Social Media Monitoring: do you really need it?

Social Media Monitoring

Monitoring of social networks or monitoring of social media — manual or automatic search for mentions on a certain topic in social networks and blogs, as well as further processing and analysis of the collected data. It can have various applications, starting from getting insights on how to get followers on Instagram and up to a holistic social media marketing strategy.

Modern monitoring systems use streaming data processing, linguistic and mathematical algorithms, and big data analytics. Such services allow you to analyze mentions in social media in real time, determine the tone of mentions, measure the level of user engagement, the influence of sites and other indicators.

Monitoring of social networks is a selection of texts of users of social networks based on certain criteria for the selection of these texts. As well as the process of collecting this sample and its interpretation.

Users of social networks produce a text in one day that surpasses all the writings of L.A. Tolstoy in volume. Unfortunately for companies, they write not only about sublime abstractions, but also about the process of consumption (for example, where, what and how they ate; or where and how they were served; what and why they decided to give to their friends; where and how they will go on vacation, etc.).

Of course, there are special services for texts about consumer experience. But not everyone considers it their duty to write reviews only where it is appropriate. Many people prefer to share their experience with their "friends" rather than with the public of a particular service.

Types of social network monitoring

Automatic monitoring

It is carried out using special programs and services that allow automating the process of sampling and its interpretation. Data collection is carried out on the basis of a search query prepared in advance by the analyst, the analysis of the information received is also carried out according to the criteria set by the program.

With the help of automatic monitoring systems, large amounts of data can be processed as quickly as possible. This normally includes text analytics and hashtag monitoring.

Manual monitoring

Non-automated data collection and interpretation. Manual monitoring also implies the use of special tools or software solutions in the process of collecting information, but each search query is processed and analyzed by a specialist, not a system.

This method is more labor-intensive and requires highly qualified specialists, but manual search becomes necessary when the qualitative component of the analysis prevails over the quantitative one or the search is intelligence.

Sampling based on various methods of selecting user texts and non-automated interpretation of the received data.

Texts are searched both through various search engines, due to the same search queries, and "manually" through monitoring and analysis of sites (individual resources, blogs, pages, groups, communities, user walls), without reference to specific keywords or existing tags.

The resulting sample is also interpreted exclusively by the analyst according to the criteria selected by him, using the software tools available to him (for example, graphs and diagrams have to be built independently using Excel, and not get data visualization automatically).

Manual monitoring allows you to work with any tasks, and receive not only a representative and relevant sample of user texts, but also the entire volume of texts that meet the criteria in general. But the labor costs and requirements for the qualification of analysts make it extremely costly, and sometimes simply impossible pleasure.

It is worth noting that there is absolutely no manual monitoring — you still have to use certain tools or certain software solutions.

Pseudo-manual monitoring

Everything is simple here — the results of automatic monitoring are given out as the results of manual monitoring. A very common method of fraud nowadays: the automatic report of the system is converted into an allegedly author's report and is provided not in the format of the system report, but in the format of its own unique report (although all data and their interpretation are taken from the results of a single monitoring service 🙂

Monitoring: why to do it

The first question that usually arises during a conversation about monitoring social networks and the blogosphere is: "What does it make sense to use it for?" There are several main marketing tasks that are effectively solved with the help of monitoring.

Timely detection of negativity

One of the features of social networks is the high speed of information dissemination. At the same time, not only positive statements, but also criticism instantly diverge. Often, a surge of negativity against a company in a few hours can turn into a real information explosion, and with every hour the tension will only increase.

Thus, the sooner it is possible to start a campaign to neutralize the negative, the more effective and less costly it will be. However, in order to start it, it is necessary to quickly track the foci of negative information, and it is this task that allows monitoring of social networks and the blogosphere to solve.

Competitor analysis

Analyzing the prevailing opinion of the target audience about competitors, studying their marketing policy, as well as comparing their indicators with yours (the number of mentions, the tone of mentions, the response of the audience) are important marketing tasks within a brand monitoring canvas.

A properly configured monitoring system allows you to automate the collection, systematization and analysis of key data, as well as compare the dynamics of competitors' indicators with your own.

Social Media Monitoring: do you really need it?

Evaluation of the effectiveness of promotion

Another important monitoring function is to evaluate the overall effectiveness of PR campaigns conducted both online and offline. An increase in the number of mentions, as well as a change in the ratio of tonalities in favor of positive ones, indicates that the ongoing campaign increases your information field and heals it. If the indicators remain unchanged, then this primarily indicates that the campaign does not solve the tasks assigned to it.

In addition, analyzing the data obtained over a significant period of time, it is possible to trace the evolution of the audience's attitude to the brand and how the PR campaigns carried out influenced this.

Getting feedback

It is often important for a company to get feedback from customers about themselves and their products. This allows you to adjust the positioning, marketing and PR strategy, pay attention to the nuances that are important to the consumer.

So, after the launch of a new model, automakers monitor opinions to understand how people perceive it: what strengths and weaknesses they highlight, what arguments for and against buying they have, with which models of other manufacturers are compared.

Search for thematic discussions

Sometimes it is an urgent task to take part in thematic discussions. So, for example, if there is a discussion of various Internet service providers somewhere, then this can often be used by a specific provider to convey information about themselves and their offers to an interested audience, to emphasize advantages over competitors, as well as to neutralize the negativity that may appear in this topic.

Accordingly, monitoring for correctly selected queries allows you to detect such discussions soon after they begin.