Social media monitoring is a practice of gathering, managing and analysing stakeholder data from social media sources, blogs, and traditional media sources, and use of that data to affect and supplement initiatives across the various departments within the organization.
The social media monitoring should stretch across multiple business units and functions including marketing, customer service, communications, market research, product development, management etc. In this aspect, the purpose of social media monitoring tools is to be able to deliver business value to various business units across the organization.
The typical use cases that are tapping into the 6 major areas of social listening are the following:
The simple signal capture where the social media monitoring tool is deployed usually within one department and services other departments on their inquiries of brand performance, sentiment of different products or services, or customer complaints.
The system's primary purpose is to capture a specific signal across social media and the uptake of the signal by a larger audience. For this purpose, the tools can be deployed as general purpose tools and do not need to be modified for specifics of different departments.
For tools to be suitable for this use case, they need to be easy to use, setup and provide the standard metrics.
The advanced signal capture use case is a scaled variant of the simple signal capture where the social media signal is captured, forwarded into the organization and activated depending on a context.
It usually revolves around a brand or product monitoring for different departments within the organization. This use case would cover typical brand reputation, product or service monitoring situations where social signals are captured assessed and fed into an information loop.
In this case, the Social Media Monitoring tools constitute an essential part of the workflow between several departments that interact at the same time.
In order for the tools to be able to manage these different activities; they must be able to offer advanced functionalities in terms of flow monitoring, assignment and mission follow-up.
The customer insights use case relies on the ability of social media monitoring tools to tap into an audience of interest, assess the characteristics of the audience group, identify influencers and main topics of interest which are business relevant. The Social Listening team, usually centralized or ad hoc, receives a request to explore one or more groups of users connected to the product.
For tools to be suitable for this use case, they need to be versatile to zero in onto a desired user group in a short amount of time and provide the standard metrics, but it requires some expertise on the users of these systems.
The audience insights use case is an advanced variant of customer insights. It goes into an in-depth analysis of the different takeholder groups around products, services, or businesses, and assesses the influence of different stakeholder groups upon each other and their relevance to the business problem in question.
This type of use cases usually is relevant for multiple departments and requires in certain situations the ability of the tool to export data into a third party system for further clustering and analysis.
The community screening is the use case in which a tool is deployed to screen a particular community of business interest and monitor organisations interactions with that community, as well as their sentiments and needs. This use case is usually connected with community management but also customer service, customer care, and marketing.
The deployed tool should have the ability to capture relevant signals from a well-defined community in as real-time as possible, provide clear metrics on community sentiment on particular topics, but also tap into themes and topics of interest.
The community insights and exploration is an advanced version of community screening where in addition to standard, social media monitoring is employed to identify potential to grow the existing community and acquire new communities.
It relies on monitoring topics of interest and being able in real time to pinpoint engagement opportunities to the community management, customer care, customer support and other different teams. In addition, the community insights should be able to deliver drivers of community interest and how those relate to business opportunities, this includes lead identification.
The social business insights is a use case where social media monitoring is deployed to explore the impact on a particular business problem. For instance, spotting signals around the product and giving feedback to the product development department on the desired features and bad features of the product or service. This is usually done in conjecture with market research, product research, and combines social media data with data derived from other sources.
Social media monitoring tools deployed in this role should be able to zero in on the topics of interest fast and have the ability to arrange data either in a dashboard or export data into a format where analysts would be able to incorporate it into a larger dataset.
The social intelligence use case requires for social media monitoring to be an integral part of all data flows within the organisation, starting from integration with marketing teams assessing impact of online marketing efforts (where the tools are deployed to supplement SEO and social media efforts), across community management (where tools are deployed for community insights), social business insights (such as insights on product, pricing R&D etc.).
Tools in this role need to be very scalable and usually require a robust setup which is done by an expert team with dedicated dashboards for each department, or the ability to integrate into existing data flows.
This introduction is an extract from the chapter dedicated to Social Media Monitoring in the Yearbook 2019 (Valtech) (Valtech) ; click below to download the long version:
Resources on Social Media Intelligence
Video of the @Berlin2019 conference
Social Media Monitoring (SMM) tools have reached a new level of maturity and demand better integration within brand ecosystems. Indeed, beyond the ability to analyse data flows over defined audience segments, decision-makers expect these tools to provide intelligible business-oriented connectors - while protecting them from possible obstacles to the GDPR. What about the positioning of SMM players on these issues?