We are getting closer than ever before to achieving the highest level of “social intelligence” – meaning understanding the real time information we have access to that powers smarter decisions faster, and with more accuracy. Social media has both set the platform for us to become more intelligent and nimble and address the rising expectations of today’s customer. And, new tools continue to multiply exponentially to help us wrangle this platform/medium/channel. The question is… how do we get smarter about the way we manage this experience in using it to fuel more intelligent marketing, choose the right tools and communicate our insights to the right team, to keep raising our social IQs?

Here’s 5 ways you can energize your social intelligence:

Social Intelligence

1) Socially listen – There are plenty of social listening platforms available for small to large businesses. Being an advocate of social listening, I believe it’s the first place you should start when trying to grow your business or launch a marketing campaign. Social listening will be the death of focus groups – mark my words.

2) Benchmark – As of now, there isn’t one software tool out there that can help you custom build your benchmarks across every network available and allow you to track success as you go that I am aware of. But you have to start somewhere; establishing a baseline is the only way to set achievable goals. Don’t worry, you can always change them along the way, but it’s a critical starting point if you want to see how far you’ve come (or have to go.)

3) Engage – I know it sounds buzzwordy, but if you don’t reach out and build a community by engaging with actual “people” across your social channels, then it’s all for nothing. Stay persistent and don’t give up, this one takes a lot of time and consistency, but there are loads of intelligent people just like you that appreciate a great conversations – even in 140 characters or less.

4) Embrace change – In social, you’re going to hear the good, bad and the ugly about what you put out into the world. But business has evolved to the point where it needs to adapt and adopt new thinking quickly to survive, without fear of making a mistake and shifting mindsets. I agree with Steve Jobs, when he said that the consumer doesn’t know what they want until you give it to them. So give them your best ideas, and be open to the feedback when it comes. You might just hear something that sparks a better approach.

5) Automate – The human brain can only take you so far, and with so much data out there, it’s impossible to do everything I’ve talked about here quickly and manually. There’s no “magic set” of tools to help setup your baseline goals, but through trial you’ll find a combination that works. A word of caution: There are new tools born every day, and since it all happens so quickly, if you fall in love with one thing you might miss something else that could potentially help you innovate or engage much more quickly. Stay nimble, stay flexible.

KEY TAKEAWAY: There’s never been a more exciting time to sharpen our social intelligence. Use your human brain to create engaging connections and conversations to keep you evolving – and technology to help you with the rest.

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