Social media monitoring services vs. do-it-yourself analytics

Many enterprises are analyzing social media conversation on their own but could benefit from enlisting a social media monitoring service instead.

Social media monitoring is rapidly becoming a key business intelligence essential. Getting continuous feedback from customers makes it indispensable for companies in responding to the marketplace and in planning for the future. But getting the data companies really need is difficult, and analyzing it once we've collected the data can be even trickier.

Scott RobinsonScott Robinson

As powerful as these tools can be, there are several downsides to a do-it-yourself approach.

"If I'm out there and I've decided to get into social media monitoring, I've got an awfully big curve ahead of me. It's a mistake to look at social media monitoring and think that any raw numbers that I pull in will be strategically useful," said Scott Robinson, a SharePoint and BI expert. "I need to have a strategic notion of what to do with the information going in [and] where to be looking for the data. Making the wrong choices about where to look for information can be disastrous."

Some companies may make best use of social media monitoring data by hiring a service to manage the process and to enlist people like community managers to stimulate conversation. "It's not enough just to listen; you also have to talk," Robinson said.

To check out the rest of the podcast, listen here.

This was last published in February 2014

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Does your organization use a social media monitoring service to help analyze the conversation. If so, why?
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We do - it's crucial to finding out what people are saying about our products and content, and helps us adjust quickly, correct mistakes and make sure we're providing what our users want. The fact that we can address these issues in near real-time, rather than a week later, helps with offering the best information possible.
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The decision about whether to hire an outside service or do things internally is a big one. You need to make sure that the team that is monitoring understands your industry so that they will know what's useful and what's not - and will be able to respond quickly and with confidence.
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