Beyond Marketing: Leveraging Social Listening to Drive Business Performance

Social media listening to understand company and product sentiment, brand awareness, and product penetration has been firmly established as a critical tool for social-savvy consumer Marketing departments. Command centers glisten with strategically positioned high-definition monitors graphing trends in product mentions, tracking the real-time impact of marketing campaigns, and flashing alerts for immediate response to a customer inquiry or complaint.

Less well established, however, is the application of social listening to gain competitive insight for other areas of the business outside of the Marketing department. These insights, particularly when coupled with transactional business data, can help guide and drive performance in core business competencies. Innovative companies are beginning to expand their social listening capabilities across their value chain, leveraging the real-time, direct-from-end-consumers information, and significantly impacting their bottom-line.


Although still considered cutting-edge, social listening success stories are being uncovered across several industries, not only by business-to-consumer companies, but also by business-to-business companies as well. Even B2B products and services touch a consumer at some point in the value chain.

Where can your business find operational improvements by tapping into the wealth of insight provided by social listening? The following illustrates some real-life examples of how different industries are applying social listening to drive performance improvement outside of the Marketing department:


Unfortunately, most areas of the business do not have the required knowledge or social listening expertise to effectively identify and integrate social listening into their business processes or operational model. At Unisys, we have developed a six step approach to help our clients evaluate the potential for expanding their use of social listening:

  1. Identify and Prioritize Social Listening Opportunities – Work with business and functional leaders to identify and prioritize where social listening data and capabilities drive value for the business
  2. Perform Discovery and Research — Gather the information required to understand the business problem being addressed and to evaluate the business case for incorporating social listening capabilities
  3. Develop Strategies to Leverage Social Listening Insights – Develop the strategy for how the insights will be leveraged within the organization
  4. Develop the Proof of Concept — Develop a proof-of-concept that demonstrates the capabilities and evaluates the overall business case
  5. Define Operating Processes — Integrate social listening capabilities into your core operating processes
  6. Implement and Deploy —Implement the social listening capability and manage change across the organization

By following this approach, you can rapidly evaluate where an expanded social listening program can drive the most value for your business.

This blog has been printed with permission from Unisys. The original blog can be found here-

About the Author

John Knab is a Global Delivery Practice Director in the Unified Social Business practice at Unisys and is a senior thought leader in successfully architecting and implementing socially enabled Knowledge and Collaboration solutions

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