Social listening is still an emerging space and a relatively small percentage of B2B firms Social intelligence is definitely a growth area as B2B use of social continues to expand, almost unnoticed by platforms like Twitter, and demonstrating great utility for B2B advertisers.
Freelance digital strategist Kelly Hungerford is the owner of CommunityWorks (http://communityworks.io/), a social media agency located in Switzerland’s Silicon Alps. She works with high-tech startups and small-to-mid-sized companies to implement community-centric business strategies to reach goals, optimize operations and develop new products. As a former marketing, communications and community director for Paper.li, Hungerford kept a close watch on online conversations, which allowed her to proactively address customer questions and issues. The #bizheroes Twitter chat that she launched for Paper.li also had more than one million impressions within a year. Cendrine Marrouat called her “one of the best community builders in the world.”
One day, Hungerford was working out of her favourite café. When she went to order a dish, she found it no longer on the menu and asked why.
“The owner told me that the menu changes with the likes and dislikes of the customers,” Hungerford said. “That’s so smart.”
To Hungerford, it’s as simple as that.
“The same philosophy that worked for me as a brand manager, works for me as a consultant: you don’t need to look any further than community to shape products, develop new services and grow your business,” she said. “Offline and online, if you want to thrive you need to have your finger on the pulse. Without a social ear to the ground, a business struggles.”
Before she got into social intelligence, she found herself stuck in rut. “Now, I develop all of my services based on what I hear people, professionals and communities are looking for.”
Making time to listen, understand and absorb what is happening in an industry, around a keyword or within a community unlocks mass potential, said Hungerford. “As a consultant, I experimented a lot with tools to help me gain industry insights but also narrowcast to hone in on topical conversations. I have Tweetdeck or Hootsuite open and running whenever I’m online. I spend far more time listening than I do engaging. This time invested allows me to bring insights to meetings, planning and brainstorming sessions, and just like in person, often less said (tweeted or posted) is more.”
“When setting up listening and working with business to business brands, I’m looking for industry trends, influencer feedback and how partners and competition is playing out in the industry. Understanding the landscape, key influencers, trends and tendencies keeps a brand ahead of the curve. Listening paves the way.
“It’s all out there. You just need the patience to tap into it.”
Image credit: Jon Evans
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