The new social intelligence

With the ever-increasing popularity of social media, the possibilities for collecting, interpreting and utilising real-time data are rich for brands.

In a recent article published in the McKinsey Quarterly, authors Martin Harrysson, Estelle Metayer and Hugo Sarrazin discuss how this data can provide companies with fresh consumer insights and inform company strategy. By identifying and engaging key industry players online and employing web analytics to draw meaning from online data, companies can develop a “social intelligence” that is forward-looking and global in scope.

The article discusses how social intelligence allows brands to identify people and their conversations, and even shape them. This real-time information may help preempt key actions of competitors or lead to adjustments of strategy by creating dynamic maps that pinpoint where information and expertise reside online. Data analysts now need to become hunters, rather than gatherers of information.

Intelligent new software such as and Flipboard also allows companies to curate information from news sources, web discussions by experts and influencers, web data and customer feedback to produce ‘micropublications’ that can be instantly dispatched to company decision makers.

Navigating the new environment of social platforms rather than traditional news sources requires new skills and willingness to engage in conversations, rather than merely assemble information.

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