At Social Media Marketing 2010 (San Francisco) on Thursday, Maria Ogneva from Attensity gave an excellent introduction to social media monitoring (see my Social Media Marketing event summary, which includes her presentation). In addition to setting out the ideal process for monitoring – listen, analyse, relate, act – and highlighting the need to monitor your own response to monitoring (there’s no point doing it unless you act on the information you’re gathering) she suggested there are 5 primary reasons why businesses monitor social media. I’m sure there are more, but it was refreshing to see a nice clear list – so here they are, with my own notes added:
This is much more relevant for brands than SME’s. Awareness needs to be gauged against your competitors and it might include monitoring sentiment, share of voice or share of conversation. Ever thought a Tweet without a link is wasted? Not if your goal is awareness.
Seeing how many people you’re directing to your website from social networks is a very sensible goal, though most businesses will be more interested in gaining traffic en route to 3 (below). One interesting question is where it’s best to channel your traffic? You might actually be better building traffic on a social network, if that site is better equipped to elicit a positive action (i.e. engagement) from your readers.
Tracking how your interventions with potential customers via social media are leading to click thru’s and sales conversions brings social media monitoring centre stage in your web metrics set up. Adding Google Analytics to Facebook is a nice way of doing this on the cheap, and services like Hubspot offer a neat end-to-end service for tacking social media leads through to conversations.
Gauging how active your customers are in actively responding to your social media activities can be a measure of (a) the quality of the content you’re sharing (b) how you’re presenting it and (c) how close your customers feel to you. You still need to figure out which it is, but benchmarking the number interactions you’re generating is a good start.
Social media monitoring tools can be excellent for gaining real-time insight into products or services you’re offering. You can also set up alerts and searches to ensure you’re up-to-date on industry news and trends. You can get a long way with a few good Twitter searches and Google Alerts, but for comprehensive and immediate results that allow analysis and reporting, you’ll need a pay-for service.
We’ll be running a series of conferences on social media monitoring later this year. Details will be published on our Social Media Monitoring homepage in the coming weeks.