Intelligence Insiders: Ed Drummond of Dyson

In our new Intelligence Insiders feature, we sit down with the in-house social intelligence experts at the world’s leading brands. This week, we speak to Ed Drummond, Global Social Media Analyst at Dyson.

When did you first become involved in the ‘social intelligence’ sector?

I started working on social in January 2018, before then I was a business analyst. I stepped into the world of social when I managed a project implementing social intelligence into Dyson. Since then I’ve been responsible for bringing social media insight to life around the business, ensuring teams are getting meaningful data to drive their decision making.


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

At one point I wanted to be a pro motocross rider, but a lack of speed and any competence at all got in my way. I’ve never had a specific plan or view of what I wanted to do. I think that’s why I enjoy working in social media so much. I work with people from product research all the way through to after sales care and get to learn a little bit about what they do and how they work.


What, in your opinion, are the key benefits of social data analysis for your organisation?

The benefits are really broad, and we are only just getting started. Having live access to what is going on out there helps keep our finger on the pulse. Social gives us a unique opportunity to test new ideas and get immediate feedback from our audience, testing and learning in real-time. This helps us to put the voice of our customers and followers at the heart of our business and put weight behind what they are saying.


Which department owns social intelligence in your organisation?

It sits within our Commercial function, but we are working hard to embed it across the whole organisation. From the get-go I think it’s been important to democratise social, if you are too far removed from the activity it’s very hard to give proper insight into why things played out the way they did. I’ve been working through the fun challenge of democratising whilst maintaining some consistency!


Is the value ‘social intelligence’ recognised across your organisation?

Definitely but we have a huge ambition and a lot further to go. We spent a large part of last year showing the value of social intelligence to the business and now we have crossed the tipping point where teams are now approaching us for support. Now we need to work hard to build/embed insight from social into the rest of the business in a structured way.


Is social data used in combination with other data sources in your organisation?

We combine it with financials, wider digital media, and some CRM data. I think it’s equally important to decide when not to blend data, we should avoid creating data silos but where we do combine there should be a clear plan on what is the long-term benefit of doing this.


Are you worried about regulatory restrictions impacting on your work in the future?

Yes, but I think some regulation is a good think. Controls need to be in place to ensure data is used in a safe and consistent way, but also to help people understand how their data is being used. Far too many people have told me that their social media accounts are spying on them without really knowing how it all works. If we can help people understand how their activity on social media is monitored, and set up regulations to ensure it is used appropriately, we can prevent any knee jerk reactions or bad decisions damaging the industry in the future.


Which social data analysis tools do you use? Do you have a favourite?

I’ve used Linkfluence in the past and currently work with Sprinklr. It’s exciting to think about the opportunity these tools bring and what doors they open for us in the future.


Do you think the ‘social intelligence’ community needs its own professional body?

Absolutely. Much to my earlier point around regulation and governance, having a professional body to champion best practice is essential. The landscape for social intelligence moves so quickly, having a professional body to advise and set direction would help move the industry forward into exciting opportunities.


Name a book you would recommend to others.

Bill Bryon’s ‘A Short History on Nearly Everything’. I believe that if you understand how something works you can make better use of it. Admittedly this book doesn’t really help much if you want to learn more about social media, but it’s a great place to start thinking about why things around us are the way they are.


Name a social account that everyone should follow.

I love humour on social media, especially when it pokes fun at this industry. @StateofLinkedIn (on twitter) is a parody account showing some of the more entertaining posts that come out of LinkedIn. It’s a great way to take your mind off looking for trends or insight and just laugh at some of the content out there.


Which person, living or dead, would you most like to follow you on social?

Dwayne The Rock Johnson, he is one of the coolest, nicest guys out there. Being able to DM The Rock for a shot of motivation before big meetings or presentations would be fun.

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Michael Feeley
Michael Feeley
Michael Feeley is Editor of The Social Intelligence Lab. More content by

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