7 key criteria to evaluate social media monitoring tools 2

Posted on October 23, 2017 by Rob Petersen

social media monitoring tools

Social media monitoring tools crawl the social web (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news, forums, videos) to collect data and organize it in various categories (mentions, media type, authors, sentiment, engagement, keywords, hashtags) to show what people say, feel and believe about a brand, topic or person.

This sounds pretty straightforward but evaluating social media monitoring tools isn’t.

There are now hundreds of social media monitoring tools. There is a wide range in features, set-up, sophistication and customer support. There is also range in price from free to $20,000+ month.

Some of the more popular and best rated social media monitoring tools include Keyhole, Hootsuite, Digimind, Meltwater, Salesforce, Cision and Lithium. To name a few.

Which one is right for your business? Here are 7 key factors to evaluate social media monitoring tools.

  1. WHAT ARE YOUR TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH? Social media monitoring is a broad term. It includes listening, publishing, influence and analysis in addition to monitoring. What are look to do? Find the times when your audience is most likely to be online. Provide ideas for content. Compare mentions and audience sentiment vs competitors. Identify influencers. Or some combination of these. The answer to this question narrows your considerations set.
  2. HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR SEARCH? Social media monitoring can include more than just a brand name or topic. It can include product descriptions, key consumer needs and even your founder’s name. Some social media monitoring tools are set up to include all these term through Boolean Search. This s a type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be “hotel” AND “New York”. This would give search results for anyone mentioning phrases containing the two keywords. Boolean Search will increase the quality of the content you capture and is an important consideration when evaluating social media monitoring tools.
  3. WHAT SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE MOST IMPORTANT? Regarding of price, social media monitoring tools can’t effectively crawl some social networks, particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. This is because some social network have created APIs or have legal terms of use that prevent content crawlers or storage of back content. If you are paying for social media monitoring, you should check to see the coverage by social networks before you decide on your social media monitoring service.
  4. HOW MANY COMPETITORS DO YOU WANT TO MONITOR? The price or subscription fee of social monitoring tools is often based on a number of factors. How many competitors are your monitoring? How far back are you going in time? How many Boolean Searches are provided? Ask about these areas. This will help you in selecting the right service and weeding out the ones that have limitations.
  5. WHAT ARE THE METRICS THAT MATTERS?  Mentions, Shared Posts, Share of Voice by media channel, Share of Voice vs key competitors, Authors, Fans Influence and Sentiment. These are some of the metrics that social media monitoring tools provide. To you to know them all. Or some of them. Which one are most important. This should be a key decision in choosing the right social media monitor tool for your business.
  6. WHO IS GOING TO ANALYZE THE DATA? Social media monitoring tools provide and organize the data. But they don’t provide they type of analysis necessary to create an action plan. People do. A resource who can work with the tool, understands it functionality and can the analytic work is required. In some cases, social media monitoring companies provide customer support. This is always a plus. This is also something to check if it is provided with the service or is an extra cost.
  7. WHAT ACTIONS ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE? Most important is what you are going to do with the data. Does the monitoring help create a better content strategy? PR strategy? Advertising strategy? Promotion Plan? Competitive intelligence? The breadth and depth of social monitoring required is helped greatly by knowing how the data is used. This enables you to create the most effective action plan and get the best value for the money you are likely to have to spend.

Are you thinking about social media monitoring tools for your business? Are these factors a help?

12 inspiring social media monitoring case studies 2

Posted on July 10, 2016 by Rob Petersen

social media monitoring case studies

  • 90% of marketers say social media is important to their businesses.
  • 68% analyze their social media activities.
  • Only 41% are able to measure their social activities. (Social Media Examiner)

The numbers indicate almost all businesses now rely on social media for marketing, but less than half can measure if it’s working.

Social media monitoring is the act of using a tool to listen and measure what is being said about a business or key topic on the internet; monitoring media not just from traditional publishers, but on the great majority of social sites too. Many providers have created tools to facilitate analysis of social media channels.

But before you pick a tool to analyze, shouldn’t you decide what’s most important to measure?

Here are 12 inspiring social media monitoring case studies.

  1. ARBY’S: Noticed comments through social media about meats other than roast beef.  This valuable feedback came from their own customers when they launched their “Meat Mountain” campaign poster showing all different meats other than roast beef. Their customers mistakenly thought it was a new sandwich and through social media, indicated they were anxious to try it. Thus the birth of Arby’s new $10 Meat Mountain sandwich.
  2. BARCLAY: Launched a mobile banking application called PingIt. In the days following the launch, Barclays made significant changes to the app as a result of real-time social media analysis. Sentiment Analysis revealed a small proportion of mentions were negative. It was quickly apparent that many users were unhappy the app didn’t work for under 18’s. It wasn’t only teenagers that were unhappy, but also parents that couldn’t transfer money to them. This could easily create a PR disaster, but the data allowed Barclays to act quickly. Within the week 16 and 17 year-olds were given access to the app, showing the business value of quick responsiveness to customer feedback.
  3. CISCO: Tracked ongoing topics, trends and sentiment to support short-term listening goals such as a launching a new business initiative, such as its sponsorship of the summer Olympics, or its annual trade show, Cisco Live. They got closer to our customers and focused on how to monitor, respond, and triage conversations. Cisco reported they achieved 281% ROI through social listening.
  4. DELL: Had a online community called Idea Storm. This was a community in which Dell invited customers to come and share ideas product improvements they want. To date, there have been close to 550 different ideas from this community that have been implemented in Dell products.
  5. GATORADE: Launched Mission Control, where they monitor social media posts 24 hours a day. It has improved their marketing. The company extended an “Evolve” 60-second ad tune into a full-length track available for download in response to frequent questions like “Who sings that song?” Gatorade also used Mission Control to bulk up production of its recovery drinks because of complaints it was selling out.
  6. H&M: Ran four major campaigns that each featured difference celebrity spokespeople. By measuring the volume of conversation following the campaigns, H&M found that the success of their endorsements depended on their geographical markets. It showed how different cultures and customs can affect how an audience receives your marketing campaigns. And how markets with limited engagement may benefit from a different approach.
  7. HP: Decided to turn directly to their customers to ask what how they wanted to be “fed.” HP customers were most concerned with the steady cadence of posts. They clearly stated that they didn’t want or need to hear from them everyday.  Rather, they wanted their content all at once, condensed and concise. HP created their own online magazine,, where customers could turn to once a month to get their dose of content.
  8. KMART: Measured online reactions from an ad released across different channels at different time periods. By comparing social media reactions (via sentiment and volume) across various networks, Kmart was able to determine the effectiveness of an advertisement online, on television, and the reaction after a follow-up advertisement.
  9. MONEYGRAM: A leading money transfer company, wanted to globally evaluate at a glance where the conversations about their industry, products and competitors were happening online. By monitoring the share of voice in the past month alongside the past week, analysts at MoneyGram are able to spot whether something has happened to shift the share trend and act accordingly. When MoneyGram launched their ‘Max’s World Adventures’ campaign – a fun, character-driven campaign aimed at children – they noticed a clear leap in their share of voice in that week, in comparison to their usual ‘normal’ share trend. They were then able to dive deeper into the data to see what exactly people thought of it was even more useful.
  10. NESTLE PURINA: Monitored Feed the Cattitude, an integrated campaign involving television spots, a landing page, a mobile app, and a Facebook page. Purina hoped to tap into conversation trends on the Feed the Cattitude Facebook page and on other social media venues. They monitored topics that generated the most conversation, engagement and sentiment to ensure the tone stayed positive.  Feed the Catittude rose to the top five most-engaged Facebook pages, as measured by SocialBakers. Nestlé Purina increased the impact of its paid search investment by aligning search terms with customer interest.
  11. PIZZA HUT: Used social media monitoring to make their marketing more effective. They posted several pieces of organic content, then tracked the conversation around it. That which got the most buzz is used more widely. Two very similar-looking posts, both shots of pizza, one was on a white background, the other on black. Because Pizza Hut was paying attention to the conversation, they saw that the black background shot was performing three times as well. This boosted the ROI of their ads by using that image.
  12. TV LAND: Listened to their own customers and decided to try posts of lyrics to TV theme songs or popular songs from the show era.  The results were incredibly positive. For Pinterest, they created images with quotes from the scripts of their shows and saw improved engagement.  TV Land learned through trial and error what their customers wanted to see that triggered their social engagement.

Do these case studies convince you of the value of social media monitoring? Would the right partner for social media monitoring help you?



Top 10 social media listening tools from fee to free 3

Posted on June 19, 2016 by Rob Petersen


social media listening tools

Social media listening tools identify and assess what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the internet. They are used to identify trends, track competitors, understand customer sentiment and discover insights for business building.

Whether it comes with a fee or is free, social media listening tools should be able to:

  • Listen for specific mentions across social media
  • Identify trending topics or phrases
  • Detail customer sentiment
  • Organize customer information
  • Identify thought leaders and influencers

Is this valuable for you business? What are the best ones? Why?

Here are our 10 top social media listening tools from fee to free.

social media listening tools sysomos

1. SYSOMOS: Is a comprehensive social media listening tools especially relevant for businesses with global reach. It can monitor 186 languages and translate 55. Sysomos is a platform comprised of products with specific roles. Sysomos Everything Together (SET) is an integrated social platform that brings together four of its leading products: 1) MAP – which identifies influencers, understanding customer sentiment, or tracking your own social strategies over time, 2) Heartbeat – to monitor, analyze, and understand all the conversations around specific topics all over the world, 3) Influence – helps identify the individuals that can amplify your message and encourages others to take action and 4) Optimize – to engage directly with your target audience is important for all advertisers. Sysomos requires a subscription licence based on the number of users. Subscription fees are monthly and can be purchase by product for a suite of products. Unlimited use of the Sysomos MAP with no restriction on the number of queries, topics or results and complete support and training of an Account Manager is $2,500/month. For Sysomos Heartbeat, $500/month and $1,000/month for Heartbeat Pro to give you an idea.

social listening tools visible technologies

2.VISIBLE TECHNOLOGIES: Is an online social reputation management and social media software solution for enterprise marketers and agencies worldwide. Visible Technologies uses two sentiment-analysis techniques for an accuracy of 80 to 90 percent. The company operates Visible Intelligence, a technology platform that focuses on social media monitoring, data analytics and insights, and customer engagement areas. Its platform also facilitates guided search navigation; repeatable search categories, such as demographics, segments, and attributes; post scheduling; reach analytics; advanced filtering; and scheduled reports. Pricing is monthly subscription requiring a one-year contract. It is one of the more expensive option because you are paying for unlimited search. Pricing starts at $12,000/year.

social listening tools salesforce social studio

3, SALESFORCE: Is a social media management solution designed to build and maintain relationship throughout the “customer journey.” Salesforce Social Studio is keyword based so it is important to know the topics, subjects and brands you are listening for. Salesforce Social Studio help are to listen more effectively across multiple platforms. Social Studio draws tech strengths from Radian6 including social customer monitoring and engagement as well as management across multiple social channels. Social Studio is also used for scheduling posts, customer engagement and social media publishing. Social Studio is cloud based operating on an annual contract. It has channels for email, mobile, ads, and web it addition to Social Studio that helps brands listen, engage, and publish on social networks. Pricing starts at $15,000/year and is determined based on the number of users, brands and keywords.

social listening tools brandwatch

4. BRANDWATCH: Is a platform for social media monitoring, allowing you to analyze and utilize conversations from across the social web.  From social media monitoring to functions such as investor relations, public affairs and media relations, Brandwatch integrates data from a wide variety of area into telling dashboards. Online focus groups can even be set up. Brandwatch is one of the strongest social media anayltics tools you can find. Its pricing is going to be a little out of reach for small businesses but it is an excellent social media listening tool for mid-sized business on up. Pricing starts at $800/month.

social listening tools viralheat

5. VIRALHEAT: Encompasses every aspect of social media monitoring by providing a very handy solution that allows you insight into how your competitors are performing, who they are engaging with and which users are the big influencers. You can monitor and analyze in real-time and you’ve got a powerful base to create conversations or join conversations that are happening right now. You can also drill deeper into the monitoring of your brand by comparing keywords and monitoring any current trends. ViralHeat was acquired by Cision to build out the most comprehensive suite to build out the most comprehensive suite of social media tools. It is still available on a stand-along basis. Pricing is on a monthly subscription basis. It starts at $9/month and is based on the number of users.

social listening tools simply measured

6. SIMPLYMEASURED: Is one of the best single-source solution for web and social analytics out there. SimplyMeasured consolidates metrics into a single, easy-to-use reporting dashboard make to make things easy to digest when sharing metrics across the organisation. Simply Measured is fully compatible with mobiles and tablets. The layout fits perfectly on mobile and tablet, regardless of screen size, with a fully responsive design that looks as gorgeous as the web view on a desktop. Pricing is monthly and starts at $500/month.

social listening tools sprout social

7. SPROUTSOCIAL: Makes managing multiple platforms simple by allowing you to schedule, post, and follow up on users. It creates an ability to find new users and search by topics so you can find new followers and topics to keep up with. Sprout Social’s dashboards is very clean and organized. Sprout Social offers excellent integration with Google Analytics as well as excellent customer service. Pricing is monthly, reasonable with opportunities to trade up as needed. For a business that is serious about social media monitoring but not yet ready to make a major financial investment, Sproutsocial should be a strong consideration. They offer a free trial. On an annual basis, costs are in the area of $3,000 for use by a team of 4.

social listening tools hootsuite

8. HOOTSUITE: Is one of the more popular social media management platforms and probably the most popular with small buisnesses. A primary advantage of Hootsuite is that it connects to virtually every social network. So if you want to run, manage and monitor campaigns on multiple social network, Hootsuite does it simply. The interface on HootSuite is organized by tabs allowing users to divide engagement activity into social networks and streams. The number of social networks that Hootsuite users have access to is determined by their account level: Free, Pro, or Enterprise. The Free version is limited to three networks. Their Pro version is $9.99/month.

social listening tools addictomatic

9. ADDICTOMATIC: Searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. Twazzup, Addict-o-matic and SocialMention are three free platforms that allow you to measure your social media mentions instantly with the buzz on any topic. Addictomatic is a discovery platform. After you search, you can personalize your results dashboard by moving around the source boxes. When you’re done, bookmark the page and keep coming back to your personalized results dashboard for that search.

social listening tools social searcher

10. SOCIAL SEARCHER: Social Searcher is also a social search engine. But Social Searcher also provides you with access to some interesting analytical tools, such as sentiment (in terms of positive, negative, neutral and ratio), the source of the content that you have found: Content, types of result (links, photographs, status updates), keywords (1 word, 2 words, 3 words) and popular content (such as retweeted tweets). You can use Social Searcher free for 100 real time searches per day. The basic version allows 200 searches per day going through to the professional version at 800 searches per day, based on network usage. Costs go from €3.49 per month to €19.49 a month.

Did you know about these social media listening tools? Are there any you would add or delete in your top 10? Do you need help identifying the right social media listening tool for your business?

Top 14 social media metrics and tools to track them 0

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Rob Petersen



social media metrics

  • 92% of marketers say social media is important to their business (Social Media Examiner)
  • 73% plan to increase spending on marketing analytics (The CMO Survey)
  • Only 42% are able to measure their social activities (Social Media Examiner)

If social media is so important, why are most marketers unable to measure it? Do they need to know the social media metrics that matter and how they are monitored?

Here are the top 14 social media metrics and the tools to track them.

  1. KEYWORDS: Smart keywords choices and placement on social networks give your brand a better chance of being found. Consumers that are exposed to a brand on social media are 180% more likely to search for that brand on search engines according to a Group M study. Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner are two tools to use; the former identifies keywords that people are searching with increasing search interest and the latter provides their monthly keyword volume.
  2. INBOUND LINKS: Social media links from blog posts and social posts are another primary means of raising social and search presence. These come from blog posts and social posts. Track the number of links pointing to your website and/or blog, and examine the source of new links. Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz and are great inbound tracking services. They are also free if that’s any additional motivation.
  3. SERP (SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE): Social network pages are web pages too. If search interest is increasing, social networks show up in search results doubling or tripling chances of being found. The more entries there are the better, especially in high-ranking positions. What’s My SERP has SERP Checker that’s easy to use. Tracking SERP is an important way to see progress.
  4. REACH: Reach is the potential audience for a message based on total follower count (Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn followers, total Likes on your Facebook page). If your boards have 1,000 followers on Pinterest, then each of your pins could potentially reach 1,000 people. Facebook considers a post reaches someone when it’s shown in that person’s News Feed. Through Facebook Insights, Facebook provides “total reach,” which includes the number of unique people who saw any activity from a Page as well as paid vs. organic reach.
  5. ENGAGEMENT: Actions such as Like, Share, Comment, ReTweet and Favorite measures how much and how often others interact with you and your content in social media. Radian6 and SimplyMeasured are tools that show the percentage of people reached who engage in your content, how they respond and the differences by social network.
  6. SHARE OF VOICE: Reach and Engagement are important to know not only about your brand but your competitors. Quite often, a smaller brand with a lower level of Reach can distinguish itself by displaying a higher level of Engagement to the benefit of their business.
  7. SENTIMENT: A “Sentiment Analysis” tells you if the people who comments are saying positive, negative or neutral things. It’s done by computer for each social network and expressed as a ratio of positive/negative. A “Sentiment Analysis” provides direction for your communications strategy. Social-Searcher has excellent social analytics, including “Sentiment Analysis,” anyone can use.
  8. COST PER CLICK (CPC): If you’re paying for ads, the measurement that makes them equivalent is Cost Per Click (CPC). It helps to have a value in mind. CPC also lets you know what others are willing to pay. CPC helps determine what the cost of a conversion is and the return on the ad investment (ROAI).
  9. CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR): The relevance of your ad is determined by its Click Through Rate; that is, the number of clicks divided by impression or screens it is seen each time the ad is served. An ad buy on any social network shows the CPCs and CTRs.
  10. VISITS/UNIQUE VISITORS: According to Shareaholic, Facebook now drives 23% of referral traffic to a website. It’s important to know just how much traffic is coming to a website from people who have gotten to know you on social networks. This is easy to see from Google Analytics, perhaps the best social media measurement tool of them all. Use Google Analytics to measure the remaining top metrics (11-14) on this list.
  11. BOUNCE RATE: The percent of people who get to your website, view one page and leave is the Bounce Rate. It’s considered one of the best metrics to gauge a website’s relevance. It’s a key metric to know in general and to compare to the Bounce Rate of those who come from social networks.
  12. TRAFFIC SOURCES: The percent of people who come to your website from social networks can be easily found in Google Analytics. People like to business with people they know. Traffic Sources are a primary indicator if social media efforts are succeeding in sending people to your website.
  13. KEY CONTENT: Once consumers are on your website, you’ll want to know where they go. Look at Key Content to find out their areas of interest and to get ideas for content to communicate on social networks.
  14. CONVERSIONS: The metric that has the highest business value and relates most directly to return on investment (ROI) is Conversions. This is defined as the desired outcome (buy, download, view, subscribe) divided by Visits. Because Conversions are so important, there may be more than one. The one that is closest to direct revenue is the Macro Conversion; others that lead Macro Conversion are called Micro Conversion. Together, they define buying behaviors for your brand.

To help you know the best days of the week and time of day to publish your content on social network and maximize success, here is an article from Nora Flint at TruConversion to guide you.

Did this show you what metrics matter in social media and how to measure them? Do your business need a measurement strategy and plan to help manage social media success?

15 reasons Google Analytics is #1 tool for social media monitoring 16

Posted on December 30, 2012 by Rob Petersen




Social Media Monitoring Dashboard

Social media monitoring (or social media listening) is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand. The 10-top social media monitoring tools are:

  1. Sysomos
  2. Radian 6
  3. Lithium
  4. Collective Intellect
  5. Alterian SM2
  6. uberVU
  7. ViralHeat
  8. Brandwatch
  9. Beevolve
  10. Trendr

Source: Top Ten Review (price range from $1,500/month to $90/month).

However, once companies license social media software:

  • 34% say they are “happy” and “couldn’t have made a better decision”
  • 60% say they are “ok” but “if something better came along they’d consider it”
  • 6% are “frustrated” and “are looking to make a switch”

Source: Oneforty and KissMetrics

Maybe it’s not the data it’s what you do with it.

Google Analytics didn’t make this list. You may think it’s a tool for monitoring website behavior, not social media behavior. Isn’t that the point? Social media puts more control in consumer’s hand and enables them to learn about your business on their terms. If social media is working, the first place consumers are likely to go is your website.

Here are 15 reasons Google Analytics is #1 tool for social media monitoring

  1. GIVES COMPLETE PICTURE Show all the places where your target audience comes from on the internet through Traffic Sources: Search, Referral (Social Media, Email) and Direct
  2. SHOWS KEYWORDS PEOPLE USE TO FIND YOU: Identifies Keyword Flow to provide direction on words to be used in social media posts
  3. IDENTIFIES WHERE THEY COME FROM: Provides location and geography where visitors come from
  4. TELLS THE DEVICE THEY USE: Lets you know whether a computer or mobile device was used as well as the browser
  5. POINTS OUT MOST INTERESTING CONTENT: Identifies Key Content  that drives the most visitors
  6. IDENTIFIES CONTRIBUTION FROM EACH SOCIAL NETWORK: Shows the visitors that come from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+
  7. SHOWS LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT FROM EACH SOCIAL NETWORK: Shows how much time visitors from each social network spend, how many pages they view and percent who viewed more that one page (Bounce Rate):
  8. LETS YOU KNOW HOW TO ALLOCATE RESOURCES: Once you know who is coming and from where, you can compare how you are allocating resources to manage your department more effectively and efficiently.
  9. GUIDES RIGHT MARKETING MIX: Social media is meant to be an integrated part of your marketing program. Now that you know how and what the contribution from each marketing channel is, you can decide on the right marketing mix for better business effectiveness.
  10.  IDENTIFIES YOUR ADVOCATES: Lets you know the websites that write about your business or link to your website the most
  11. MEASURES ACTIONS CONSUMERS TAKE: Accounts for more actions (e.g. email sign up, downloads, video views, purchase) to draw a closer correlation between online behaviors and sales
  12. SHOW HOW MANY CONVERT: Every business should want consumers to take a specific action. Google Analytics lets you know the Conversion Rate.
  13. PROVES RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): Once you know conversion rate or, if you sell directly from your website, sales, you can know the return on investment both overall and for each media channel, including social media.
  14. TRACKS SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS: Tracks the effectiveness of Social Media Campaigns.
  15. IS FREE: Price should not a factor for choosing a tool to measure business effectiveness, but Google Analytics is free.

Companies should go into social media with a business goal, and an understanding of the resources required to achieve it. Since social media is still a relatively new channel, this isn’t always clear. In which case, you should consider a measurement tool that can be counted on for guidance.

Would you consider Google Analytics for social media monitoring on your business?


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