Nerdy new year’s resolution — understanding social media monitoring tools and types

Social Mention is a free social media search and analysis platform

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.



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2 responses to “Nerdy new year’s resolution — understanding social media monitoring tools and types

  1. Steve

    Here is a quick contribution on understanding Social Media Monitoring. I would be happy to introduce you to ListenLogic’s Social Media Intelligence platform, RESONATE at any time.

    Why Sentiment Sucks – Sentiment is very hard and MOST do it very badly.

    Most sentiment engines are generic and based on the written word in edited newspapers, magazines, and books. abbreviations and sarcasm are difficult to begin with and vary from industry to industry and brand to brand. Most firms only claim abut 50% accuracy ( try flipping a coin) Most firms use the same off the shelf sentiment engine.

    All sentiment must be based on all relevant posts and only relevant posts. Many monitoring platforms only score sentiment of blogs and some of the data. Look at the raw data, all of the raw data, very carefully.

    The reality is that social media is not edited, and it is filled slang and sarcasm.” FTW, WTF, ING” are but a few of hundreds of common abbreviations. ” I had a great time – not” is a common sarcasm and “sick” is a good term in snowboarding, bad in dining and just a fact in healthcare.

    The only way to achieve accuracy in sentiment to to use a combination of humans and very powerful technology. At ListenLogic we create custom relevance, sentiment and influence models for each industry we participate in and each customer in that industry. We start with expert analysts and uses massively parallel computers and machine learning to scale the process. It takes about to weeks and the result is over 90% accuracy.

    Our proprietary Adaptive Sentiment(tm) engine continues to learn and improve over time with machine learning and human input , from both our expert analysts and our customers. Listening is continual process and understanding is a living and adaptive process.

    Another very import issue to understand n sentiment is that it is not just good and bad, positive or negative. Sentiment is mostly neutral in all media including social. Going to a movie is neutral, loving it is good, and hating it is bad. I use a product needs to be treated the same way. Bottom line sentiment needs to track positive, negative, AND neutral and it needs be very accurate to be useful.

    All too often “Social Media Monitoring” is very inaccurate collection and very inaccurate analysis of some anecdotal information from a wide range of “sources” from the voice of one to highly influential. Social Media Monitoring is not Social Business Intelligence unless it is Accurate.

    The most important factor when considering Social Media Intelligence is Accuracy in three dimensions.

    1. Accuracy of Relevance of data collected and analyzed. Bad, duplicate, and irrelevant data is worse that useless. it is misleading and every thing that follows is wrong.

    2. Sentiment must be accurate for your industry and your specific brand. Consumer brands, Hospitality, Sports, Medicine, Finance, Services, Travel, Autos, Food, Pharma, Government all have their own language, slang, abbreviations and sarcasm. Each brand within an industry is unique as well. Each industry and brand needs a custom sentiment model to be accurate.

    3. Influence is critically important to understand low influence customers and high influence “needle movers”. Low Influencers are as important as high influencers but in very different ways. The strategy and tactics to interact with these two groups are vastly different.

    Bad data leads to bad decisions. Accuracy in relevance, sentiment and influence makes for better decisions. Social Media has high visibility in an organizations – make good recommendations and decisions.

    Finally, it is important to remember that Social Media is a Real-time environment. Trends, threats and opportunities happen daily. ALL of the above aspects of Social Business Intelligence needs to be Real-Time. REALLY Real-Time. Not just the data but all the analysis needs to be accurate and really real-time.


  2. Hi, you may also want to look at Brandtology’s service offering.

    We are one of the largest Business and Brand Online Intelligence service providers that combines technology, processes and trained professionals to deliver accurate and relevant intelligence to global organizations.

    We have more than 100 Social Media Specialists in 10 locations around the world who are able to verify and enhance our automated machine analysis in more than 9 different languages. This ensures very high accuracy and relevancy of the analysis reports provided to our clients who do not have to waste a moment sieving through irrelevant data.

    If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we do it, do drop me a mail at ashley.lim[at]brandtology[dot]com.

    Ashley Lim
    Social Media Consultant

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