If you've been following my sporadic blogging this year, you'll no doubt notice a recurring theme: the call to action around the social data collect. This theme comes as a result of the past few years of writing research and working with companies on their social media strategies but still seeing too many companies stuck just monitoring for brand mentions or collecting weekly "social listening" reports that tell them what happened on Twitter. Count all the Facebook likes you want, but there's a lot more to the data social media creates than what most companies touch today.

Fortunately, I'm not alone in this crusade to get companies using their untapped social data. My post back in March — Listening Must Evolve Into Social Intelligence — currently has more comments than any other post on the Customer Intelligence blog in the past two years. This isn't meant as bragging; it just shows that the message resonates within our community. We know we need to make social data actionable — it's time to start evolving our social intelligence strategies. That's why I'm excited to launch the culmination of this crusade: Forrester's Social Intelligence Playbook.

The Social Intelligence Playbook lays out the path to help companies establish the right framework and mature their practices around capturing, managing, analyzing, and applying social data. It contains twelve reports, focusing on four key areas:

  1. Discover the value of social data. The first series of reports lays out the concept of social intelligence, addresses the framework of how successful companies got there, and provides business cases for how to justify the investment.
  2. Plan a social intelligence strategy. The second step starts with a self-assessment to help companies understand where they currently stand in preparation for a social intelligence strategy. We've also created reports that address the larger organizational implications of social intelligence so companies can best determine how to fit this into their structure.
  3. Act on social data effectively. Once companies understand the value and have put the framework in place, we've published a set of reports to show how to improve and evolve your strategy. These include case studies of successful companies as well as the tools and technologies that help leading players today.
  4. Optimize your social intelligence practice. Finally, we've included a set of reports to help you constantly evaluate and optimize your work. These include a report benchmarking the landscape's current state and multiple reports on how to measure the success of your work.

Our goal with this playbook is to give companies the information they need to evolve their social data practices. Companies that haven't yet started monitoring social media will learn why they must and how to justify the investment. Companies with experience in listening will learn how to take those next steps towards action. And companies mature with social intelligence will learn tips to keep pushing the boundaries of social intelligence and identify new ways to put social data to work for their business.

Lastly, this has been a long and exhausting process, and I couldn't have done it withough my diligent editor Dave Frankland or my Senior Research Associate Allison Smith, both of whom contributed to the Executive Overview. Thank you both — and go get some rest.