Social Business Intelligence Advance #3

It is not enough to have a web intelligence solution that shows us where our own internal CRM is connected to important conversations and trends. We must also have a solution that shows us where our competitors’ CRM is connected to these same conversations and trends. In addition, we must have a solution that automatically delivers a set of individuals exactly like our best customers, complete with First Name, Last Name, Current Phone, Current Email, Current Social Links and cited examples of participation in these important conversations and trends. That’s the solution yet to be achieved in the social business intelligence world.

Finding Your "Familiars" In Social Networks: A Step by Step Process

“A familiar spirit is the double, the alter-ego, of an individual. Even though it may have an independent life of its own, it remains closely linked to the individual.” ~Pierre A. Riffard

“Resist the temptation to think what afflicts you is peculiar to you. Have faith that what is in your consciousness can be communicated to the consciousness of all. And is, in many cases, already there.” ~Alice Walker, The Temple Of My Familiar

Familiarity implies intimacy. To become familiar with another person implies having more than a casual acquaintance. In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as “familiars”) were supernatural entities believed to assist shamans in their practice of magic. A familiar is a being who you come to know intimately and who works with you to create life and magic. This begins through listening, continues into relationship and culminates in collective action.

The core reason to discover your familiars is to have a relationship with meaning. A second reason for engaging in this process is to develop a community full of common purpose. A third reason for cultivating such relationships is to bring your gifts to the world and make a solid contribution to humanity at large.

The scholar R. Grimmasi writes about discovering a relationship to animals at a young age in the forest. He did this through listening and observing. “I quickly learned that it was necessary to remain still and silent in order not to scare away the wildlife…it was there in those silent moments of observation and anticipation that I developed my ability to establish rapport and communication with other beings, with “familiars”…familiars react to various symbols because of what they represent and the authority behind the power of the symbols.” Grimmasi identifies a very important aspect of relationship with familiars: symbols. Consider for a moment what you symbolize within your network by what you post on a daily basis. Write about this, draw this, speak about this. What is your symbol? What do you symbolize?

Filter your social relationships to determine which types of people respond to your content with eagerness. Now discover all the people just like those people within your own network. They may not be interacting with you simply because they are not seeing your posts in their News Feed or because they are focused elsewhere. Chances are that people similar to your “hottest” relationships will respond to you upon receiving a gift of your content. Try cc’ing one or two of these “Discovered Familiars” (a “discovered familiar” is similar to your known familiars).

1. Import your Facebook connections to a Yahoo email account.

2. Download the connections as a CSV file. Open this file in Excel.

3. Upgrade your LinkedIn to an Executive account (you will need this level for a later action). Now, export your connections as a CSV file.

4. Sign up for Social Bro or Simply Measured and download a spreadsheet of your Twitter followers. Use the Klout Audience Analysis in Simply Measured to receive a spreadsheet you can rank by Klout or by other interesting data like Listed, Location or specific bio content. In Social Bro, you can export both Followers and Friends (who you follow). In addition, within Social Bro, you can adjust some nifty sliders to specify various aspects of the download (if desired).

5. Learn how to use the Sort and Filter functions in Excel to refine your sifting of these spreadsheets from Social Bro and Simply Measured.

6. Next, sign up for LeadGrabber Pro’s 1 month account and extract up to 300 specific types of profiles that you identify. Or go into specific groups and extract all users.

7. Filter and Sort your spreadsheets by location and by keywords in the biographies. These keywords are symbols of your potential familiars.

8. Use Spokeo and other Open Source Intelligence Tools (OSINT) to learn more about your familiars so that you develop a list with integrity. Here is a list of excellent OSINT tools:

9. Upload all of your contacts as CSV format into a Gmail account.

10. Get the Rapportive plugin for Gmail so you can see the latest details on any contact, including their social links. This seems to work best in Chrome.

Next, connect personally with all of your connections. This will take time so make it worth it – for you and for who you are connecting with. Study what the person is talking about, conceive a clearly written paragraph containing an idea that will help him/her. This can be an encouragement, a business idea, a compliment on a character quality or a note of gratitude for something he/she wrote or posted (along with a story on how this post helped you). Email him/her, send them a Facebook message, use LinkedIn Inmail, use @mention your connections on Twitter and Facebook. Also, use other modes of communication. Chats via Skype can be vital, as well as starting Google hangouts.

It’s important to say something that helps the other person first. It has to begin with them. A great way into this is to study the person’s last 12 posts in any given social platform. What are they trying to discover? Can you provide the answer. Be specific to that person. Make your message short but deep. Get to the point.

Follow up, follow up, follow up. Act with with the intention of the best and highest good for all. Do what you love.

Scenarios for using information from social monitoring tools

Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to unknown.

In all fields of business, there are varying levels of sophistication. The small business owner juggles bookkeeping, rent, vendors and customers and, if he is lucky, has time left over to take his original business plan one step further via Marketing and Sales activities. The medium and enterprise level businesses have a responsibility to analyze their markets through best-practice business intelligence and innovate. Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to unknown. The open seas that enterprise-level businesses chart require captains and admirals who can judge when and how to take such risk.

New technologies aid such leaders in their future plans. The most important members of the team in this respect are the SCOUTS. In the world of social media marketing, the scouts are social intelligence providers. It is the responsibility of these scouts to discover the VERY BEST sources of intelligence in a specific vertical or world region. It is important to note that social media monitoring tools come in all shapes and sizes with varying angles on what is and is not important.

The least sophisticated customer of social intelligence signs up for one or two free or low-priced tools and develops guidance straight from data posted within these tools. Trusting the charts, sentiment ratings and influence scoring, he heads out into the social fabric of the Internet and connects with his customer through a specific social graph. Within two weeks, due to this intelligence, his Facebook company page has gathered upwards of 1500 followers due to a targeted ad campaign and he has sold 500 units of his product. One or two major influencers (a national Magazine or a large regional newspaper) picks up on the product, reviews it and he makes even more sales. Within two months of listening to his customer, he has set up a booth at no less than two major trade shows and is now being wooed to a B2B relationship by a large retail chain. Twelve months later, he has sold his product concept, designs and plans to a global brand for seven million dollars and takes some time off on the coast of Italy to reflect.

The medium and enterprise-level customer goes much further in their requirement. This customer of social monitoring intelligence wants his provider to develop insights and recommendations from the masses of data that come through a WOMMA-ethics-level tool…that is, a tool that has total, or near, access to firehoses from “walled-gardens” like Facebook or the giant Amazonian rivers of Twitter. He then wants that provider to write up a brand booklet complete with a few neat charts and a storyline of how the brand may utilize the current climate for maximum growth.

To go further, the Business Unit Manager of the marketing agency working with this enterprise-level customer wants the intelligence provider to produce a few infographics, even featuring Montage style real-time feeds for the Brand Manager to witness the immense flow of data that has been analyzed. But not too many feeds, maybe two or three.

Along with this infographic, the Business Unit Manager from the agency provides the Brand Manager with a comprehensive business plan that charts the growth of the brand over the coming year, its relative competitive weaknesses and advantages (SWOT style or another scenario planner) and a few preliminary creative mock-ups of the customer-facing solution. For internal business solutions, the Business Unit Manager recommends a few choice third-party vendors to come alongside the team for sCRM, a possible re-vamping of how collaboration takes place in the organization and re-vitalized, efficient HR.

The happy Brand Manager gets to go to her Marketing Manager and GM and show off a plan for her brand(s) that will elevate business by a nice percentage, decrease overall internal costs, address any outstanding PR and Customer-Service related issues and foster a glowing relationship with the community in her region through a customer-centric ad/marketing campaign. And, due to the entire solution being driven through social business, she has decreased the ad spend by 60%, saving money in the process. Time for a Google-style raise, boss?

For an important new study on Customer Intelligence Trends 2011, see the following Forrester Report: ‎”At the same time, the demand for insight — not just data — in real time creates a challenge but also a huge opportunity to extend the value of Customer Intelligence throughout the enterprise. Leading CI professionals who evolve and adapt to these trends will quickly find themselves at the nexus of the business.” ~from Customer Intelligence Trends To Watch In 2011 (

Good questions for brands to ask when getting into social media monitoring

• How do I choose the right social media monitoring tools?
• What are best practices for social media monitoring for enterprise-level
business intelligence specifically?
• What are best practices for social media monitoring for small businesses specifically?
• How do I measure social media engagement?
• How do I measure social media ROI?
• How do I extract context AND meaning from social media data?
• How do I identify key influencers in social networks?
• What is the value of sentiment detection, trending and analysis?
• How do I use social media monitoring for reputation and brand management?
• What is the relationship between social media monitoring and social CRM?
• How can we use all this data?
• What are the best social media monitoring tools for specific goals or intended outcomes?
• Where and how can I find my customers in social networks?
• How do I get started with social media monitoring
• How do I build my own social media monitoring service? What is sentiment trending?
• How do I monitor sentiment and benefit from the insights this provides?
• How can I identify influencers and build valuable relationships with them?
• How do I measure the success of my social media marketing campaigns?
• What types of media or geographic markets are monitored by social media monitoring tools?
• Which tools have the most accurate and contextually correct sentiment analysis?
• Which tools have the most accurate methodology for discovering location of conversations?
• Which tools are better at gleaning quality tweets AND distilling tweets from large volumes of tweets?

The most basic and powerful way to connect to your audience is to listen

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 is one of the most attractive traits in a fellow human being. Interest is sexy, and shows that you want to see into the other person. Learning another’s likes, favorites and passions transforms the relationship into one of transparency and intimacy. A classic rephrasing of intimacy is In-To-Me-See.

In the world of social media marketing, listening is a critical element to the humanization of a brand, the discovery of key influencers, communities and conversations where your product or service has an audience. There are loads of tools for listening, all with different slants on the art and science of gathering intelligence. But a critical aspect of this equation is the EQ (emotional intelligence) of the analyst looking at the data (even if the tool has already performed some intuitive filtering).

To use a dating metaphor: when your date really listens to you, he/she will be tying his/her chosen topics into what you are saying, weaving the two hearts at the table, on the blanket, or on the beach together. This weaving of hearts is just as important in social media marketing, where community managers and small business owners have the mandate to engage in one-one dialogues with customers or segmented niches. Such dialogues are not simply about opening up and letting things go on a natural course. As Charlene Li says in her latest book, Open Leadership, “Being open requires more —not less—rigor and effort than being in control.” The best relationships are ACTIVE!

Listening IS Invitation

Active listening has long been a practice amongst psychologists and psychotherapists, and is no less important in the realm of social networking. To actively listen one might consider the following important actions (adapted from the Council Circle tradition of co-listening):

1) Maintain eye contact with the person speaking (In cyber-space, this means using the filters in the listening tools in an intuitive manner so as to properly segment your audience based on keywords, keyphrases AND other verticals that are attractive to that niche. sCRM is all about this CONNECTION of information from databases to extract precise lists of keywords relevant AND resonant to your audience).

2) Be relaxed but present. (Check out Jet Blue’s twitter account. Their staff are interacting with customers in an uplifting, humorous manner).

3) Be still.

4) Listen from the heart. (The heart is THE most important muscle in social media marketing!)

5) Allow the story to unfold. (The Nestle Facebook fiasco is a classic example of a Community Manager rushing in prior to thinking the consequences through).

6) Listen carefully and the person speaking will always tell you what they need.

7) It’s not your job to “fix” the person who’s working.

8) Common mistakes to avoid:

DON’T give advice (unless asked for). (In social networking, Community Managers/Business owners have the mandate to be problem solvers. To truly solve a problem one must listen first. The key distinction between an Advice-Giver and a Problem-Solver is ACTION!)
DON’T “swap stories” to reassure the person who is speaking
DON’T interpret the meaning of his feelings
DON’T interrupt discharge of emotion (laughter, tears, etc.)
DON’T talk very much
DON’T ask questions for your own information
ONLY ask questions to lead the person deeper into feelings & his own re/solutions.

The most common mistake: Trying to show the person speaking what a good, understanding, perceptive, kind, helpful … person, counselor, leader … you are.

Listen, listen, listen! (That’s really what we all need!)

To return to the weaving metaphor, when one weaves strands of past subjects into the current conversation, a common point of reference is established. The social fabric of the internet is one of the most dynamic environments humanity has EVER engaged in…having the tools to listen is critical (science), knowing how to listen is an art that takes practice or comes naturally. Good community managers are EXCELLENT listeners who hear the heart of their audience and give the customer what he/she wants. And that is what makes GREAT customer-centric business, the current HOT method of marketing.

David Deida, the relationship author, writes, “Who we trust in a business situation is based on how open we are. Openness is bodily openness, muscular relaxation, heart openness as opposed to hiding behind some emotional wall, and spiritual openness, which is actually feeling so fully into the moment that there’s no separation between you and the entire moment.” Openess, feeling and intuition are INHERENT traits of the successful social media marketer/networker.