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?

10 best tools for Sentiment Analysis from free to fee 0

Posted on January 02, 2017 by Rob Petersen

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis extracts relevant actionable information and “overall” attitude of customers toward specific product, service or topics from unstructured  data without reading thousands of documents manually, thus saving valuable time and resources.

Sentiment Analysis is a key metric in many industries for gauging reaction to a new product or services, identifying major difficulties that customers are experiencing in a product, identifying root causes of quality issues and gaining inputs for marketing campaigns. Many consider Sentiment Analysis an essential element for any company doing Social Media Monitoring. Here is a comprehensive guide to Sentiment Analysis.

Is a Sentiment Analysis something that has value for your business? Then, here are the 10 best tools for a Sentiment Analysis from fee to free.

Apache NiFi - Sentiment Analysis

APACHE HADOOP: Is an open source framework for distributed storage and processing of large sets of data on commodity hardware. Hadoop enables businesses to quickly gain insight from massive amounts of structured and unstructured data. A wide variety of companies and organizations use Hadoop for both research and production. Apache NiFi supports powerful and scalable directed graphs of data routing and transformation.

Brandwatch - Sentiment Analysis

BRANDWATCH: Get deep insights into consumer opinion on any topic from across the social web. Brandwatch can deliver a huge amount of data for analysis. Its extensive filters and customizable reports make that data easy to analyze and put to use for marketing campaigns, product research and reputation management. It’s especially good for agencies or businesses with multiple users with different needs.

Cision - Sentiment Analysis

CISION: Monitor conversations across social channels including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Foursquare, and more. Identify performance trends and insights with social media listening. Manage and track your brand’s reputation by exploring what people are saying about your business across a variety of social platforms. Identify leads, gauge the impact of your tactics and determine how you stack up against the competition.

Critical Mention - Sentiment Analysis

CRITICAL MENTION: Analyzes your saved searches so you can gain qualitative and quantitative insight into media coverage. Benchmark against competitors, drill in on stories with negative and positive sentiment, spot themes using word clouds, and visualize density of coverage on maps.

Google Alerts - Sentiment Analysis

GOOGLE ALERTS: Is a free, simple and very useful way to monitor your search queries. I use it to track “content marketing” and get regular email updates on the latest relevant Google results. This is a good starting point for tracking influencers, trends and competitors.

Hootsuite - Sentiment Analysis

HOOTSUITE: A great freemium tool that allows you to manage and measure your social networks. Understand how people feel about your brand and then easily filter results by location, language, and gender—for a multi-dimensional view of your market segments. Hootsuite Insights accesses real-time data from over 100 million sources in 50+ languages across 25+ social networks and other platforms.

`Hortonworks - Sentiment Analysis

HORTONWORKS: Enable an organization to manage all data, data-in-motion and data-at-rest to empower action intelligence for your organization whether the data is in the data center or in cloud. Hortonworks uses Hive to analyze the social sentiment after we have finished collecting our data from Apache NiFi. Meltwater - Sentiment Analysis

MELTWATER: Assess the tone of the commentary as a proxy for brand reputation and uncover new insights that help you understand your target audience. Stay on top of billions of real-time editorial, blog, and social media conversations, and extract the insights you need to understand and drive brand perception for your company.

OpenText - Sentment Analysis

OPEN TEXT: Sentiment Analysis module is a specialized classification engine used to identify and evaluate subjective patterns and expressions of sentiment within textual content. The analysis is performed at the topic, sentence, and document level and is configured to recognize if the opinion expressed within these pieces of content are positive, negative, mixed, or neutral. Combining machine learning with natural language processing techniques, the OpenText Sentiment Analysis module is one of the most powerful engines available out of the box.

Statsoft - Sentiment Analysis

STATSOFT: Sentiment Analysis Solution provides cutting-edge analysis tools allowing innovative businesses to extract meaningful patterns and information through Statistica’s powerful state-of-the-art Statistical Natural Language Processing methods (SNLP).  With Statistica advanced modeling algorithms and massively parallel and in-memory processing, SNLP can be applied easily to large volumes of documents in virtually any databases and repositories to efficiently score large numbers of records.

Sentiment Analysis plays an important role in the measurement of any communication program. Are these tools you would use for Sentiment Analysis? Would you include any others?

12 best web analytic tools any business could want 2

Posted on July 18, 2016 by Rob Petersen

web analytic tools

Web Analytics tools are used to collect, measure and analyze web data. Web analytics tools are not just for measuring web traffic. They are used to:

  • Find your audience on the internet
  • Attract them to your website and understand behaviors
  • Learn from competitors
  • Test new ideas
  • See where your audience goes and what they tell others

With this knowledge, any company has a blueprint to improve business. Plus invaluable market research.

What are the best web analytics tools?

Here the 12 best web analytic tools any business could want.

FIND YOUR AUDIENCE: The best way is to find your audience is to identify the keywords they query that are likely to drive them to your unique product or service. Here’s how to find your audience on the internet.

  • GOOGLE TRENDS: Has cataloged every keywords ever searched on Google and displayed it as a graph showing the term’s popularity over time in (nearly) real time. The graph can be examined by countries, regions, cities and customized time periods to name just a few of its features.
  • GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER: Provides traffic estimates of the Average Monthly Search Volume of keywords as well as ideas on others. You can even give the Google Keyword Planner a link to your website or landing page and it provides keyword ideas on what it thinks your website is about.
  • SEO BOOK RANK CHECKER: Want to know where your website ranks for your keywords? SEO Book Rank Checker tells you for Google, Bing and Yahoo. Plus, the Firefox Rank Checker extension allows you to easily check your website rankings from your browser.

ATTRACT THEM TO YOUR WEBSITE AND UNDERSTAND BEHAVIORS: A visitor’s behavior and drivers and conversions are critical to achieving business goals. Here’s are the best tools to understand website behaviors.

  • GOOGLE ANALYTICS: Tracks and reports website traffic – how much, where it comes from, what is most viewed and does your audience take desired actions. Google Analytics’ approach is to show high-level, dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set. Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.
  • ADOBE MARKETING CLOUD: Is a collection of integrated online marketing and Web analytics products by Adobe Systems. It is a comprehensive marketing solution which enables marketers to measure, personalize and optimize marketing campaigns for optimal marketing performance.
  • GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE: Optimizes visibility of a website. It helps to monitor and maintain your site’s presence in search results by letting you know how many pages are found (or Indexed) on search engine, what websites are sending traffic to your website through Inbound Links and keywords that result is clicks to your website.

LEARN FROM COMPETITORS: Competitors are a valuable source of comparison and learning. Here are best tools to analyze and learn from your competitors.

  • SIMILAR WEB: Uses big data technologies to collect, measure, analyze and provide user engagement statistics for websites and mobile apps. It collects data from panel of web surfers made of millions of anonymous users equipped with a portfolio of apps, browser plugins, desktop extensions and software.
  • ALEXA: Also estimates and ranks traffic based on the browsing behavior of people in their global data panel which is a sample of all internet users. Alexa measures closely align to Google Analytics for many metrics.
  • WEB TRENDS: Analyzes confusing data gathered from websites and transforms it into actionable information that can be used to optimize web traffic and campaign ROI. They look for opportunities that other providers may have missed and act on them before competitors have a chance.

TEST NEW IDEAS: To improve the success of your effort, you’ll want to test new idea. And it can be done in ways that measure and prove the impact of your initiatives.

  • OPTIMIZELY: Gives businesses the ability to conduct A/B testing, in which two versions of a page can be compared for performance. Multivariate testing can also be done. Optimizely enables personalization, which can be used for making data-driven decisions. It meets the diverse needs of thousands of customers worldwide looking to deliver connected experiences to their audiences across channels.

SEE WHERE THEY GO AND WHAT THEY TELL OTHERS,  What people say about your brand has an important impact on your business and brand reputation. Here’s are some of best tools available to listen and measure social channels.

  • CISION: Monitors conversations to see where the discussion about your brand is taking place, what’s being said and who is leading it. With Cision social software, a single dashboard provides valuable insights to position your brand against the competition.
  • BRANDWATCH: Examines data from millions of sources, from social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to news, blogs and even product reviews. It can deliver a huge amount of data for analysis. Its extensive filters and customizable reports make that data easy to analyze and put to use for marketing campaigns, product research and reputation management.

Do these tools give you a complete picture of web analytics and the best tools to use? Are there any others that you would include? Do you need a partner to manage and guide your business with web analytics?


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?



31 crystal-clear facts support Social Media Intelligence 0

Posted on July 20, 2015 by Rob Petersen



social media intelligency

Social Media Intelligence is the collective use of monitoring, listening tools and solutions that allow organizations to monitor social channels and conversations, respond to social signals and synthesize social data points into meaningful trends and analysis.

Benefits companies realize from Social Media Intelligence are:

  • Audience Segmentation
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Trend Analysis
  • Brand Analysis
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Retention
  • Customer Service
  • On-Line Research
  • Key Influencer Identification
  • Community Building
  • Company Productivity

These benefits suggest Social Media Intelligence can transform the way a company does business.

Do you think so? If these aren’t enough, here are 31 crystal-clear facts to support a company’s use of Social Media Intelligence.

  1. 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content (NewsCred)
  2. 86% of U.S. adults interact with social media in some way (Forrester)
  3. 85% of customer relationships with an enterprise will occur without interacting with a human by 2020. (Target Marketing)
  4. 85% of B2B buyers believe companies should present information via social networks (Iconsive)
  5. 78% of companies now say they have dedicated social media teams, up from 67% in 2012 (i-SCOOP)
  6. 75% of companies do not know where their most valuable customer are talking about them (Harvard Business Review)
  7. 75% of US marketers believe customer response management on digital channels is important (eMarketer)
  8. 75% of small businesses use social media to promote their businesses—more than any other category of media (BIA/Kelsey)
  9. 72% of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit (McKinsey)
  10. 71% of companies ignore customer complaint on Twitter (Convince and Convert)
  11. 70% of marketers used Facebook to gain new customers (Jeff Bullas)
  12. 67% of potential value of social media lies in improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises (McKinsey)
  13. 67% of marketers say increasing sales directly attributable to digital marketing campaigns is a top priority this year (Forbes)
  14. More than 60% of Internet-connected individuals in the US now engage on social media platforms every day (Bain & Company)
  15. 60% of companies monitor employees’ social media use (Gartner)
  16. 60% of corporations have programs in place to monitor social media accounts — including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn — for security breaches and data leaks (Gartner)
  17. 53% of marketers rank content creation as the single most effective SEO tactic (NewsCred)
  18. Over 50% of all mobile searches lead to a purchase. (Rocket Post)
  19. 50% of millennials use their smartphones to research products or services while shopping, and 41% have made purchases using their phones (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)
  20. 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases (Jeff Bullas)
  21. 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type for marketing (NewsCred)
  22. 34% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain active blogs – the largest share since 2008. (Forbes)
  23. 31% do not measure the effectiveness of social media (Harvard Business Review)
  24. 25% of US Marketers believe it is okay to ignore consumers on social media (eMarketer)
  25. 23% are using social analytic tools (Harvard Business Review)
  26. Only 20% of CMOs leverage social networks to engage with customers (Marketing Land)
  27. Only 7% of company say they integrate social media into their marketing activities (Harvard Business Review)
  28. There are 27 million pieces of content shared each day (NewsCred)
  29. Each month, 329 million people read blogs (NewsCred)
  30. “Interesting content” is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media (NewsCred)
  31. Social media marketing budgets are projected to double over the next five years (Social Fresh)

If your company is using social media, are you doing any social media intelligence? Do these facts help convince you that you should? Are you ready to begin?

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