Infographic: How to Get More From Social Intelligence in 8 Steps Commentary

By Jillian Ney on March 31st 2016

Social media intelligence is emerging as an innovative approach to understand customers, markets and competitors to inform business decision-making, but social intelligence is not easy to achieve.

I’ve recently been posting a lot about how to gain better insights from social media conversations by analyzing behavior instead of reporting analytics (see here and here for a flavor).

It’s time to demand more from social analysis

We are currently in an important time of transition in social intelligence, a time where insights need to be actionable to business objectives, not just report marketing outcomes.

However, the rise in adoption of social media tools have critically changed the course of what ‘insight’ is perceived to be because of big claims that analysis of specific data points in social media conversations provides insight.


Unfortunately, these automated analytics based on the old business model of traditional marketing metrics do not provide insights, they provide outputs.

There is a distinct need for human vision to interpret insights from social media conversations.

I’ve found the best way to achieve this by properly interrogating data through advanced segmentation and analysis, and integrating findings with behavioral science to understand the ‘why’ of behavior.

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This approach goes well beyond the reporting of set data points from social media tools and provides true insight.

You may well be asking if this is the correct approach, but if we explore the true definition of social media engagement, we can begin to see the need to dig deeper into social data beyond what is supplied by automated social analytics tools.

What social media engagement is really about

If I told you that the definition of social media engagement is: ‘actively involving customers in generating intelligence on their changing needs and helping the organizations respond to those needs’* would you believe me?  

Well, social media engagement really is about intelligence gathering to future proof business relevance.  

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When you begin to understand what engagement really is you can identify how it can provide an organization with competitive advantage, and where social media tools fail on providing insight.

The question is, how do you get to social intelligence?

I’ve developed eight steps to achieve better social intelligence. These steps bust the myths of social media analysis, and they follow the new business model of understanding and leveraging behavior for competitive advantage.

Demand more from your social analysis initiatives by analyzing behaviors. Here’s how.

The 8 steps to better social intelligence



* Sources:

Sashi, C.M. (2012). Customer engagement in buyer-seller relationships, and social media, Management Decision, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp 253-272. Online Access:

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Jillian Ney


Dr Jillian Ney is the UK’s first Dr of Social Media and Digital Behavioural Scientist; helping businesses understand what is driving customer behavior to win more customers.

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