Digital business is more open and well-connected with community and macro-social –ecological-technological environment, business’s reputation is no longer just public relationship department’s job, customers and employees now have more voice and choice, the power to lift up your brand or thumb it down, contemporary business needs to build high mature social intelligence and create social value for community and society economically, culturally and environmentally. More specifically, social analytics has been applied to almost every aspect of the digital business:
- Leadership: Social activities and participation can help leaders sharpen strategic insight and extend strategic execution. As through social collaboration and collective wisdom, leadership can expand the tunnel vision, leverage collective insight, understand the future trend and what the customer need next, when executing it, social can amplify the positive leadership influence, enhance agile principle, and improve communication and corporation.
- Marketing: Businesses are using social media, tools, and platforms to improve customer relationship, monitor online customer behavior, create and support customer community and develop multi-channel communications. Organizations also start to use social analytics to make formerly invisible patterns of social interaction more visible; and apply such information to boost social engagement, find segmentation of populations with certain characteristics and understand their impact on others, or what turns into certain actions such as purchasing, collaboration, and encourage behavior changes, with the ultimate goal of performance management.
- Branding& Competitive intelligence: Companies are using social analytics to monitor brand sentiment as well. But it goes beyond understanding what is being said to understanding who is saying it, what are their influence networks and where it is being said. The business also intends to understand where their competitors are getting the negative sentiment. Social analytics enables the business to track competitor on social media and understand how competitors are leveraging social platforms for brand promotion or customer engagement.
- Innovation: Innovative organizations are using social to source new ideas and refine current products or services, to manage three types of innovation: sustainable innovation, efficiency innovation and disruptive innovation at more systematic way. Technically, crowd-sourcing through the social platform is more critical to fuel ideas and contribution, provides inputs on customer preference, predict the future trend, and capture collective wisdom.
- Identifying influencers: Social analytics helps pinpoint to who knows what within or even beyond your organization, based on social influence and action rather than assertion, allow organizations to identify the strength of these relationships and how information flows between the groups. And enable companies to target group influencers who can best affect decisions.
- Customer Intimacy: Social analytics takes track of customers’ online activities, and interpreting customer sentiment; it has become a powerful tool for creating intimate and stronger relationship with a wider range of customers. Advanced social analytics can help organization collect feedback, analyze context and quickly draw an inference from unstructured social media or enterprise data and convert them into actionable customer insight. Doing so can be a catalyst for conveying the information and insights from social software and social analytics back to front-line employees themselves.
- Operational excellence: Social business allows knowledge or information to flow more seamlessly cross functional silos; The real impact of making the invisible visible, and then measurable, comes when companies find ways to use social to open communication channels both top-down and bottom-up; both inside-out and outside-in, and across the enterprise. Therefore, it can orchestrate enterprise-wide collaboration and improve operational performance.
- Social value chain: Digital enterprise can unite the business with its value chain ecosystem more seamlessly, the border-less social platform unleashes great potential for business partners, even the competitors at certain circumstances to collaborate and solve challenges facing the industry, and make influence on the long-term policy & investment or any other social, political and economic concerns. So the social analytics can make an impact upon social value chain through:
1) Cross-functional collaboration
2) Improving work effectiveness
3) Voice opinions and share collective wisdom
4) Build more inter-connected communication platform
5) Reputation and performance management
The world is leapfrogging from taxonomy to folksonomy. Though many businesses just start experimenting enterprise social tools, most of the business leaders show enthusiasm and confidence about the potential it can bring up in the future. When to amplify digital business effect into society, it is people brainstorming together to create the new chapter of innovation via collective wisdom and effort. Business with the high-level social intelligence can become more interconnected and interdependent with its macro-environment by engaging conversation with partners, customers, community group, industry expertise. But only the businesses which can share the common social value and take leadership and responsibility to reboot economy are the true innovation engine for our society.