Chris J Powell

Social Media Monitoring – The First Step to Social Dominance?

The Social Revolution is upon us, there is no doubt about the fact that Social Media has become an integral part of a Marketing and Customer Service Plan for many brands.  Having a plan and a strategy are key because the necessity of Return on Investment (ROI) is a very nebulous effort in the early stages that Social Media is at.  The reality is, how do you formulate a plan or a strategy if you really don’t know what it is you are going to do?

I have been hearing a lot of conflicting information about the true cost of Social Media for businesses.  A local Radio Station has been running ads exposing the weaknesses, fibs and half truths that supposedly experts in the world of Social Media are touting around.  I thought that I would share the list of 10 Social Media Advertising Damage that published at their site Compel Media:

10 Steps to Social Media Advertising Damage

  1. You come (or are led) to believe, social media advertising can replace traditional advertising
  2. You cancel some or all traditional advertising in lieu of “FREE” Social Media Advertising
  3. You or one of your staff “work” your social media
  4. Your social media advertising or “feeds” are initially sales pitches for your services or products (because people love being “sold” in social settings)
  5. You soon find people only seem to respond to deep discount deals you offer. You find yourself offering such at increasingly frequent intervals
  6. While you were originally updating a couple times a day, you soon run out of creative things to say….and you can’t afford to keep giving things away
  7. Your updates become much less frequent
  8. Your intermittent future updates become personal puff pieces, sayings & sales pitches…accomplishing little.
  9. You’re now just part of the ignored background of your followers feeds…or worse, you’re an irritant
  10. Months pass…thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of business are lost

I am in no way saying that this tips are not true…I am saying that Social Media needs to be a part of, and help define what you and your company do as far as Marketing your product, brand and future!  This needs to start primarily with a Marketing Plan that incorporates a strong Social Media Presence.  It doesn’t matter if you are an individual like me, a small Not for Profit or a global brand that is dominates its given market…knowing where you want to be is key to building the plan on how to get there.

Social Media Monitoring is a way to scan the ever growing swath of conversations that are occurring out there in the vast Interwebz!  Getting a feel for what is being said about your industry, your brand or your people is important to the building of an effective strategy and setting the goals.  Many of the Social Media Management Suites out there offer this type of service but they come with a heavy price…and to do it all manually…well who has the time!  Scouring the Interwebz myself in search of topics and satisfying my general thirst to know as much as possible I have leveraged several FREE services that both watch me, but also have the option to monitor key words and insights.

Google Alerts:

This has been my number one companion for several years in monitoring the broad swaths of comments and news updates on several brands and watching out for my own reputation. You simply set up what it is you want to be looked for, and set up the report frequency and it becomes a set it and forget it. The challenge is finding the balance between the general terms and specific terms…too general and you get hundreds of references unrelated to your purpose…too specific…and you get nothing!

Social Mention:

Similar to Google Alerts but instead of looking for news reports it will focus only on Social Media. You can narrow down the focus to only look on Facebook and Twitter or any of 79 (at the time of this writing) other Social Networks and look for keywords, hashtags or any other phrases you may be looking to highlight.


Again, this is puts the monitoring in your hands but does a full swath and cross section of the web today. You can create alerts, do simple or advanced searches and narrow or expand your focus to what suits your needs of the day. You can add or remove relevant sources and focus only on particular channels. While the choices are not as great as that from Social Mention, I prefer it because it lets me quickly see images and focus in on what is being said across these channels.

Regardless of what you expect at the end of the day from the efforts placed into Social Media, the only way you can really see if there is any “traction” is to monitor what is being said.  There are hundreds of FREE or FREEMIUM tools that can assist you on this quest, and if used in conjunction with more traditional marketing strategies…the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) slingers from traditional media marketers are not nearly as doomsday focused anymore.

Have a great week!


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