One of the major trends on the web over the last few years has been the emergence of Social Media Monitoring Tools – applications which allow companies to monitor the conversations taking place about their brand or marketplace across different social media platforms; who is saying what, where on the social web.
Over the next few weeks we will be exploring these Tools and Practices in more detail, breaking Social Media Monitoring into its constituent parts and highlighting a range of free or low cost solutions that businesses can and should be adopting right now.
Social Media Monitoring tools allow businesses to monitor and evaluate the following:
– The ‘River of news’: all the information pertaining to your business
– The volume of relevant mentions
– The topic trends (peaks and troughs over a period), tying in with events or other initiatives
– What is being said at an aggregate level
– The mention medium: tweet, blog post, forum post, news item, media upload
– The importance of individual mentions
– Overall sentiment, tone and reputation issues
– The importance of channels, sources or individuals (influencers)
– Updates and changes as they happen
– Actionable insights based on the above
Despite clear business benefits from using these tools, it would appear that few businesses are active in this area. It is our opinion (although untested) that a number of barriers to adoption exist:
1. A general lack of understanding of the benefits
2. A lack of awareness of the tools, their features and functions
3. A perception that Social Media Monitoring tools are expensive
4. A perception that they are too advanced and the realm of big brands
5. A complex supplier marketplace: crowded and confusing
Over the next few weeks and through a series of related articles we will demystify Social Media Monitoring. We will demonstrate that Social Media Monitoring is not only accessible but offers real business benefits for every business. We will explore the range of Social Media Monitoring solutions available, looking in particular at free or low cost solutions and showing through practical examples that Social Media Monitoring need not be expensive nor onerous.
We will examine Social Media Monitoring, through breaking it down into its constituent parts. A series of Tools and Practices that fulfill the following functions:
(a) Identify SOURCES
(b) Aggregate CONVERSATIONS
(c) Measure the BUZZ
(d) Measure SENTIMENT
(e) Manage TASKS
We will dedicate a separate article to each.