An Introduction to Social Monitoring

Oct 16, 2011
Social Media plays a huge role in our lives today. Most of us use it on a daily basis as a minimum, and many of us use it on the go, from our smartphones. Needless to say, Social Media now plays a vital role in our daily communications and obtaining information. As businesses have begun to recognise the value of our time on Social Media sites, they too have now jumped into the Social Media game, by having a presence in Social Media. It is here where the two meet: Consumers and Business. And it is here where, businesses must monitor, like any marketing strategy, what is working and what isnât.

Social Monitoring is the process of using Social Analytics Tools and applying this data to measure, review, evaluate and highlight business achievements and campaigns.

As businesses are starting to see the value of their presence in Social Media and start communicating, engaging and influencing through their Social Media Platforms with their customers, naturally, they would want to see the value of using Social Media and the metrics it can provide into how effective Social Media is for them. As such, businesses can now use a whole range of Social Analytics tools to help them understand their brand engagement on Social Media Platforms.

Thus, it is not enough for businesses to only have a Social Media presence but also to be monitoring their activities, their customers and their success through their Social Media presence.

Social Analytics and Social Monitoring tools can provide businesses with a huge array of data for them to pour over, analyse and utilise to their advantage. For example, businesses can measure their positive vs. negative sentiment ratio which measures the number of good vs. bad mentions about the business. Businesses can also measure detailed demographic data such as Gender, Age and Location of their customers. The ability to also gather data across all Social Media platforms (along with the web) to continually monitor any negative feedback, and address this in real time is extremely imperative in a world where every Smartphone is now a consumers tool to praise or destroy a business â in real time.

One very important aspect of Social Monitoring is that you are able to tie this back to your Return On Investment. Remembering, now we donât only measure ROI in financial terms, but also in digital assets, in online reputation management and in brand equity, businesses can tie this data back to their one true reason to exist â revenue.

An example of this would be to graph over x amount of time, the number of positive sentiments a business received as measured through Social Media Analytical tools. Then on the same graph, overlay the revenue the business earned for the same period. Any correlation?

Another example would be to measure the value of revenue generated out of Social Media campaigns. Graph this against traditional marketing campaigns. Now look at the underlying costs of your Social Media campaigns vs. your traditional marketing campaigns. Which provided a better net return? Which had a bigger reach? Which required fewer resources?

Social Media Monitoring tools come in different shapes and forms, and all of them can provide you with the tools you need to get started in measuring your campaigns.

There are free tools such as: Twitsprout; Klout; SocialMention; Facebook Insights; Twitter analytics and there are enterprise tools such as BuzzNumbers, Radian6 and Dialogix.

Generally, the free tools provide you with a high level overview, however for a much more focused and accurate result, purchase and usage of the enterprise tools is highly recommended. Whilst some businesses may see this as an additional investment in Social Media and be reluctant, but can businesses really put a price on the data and information these tools can provide? If so then businesses are only achieving half of what they should out of Social Media, after all, there is no use of jumping into any marketing campaign unless you are able to measure its effectiveness. That includes Social Media.

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