social intelligence

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)?

On Networks and Individuals – a vital shift for the corporate mindset

One of the most forward-thinking actions a large entity can take in 2013 is designing programs through which small and medium sized entities may become affiliates. To say this again: see your prospect list as a list of networks, NOT as a list of individuals. And begin now to study these networks, to segment the individuals within these networks and to devise scripts, business plans and strategic alliances with each and every one (where it makes sense).

Seeing individuals as networks is perhaps the most important mind change for the C-Suite. In a world of social networks and social business, such a leap is how large corporations will stay alive. As Peter Economides, a leading market strategist, has said, “Mass is the aberration, one-to-one is the convention.” We have to get back to the mindset of the neighborhood shop, the hyper-local one-to-one way of business. This is how economies will flourish again, and why large businesses should begin to invest cash into lucrative local pools of affiliates.

When a corporation receives access to social networks through its staff, when the C-Suite is introduced into these networks, the initial questions have to do with practical application. An employee seeking to demonstrate the practical application of social business need only pick up the old rolodex on the desk of his/her CEO. That rolodex, that little black book, IS the central symbol for clueing the C-Suite into the practical application of social networks. And the entity that started in 2007 to build online rolodexes, to segment these into lists of prospects, future employees, affiliates, vendors, and competitors, has already streaked out ahead of the entity just entering social networks.

Eleftherios Hatziioannou, Principal at Peopleizers, captures the dilemma for corporate leaders: “Marketers and the organizations behind them need to stop thinking in quantitative metrics only and add some deeper/relationship-based success factors to their strategies. However, these are more difficult to scale, because it takes one relationship at a time. This puts many businesses off. They think: How am I supposed to answer every single question out there? Isn’t it more efficient to just keep interrupting people with our messages the way we did in the past decades?”

Corporations wishing to succeed in social networks will have to divert a percentage of advertising & media spending towards a new “Relationship Marketing” Department, populated with customer-service minded folks — the mindset in this department ought to be more like the real estate agent vs. the call center “cold caller” who has to get through a specific number of calls before lunch. In this new Relationship Marketing Department, it’s about quality contacts and quality networks derived from research followed up with highly customized customer-service flavored sales — solutions-oriented sales leading to a long-term relationship.

A brief description of Social Business Intelligence

WHAT IS SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE: The basic concept behind the term “social intelligence” is to derive customer, competitive and market intelligence via data scanned in social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

THE NET RESULT OF A SOCIAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PROJECT (WHAT YOU GET FROM A S.I. PROJECT): The value of a social intelligence project is manifold, including the following benefits:

• discovery of warm leads related to psychographics and demographics from a customer’s current database.

• discovery of current trends and developments in a market sector that could lead to product/service innovation.

• discovery of a competitor’s activities that may aid one’s sales efforts.

• discovery of what your customers talk about, leading to product/service innovation and changes in marketing/sales strategy/tactics.

• discovery of new regions where your product/service is being discussed and your competitors are making money.

• discovery of upcoming events where you could generate awareness and sales.

• discovery of new pools of customers in digital networks. You may not have been aware of these pools of customers and their interests.

• discovery of conversations that social marketers and community managers can enter and utilize for higher brand awareness and sales.

• discovery of vendors and employees via professional networks like LinkedIn or the European Women’s Professional Network.


WHO: Gathering social intelligence is best performed by someone trained in research. Although a great amount of data may be aggregated automatically during a social intelligence project, it takes a human being to segment and make sense of this data and create insights related to the data.

HOW: There are many tools used to gather social data. Some of the best are expensive and require additional training to master. One of the best ways for a novice to begin is to use Twitter and LinkedIn. After setting up accounts in both social properties, use the free tool Listorious to research lists of influencers surrounding specific keywords in Twitter. Be sure to sign up for an Executive Account in LinkedIn so you can use all of the features in the Advanced Search tool.

WHICH TOOLS: More advanced social intelligence tools include Radian6, Sysomos, BrandWatch, PeopleBrowsr, Crimson Hexagon, Recorded Future and Trackur. A comprehensive list of these and other social intelligence tools may be found here.

Webcast: Social Intelligence and Foresight by Recorded Future and The Socializers

Recorded Future ( was joined by Nathaniel Hansen, CEO of The Socializers, to discuss how temporal analytic technology supports in-depth social web research. We discussed how identifying key web sources and potentially catalytic future events supports social intelligence research.

The presentation includes an introduction to Recorded Future’s technology from CEO Dr. Christopher Ahlberg, a brief a live demo of our analytic tools, and discussion of how the Socializers map and measure the most influential online figures.