SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING

Social media monitoring is an important part of social media marketing, PR work, and marketing planning and evaluation. Social networks are searched for information that is relevant to one’s reputation and to one’s products or services. Tools are used for social media monitoring that enables continuous work.

Social media monitering

Background and explanation

Due to the increasing popularity of social networks in the course of the conversion of the Internet to Web 2.0, in which the user becomes active, their importance for online marketing and marketing, in general, has also increased. But in contrast to the evaluation of visitor flows or visitor behaviour in the context of web analysis social media monitoring is based on other requirements. On the one hand, a lot more data has to be processed in social media monitoring and, on the other hand, this data has to be processed almost in real-time so that companies can react immediately to trends, criticism or activities of the competition. It is not directly about the analysis of one’s web presence, but rather about the observation of topics and key terms in a whole conglomerate of different social media.

Social media monitoring tools

Social media monitoring tools were developed to bundle the mass of different data and prepare it for analysis. These programs make it possible to constantly search social networks for information relevant to business planning.

HootSuite is a social media dashboard published by HootSuite Media Inc. The software makes it possible to manage and control activities on different social networks using a single tool.

Functions

HootSuite describes its main function as “social network management”. In concrete terms, this means that the user can use the software to manage and control profiles in various social networks with just one account. The functionality of HootSuite is clearly shown in a YouTube video. In addition to being able to post via HootSuite, users can also follow individual topics or contact other users directly.

The software is browser-based and can be used both as a free basic version and as a paid version with additional features.

HootSuite can be used with the following social networks:

  • GooglePlus

Analysis

HootSuite provides concrete data on the reach of individual social media campaigns. This data can be created and retrieved as reports. The HootSuite account can be linked to Google Analytics for evaluation. Other data sources such as Facebook insights and statistics from Twitter or the URL shortener ow.ly can also be imported.

A big advantage of HootSuite is that several users can work with one account. This makes the social media monitoring tool perfect for working in a team. HootSuite is also suitable for use on smartphones or tablets. This means that campaigns can also be controlled and monitored while on the move.

is a service that allows the bundling of various social networks, blogRSS and web content into a single account. Strictly speaking, FriendFeed is not a social media monitoring tool, but rather its meta-social network. However, the tool can also be used for marketing purposes. Registration for this takes place via a Twitter or Facebook account and is free of charge. The tool has existed since 2007 and now belongs to Facebook Inc.

Functions

FriendFeed allows users not only to bundle accounts from different social networks in their feed but also to fill this feed with news, topics or information from social media channels they are friends with. The feed can be shared with friends or partners, who will then be informed of any changes to the subscribed content.

Over 55 different web services such as social bookmarks, social networks or blogging services can be integrated into the personal feed. The feed thus reaches far beyond conventional social networks. The following services (with example) can be integrated thematically:

  • Blogging Services (Blogger, Tumblr)
  • Social Bookmarks (Delicious, Mister Wong, Stumble Upon)
  • Books
  • News
  • Photos ( Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug)
  • Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Communication ( Gmail )
  • Music (Last. fm)
  • Videos (YouTube)
  • own RSS feeds
  • other services (e.g. Amazon, SlideShare, Yelp)

Analysis

Those who use FriendFeed should not expect a ready-made social media monitoring tool. Rather, by bundling several very diverse social media channels, it is possible to identify trends and read cutting-edge topics. Unlike HootSuite or SocialBench, FriendFeed brings together news from an even wider range of social networks. This makes FriendFeed ideal for tracking down opinions on specific topics and products.

SocialBench is a web-based service that allows monitoring and analysis of social media activity from various social networks. One of the main features of the tool is the creation of social benchmarks.

The social media monitoring tool is chargeable and, depending on the version, can also be used by several people at the same time. The prices vary between almost 50 and almost 800 EUR per month.

Functions

The tool offers its users a variety of functions. The focus is on benchmarking, within which the performance of individual social media channels can be measured and reports can be created.

Other functions are the analysis of trends and the direct detection of trends. Comparing the competition is also interesting.

Analysis

By connecting Google Analytics, traffic streams from different sources can be compared and analyzed directly via SocialBench in addition to social interaction.

A special feature of SocialBench is the ability to analyze users and their reactions on the social web. In this way, it is possible to see exactly which social networks the users of their own profiles are also active in.

The monitoring tool offers many points of reference to evaluate your own social media activities and campaigns based on defined KPIs.

Possible KPIs are:

  • number of fans
  • Fanbase growth in a week
  • Ratio between the number of fans and the number of people talking about a page
  • Number of own posts per day (average)
  • average fan activity
  • Number of posts by fans on the wall
  • Number of active fans who have liked or commented on something
  • Frequency of the site operator’s response to fan posts
  • average time it takes to reply to a fan post

The special thing about SocialBench is that these KPIs can be analyzed as a benchmark comparison with the social media channels of the competitors.

Importance of social media marketing

Social media marketing is now an integral part of the marketing mix of companies. But hardly any other area is so dynamic. Opinions can quickly change, top issues emerge and just as quickly disappear again into insignificance. The line between liking and bashing is often very thin. For this reason, social media monitoring is of great importance. Because by continuously observing the target groups in social networks, trends can be identified, criticism can be anticipated or opinions can be created.

With the help of social media monitoring tools, marketing managers have the opportunity to react immediately to trends, criticism or changing opinions. Companies that also align their brand and marketing strategy to social media can only use the advantages of the social web with the help of a permanent analysis of the social networks in relation to their own products, competitor products and their own brand. A target-oriented social media marketing without the appropriate monitoring is therefore not possible.

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