Using Social Media Intelligence to Grow Your Business

 Using Social Media Intelligence to Grow Your Business

Social media intelligence, inbound marketing, dbc digital, denver

By now you may have heard of and maybe even taken a unique interest in “social intelligence” – and if you haven’t yet, well now’s a good time!

Social intelligence is a real game-changer, as it has rapidly changed the core aspects of the way businesses gather and use information. In the case of inbound marketing, the influence of social intelligence in executive and strategic decision-making is noteworthy, and that’s an understatement.

Social Media in Inbound Marketing

In nearly every facet of inbound marketing – from traffic generation to lead capture – there are equal social media counterparts. In fact, inbound marketing campaigns can be aligned with social media marketing channels to improve your results.

For instance, launching a blogging campaign that targets a new specific keyword for better organic traffic will also deliver a better return on investment (ROI) if you launch a social media campaign to support it and, as a result, end up generating two-way referral traffic (between your social pages and your business blog).

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Along with the rise of social media as well as social engagement came a new measurement known as “social intelligence.” While more complex, social intelligence can be explained with a simple example: it’s not just counting how many “Likes” you received on Facebook, but who it was that “Liked” you, who they influenced when they “Liked” you, why they “Liked” you, and how you can better harness the potential of that digital “thumbs-up.”

An Example of Social Intelligence in Action

Have you ever heard of Mediator? It was a licensed diabetes drug launched by the French pharmaceutical company Servier in 1976. From the drug’s launch in 1976 to the early 2000s, no medical data ever questioned the drug’s safety. But it turns out that some people were using Mediator as an “off-label” drug for losing weight. As soon as the Internet entered the scene, people started talking about the drug in online forums and other social “hangouts” until some government agencies took notice of the unapproved use and it’s resulting side effects in November 2009 and banned the drug before Servier could react to save it.  Servier lost millions on a legitimate and effective drug.

Why? Servier hadn’t developed social intelligence

Social Media Intellignece isn’t found, it’s mined

This is a key factor when it comes to social intelligence: it isn’t found, it’s mined.

Servier did not find any “buzz” about problems with Mediator when they tried querying in search engines because there weren’t any. The social data about how people were using the drug and its resulting effects was deeper down in chat rooms and waiting to be mined.

But that’s more of a case of social intelligence missing in action, so let’s use another example. General Electric experimented with social intelligence mining using Twitter just last year.

How GE used Social Intelligence Successfully

Here is the way GE used social intelligence:  GE enlisted 90,000 people who followed GE’s specific Twitter profile for this experiment and used their hash-tag topics to provide insight and ideas to GE. To encourage participation, General Electric offered these Twitter followers prizes from Virgin Airlines to those who provided the best suggestions. In just a little over two hours, General Electric had received thousands of original, fresh ideas on the project that had not been discussed anywhere else.

This is social intelligence data-mining in action – two hours and some prizes invested to gain thousands of insights which GE has since used in their marketing campaigns. You can do the same: apply social intelligence in inbound marketing.

Social intelligence contains a treasure trove of valuable information that shapes important decisions that in turn can make or break businesses if you know how to mine it.

Actionable data in real time

With inbound marketing, the insight provided by the breadth and depth of efficient social media monitoring combined with data gathered from traditional sources, empowers marketing managers and business leaders with actionable data they can actually use in real time.

In an age of social media, you must decide if you want your business to be like Servier or General Electric.


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