The difference between the terms social listening (or social monitoring) and social intelligence is a recurring discussion topic in the social media analytics community. Does it even matter? If so, how? In this post, we present our point of view on this.

Here are a few things that define social listening .

  • listening is passive
  • Lots of raw data
  • Needs additional, manual effort to make sense of it
  • Isolated from other business areas; product vendors expect you to take the data and do ‘something’ with it
  • May or may not have a clear business goal
  • Generally considered the realm of marketers

Forrester analyst Allison Smith explains in a 2014 report called “Defining Social Intelligence“:

although listening platforms make managing social data possible, marketers struggle to fully utilize these insights from the masses of data available

In this report, Forrester defines social intelligence as:

the concept of turning social media data into actionable marketing and business strategy.

Our point of view is that Social intelligence is purposeful, has a goal, extends to all business areas and implies a deeper understanding of insights that a business can take and run with. And it is purpose built for easy integration with enterprise systems.

Here’s the framework that we propose. Start from an objective and think of all the ways it will allow an organization to take action that improves its profit, customer relations, operational efficiency or save it money. The gap has been on how to operationalize the high level “benefits” to actual tasks tha a customer facing employee can take.

That’s why we created Adaptive listening. The beauty of a rules-based capability is that it gives business users the flexibility and power to take actions on data the way they need it. By using a combination of rules, expressions and lists, they can adapt to their business needs without depending on anyone with specialized skills. We believe that self-service tools like these are the future and we are excited to be at the forefront of this pioneering technology.

Request a demo today to see Adaptive listening in action.

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