Leverage Social Intelligence Across the Entire Business: Software as a Service Edition

Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse on January 4, 2016.  

Social Media Week Chicago 2015 in November featured a master class on business intelligence using social analytics. The three speakers on the panel were from start-up fashion publisher (Clique Media Group, Inc. or CMG), digital marketing agency (Tenthwave Digital), and retail pharmacy chain (CVS Health). The panel discussed ways to leverage social media to make business decisions, gain customer insights, and stay competitive. Insights in social media in this class were leveraged from Digimind’s social listening and analytics platforms, which are known as software as a service (SaaS) products. Read the complication of tweets and panel notes in this storify link. I was invited as a panelist to share successes at CMG, my slides can be viewed here.

An important decision for developing business intelligence from social data is the technology. Is your organization willing to devote resources, people, and budget to collecting, storing, analyzing, and communicating the firehose of information? Regardless of the answer, in-house technology or SaaS products, understanding social data requires customization, strong business questions, and understanding of clients, followers, and customers. It is not always clear or straight forward to achieve business objectives with your social data. The three businesses in this presentation decided to transition the mechanics of social to third party tools.

After deciding on the platform, tapping into an organization’s full potential of social listening and analytics requires buy-in from all business users and a dedicated team. The team must be adapt at gathering questions, setting the analytics scope, and communicating insights to different levels of the business. There must not be fear to iterate and refine the solutions and recommendations. Where people and and organizations give up is during the multiples of iterations and draft analysis. Featured in the presentation are successful examples from social listening and analytics in the SaaS context.

  • Compare Brand and product between digital publishers, competitors. Listening is able to show advertisers what brands and products influence audiences.
  • Track competitor updates and new programs. CVS social listening efforts pinpointed the emergence of new competitor programming and customer responses. In this case, CVS observed direct communications between people sharing their health status and competitor responses, such as replying with discounts on medication and referrals to clinics.
  • Create replicable and accessible case studies. Agencies with diverse set of clients can replicate and demonstrate value-add across to campaigns and programs. It took Tenthwave Digital foresight and determination to track the influence of social media on brand identity and campaign performance, first without getting paid by clients. The insights from these efforts increased demand and value. Soon after synthesizing this information, the clients were more than willing to pay for more.

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