What is social media monitoring?

What is SMM?
In layman’s terms, social media monitoring is: The process of using a tool or software to monitor what is being said online. Or, you might have heard social media monitoring being referred to as one of the following:

  • SMM (acronym)
  • Social Listening
  • Online Analytics
  • Buzz Analytics
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Social Media Intelligence
  • Social Media Surveillance
  • Social Media Measurement
  • Social Media Management

In other words, open up your thesaurus on the word “monitoring”, pop the words social media in front, et voilà…the list goes on!

So, SMM tools only monitor social media, right?

NO! This is where the term “social media” monitoring, lends itself to a spot of ambiguity. Social media monitoring is not exclusive to social media networks; in fact, the majority of SMM tools crawl many different types of websites, including:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Review Sites
  • News Sites
  • RSS Feeds
  • Major Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

If you’re lucky enough to find a social media monitoring tool like Digimind Social, you will be able to monitor specific sources of information and customize these sources, depending on their relevance to your company – smart, or what?

How do social media monitoring tools actually work?

The majority of social media monitoring tools work by continuously crawling social media sites and indexing them, either in real-time (Twitter) or around every 10 minutes (other websites). Digimind, for example, has indexed over 100,000 websites to add to our URL Store, enabling our social media monitoring software, Digimind Social, to crawl them and find what you are looking for. That’s another clever thing about social media monitoring: it watches over your brand 24/7, so you never miss a thing! This around-the-clock monitoring may come in very handy for swift and painless crisis management…

What do SMM tools search for on the internet?

Want the simple answer? Whatever you ask them! But first, social media monitoring tools will require you to set up your monitoring topics and queries. Through the application of sophisticated Boolean operators, complex search strings can be written to find the exact queries you are looking for. The majority of social media monitoring tools enable you to search for mentions:

  • Of specific keywords or terms
  • Of specific websites or URLs
  • Major Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.

More sophisticated SMM tools like Digimind Social allow you to filter mentions in the following ways:

  • By specified time/date period
  • By influence
  • By sentiment
  • By media type
  • By language
  • By region
  • By source

The social media monitoring tool then collects all of these mentions from across the web on one single interface for you to view, analyse, engage with and report on.What’s more, a few more advanced social media monitoring tools, like Digimind Social, give you the possibility to create classification lists or Tags, which are automatically applied based on the queries you have selected.

5. What do I do with the data I’ve collected?

Right, so your social media monitoring tool has crawled the internet and collected thousands of mentions and data. Your next step is to analyse this information and SMM tools, like Digimind Social, allow you to do various things with it:

  • See keywords relating to your queries to see which words are trending
  • Track consumer sentiments about a particular topic (Sentiment analysis)
  • Observe engagement trends (when are people talking about your brand)
  • Identify key influencers talking about your brand online
  • Add smart alerts to notify you of frequent mentions of your brand
  • Compare/benchmark statistics gathered from the above information
  • Create customisable dashboards with many different kinds of graphs
  • Report on your analysis
     

Source: Digimind