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Intelligence économique et veille : pour que l'information se transforme en action

Social listening: avoiding the pitfalls of a hasty analysis

Photo credits : George Pagan – Unsplash

Many are the businesses wishing to speed up their digital transformation by implementing new services for their marketing and communications teams, or by integrating new technologies as data lakes or artificial intelligence.

Social listening has been part of this trend through editors promoting innovative technologies able to provide insights as fast as we heat up Asian noodles in a microwave.

While it is true that platforms are continuously improving in terms of settings, artificial intelligence, data filtering and data visualization, let us remind you the basics of a quality insight beforehand.

Data Quality

Crédit photo : Marcus Spiske – Unsplash

The quality and volume of information we collect through social media depends on the platforms, industries and monitoring topics we deal with. For our clients, we compare on a regular basis the level of source coverage demonstrated by the different platforms, their evolutions and thus provide them with the most appropriate one in terms of industry and business needs/resources.

If you are familiar with business intelligence and data collection, the main topic being on everyone’s mind in the social listening industry is source availability.

Do we have to worry about that? The answer is yes when the report from a study ordered to your agency shows a limited number of sources and foreshadows the strategic orientation of a brand. Because if we stick to the prismatic vision of a data collection implemented without checking the sources, their possible limitations or their relevance, the resulting recommendations are likely to be biased and deprived of added value.

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Pharma industry, drug life cycle and social listening

At Actulligence, we are deeply convinced that business intelligence should not be a burden on any organization. It should rely on the organization’s existing processes to answer operational and business needs and be integrated depending on how the user operates.

The usual cliché of business intelligence is the « intelligence cycle », as defined by Henri Martre who was one of the first to formalize the concept. The intelligence cycle has often been implemented, as much as commented, amended, criticized… but as far as I am concerned, I think that it’s a good starting point: it involves the essential steps enabling a virtuous information process. It is obvious that the intelligence cycle should never be applied independently from the existing processes, be they related to business, projects, or information.  

That’s true as far as strategic, competitive, and technologic information are concerned, but that should be also true for social media information generated by a social listening process.

However, I can only regret that the multiple conferences I attend only focus on the communications and marketing side, with limited real-life examples and limited to « influencer monitoring » (involving the assessment of the influencer process ROI), the monitoring of gained benefits from a campaign (and assessment of the ROI of the services sold by the communications agency), the “share of voices” (who’s got the main share of voices).

I exaggerate a bit, because sometimes, in a burst of imagination, people raise their hands and point out the « voice of customers » (because customers also have ideas or because they are not happy: jump directly to the after-sales service.)

5 or 6 years ago, I had the opportunity to reflect on the best way to implement a social listening solution for the pharma industry, which is subjected to dire regulatory and communication constraints, as well as listening issues. Listening to the voice of consumers/patients, key opinion leaders, or health practitioners did not necessarily go without saying..

This work led me to combine social listening tools and the product life cycle (more precisely, a part of the product life cycle from fundamental research to marketing, I dropped the loss of exclusivity step).

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GDPR, customs barrier to access to information

Basically, the GDPR is a law that aims to protect the internet user, and more particularly allows him to better manage his personal data, and generally any information that could be used by a website, whether the data is explicitly provided (contact form, newsletter subscription, survey, etc.) or implicitly provided (environment data such as operating system, browser used, browsing history, etc.)

This is the legislation’s basis. Since I am not a jurist, I will not dwell on the GDPR, nor scrutinize or argue its content.

However, I will linger on its consequences for watchers, and for everyone needing to search for information at the international level and working in Europe.

This is the GDPR second layer, or more precisely how to shoot your own country’s foot in terms of access to information, and information protection.

Let’s recall a fundamental principle of the law, the plaintiff may request the law to be applied where he notices an infringement of his rights unless a contract has been signed between the parties, or unless there are specific international agreements (such as the Vienna agreement).

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How to easily share a page on Facebook Workplace?

The most useful tools to the monitoring process are the information sharing and publishing tools such as Corporate Social Networks. Among these social networks, I have, for the last few months, been looking more particularly at Yammer, the essential corporate social network because it is present in numerous companies that have the full Microsoft package, but also, I have been looking at Facebook Workplace.

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Competitive intelligence, monitoring and artificial intelligence

Shinkuku - © Frédéric Martinet

In the innovations that are considered as promised to revolutionize our World, artificial intelligence is often ranked at the top of the list. Whether it be Deloitte, Bloomberg, or many other analysis or media firms, artificial intelligence is considered as the most disruptive technology at the moment.

In this way, pharmaceutical laboratories, GAFA and other startups have entered the breach through projects to decrypt the human genome, creation of new molecules for the pharmaceutical industry, or even recruiting patients for clinical trials, there is no lack of examples

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