Social Media: Diamonds in the Rough
Facebook, on the other hand, can tell marketers a lot more than Twitter about people connecting with a brand—not only because of the profile information made publicly available, but also because people tend to share more detailed personal information/opinions on Facebook. Marketers are, therefore, equipped to formulate holistic personas about a person's life stages, interests and hot buttons.
Individuals are also sharing more personal information on LinkedIn, but content for the most part remains focused on users' professional lives. The information available on this platform has great research value, including understanding users' connections, groups and expertise, as well as the content they tend to share. Lastly, LinkedIn has the ability to identify influencers who are important to the brand. LinkedIn is a great place to establish delineations of expertise and assess credibility within a community, because leaders are appointed by the community members where they contribute content.
3. Finding Social Intelligence Gold In Forums
As a marketer, some of the richest information can come from forums, but these sources tend to be overlooked. The real insights within them are the tight communities where participants build relationships over time and look to each other for advice and opinions that extend far beyond the original topic that brought the group together. Forum participants share deep details and opinions, and offer each other advice on a wide variety of topics, including relationships, parenting or lifestyle choices.
For example, regardless of a company's vertical, weightwatchers.com is often seen as one of the top sources of discussion, even if the business brand is completely unrelated to food, fitness or health. The hugely engaged community has formed rich subgroups with deep relationships that evolved over time. Primarily comprised of women, the discussions in these forums often sway off topic to offer advice to someone buying a washing machine or a new car, or to sound off about banking fees.