on a mass level how to turn thought into flesh…at increasing velocity. And the cyclical relationship between digital natives and flesh-producers generates this reality.

Forming a relationship with the customer is number one

I really agree with Ted Rubin that being real is more effective & potent than being perfect.

Here’s one reason why I agree with Ted:

Within a large corporation, there are often moments when chaos and fear collide to create real mis-understandings. The chaos results from so many initiatives happening at once. The fear results from a very simple reality – people hanging on to their jobs. When a very large corporation enters social networks for the first time, it is usually via several silos, and even separate regions. This can produce chaos, this can produce fear. And those who enter this chaos and fear, and attempt to coalesce the efforts of the corporation in social networks…well, the only hope for such people is to embody the authentic, the real, the humble, the calm and balanced. This effort in social networks is not about a military strike or the creation of a ruling robot…it is about how we as a brand will form a relationship with our customer.

The value of listening for the human family

The human family will come together when simply listening to one another supersedes having the “right” answer. What is important is to value and affirm one another. If we can do this, we will have the entire human family talking and listening to each other. This short existence is a special time for each person, a time for sharing ideas, exploring creativity, and basking in the glow of one another’s approval.

Corporate Social Analysis and Action – Part 1

1. Discover entire work force in the social networks (use Connect6 and LinkedIn Recruiter).

2. Segment the discovered individuals into various categories of strength by analyzing each individual’s likes/interests/personal content (use Brandwatch, Facebook Graph Search and SocialBro).

3. Encourage all employees to enter and beef up LinkedIn profiles and join company specific groups.

4. Analyze Yammer and Chatter and Sharepoint data for untapped solutions to lagging initiatives, do the same with all corporate email exchanges.

5. Fund internal social TV (model this after internal corporate news providers).

6. Direct specific employees to join online industry/interest groups associated with their job title/department/silo/region (discover these using the native search within specific networks).

7. Encourage complete connection of employees to one another in LinkedIn to the 100th percentile.

8. Fund all employees to have Executive level accounts and undergo LinkedIn training.

The Common Thread

…and they uploaded a strand of their DNA into the machine. And the machine displayed all of their experiences plus the experiences of their ancestors in personalized filmographies, photo journeys and highly detailed chronologies. And networks formed around these discovered memories, these forgotten stories. And these networks became an all-consuming modality of entertainment, education and invention. The onion of human history was opened further as a result…the maze of human memory became visible….the possibility of “piecing it all together” took on profound implications. And, in the midst of all this digital retrospection, they discovered a common thread.

The Power of the Listening Hub for the Enterprise

The purpose of this post is to outline a few best-practice actions as related to set-up and the early months of running a Social Media Command Center (SMCC) within a major brand headquarters. Such pilot programs demonstrate the types of insights and recommendations possible through the implementation of a SMCC.

First, let’s start with some definitions:

DEFINITIONS:

Social Media Command Center (SMCC) – A centrally located space where monitors (or signage screens), PCs and desks are configured for research of social data (and other data as prescribed) by in-house employees and 3rd party vendors. The SMCC provides a way to visualize data in various configurations relative to the needs of the corporation. The focus of research at a SMCC is social data.

The phrase “command center” has become common due to the central data research function relative to a brand’s outlets or regional offices. Insights and recommendations relative to past events, current initiatives and/or future opportunities are distributed from the command center.

A SMCC can be used for actions by various silos (upon approval). Such actions can include Marketing Campaign planning & engagement, PR response, HR discovery, Sales prospecting, Customer Service, Call Center integration, Competitive Intelligence, Customer Intelligence, company overview for the C-Suite and much more.

A fully realized SMCC is more than just a research center. The SMCC can be populated by representatives from each silo/department. The representatives can be authorized to take immediate action on critical issues. Policies can be put into place that give these representatives acceptable parameters for action and response.

For example, Customer Service representatives present within the early-stage SMCC can demonstrate an enhanced response time to resolving customer needs. Other names for a SMCC include Social Listening Center, Listening Center, Social Analytics Research Facility, Web Intelligence Center and Data Research Facility.

Social Data – Data specifically derived from the Internet and social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Slideshare, Instagram, blogs, online forums, websites, and other online communities/networks. The data is public information, meaning it can be accessed by anyone.

VALUE:
The value of a SMCC to a brand or corporation includes:

– provides the possibility to view all mentions of the brand online
– provides the possibility to view all mentions of competitors online
– provides the possibility to discover key influencers as related to the brand, market space and competitors
– provides the possibility to monitor actions by competitors online
– provides customer insights based on conversations online
– provides recommendations for action to be taken in multiple silos at the brand/corporation
– provides recommendations for research projects related to customers, competitors and corporate initiatives

SAMPLE RESEARCH PROJECT SUMMARIES:
The following sample projects demonstrate just a few types of research possible through the use of a SMCC.

Brand Audit – An overview of mentions and sentiment related to the brand. An overview related to brand initiatives using specific search terms. A comprehensive audit of where the brand is being mentioned and by whom. Discovery of key influencers driving opinion about the brand, the maret segment and competitors. A study of competitors’ to the brand and a comparison of mention volume, sentiment and other factors.

Product Launches – As specific new product lines are launched, the SMCC staff can provide key internal decision makers with valuable insights based on mentions.

Marketing Planning Projects – Planning as related to marketing can be enhanced through the use of a SMCC. Specific marketing projects can be created as a result of listening to customer and competitor conversations and noting trending topics. Creatives from the brand & third-party agencies can collaborate in a SMCC while viewing visualizations of mentions and complex query results.

Example: Monitor conversations during brand campaign launches and create on-the-fly sub-marketing campaigns for specific regions/cities based upon mentions. Discover influential voices online (individuals and/or specific sites) that are either detracting or celebrating the brand.

Sales Prospecting Projects – Sales directors can discover prospects for sales teams, along with detailed on these prospects. A SMCC can be used by sales strategists to created finely segmented lists of prospects. The SMCC can also be used to gather and append valuable contact and demographic data to each individual prospect.

Example: Monitor specific regions and deliver B2B prospect lists to enterprise sales staff in those regions. This is based on conversations in those regions by ideal B2B prospects. Deliverable includes a list of B2B prospects in a region with appended contact/social data and intelligence on each prospect (why this is a good prospect for brand business services in that region, along with suggested ways to gain advantage with specific example). The ultimate goal with this project is to demonstrate the efficacy of social data in helping sales leaders close deals for brand Business Services.

Human Resources Discovery – Human Resources can quickly discover ideal candidates for positions within the corporation. Insights on employee sentiment within the brand can be delivered to HR from SMCC analysts. Insights on sentiment of employees at competitors can be delivered to HR also with the SMCC program.

Example: Identify lists of ideal prospects for specific positions at brand and/or brand franchises. Demonstrate how social data can yield ideal prospects for HR purposes. Monitor employee sentiment related to specific initiatives, discover ratings by ex-employees or current staff at sites like Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn.com. Monitor employee sentiment at competitors and discover opportunity for recruitment/head hunting/competitive intelligence. Monitor partners and vendors. Discover core differences between existing partners/vendors and their competitors.

PR Response – Analysts at the SMCC can provide valuable and quick insight into mentions of the brand online. Response times to positive or negative mentions online can be greatly reduced by having one central research hub. In addition, the ability to quickly visualize threats/opportunities, along with ability to append valuable conversation and contact data, will greatly enhance critical PR efficiency. Monitor “watchdog” reports related to specific products at brand.

Example: Monitor specific regions and/or franchisee locations for mentions and sentiment. Develop insights for these regions/franchisees on what customers/local inhabitants are saying about those store locations. Monitor global sentiment relative to competitors – what PR issues are our competitors dealing with. Discover specific threats to the brand. Discover specific social proof (positive trends & mentions) related to the brand.

Customer Service – Customer Service is perhaps the most valuable action within the SMCC. The ability to aggregate/analyze customer sentiment as demonstrated in online conversation and respond quickly to the needs of one’s customers is greatly enhanced in the context of the SMCC. Again, a fully realized SMCC is more than just a research center. The SMCC can be populated by representatives from each silo/department. The representatives can be authorized to take immediate action on critical issues. Policies can be put into place that give these representatives acceptable parameters for action and response. The Customer Service representatives present within the early-stage SMCC can demonstrate an enhanced response time to resolving customer needs.

Example: Monitor specific regions and/or locations for mentions and sentiment. Develop insights for these regions/franchisees on what customers/local inhabitants are saying about those store locations. Monitor mentions related to specific brand products and competitors’ products. Discover venues for providing swifter service, product complaints and other online arenas where brand brand word of mouth is spreading. Recommend specific programs or amendments to existing programs at the brand.

Competitive Intelligence – The SMCC can provide insights related to activities by competitors online, and also to the customers, vendors and employees of these competitors. As a sub-set of this research, we can monitor partners and vendors.