First came social media monitoring and the ability to talk to engage with your audience more deeply via your owned channels. Next, we developed social listening, and suddenly you could follow conversations about your brand anywhere online, provided you had the right tools. Now, we’re all talking about social intelligence.
But what is social intelligence, exactly? And why does it represent the next step in digital marketing?
What is Social Intelligence?
Social intelligence uses data collected from a variety of sources – social media, search data and chatbots – to inform strategic decision-making and solve a specific problem. It’s the question driving your data collection and analysis.
For example, a brand wants to understand the best way to position a new luxury sunscreen product in a crowded market. Before beginning to design a campaign, you’ll want to collect as much data as possible about what consumers in the target market think, feel and say about high-end skincare products. Social media monitoring will certainly get you that information, but how to ensure you’re listening to the right people on the right platforms? Or even thinking about the right keywords? This is where social intelligence comes into play, because it’s social intelligence that gives you the “why” guiding every step in your data collection and analysis.
Social intelligence here says you need to learn more about how and when consumers buy new sunscreens, whether they’re prepared to pay a premium for sunscreen and how they prefer to purchase these kinds of beauty products. These questions inform your keyword choice and, later, how you perform your data analytics to arrive at actionable insights.
How Can Social Intelligence Improve Your Marketing Strategy?
While there’s no such thing as a miracle marketing strategy, and changes in how people engage with brands online all but guarantee a constant state of innovation, it’s clear that social intelligence outperforms conventional marketing tools in key areas.
Below, are three challenges associated with traditional marketing and how social intelligence can provide solutions.
Problem 1: Traditional Marketing Is Siloed and Difficult to Scale
Conventional marketing relies on manual tools like feedback surveys and focus groups to collect small samples of data that may or may not accurately reflect consumers’ opinions. And yet, entire marketing departments can spend days or weeks parsing this information looking for clues about what to do next. Or worse, validation that the existing plan – the one that comes in under budget – will definitely work.
Social intelligence leverages big data and advances in machine learning and AI to help marketers form conclusions based on millions, sometimes hundreds of millions, of data points. As social listening platforms evolve to automate the structuring of data into usable sets, the quality of social intelligence available to brands continues to improve by leaps and bounds.
Some social media intelligence providers are even equipped to gather reports about a brand across multiple platforms, in addition to monitoring specific keywords. The platform then uses AI to compile both social listening and other conversational data into a centralized hub, greatly simplifying the market research process. Even non-SaaS consumer intelligence companies have caught on, and are busy diversifying their data sets to include more information from publicly available social and digital platforms.
The D/A Difference
At D/A, we’re always looking for new ways to increase our data-collection capabilities. Currently, we’re able to gather social listening information from Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, as well as video, image and text content from a variety of news sites to provide comprehensive coverage of opinions and actionable predictions.
Benefits to Your Brand:
- Consolidate data from multiple social platforms and channels, as well as conventional websites and news outlets, into a single, easily-accessible hub
- Leverage the big datasets you need, when you need them: in real time, as you develop your campaigns and engage with your audience
- Automate even complicated analytical tasks and let machine learning doo the legwork, freeing your marketing team to focus on developing strategy
Problem 2: Pinpointing Friction Points in Consumer Journeys
Because social intelligence leverages big data sets – literally, millions of pieces of unstructured data – and collects them in real-time, it far exceeds the capacity of traditional marketing techniques to understand how consumers feel about a brand or product when it matters – during the sale cycle. In a conventional marketing campaign, identifying where and when consumers felt dissatisfied or unheard can take weeks. With social intelligence, which monitors consumer sentiment across multiple channels in the form of comments, mentions, posts and tweets, brands know within a matter of hours if something’s amiss and can correct it accordingly.
Social intelligence also helps brands take proactive steps to avoid friction when designing the customer journey and modeling the sales cycle. Using sentiment tracking data, marketing teams can tailor each step of the sales cycle to speak directly to consumer concerns or objections and build trust
The D/A Difference
Using Sila, our Arabic-native social intelligence platform, we’re able to collect and incorporate first-party brand data, as well as social and digital data, into a complete journey-mapping model. Because Sila listens natively in Arabic – 16 dialects and counting – our sentiment tracking accuracy far exceeds industry norms, meaning we identify friction points faster and with greater precision.
Benefits to Your Brand:
- Responsive marketing campaigns that pivot to address audience pain points and objections in real time
- Sentiment tracking across multiple channels captures a larger quantity of high-quality data
- Sila’s Arabic-native social listening tools ensure that you receive accurate insights into consumer sentiment
Problem 3: Accurate Brand Tracking and Competition Monitoring
Ever wished that you could ‘get inside the head’ of your competition? SI doesn’t quite put you inside the subconscious of a rival, but it comes close. The same powerful machine learning you use to understand your own audience behaviours can also apply to shared audiences, or your competition itself. By tracking other brands in your space as closely as you do your own, you’re able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, predict their future strategies and identify potentially untapped market opportunities in the broader audience. In the past, this level of analysis simply wasn’t possible due to the limits on human teams. It was just too much data! With the advent of AI, however, searching and synthesizing large amounts of information for multiple brands has become the norm.
The ability to monitor conversations around your own brand and your competition simultaneously also means more accurate benchmarking. Social listening and social intelligence mean you learn not only how your brand stacks up against others based on what – and who – your audience is talking about, but also helps you to visualize what’s working for your competition – and what’s not.
The D/A Difference
Rather than rely solely on the social universe to build singular queries, which can artificially limit results, we assemble influencing ‘panels’ based on specific demographics or categories of questions and collect all data associated with these accounts. Because we’re tracking more than content – we also monitor likes, follows, comments and other engagements – we’re able to simultaneously benefit from massive amounts of data and a highly structured and contextualized approach that ensures we’re only looking at relevant conversations.
Likewise, the fact that our social intelligence platform works natively in Arabic+ and includes Arabic image recognition means we have unparalleled insight into consumer sentiment.
Benefits to Your Brand:
- Learn from your competitors’ successes and mistakes with brand tracking and sentiment monitoring
- Accurately benchmark your brand’s performance against competitors using standardized metrics
- Listen to your own audience and your competitors to identify new opportunities
- Rest assured that your sentiment data comprises relevant conversations thanks to Sila’s native Arabic listening and analysis