Demystifying Social Media Monitoring

By Kiron Mair, UK Community Manager for Synthesio

It’s no big secret that in 2012 social media is driving most of the world’s conversations about anything and everything. But it’s only been in the last three or four years that brands have cottoned on to the idea of social networks being places where their customers are gathering and sharing their opinions about products and services.

With this realisation came a need to listen and understand what these people are saying, and then to work out how to engage with them – otherwise known as Social CRM. This is where social media monitoring tools enter the fold; applications that scour the public spaces of the web to find where the conversations about given topics are happening, what they are about, and who is having them.

The market for social media monitoring has matured in the past couple of years as brands become more accustomed to the idea of tapping into social media channels, and the tools become more sophisticated in what they can do. From free tools such as IceRocket; through to DIY tools like Radian6 and Sysomos; to full service offerings like Synthesio and Visible Technologies; there is something to suit every company’s needs.

And yet, despite the variety of tools available, and the exposure numerous monitoring companies have had, many brands are still strangers to the field, and often have questions to ask about how to get started. Synthesio’s Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring attempts to address these FAQs and offer an objective look at the world of social media monitoring for people/brands that are yet to start their programmes.

The guide is split into three sections, highlighting the stages of a brand’s Social Media journey: Listen, Analyse and Engage.

The ‘Listen’ section begins by looking at different ‘personality types’ for brands, determined by the relationships consumers have with them. Each personality profile indicates the given brand’s likely presence on social and mainstream media, and the likely level of emotion and engagement that they have – to illustrate the different goals each brand should have for their social media monitoring.

Once the goals have been established, there are four steps to a successful listening set up process:
1. List the topics that define your brand
2. Determine the countries and languages to monitor
3. Consider how the data should be visualised
4. Determine who will analyse the data once it has been harvested.

These four steps will help establish what kind of monitoring tool is right for your brand – from free, through to full service. The guide weighs up the features, benefits and limitations of each ‘level’ of monitoring tool.

‘Analyse’ is all about finding the true story of your brand behind the numbers. Social media monitoring is an important activity for a brand but the real value lies in actionable insights that only human analysts can provide. Identifying key influencers, areas of customer advocacy or concern, potential social media crises, and the sentiment attached to online conversations, are all keys to making a monitoring programme worthwhile. The next step will then be picking Key Performance Indicators, and benchmarking results against your competitors, to reveal how successful the programme is.

The ‘Engage’ section looks at how best to act on the insights, and interact with customers. Social CRM is an important part of an effective communications strategy as it is a way of engaging with individuals directly, and is a means of being present in places where consumers share opinions. Social CRM allows brands to meet consumers in their own environment; and effective Social CRM is all down to picking the right spokespeople, platforms and channels to do this.

To read the full book online for free, please click here.

What experiences of social media monitoring have you had so far, and have you any questions that have thus far gone unanswered? Let us know in the comments section below. 


About the Author:

Kiron Mair is Synthesio’s UK Community Manager. With a wealth of experience garnered from a variety of marketing roles, including social media writing, account management and community management for B2B and B2C brands, he is skilled in content creation and communications. Kiron is the voice of Synthesio’s UK operations on their social media channels and sits within the Marketing team to create new, interesting content for Synthesio to share. You can follow Kiron on Twitter here.



Synthesio are sponsors of this year’s SMWF Europe taking place on the 27th & 28th March.  Synthesio will be running a workshop on Social Media Monitoring in the free to attend MarketingTech track, to register for your free pass please click here

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