The role of social media in business has been heavily debated. Despite many good case studies, there are still many C-level executive that express doubt about the value of social channels. I came across a well-written recent piece in McKinsey Quarterly about social intelligence (How ‘social intelligence’ can guide decisions) and wanted to share some of the key themes from it. Lets start with this excerpt which captures how competitive intelligence is traditionally managed:

Social media should help companies overcome some limits of old-school intelligence gathering, which typically involves collecting information from a range of public and proprietary sources, distilling insights using time-tested analytic methods, and creating reports for internal company “clients” often “siloed” by function or business unit.

The article talks about four areas where social has vast potential to make an impact:

  1. Identifying data, mapping people and conversations
  2. Data gathering, engaging and tracking
  3. Analysis and synthesis, structuring and mining
  4. Reporting, curating and embedding

To summarize, Social technologies can play a surprisingly central role in how information is sourced, collected, analyzed, and distributed. How to get there is a whole different story: you need the right teams, culture and technology tools to navigate through the social maze.

At MutualMind, we consider competitive intelligence to be integral to our offering. Starting from the setup all the way to the dashboards, we offer comprehensive intelligence that allows a brand to gather information and compare its performance versus its competition.

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