Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries


Just wanted to hear from you how do you integrate the social media in your CI practice? And which Best Practices are essential to any CI project integrating such tools?



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Hi Soulaiman,

The response would depend on your expectations. Indeed SMM may be used for different purposes. To name a few: brand management, corporate reputation, consumer insights, C-suite reputation, crisis management (claim, litigation).

In order to set-up your intelligence system, you may want to follow few steps:

1- Corpus: Identify the feeds that are relevant to your objectives

           - Twitter, Facebook, G+ (e.g.: KOL pages, fan pages, product pages, corporate pages ...)

           - Blogs, forums (consumers, KOL, scientists)

           - Consumer association websites (e.g.: patients)

           - Professional association websites (e.g.: physicians)

2 - Thesaurus: Define the search expressions of most relevance. Typically product, company, technology, people, KOL names

3 - KITs: Define the categories in which posts and SM mentions will be archived for further analysis and/or reporting

4 - Analysis and dissemination: Define charts of most relevance for your internal audience. Examples:

           - Exposure (e.g.: amount of tweets on a particular topic over the last 30 days)

           - Sentiment analysis (positive/negative/neutral/mixed sentiment of consumers about a certain topic)

           - Perception analysis (features mentioned/relayed about a product, a company, a person)

           - Trend/concept analysis (e.g.: emerging topics from SMM that may be useful for sales rep, marketing managers or R&D engineers)

5 - Sharing: Pick the appropriate communication media for sharing your findings. E.g.: dashboards, newsletter, XML, report ...

Please feel free to look at my presentation on CI and Social Media:

I cover the basics of how to align social media competitive intelligence with the business decisions your stakeholders are making. I also discuss the tools for collecting CI from Twitter, LinkedIn and other leading social media platforms. My emphasis is on starting with cheap and cheerful to get an idea of the value that is available and of value to you on social media before you go down the path of procuring a service or specialized software solution.
Thanks August and Chris for your answers.  We are aiming to take this off line through a panel debate at the next UK Competitive Intelligence Forum but naturally we shall share what we come up with through this media channel as well.  I still believe that social media is under used, but as August states in his Slideshare, you have to work out where it fits in as a 'means to an end' rather than the 'end' in itself. 
I have been using social media quite extensively. Way too many techniques and methods to share in this space, so I'll share one. When attending trade shows I use twitter and facebook as force multipliers. Many shows have a hash tags up weeks before the conference. I start with those and gain introductions, get leads on demos, set up meetings with exhibitors and gain their confidence. You can get invites to private events and parties. I get accepted into otherwise closed Facebook pages. I run hootsuite on my iPad where you can monitor several tags and feeds as they happen. sometimes I use tweetchat to do the same. I won't get into details, but I have gotten leads into many of my KITs well before I arrive. works equally as well for customers or competitors.


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