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Published September 29th 2014

Looking at a Changing World: The Future of Social Media Intelligence

Consumers now have newer and faster ways to access and share content. But the looming challenge is to predict the future of social intelligence and look at t

The massive amount of human interactions and data flowing through social media today has increased visibility for brands and simplified brand research. Social media has become a podium for brands, and consumers now have newer and faster ways to access, understand and share content from them.

However, at Social Media Week in London last Tuesday, our very own CMO Will McInnes pointed out how the looming challenge is to predict the future of social intelligence and look at the implications of this change for brands.

Isn’t it astonishing how the world has changed in the past 10-20 years?

Not just in politics, globalization, economics, technology, education and the rise of the BRIC countries. We’re no longer just in one place at one time. Think about the networks and communities you participate in, the next generation using iPads at school, or just how much Wikipedia has changed.


Innovative learning communities such as Wikipedia, the Khan Academy, and social networks are just a few examples that have made information sharing and peer education not just prevalent, but indispensable.

A piece of knowledge is never further away than WiFi availability on a device. Any time we want to book a flight, discover a new travel deal or uncover the truth about a hotel, we instantly look for the search button.

We have moved from a world where accessible information came from authoritative, trusted sources (journalists, offline/physical networks, politicians, CEOs, etc.) to a world where we ask the masses for their online ratings and in-depth reviews (think about Yelp, LinkedIn, Tripadvisor).

“Soon what people say about us will be more important than what we do” McInnes said, “Complete strangers are now informing some of the biggest decisions of your life.”


But if information is now real-time and transparency is the norm, how does a business stay ahead of the present?

Analyzing what your stakeholders have to say about your brand is crucial, but not enough. Historical data and real-time listening will only get you so far.

The most important thing is how you act upon this information and grasp the opportunities you receive by engaging in online conversations. You need to be able to identify problems before they develop into a crisis.

By using social media analytics, you can discern which conversations can lead to a new business project, a good headline story or even a converted customer.

Eventually, the brands that will come out on top are the ones that make the most of the billions of conversations available online to predict what’s going to happen next. Future leading brands will use social media intelligence to truly innovate and look beyond past happenings.

It’s all about predicting the future.

In understanding the future of social media intelligence, McInnes outlined four areas:


Much of social media analytics is known to others – for example, customer complaints – but there’s another opportunity available.

In our Twitter Report 2013 we found that only 3.6% of all conversation online is about brands. 96% is about everything else.

Imagine the opportunities you could grasp from industry-related online chats that have nothing to do with your brand or your competitors!

As with any industry, there’s a lot of noise and even more competition. The only way to stay ahead of the curve is to not only understand what your audience is saying, but also what they might say.

Social listening is just the first step to revamp your brand’s social media intelligence.

Passive, inert data needs to be read, analyzed and understood so that you have the agility, capacity and physical insights to determine the right course of action.

When people recognise the power of data, they can’t help but be compelled to act on it – hence this shift that we’re experiencing towards putting social data on walls, in operation centers, in front of the C-suite, in people’s hands.

Change is happening.

Last year, we developed Vizia, our social command centre, because our pioneering client organizations have been asking for visual insights on their massive walls as they truly believe it will help change behavior.


What’s exciting is that new data technology is only going to be more groundbreaking in the next year. Computing power is getting thinner, lighter and faster. Social media intelligence is rising. Expect to see powerful new ways to comprehend data, benchmark and analyze campaigns paramount to surviving in competitive industry.

Don’t miss another opportunity.

As a company entirely committed to social listening, we strongly invite you to learn everything there is to know about social media intelligence. Read McInnes’ slides, get a demo and research our competitors. We’re confident in our platform.

Now you know.

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