Tools for gathering information from social media platforms are cropping up everywhere.
Social media monitoring tools track customer activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, and they are a good way to gain insight into new and existing customer preferences, to promote a brand or to strategically market a new product.
But this sunny view of the power of social media analytics has to be tempered with the reality of a highly splintered landscape. There are so many monitoring tools, and many are just point solutions, not all-encompassing suites with a broad range of capabilities, which makes for a fragmented market and, frankly, a confusing one.
"There are tools of all shapes and sizes," said Scott Robinson, a SharePoint and BI expert. "The problem is that social media is so big and broad and the possibility for tools out there is so many, it's awfully confusing just to sort through the tools to make a choice for your organization."
"Analytics are the big thing we can do now to be competitive. But the problem is ... you almost have to get a complete education in analytics to choose your first monitoring package," he said. "That's a real disadvantage for the newcomer. A lot of organizations want to get into the game and make themselves competitive with the big boys. But the learning curve is horrendous."
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