Trends for 2012: Social Media Intelligence

Around this time of year we tend to see predictions from the cognoscenti ( those in the know) about what will be hot in the coming year.  I saw one today in the Huffington Post that caught my eye because I agree with the 4 trends Beverly Macy highlighted:

The rise of Social Intelligence

Better use of analytics and more focus on measurement

Content curation

Social media education and training

Social Intelligence

For several years now we’ve been told that at the very least we have to listen to the online conversations.  The number of social media monitoring tools has exploded and at last count there were over 200 on the market. However, there is much more to be learned from these conversations than just brand mentions, complaints and sentiment.

Savvy PR and marketing folk are digging deep into the conversations – mining that data to find insights that can drive strategy, inform product R & D, give the competitive edge and improve that pesky bottom line.

You start by listening and gathering information about your brand/s, your company and your competitors.  Once you have the data use that old PR skill called content analysis.

  • Map your brand’s social graph
  • Find the influencers in each node of the graph
  • Discover what different groups within one node are talking about and what’s important to them
  • Find out where they are talking about those things
  • Tap into what your competitors are doing and what people are saying about them
  • Identify threats and opportunities
  • Share the data you find with your team and others across the organization
  • Brainstorm how best to implement what you find to support the organization ‘s goals

There is a ton of information available in the social networks and conversations, but it takes commitment and work to find all the threads.  A monitoring tool can do a lot of the work, but there is still a lot that  has to be done manually.  And the analysis cannot be done automatically. It takes a  live person with a bright and inquiring mind to read the content and figure out what’s important and what’s connected.  To see those  brewing threats and spot the low-hanging fruit that will bring big rewards.

Stacy Poliseo, Internet Marketing Project Manager, Marketing and Communications for Johns Hopkins Medicine has just recently completed a thorough social audit and will share her insights on Friday November 18 on the Bulldog Reporter Social Media for Hospitals webinar.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, like most companies and organizations, started in social media without much of a strategy.  They just jumped right in.  They had a Twitter feed, a Facebook page and a YouTube Channel going, but the weren’t too sure who they were talking to in which channel.

One of the biggest AHA! moments Stacy had during this audit was discovering the demographics of the audience in each social channel.  She now knows exactly who they’re engaging with in each social site, and what kind of content works for that audience.

There is an old PR saying – “Know before you go.”

For the past few years Social Media has been treated as a warm and fuzzy experiment.  Now that we know it works, it’s time to get serious about this data stream and use it to discover really useful information that can move the needle.

Social Media Intelligence is definitely a trend to watch in 2012

Learn how to do social audits and provide your company with the data they need to make the tough decision. It  will definitely get the attention of the C-Suite and might even earn PR a seat at that elusive boardroom table.