Why monitor Social Media?

Customer Satisfaction and public relationships departments are increasingly becoming aware of the need to monitor Social Media surrounding their brands, products, services, company name and key personnel. Failure to react appropriately to negative public sentiment can be disastrous for a brand or a product.  There are many articles on this blog that document how organizations have had to react to negative customer sentiment found in Social Media.  How to do that work in today’s world of Social Media, complaint sites, Sidewiki and blogs, is a challenge.  Some trends and tools and services are starting to emerge.

What is Social Media Monitoring?

Social media is a broad term that covers Blogs, sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and many many others, along with Complaint sites and Sidewiki. As of this writing according to Blogpulse,  there are over 126 Million Blogs, over 50,ooo new blogs added in the last 24 hours. There is a need to

How to Monitor.

1. Listen

Generally speaking the process involved to track Social Media sentiment is to start with Listening. There are millions of blogs, social media entries, and news sites, etc. There is a need to gather the data. It can be done by staff in an organization with various tools that I have heard of  like Social Mention, Compete.com, Social Radar, Backtype, Twitter Search, Tweetmeme, Tweetbeep, Google Alerts,  Addictomatic etc . Maybe that is too many tools to learn and determine which apply and how to aggregate them.

2. Gather Metrics and Report

Start gathering metrics about marketing campaigns, products and brand sentiment. Start reporting them on a regular basis and adjust frequency of reporting based on data coming in and its volatility. Are things swinging wildly from day to day, or week to week?  If so, you need frequent reporting. Start monitoring and reporting in short intervals and adjust reporting based on events in your organization, new product launches, changes in your industry or natural or political events.

3. Analyze  Data and Shape Strategies

As the data reporting starts to show trends or possible crisis feedback, be prepared to research the cause of the data. Shape your strategies and action plans and plan your response and timing.

4. Use Social Media to Engage

Social media can be a new avenue to engage key influencer. Some social media monitoring processes can determine WHO are the thought leaders and key influencers in your industry or market segment.  Your responses should be sure to include these thought leaders. Your organization may want to create relationships with these folks, both for the purpose of understanding the feedback,to determine appropriate actions and to use their ‘voice’ to help resolve dissatisfaction.

Here are some additional services and tools to watch. Some are cross industry and there is an emerging trend to get more ‘niche’ oriented, ie to focus on a single industry or niche. The reason for that is that  broad based sentiment analysis tools don’t do a good job due to industry jargon. Industry sentiment analysis will be more accurate as jargon can be included in the tool.

Cross Industry:

(Note I am not affiliated with any of these, nor do I recommend one over the other).

1. Sysomos Business Intelligence for Social Media

2. Radian6 Platform to Listen, Measure and Engage

3. Alterian Understand your customers and engage with your audience

4. Blogpulse Tracks ‘what’s hot’  in Blogs

5. Crimson Hexagon Understand what the online conversation really means for your brand

6. Yahoo Pipes A composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.

There is speculations that Google will get into this area with an offering in the future. It promises to be an interesting area to watch.

Industry Oriented:

I found one but expect to see more.

Scanbuzz : Social Media Monitoring Platform for the Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Biotechnology Industries.

What should you do now?

1. This is a rapidly changing

2. Every organization needs to get started and pick a strategy to go with.

3. Modify and adjust over time.

Future trends.

Here’s an interesting Slide show by Marshall Sponder that covers the Future of Social Media Monitoring

I welcome your comments, suggestions, additional information you may have found and feedback on the value of this article. If you would like to receive more articles like this one, sign up below.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

One Response to “Social Media Monitoring and Sentiment Analysis”

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