A single social media monitoring platform just isn’t enough18 November 2009, 12:14 am
I’ll probably hear some good natured opposition to this post from some friends at different Social Media Monitoring companies, but I stand solidly behind this advice.
No matter which social media monitoring platform you’re committed to, use others as well.
True insight comes from using several different kinds of search engines, applications and tools. That’s not a knock on the different services, it’s reflective of the monitoring environment’s reality. By using several of the different services available – mostly for no added cost – you’ll uncover deeper intelligence, greater statistics and a better understanding of the conversation.
There may be any number of reasons for this logic, whether you’re committed to paid or free tools:
• Every algorithm is different. While one tool may be capturing certain conversations quickly, another tool may be filling in the blanks in a more timely way. By cross checking different engines, you’ll be able to catch more results sooner.
• Even if you’re using a robust, feature-rich service, there are likely many different insights that the service doesn’t incorporate. Take Twitter, for example. You’re collecting tweets, but are able to drill down about the user, who the person is connected to, since when they’ve been on Twitter, frequency of Tweets, which links they’ve posted, what pictures they’ve linked to, and so on and so on and so on? The more tools you use, and some offer very specific functionalities, the greater you’ll come to understand a particular conversation.
• Backup your main monitoring service with others, just in case. In case your system is going offline for maintenance. In case results turn up missing. In case you don’t have access to a wifi network. For example, through you may be using a web based service, you may want to download mobile applications – Tweetie and Say What? come to mind – to check in while you’re away from your computer.
• Sentiment analysis. Different services go about providing this analysis in different ways. Some automate the process, relying on different “trigger” words to reach a conclusion, others assign sentiment through human analysis, while still others leave it all up to you. As a result, if you like so many of the features offered by the platform you’re committed to, but don’t “trust” how it handles sentiment, you may want to go in a different direction to gain an accurate measure.
• Unless your platform allows you to add custom RSS sources, which helps ensure that you’re not missing any results, you’ll have to find different ways to keep track of these other results.
These are just some of what could be a very long list. And in no way is this post meant to diminish the importance of finding your comfort zone with a primary platform and sticking to it. That said, a single social media monitoring platform just isn’t enough if you really want to get more out of your monitoring program.
So, I ask you, what combination of sites, tools and applications are you using? Need ideas, here’s an exhaustive directory of social media monitoring tools that will show you the potential of what’s out there.
Tags: #SMMTD, iPhone Apps, Mobile Apps, Planting Seeds, Planting Seeds online, PlantingSeeds.ca, Say What?, Social Media, Social Media Advice, Social Media Monitoring, Social Media Monitoring Tips, Social Media Monitoring Tool Directory, Social Media Tips, SocialMediaMonitoring.ca, Tweetie