Over the past few years, social media has experienced continued growth and as a result has become one of, if not the main channel for brands to be heard. With so many platforms available for brands to choose from, from Facebook and Twitter to a multitude of new niche social platforms, the business potential within social media has become obvious for many companies… but also more complex! The fragmented media landscape makes PR, marketing and communication professionals’ job more challenging than ever before.
How can we adapt to this challenge? Whether your brand has an account on these social platforms or not, your audience, your clients, prospects or stakeholders may still talk about you on their social media profiles. According to a recent study, social media penetration should reach one-third of the world’s population by the end of 2015!  Wherever the conversations take place, monitoring has become a vital starting point in order to keep a close eye on what people are saying about your company or your market. Today, brands have to constantly monitor and control their reputation, anywhere, and on any device. Brands also need to think beyond the specific channels they choose for their communications strategies to capture all references to their campaigns – evaluating the full impact of their communications across all media channels.
However monitoring is not enough: the more data you have, the more essential analytics tools become. Monitoring social for direct mentions does not provide the full picture. To make sense of big data, metrics and added value are vital. Through social analytics, businesses can see exactly how their audiences are interacting with them and keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
There is an unprecedented demand for social analytics however, despite the availability of lots of analytics tools, businesses still have problems in showing the return on investment of social media to develop their strategies and tactics. Not all stakeholders speak digital, social metrics require interpretation to provide information that actually makes sense and demonstrates performance. Tools can collect and analyse data to a certain degree but have their limits: they may not provide the metrics you truly care about but random vanity metrics which don’t meet your specific needs. In addition, if you don’t get aggregated data across all sources, it can be difficult to evaluate your social media activities globally. So, if youwant to measure the right things, you need to think about the end result, be clear about your goals and how you’ll achieve them.
This being said, it doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. When managed well, social media monitoring and analysis are an exceptionally powerful way to enhance your brand reputation as well as all your business activities. This guide provides some details, tips and easy strategies that you can use to understand and manage your social media monitoring and analysis more effectively.