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.
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.
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This was first published in February 2014