Striking The Balance Between Human Expertise and AI: Insights from Linkfluence



Social media can change governments and brands, so not only is it important to listen to it, but it’s vital to utilize your findings to optimize your business endeavors, explained Duvall.


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According to the Havard Business Review, in the next 10 years, 75 percent of brands that are on the Fortune 500 won’t be there because as a result of digital transformation.

If brands don’t adapt and listen, then they risk losing relevance. Machines can help them do this but it is with context accessible via human experience that aid them to take effective action. Cultural trends, lifestyle factor, and qualitative research cannot be done by machines alone, currently.

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“Limiting social media data to marketing observations is like buying a Ferrari to drop your kids off at school. You’re not using the full potential of the tool,” Benjamin Duvall, the Chief Evangelist at Linkfluence explained during #SMWLA in a session exploring social listening and the importance of combining AI with human expertise.

Hacking Tracking

First, he outlined tracking as a business and brand priority and the number of ways to do this.
As a result of focusing on vanity metrics, social media listening platforms have evolved through consolidation.

You need to consider four things when tracking: awareness, desirability, proximity, and relevance. What is the scale of resonation of your brand and what is the gap between the brand desired equity and the equity actually spread by social media?

He then discussed what he referred to as a social intelligence maturity model. “You need to understand where your company is on so you don’t miss anything,” he explains. “So you aren’t thinking you’re killing it when you’re not.”

The Social Intelligence Maturity Model

The first step is alerting. Where little to no social media listening may be happening and there might even be some skepticism about the value of what’s being said on the social web. A few people rely on basic tools.

The next is monitoring. This discovery period can be quite eye-opening for teams when they start to explore what’s being said about their brand.

Third comes the listening – this is the ‘aha’ moment, where you then ask yourself what you should do with the data you obtain.

After listening comes strategic listening, where what you were doing before becomes truly integrated with your business process. Cross-functional teams are listening, deciding and reporting in real time to informer marketing strategy.

Social intelligence is the fifth and final step – it’s transformative. Data helps drive decision-making and influences budget and investment. This stage is still somewhat aspirational given that many of the tools are soiled.

Contextualize to avoid surprise

Overall, Duvall concluded that most importantly, “you need to ensure that when you get social listening data that it’s relevant to the context. Outcomes need to have a strategic change outlook and not just exist as community management.”

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