I co-wrote an article (part 1 of 3) with Cecilia Pineda Feret titled Social media monitoring and metrics: The definitive introduction at MyCustomer.com that was published Monday. I’ll quote the article there and then add a few thoughts at the end of the post.
Perhaps you have heard of the terms ‘social media monitoring’ and ‘social media metrics’ or analytics as it is sometimes known. There are those who are still trying to figure out how social media fits into their company’s strategy and may think these terms are interchangeable.
If you fall into this category, fear not. Most of the world still thinks this way as well, as more and more companies are quickly realising the importance of implementing social media along with monitoring and metrics of activity on these platforms.
- Marketing campaigns
- Market research
- Product development
- Competitor analysis
- Brand popularity
- Market sentiment
- Return on investment
- PR effectiveness: Influencers activity and coverage of you and your topics.
- Demand signals: Trends in new interests or products.
- Brand strength: Types of mentions you get.
- Product strengths & weaknesses: Specific feature comments, positive and negative.
- Competitive position: How do you compare to your competitors. Where are you now? Where do you want to be?
It’s difficult to entirely separate monitoring and measurement; for example, the dashboards generated for the monitoring list above are used in measurement dashboards such as those referenced at Semphonic.com. (Seehttp://semphonic.blogs.com/semangel/2010/08/social-media-dashboardingwith-dashboards.html for more details.)
- Find a means to accurately measure (even if expensive and one-time) the uber-measure.
- Create measurement around a set of sub-indicators that might be either causal or indicative.
- Correlate the sub-indicators with the uber-measure.
- Use a factor analysis to reduce the sub-indicator set and to identify combinations that represent key causal factors.
- Track the relevant sub-indicators on an ongoing basis as your key performance indicators.
- Radian6 Enterprise Level
- Rowfeeder Freemium/Inexpensive
- Viral Heat Inexpensive
- Export.ly Freemium/Inexpensive
- Brandwatch Free Trial/Moderate
- Lithium Expensive
- Alterian Freemium/Expensive
- FameCount Free for now
- Infinigraph Deserves a look, however their focus is on encouraging more content from the crowd who has already provided content
- Sysomos Enterprise Level Moderate
- Crimson Hexagon VERY expensive
- Clarabridge Expensive
- Brandtology VERY expensive
- SAS Social Media Analytics Expensive
- Attentio Expensive
- Synthesio Expensive
- Compete Freemium/Expensive
- Glide Intelligence Expensive
- Integrasco Expensive
- Collective Intellect Expensive
- IAB Internet Advertising Bureau
- Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization
- Web Analytics Association
- Certified Institute of Public Relations
- BARCELONA Principles
- Occam’s Razor, Avinash Kaushik
- Social Media Explorer, Jason Falls
- WebMetricsGuru, Marshall Sponder
- WebStrategist, Jeremiah Owyang
Here are some parts of the post that are really fantastic – and play into my article with Cecilia Pineda Feret on Monitoring and Measurement (above). I think along with all the ideas we’re communicating here, the need for a better way to describe what platforms and tools do are needed – and that’s one thing that’s making it even harder to make the right choices – the choices my book is all about…
….. It’s clear that this nascent space is lacking the taxonomy necessary to group and define tools’ core functionality. Buzzwords like “dashboard” and “platform” are used to describe any tool with data and a graph or two. As a result, social business professionals with a mandate to evaluate and select a “tool” often end up comparing a wrench to a hammer.
….There are hundreds of social media tools out there vying for your attention, but few do a great job of defining what they actually do and do not do. Some are similar to one another and compete with each other, while others have zero overlap and can supplement each other. Of course determining which tools are right for you requires a clear definition of your objectives, but without knowing which tools do what it is impossible to know which tools will meet those objectives.
By the way, my book on Social Media Analytics addresses this issue – unfortunately, it’s just going to be published in August this year – but here is what Lisa says is the breakdown -
Social Medial Monitoring (SMM) tools, often called listening platforms, are where most social media strategies begin – monitoring and tracking mentions of your brand, products, competitors and industry issues. SMM tools offer countless ways to analyze, measure, display and report findings…The features vary by vendor as does cost, so one typically selects one SMM solution or provider and supplements it with tools in other categories.
- Alterian SM2
- Attensity 360
- Buzz Capture
- Buzz Logic
- Collective Intellect
- Crimson Hexagon
- dna 13
- Lithium SMM (Scout)
- Meltwater Buzz
- NM Incite
- Radian 6
- Spiral 16
- Visible Technologies
- Jive Software
- Tap 11
- Sprout Social
- Simplify 360
In general, SMM tools rarely compete with tools in other categories, but there are some SMM tools that over lap with the 2nd category of tools, Social Media Engagement (SME) tools. For example, Radian 6 is an SMM tool that offers an Engagement console, but Radian 6’s core expertise is SMM.
Social Media Engagement (SME) tools are communication platforms where users take action and can respond, engage, interact or communicate directly on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc…Users provide the login credentials and offer OAuth permissions and can Tweet, comment on a blog post or respond to a question in a forum without leaving the SME platform. These are real-time, highly customized dashboards and often offer multiple accounts, a shared workspace for many users and the ability to respond in multiple places with one click. SMM tools differ from SMM tools because they are primarily where activity occurs rather where one analyzes activity.
Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) tools aggregate dozens of types of information from multiple social networks to give users the most complete view possible of each customer.
Social Media Specialized (SMS) tools fall into a handful of buckets. These tools are not stand alone tools or comprehensive platforms, but specialized tools focused on on analyzing and optimizing one aspect of your social media efforts. The intent is to use these tools to supplement, not replace, other tools. Some of these tools are available on SMM or SME platforms, for example, you can view Klout scores within Seesmic Desktop. These tools can be broken down into the following categories:
- Influence – Klout, PeerIndex, TwinFluence, Twitority, Zuberance
- Conversion tracking – Argyle Social
- Twitter analytics – Bit.ly, Tweetreach, Twitalyzer
- SEO – Hubspot, SEOMoz, Raven Tools
Social Media Content Management (SMCM) tools facilitate the creation, distribution, optimization and management of social media content. Each tool facilitates at least one specific activity. For example, Timely posts your tweets at a future time to achieve the most reach.
By the way, I’m also looking at Spiril16 and shall have an analysis on it, shortly.