Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
What to Look for in a Social Media Monitoring Tool
Posted on November 12th 2012
Social media monitoring is now an essential activity for any large organization. Even companies that aren’t using social media for marketing, PR or customer services can take advantage of the real-time insights to gain feedback and better understand their customers.
But with more than 400 social media monitoring tools on the market, how do you choose the right one (or ones) for you? Without a clear strategy in place, it may feel like comparing Apples with Oranges.
Of course, each tool has its advantages and disadvantages and the tool you choose will depend on exactly what you want to use it for, so start there. What exactly do you want to use if for? If you can’t answer that question you will end up spending money and achieving nothing.
For instance, if you want to use it for customer service you will need a tool with a strong engagement offering and you might want immediate notifications when someone says something particularly positive or negative about a specific product or feature. If there is more than one person responding to customers, you will need a tool with a workflow capability to keep a record of who has said what and to whom.
Where do you want to monitor? If you want to monitor the conversation in a specific country, you will need to ensure that your tool has geographical and language targeting.
Who do you want to monitor? If you simply want to monitor your own social media accounts, fans and followers, it’s much easier than targeting sections of the wider web, such as restaurant users or parents of two year olds.
What do you want to monitor? As well as targeting specific locations, you may also want to target specific networks. You’ll need to consider this when choosing a tool as some will have more of a focus on Twitter, whilst others may be more adept at monitoring forums and blogs.
Ease of use. This might seem obvious, but unless you want to pay for support you will probably want an organised and easy to navigate dashboard that allows you to easily follow your key metrics without being overwhelmed by lists of data and mentions.
How will you do your reporting? Different tools report in different ways. Some offer standard reports, others allow you to customise reports, and others offer serviced reporting. Larger enterprises in particular may benefit from using a serviced monitoring company. With so much data out there, having professional advice and professionally produced reports can make a real difference.
How important is sentiment analysis? If you’re dealing with large amounts of data and sentiment analysis is important to your business you might want to be able to make manual changes to what is considered positive or negative. Automatic sentiment analysis tools will give you an indication, but are usually only 50-60% accurate. You may even require a company with in-house analysts who can do this for you.
Support availability. What kind of support does the monitoring company you are using offer? For urgent enquiries you may want access to a named account manager, rather than having to submit an online form and waiting patiently waiting for a response. Free solutions don’t usually offer any support, so it’s worth asking: “how important is this data to me?” before going with a freebie.
Operational considerations. Before committing to a tool, it’s worth checking that you can afford it. Tools can vary enormously in price: some services are available for free, whilst others will set you back thousands every month. Finding the right balance between power, functionality and cost is essential.
Budget isn’t the only issue here. Do you have the resources available to make the most of the tool? Consider the skills and availability of staff that will have a role to play. It’s probably worth allocating a separate budget for social media monitoring training.
On December 6th we will be discussing how to select the right monitoring tool(s) in a one hour webinar with Nathan Gilliatt, one of the world’s most experienced social media monitoring experts; Leon Chaddock, CEO of social media monitoring specialists Sentiment Metrics; and Our Social Times founder, Luke Brynley-Jones. It’s free to join and there will be a Q&A session for listeners to ask questions.