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Five key questions about social media monitoring and analytics

For companies that want to derive business value from social media monitoring and analytics, our expert has answers.

Social media monitoring and analytics have grown increasingly important as companies use them to communicate with

customers and achieve greater visibility in the marketplace. But businesses can use these tools for more than company branding and exposure. They can also drive smarter business decisions and improve products and services.

Keeping tabs on customers' conversations on social platforms can help companies bolster marketing efforts, but when combined with a business intelligence strategy, social media monitoring tools and strategies can also be used internally to mine data that gives insight about employee activities. With a holistic plan, gathering and analyzing social media information can help businesses strike out in new, valuable directions.

But companies have plenty of questions about how to get the best return on investment in social media monitoring, which involves selecting the right tools from a complex market in flux. Here are some common questions about social media monitoring and analytics, answered by SharePoint and BI expert Scott Robinson.

Benefits

1. How can use of social media monitoring extend beyond just measuring "likes" and traffic?

Social media data isn't just raw numbers -- the conversations on social media platforms are text-based and rich with sentiment. That inherent complexity is the basis of both the challenges and the benefits of social media monitoring.

Outsourcing

2. What are the pros and cons of using a social media monitoring service, as opposed to performing social media monitoring in-house?

Companies that lack in-house social monitoring expertise may want to outsource data gathering to a service provider, but there are some caveats to keep in mind.

Tools

3. How can organizations successfully navigate the social media monitoring market when it's so fragmented and features so many point solutions?

The number of social media monitoring options can be overwhelming, especially because choosing a monitoring tool is but the first step in a larger analytics strategy. Here are some considerations to prevent costly mistakes.

SharePoint analytics

4. SharePoint 2013's analytics features provide companies insight into user trends and preferences. How can companies apply these tools internally?

SharePoint 2013 has updated social media features and out-of-the-box analytics tools that allow enterprises to mine their internal users' social activities for useful information.

Mistakes

5. What kinds of common mistakes do organizations make with social media monitoring and analytics?

Even the most advanced social media monitoring and analytics tools can be useless without a comprehensive plan that takes these issues into account.

This was first published in May 2014

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