Social Media Measurement: Decisions, Decisions

9 Oct

When deciding on what tool to use for social media measurement there are a few key things to consider; for a start there are different types of tools, ranging in detail of response, price and the level of input needed to produce results. I have just began my experience with social media measurement and have found it useful working with a few when on placement last year, I will discuss these and a few others I have researched a long the way.

Firstly there are tools that provide research and data information; these focus on giving the user the information they need for planning and reporting on campaigns. They work hard to capture large amount of reliable data to monitor trends for a query provided by the user, these tools often require a little more work from the user but do produce reliable results e.g. Brandwatch and Sysomos.

Then there are the tools that do a lot of the hard work for the user including producing reports, topic tracking and measuring engagement. These tools are more detailed in the information you gain but often don’t accommodate for long history searches and can be lacking in quality and reliability e.g. Radian6

The final type of tool I have researched is used for monitoring and engagement, they work in real time to allow the user to follow and respond to social media issues. Again, they don’t have as much reliability as some measurement platforms but do introduce a good method of interaction on social media networks e.g. Hootsuite and Conversocial.

Here are a few examples of all three types of social media monitoring tools:

Brandwatch: I used this tool on work placement at MediaCom and found it to be a useful device when compiling reports for clients. It uses a distributed crawler to fetch data and content relating to a query created by the user. Brandwatch also cleans the data and analyses it through query matching and sentiment analysis. All this provides a good base of knowledge to construct a report for a client on their social media activities. I found you can personalise the tool through creating niche queries and the information returned can be backtracked for months.

Sysomos MAP: Sysomos is another tool I used on work placement to help me with reporting on certain clients, I found this measurement platform the most valuable to use whilst at MediaCom. It applies automated intelligence based on location, key contributors to conversations, time and demographics to produce detailed results. Feedback from Sysomos is easy to understand and is very detailed especially when coming to examine demographics, I enjoyed working with this tool with its adaptability to cater and retrieve results for many brands I worked with.

Radian6: I have had a brief experience with this quick and simple measurement tool. It too uses a crawler to gather information surrounding a brand returning results detailing location, demographics, influencers and key themes in online conversation. This measurement platform is good when looking at a brand in comparison with its competitors. Radian6 also allows a user to respond to a comment left on a social media network without leaving the comfort of the dashboard.

Conversocial: I used this tool when managing Facebook pages for brands; it implements a fast and secure service that aids the user in moderating and managing a Facebook or Twitter account. The manageability aspect makes it unique from the other tools examined, however, the results returned are very basic and not cluttered with heavy detail; the main forms of feedback consider fan activity and sentiment analyisis. This is a good tool to use for basic analysis and engagement purposes, Conversocial has also suggested they may be adding YouTube to their analytic abilities soon.

Vocus: I have no personal experience in working with this tool but have researched the products available; Vocus offers a specialised PR suite that “helps you tell your story online, across social networks and through the media. It helps build connections, share news, engage influencers, monitor everything, and measure and share your results.” The tool offers a large database and allows users to distribute news as well as monitor it and help brands keep up to date with trends within their industry.

Hootsuite: This is another tool I have little experience using, however my colleagues at MediaCom would often recommend it to members of the agency and clients. The tool is similar to Conversocial in the respect it is particularly useful for Twitter and Facebook but it also acts as a mini social network within itself. All Hootsuite users can send messages to each other, which can be useful within a team of people managing the same account/brand. Again, the feedback available is basic but perfect for small reports, and means the dashboard is easily usable through the Hootsuite mobile application. Hootsuite also pulls in information from Google Analytics and Facebook Insights  into the customisable dashboard.

I hope this has given you a bit of an insight into social media monitoring/measurement and some of the tools available to use, please comment with any others you know about or have used. Will post more PR research soon!

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