Anyone who has a working website up on the internet or plans to launch one is aware of the power of social media marketing that can catapult their popularity right to the big leagues within weeks.

But whereas social media marketing has tremendous potential, it is also humongous in both scope and outreach.

This is why there is a need to analyze and keep track of social media campaigns to understand what people are saying about you. And which aspects of social media works best for your type of business and more.

An important thing to note is that the term ‘Social Media Monitoring’ is somewhat misleading because the tools used monitors not just social media but also websites, blogs and forums.

Maybe the name was coined such because the bulk of the internet traffic is more concentrated on social media platforms.

Do I Really Need Social Media Monitoring?

Say you want to buy flowers for your wife on Valentine’s Day.

Scenario 1: You know she likes roses so you go to the flower shop, by a big bouquet of roses and head home.

Scenario 2: You have no idea what flowers she like so you go to the flower shop, look at every type of flower there is, be surprised by the variety because you never knew so many type of flowers existed, amble around, then finally buy roses and head home.

And then Bam! She’s allergic to roses!

Social Media Monitoring or SMM prepares you to cater to what people are expecting plus it gives you an insight into what they think of your products/services and how you can tweak it further to find a good fit.

Find out what’s trending

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Internet has shrunk everything to ‘in the now’. You have to know what the current trends are to step up your game. And SMM tools help massively with that.

Understanding competition

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On the internet, no one knows whether you are a customer or a competitor, which is why it is easier to stay abreast with what your competitor’s are up to.

Armed with this information you can easily be ahead of them.

Better your campaigns

Keeping the trends and the recent keyword searches in mind, you have more information to belt out superior and targeted campaigns.

You know who your audience is, you know what they are searching for you know what your competitor’s bring to the table and now you also know how to launch campaigns that rake in money.

Manage online reputation

One of the most important aspects of social media monitoring is understanding what is being said about you and then managing the negatives.

Sure you’re aware of the infamous Dirty Dominos video where the staff was caught gruesomely messing with pizzas? The Dominos guy saw it too and retaliated with their own comeback video.

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Online reputation can actually shake the foundation of your business. With not just the millennial populace but even those in the upper age bracket resorting to the web for information on products and companies, negative feedback can hurt the trust factor and subsequently sales numbers.

Besides these, there are a number of other reasons why social media monitoring is indispensible in today’s digital world but it’s safe to say that especially businesses that think present and long term need to incorporate social media monitoring in an effective way.

How Does Social Media Monitoring Work?

Passive social media monitoring involves listening to a larger amount of conversation to get an idea of what the web world is mostly talking about.

But it’s active social media monitoring that we are referring to throughout this article. Active monitoring is using tools to write specific queries to monitor the marketing research efforts or to identify problems and negative reactions.

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There are a number of social media tools that crawl social media platforms, websites, blogs, micro blogs, and forums to revert with relevant data. This indexing depends from tool to tool as some tool cover only social media platforms, some a combination of two and so on.

There are a few free smm tools too but they mostly skim the surface with not enough powerful data to report.

Should I Invest in Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools

If yours is a relatively small business with a handful of customers and you only have a few hundred people talking about you on Facebook or Twitter, you can do it manually then and don’t have to pay for a smm tool.

Though it would be time-consuming and would take away your time that you could have otherwise used for marketing or promotion. There’s Google Trends, HowSociable, Tweet Deck, Google Analytics, FeedBurner and a few other tools that you can use.

Paid tools like Sysomos that cover most major social media platforms and even Wikipedia is a great low budget (comparatively) option at $550 per month.

Then there’s UberUV that provides more relevant and specific quality data instead of mammoth information. Should you want a comprehensive data of your keyed in keyword you can use their Signals feature that scans all information.

How can I Choose the Best Paid SMM Tool?

There are tons of paid tools that you can opt for. There’s no one such best paid tool, but here’s what you can keep in mind when scouring through options:

What do I basically need the tool for?

Do you need the tool to only keep a track on the number of follower or to optimize content or to schedule and manage content easily? The functions and features differ across various tools.

So it makes sense paying for a tool that does the chunk of your major work for you.

Where is my audience located?

If your audience is active more on social media platforms, then you should go with a tool that covers all major social media platforms. You then need not pay a higher fee for a tool that crawls websites and other blogs.

What is my budget?

The monthly fee for most of the social media monitoring tools can run up to thousands so you need to figure out your bandwidth and also the return you get on the investment.

If you’re spending $1000 on a tool that gives you data to increase conversion rate (to get a higher number of sales) then it’s worth the investment.

You can also hire a social media manager who can recommend the best tools for your business.