Could social intelligence be your commercial competitive advantage?  Consultants McKinsey think so – here’s how.

In psychology, “social intelligence” refers to your personal ability to understand and learn from others and profit from social situations. In business, McKinsey understand social intelligence as a form of competitive intelligence that is sourced, collected, analyzed, or distributed using social technology.  The promise of social intelligence, if used correctly to inform business decisions, is that it can become your forward-looking competitive advantage.

Whereas early commercial use of social media focused on marketing – using social media as media for messaging promotional content - the real opportunity of social media lies in listening – not talking – and using insights freely available social media to inform smart business decisions.  Today, many people who have expert knowledge and shape perceptions about markets are freely exchanging data, curating information and sharing viewpoints through social platforms. Smart businesses are using these expert insights and information available in social media to inform decisions. And they are using a simple four point plan

  • Map People and Conversations: First, map expert conversations in social media around your category. Who are the hubs of influence; the experts, the trendspotters, and commentators?  And where do their conversations take place?
  • Engage and Track: Engage expertise in social media by participating in conversations, and hosting conversations. Track conversations using social media monitoring and analytics tools
  • Structure and Mine: Use the new social intelligence toolkit to understand market dynamics (Alterian, TweetReach), customers (Social Mention, NM Incite, SocMetrics, Tracckr, Tweepi) competitive landscape (Radian6, Socialbakers), future trends (LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook), and opportunities (Attensity, Autonomy)
  • Curate and Embed: Curate and distribute pertinent information via micropublications (e.g. Flipboard) or customised information dashboards.  Embed new thinking into strategic processes on a continuous basis