Why do we need a social intelligence certification?
This is a guest blog written by Jillian Ney, founder of The Social Intelligence Lab and the first academy for professionals using social data as part of their work. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Social intelligence, as an industry, has grown at a rapid pace. This has advantages and disadvantages. Speedy growth is good news for innovation and technological advances but in some ways the industry has some catching up to do. It’s great to see so many brands and businesses maturing in their use of social data and reaping the rewards but from what we hear at the SILab, many others are suffering from;
- Low awareness
- Lack of support
- Lack of trustworthy frameworks, structures and models
We find that the journey to social intelligence really varies - you’ve got new job roles inside of traditional comms, in-house agencies, standalone departments, outsourcing managed with cross functional teams and many other set ups. However it’s carried out though, nearly all social intelligence functions have 3 key characteristics;
- Innovation: In most cases social intelligence is the new cool kid in research or comms, with the exciting new tech to prove it
- Impact: Often the results of social intelligence projects go far inside an organisation because it’s breaking down assumptions and setting the tone for a new way of thinking about customers and audiences.
- Personality and passion: It's always run by people with a passion for their work. I’m yet to speak to someone in social intelligence who doesn’t have this drive to get social insights into their organisation. It’s a tough place to be so you kinda have to be convinced, if not obsessed. More than that, you’ve had to work, sometimes very hard, to convince other people you’re onto something. These jobs typically don’t get advertised, they get invented, often by the people stepping into them.
So what we’ve got is a load of self-starting, innovative, impactful and really passionate people, in senior level roles who have been tasked with building out a social intelligence capability.
This might sound glamorous but from what I hear it’s actually pretty lonely. This is, for most, the first time this kind of work is happening in the business, which means a lot of ideation, pitching, designing processes and logistical work, often with very little support. One of our brand community members compared setting up social intelligence to setting up website analytics back in the early days of his career. Big important work, more important perhaps than they could have realised back then, but with lots of uncertainties.
There’s often no structure to follow. These roles can include tonnes of research and in some cases, years of testing. While the leaders of social intelligence functions are very accomplished people with lots of skills and experience, there is a skills and knowledge gap.
With no source of upskilling, training or professional development there is a lot of work, often really great work, self teaching, learning from mistakes that other people have made before or researching where experts have already found the optimal process.
Introducing the social intelligence certification
We’ve designed the first professional certification dedicated to social intelligence. It follows the journey of setting up and managing a successful social intelligence function. We’ve enlisted the industry’s leading experts to guide students through content that covers;
- Planning and structure, including stakeholder buy-in, team organisation and scoping
- Technical execution, including data sourcing and analysis and tech stacking
- Continued delivery, interpreting insights and storytelling
Our teachers really have been there - they have first hand experience and understand how to navigate the challenges. Students will use their own organisation’s challenges to ensure that they come out with an engine for social intelligence that is solving real business problems from the word go.
The course is aimed at anyone using social data in their roles, particularly comms and product professionals and teams.
The people who work with social data typically have a lot to do - they wear lots of hats and often no clear path, frameworks or models.
And that’s my vision for the social intelligence certification and the academy. This is about accelerating learning, gaining a rounded understanding of all the different moving parts of social and upskilling alongside the industry’s now established experts.
Audiense is partnering with theSILab to accelerate learning in social intelligence. Audiense clients will receive a discount on the course.
If you’re using Audiense, the course will help you to get even more out of the tool, apply new use cases or explore new functionality. Use code SIC20AUD for a £250 discount. Apply or find out more here. Got questions? Email hello@theSiLab.com with subject ‘SI course’.
Image by Jared Sluyter on Unsplash.