Are you monitoring what matters?
- social networks
Social media measurement or ‘social media monitoring’ is an active monitoring of social media channels for information about a company or organization, usually tracking of various social media content such as blogs, wikis, news sites, micro-blogs such as Twitter, social networking sites, video/photo sharing websites,forums, message boards, blogs and user-generated content in general as a way to determine the volume and sentiment of online conversation about a brand or topic.
Social media monitoring allows users to find insights into a brand's overall visibility on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, identify opportunities for engagement, assess competitor activity and share of voice, and be alerted to impending crises. It can also provide valuable information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific topics, brands or products. This is the work of a cross-section of groups that include market researchers, PR staff, marketing teams, social engagement and community staff, agencies and sales teams. Several different providers have created tools to facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels from blogging to internet video to internet forums. This allows companies to track what consumers are saying about their brands and actions. Companies can then react to these conversations and interact with consumers through social media platforms.
Various monitoring platforms use different technologies for social media monitoring and measurement. These technology providers may connect to the API provided by social platforms that are created for 3rd party developers to develop their own applications and services that access data. Facebook's Graph API is one such API that social media monitoring solution products would connect to pull data from. Technology companies may also get social data from a data reseller, such as DataSift or Gnip, which was acquired by Twitter. Some social media monitoring and analytics companies use calls to data providers each time an end-user develops a query. A small number of companies archive and index social media posts, which provides end users with on-demand access to historical data and enables methodologies and technologies leveraging network and relational data.
Additional monitoring companies use crawlers and spidering technology to find keyword references, Semantic analysis Natural Language Processing. Basic implementation involves curating data from social media on a large scale and analyzing the results to make sense out of it.
The most important thing to establish before selecting a monitoring tool is what you’re actually going to measure. Any social media campaign worth its salt has clearly defined objectives and measurable outcomes.
These measurable outcomes, o'key performance indicators (KPIs), are agreed-upon metrics that will help you determine whether your social media marketing efforts are successful. They can fall into several categories and include thousands of exact pieces of data.
Some of the more popular metrics are outlined below:
Reach. You might want to measure the number of fans, followers, blog subscribers and other statistics to gauge the size of your community.
Engagement is measuring retweets, comments, average time on site, bounce rate, clicks, video views, white paper downloads and anything else that requires the user to engage.
Competitive data may include the brand’s “share of voice” across the web or number of competitors’ brand mentions.
Sentiment. You might want to measure the numbers of mentions with positive or negative sentiment.
Sales conversions. Do you want to measure social media referral traffic to the top of the sales funnel or number of sales aided by social media efforts?
The amount of data you need to collect and archive will help determine the cost of social media monitoring for your business. If your company is large with hundreds or even thousands of brand mentions across the social web per day, you can expect the cost of your social media monitoring to be on the high end.
There are a lot of monitoring tools. Teams of developers are constantly updating these tools, so be sure to contact the platform directly for the most up-to-date information on which social media platforms they support.
Relationships are born and blossom on social media networks every day. What business loves is a bottom line. Effective SMM helps you target and manage your relationships with more precision than at any point in history. Monitoring helps provide greater customer service and detect more buyer interest.