By Al Bowman, Risk Sensing Lead, Deloitte

In recent months, the public has continued to surprise pollsters. Following the surprise results of the US elections and Brexit, many are considering how we can better listen to what the public is saying. Social media is certainly part of the answer. The ability to listen is equally important for businesses. They need to be able to both listen to and influence social conversations to manage reputational risks and stay connected to their customers. Monitoring social conversations is especially important for organisations where reputation is fundamental to the value of their business.

Social intelligence allows an organisation to influence the audience in a more meaningful way. It allows an organisation to really listen to what their customer base and wider stakeholders are saying and take an active role in the conversation. Whilst addressing some of these fear based concerns, social intelligence is as much to do with value and opportunity as it is threats and fear. It provides an opportunity to engage with customers in a timely and proactive manner.

So how does it work? Social intelligence fills in the gaps, joins the dots and establishes the on-line environment you are actually operating in, not just the one you think you are in. The value of social intelligence for individuals and organisations is the ability to recognise and respond to the emerging presence of abnormal activity. However, benchmarking what normal looks like takes time, technology and subject matter expertise. It requires an extensive variety of techniques and processes such as sentiment analysis; tracking social media activity related to a particular brand or individual; the layering of human insight and utilisation of visual analytics.

The exploitation of social intelligence can open up a huge range of non-traditional sources of information creating a powerful indication of near-real-time activity and allowing an organisation to participate in relevant social conversations and influence the audience in a more meaningful way.

Do you know what your customer base is saying? Are you taking an active role in joining the conversation? To truly engage with their audience, organisations need to listen to and participate in relevant social conversations. To discuss any of the above, please contact Al Bowman.


Al Bowman, Senior Manager, Deloitte

Al Bowman is developing a suite of risk sensing/intelligence fusion propositions to support the decision making process within organisations. Al’s last military job was commanding officer of the British Army’s Intelligence Fusion Centre responsible for the enabling the prioritisation and leading on the coordination and delivery of global intelligence and security risk advice to the Army.

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