“Social media intelligence” is a commonly used in our industry, and something we’ve proudly associated ourselves with. It involves taking social data, then applying smart organisation and activation to it.
But the reality is that, over time, we’ve evolved to the point that “social media intelligence” doesn’t really do justice either to our capabilities, or to the benefits and value those capabilities bring to our customers.
Yes: we still utilise social media data, and our partnership with Twitter is fundamental, that’s not changing. But after a hard look at what we offer, and how businesses are using it, we’ve decided to widen the terminology to focus on the outcome. And we’re classing it as “audience intelligence”.
No: it’s not a brand new phrase. But it’s a description that suits us better, and guides an outlook we think companies need to adopt. Here’s why:
It’s not your end goal
Ultimately, we’re not here to help you get followers, drive retweets, build Twitter lists, or even conduct social media campaigns. Yes, these are important mechanisms that help us achieve what we do – but what we do is help you understand markets, uncover potential customers, and connect with audiences in order to drive revenue.
Any ill-timed dropping of the word “social” risks distracting from those goals. We often see companies doing incredible, data-backed campaigns on social, but with an insular view that doesn’t unroll the possibilities beyond the social teams. This is a shame, because…
…social is not a silo
In any given minute, a person may check his/her email, scroll his/her social feed, visit a website, or use an app – all presenting opportunities to strengthen your brand’s relationship with that person, and move them towards a desired action.
A joined-up strategy will utilise all four of these channels (and others) to connect with an audience, deepen relationships and increase your overall conversion rate. Email lists can be pulled from your CRM and integrated with social data for cross-channel promotion, social channels also offer retargeting options depending on how people interacted with your paid campaigns, while targeting via the Twitter Audience Platform (TAP) allows you to connect with over 800 million people off Twitter via apps.
Lumping it under the umbrella of ‘social’ alone diverts attention from what’s possible.
It impacts the whole company
All of this leads to a unifying theme: audience intelligence is for the whole company. We already have clients using our platform to benefit their insights teams, deliver sophisticated marketing strategies, align company values with customer values, support recruitment efforts, fuel PR activity, enable content planning, provide evidence for business decisions, and so much more. To us, calling it ‘social’ intelligence now feels out of step with the reality of how leading businesses are actually using the technology.
For example, one Premier League club has been using our platform to derive audience intelligence on their popularity in new markets compared to other major teams. They’re feeding that data back across other departments when planning their pre-season tours and international partnerships. (More info in this guide for sports marketers.)
Why “audience intelligence”?
Going forward, as a business, we want everyone to think about what we do, not how we might do it. We want to use the simplest term that conveys what really counts: the audience. So important that we named the company after it. Engaging, growing, organising, benefiting, and benefiting from your audience is what we offer.
So that’s what we’re going to do – and we think you should too. Talk about “social” with your colleagues and risk them pigeon-holing your value as belonging only in the social team. Or talk about ‘audience intelligence’ with your colleagues to ensure broader marketing teams, and indeed your whole business, reap greater benefits.