Social Media Intelligence at your Fingertips

Never underestimate the power of what you can create when you apply social media intelligence as your north star. By knowing your audience and what they want NOW, it is easy to create content, products, and services that speak directly to them.

Instead of bombarding your audience with sales posts and ads, why not create content for your business that is easy for your audience to engage with and share. Turn your social media into your marketing team and have your products and services as well as social proof available on your website so your guests can read through and decide if they want to learn more about working with you.

Allow yourself the time and space to enjoy the social aspect of social media. There is so much to learn through social listening, joining conversations, and building relationships. It is an incredibly valuable skill and surprisingly most people are still not doing this.

What is Social Media Intelligence?

Collectively, data found via social media is called social media intelligence and you tap into real-time live research, not dated research that took months to prepare. Individually some of the avenues of intelligence are:

  • Industry Analysis: Listen in on what your industry is talking about. Be prepared for where the industry is headed and stand out as a leader by being an early adopter of new tools, be the first to share a new trend or build trust as an informative and authoritative content creator.
  • Media Positioning: Build relationships with the journalists, podcasters, and other media professionals that provide media coverage for your industry or an adjacent industry. It is also a great way to connect with event planners and hosts of events who are looking for speakers for their events.
  • Audience Intelligence: Deeply know your audience, listen to what they are talking about. Understand their challenges and pain points? What do they wish they had? Who are their clients? What events are they attending? What podcasts are they listening to or being interviewed on? Where do they gather? Is it a LinkedIn Group? An event in July? Once you find them, do not try to sell them anything, simply show up and be helpful.
  • Competitor Analysis: Same with your competitors, keep tabs on what they are doing too. This will help to inform your decisions, see what works or does not work for them. How are they connecting with their tribe, what do they respond to? It is likely the same audience you are cultivating. Always operate in integrity, but have your eyes and ears open at all times.
  • Strategic Partners and Vendors: Who are the individuals and organizations that are not competitors, but share the same audience? Get to know them, you can help each other grow in countless ways and organically expand your audiences while providing a wider range of services and products.
  • Keyword Analysis: Search engine optimization is critical to being found in the noisy online space. The tools and methodology have become more attainable for small businesses, put them to work. For most small businesses a solid keyword strategy and understanding of how to effectively use the keywords is enough to make a difference and help you to be found by the right people.
  • Hashtag Analysis: Most people don’t understand the power of hashtags and how they work. They hold conversations. When you track them you are tracking targeted conversations, when you use them you are joining those conversations. A branded hashtag will hold your brand’s conversation and you can welcome others in to join you. There is an abundance of opportunity when using hashtags strategically.

How to Leverage Social Media Intelligence

The information you are able to gather from simply knowing who you want to connect with and listening to their activity on social media is astounding.

  • Events: Whether live or virtual, small or large, events are a mecca for building a powerful connection strategy. The social media intelligence that can be found on one event website are endless. Look up the social accounts and hashtags related to the event, here you can connect with speakers, hosts, sponsors, event planners, media, and attendees and actually building relationships and book your calendar prior to the event.
  • Hashtags: Identify a trending hashtag that you can contribute to. Start to follow that hashtags and listen to the conversations, make note of the influencers and leaders in the space. Note the media covering the topic. Think about how you can enter that conversation, display a unique perspective, and add value to the people you want to connect with.
  •  Business Decisions: You have a brilliant idea, but is your market ready for it? Head on over to social media and listen to what your competitors are doing and what their audience is reacting to. Look to industry media and read up on the topics they are covering. See where your product or service might fit in, or not. Knowing when to walk away from an idea is invaluable intelligence.
  • Customer Service: Keep close tabs on what your past, current, and future clients/customers are saying about your brand. Social media makes this very easy to do. John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile is a big advocate of Twitter: “CEOs need to write their own tweets or risk being seen as phony.”

Don’t stop. I encourage you to look at your business goals and think about how you can find the social media intelligence you need to meet your business goals and align it with your plan. Have questions? I am happy to help.

Focus on One Goal at a Time

When you spread yourself too thin, nothing actually gets done, we tend to try something new and when the rapid results we were hoping for do not happen, we change direction or stop altogether. We simply do not give it enough of a chance.

Social media is most effective when it is strategically aligned with a tangible business plan, in turn, your social media becomes tangible. There is a baseline and actual metrics to determine whether objectives are met or if you need to switch it up. You will know when your social media is built right… even with a small following, things start to happen…

Focus on one goal, make it a success, take the time measure what worked and what did not, and always celebrate before rolling on to the next objective. Remember each goal is likely to come with a long list of tasks so there is always plenty to do.

One of the biggest rewards of leveraging social media intelligence comes in the form of unexpected opportunities that were not visible before. Factor them into your measurement and be open to investigate further and adjust the plan to make room for them. ROI comes in all shapes and forms, look beyond the number of followers and the noise.

Donna Cravotta

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