Talk about nerdy new year’s resolutions. One of mine is to start getting a deeper understanding of social media monitoring tools and methods. Measuring the effectiveness of social media, and in particular the whole question of ROI, is a topic that appears to be heating up in 2010 now that social media has garnered broad scale awareness among marketers as a phenomenon they need to reckon with.
Recently I came across a very good overview of some of the major tools assembled by Dr. Dave Chaffey on his SMART Insights Digital Marketing Blog. According to Dr. Dave, the number of tools and services on the market grew significantly in 2009. His list groups providers and products into 7 different categories defined by Michael Brewer of Clerestorey:
Category 1 – Wide scope analytical and reporting tools for all aspects of monitoring customer opinions and campaign effectiveness
Category 2 – Blog based influence assessment tools, designed to gain access to influential customers/commentators
Category 3 – PR and media management tools for reputation management and assessing opinion forming influence
Category 4 – Social media tracking and intervention including free tools
Category 5 – Fraud protection, security and threat detection
Category 6 – News media tracking
Category 7 – Social media within sales management – for identifying B2B prospects
Frankly, the range of tools, services and providers is a bit overwhelming. So I’m starting small, with the free tools. Also, social media tracking is the category of most interest to me. I’ve started playing around with Social Mention already, which I’ll write about in another blog post. Viral Heat also seems interesting, so that will be the next one.
Stay tuned, all you nerds out there.