4 ways to use social media in your intelligence gathering
- Find your curators – Information curation has been a part of the social scene for years. Whereas most of this curation is done around topic areas, if you can find (or create) someone who curates the relevant topics around you and your business, then it can serve as a significantly better source of information than trawling through a database. By collecting information from a variety of sources you avoid the groupthink that is so pervasive. Recruiting these curators from outside of the company is an easy way to avoid company centred thinking. Of course, this curation doesn’t just have to be about you, you can also do it for competitors as well.
- More engagement, less data collection – Whereas previously data gathering took up a significant chunk of time, with social listening tools, and fine curation, you’re freeing up a lot of time to actually engage with people. This is the respond part because it frees up time to solicit ideas and get feedback from your customers, and get them co-creating new products with you. Therefore the ability to engage with a community is now a key skill for the modern employee.
- Drive insight – Do you still use SWOT when doing strategy? How about empowering social media to try a different approach. More and more analytics products are hitting the market that will analyse the social web for you. They’ll be reading blog posts or discussion forums, they’ll be checking out Twitter and Facebook. They’ll give you great insight into what really matters to your customers. They’ll tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are.
- Drive action – I’m sure many of us have been handed reports stuffed to the gills with data. Whilst no doubt thoughtfully produced and full of nice insight, they don’t make it easy to actually make changes. Social media offers you a way to get insights delivered in such a way as it makes driving changes much easier. New social software automatically curates important information collected from the social web and delivers it to decision makers in an easy to understand format. The nice thing is that this information no longer has to exist on a ‘need to know’ basis, it can be shared throughout the organisation, therefore democratising intelligence.
As you can see, there is so much more to social media than merely running campaigns. Your task is to ensure you utilise it to its fullest.