Buried within the mountains of social media chatter are nuggets of valuable data -- customer comments and opinions on companies, their products and services, breaking news and market trends. Every day, customers and prospective buyers offer feedback and engage in online conversations about businesses on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Organizations looking for a competitive edge can use social media monitoring and analytics tools to find, sort and analyze that data. Among other potential benefits, social media analytics offers businesses the ability to identify patterns in customer sentiment and gauge their marketing effectiveness.
But while the potential is there for achieving payback from social media analytics tools, their effectiveness isn't always a given. Analysts and experienced users cite complexity and lack of a tangible return on investment among social media monitoring program challenges. While companies can use the software to collect customer data, they aren't always sure what to do with the information once they have it. And just implementing social media analytics software isn't enough; at some point in the process, humans must get involved in the analysis and interpretation of collected data. Furthermore, because social media listening doesn't encompass offline conversations among consumers, it might not provide a complete picture of sentiment about a company or its products.
If your company is putting a social media analysis plan in place, or evaluating a possible deployment, be sure you know what you're getting into first. This guide offers discussions of the benefits and drawbacks of social media analytics as well as user insights and tips.
1Social media analytics basics-
What is social media analytics, and what can it do for your business?
Consumer goods manufacturers, personal technology makers and companies that rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals to generate business may find social media analysis tools crucial to their business strategies. But other companies may have less reason to invest in these tools. The articles in this section discuss the potential benefits of social media analytics, explaining how different companies are using social media monitoring to identify valuable business information.
Many organizations are implementing social media analytics tools, but others aren't in such a rush. Which approach is right for your company? Continue Reading
Learn how social media analytics tools help some companies wade through the layers of online customer data to discover valuable information. Continue Reading
Social media monitoring and analytics tools have much to offer in terms of customer insights -- but first you have to figure out how to use them effectively. Continue Reading
Meaningless chatter? Not always. Social media analytics software can help companies distill business insights from the abundant data on social networks. Continue Reading
Learn more about why organizations are taking an interest in social media monitoring, analytics and text mining technologies -- and the issues they face. Continue Reading
Confronting the challenges of social media analytics tools
For all the potential value to be gained from social media analytics, it's just one spoke in the business intelligence and analytics wheel. And the technology has yet to fully mature. Companies need to understand the limitations and risks that come with investing in these tools -- including the danger of drowning in an ocean of data. In this section, learn what users and analysts have to say about the drawbacks and challenges associated with social media analytics initiatives.
In order to gain business value from social media analytics plans, organizations need to be aware of the limitations of social media analysis and mistakes to avoid. Continue Reading
Companies should concentrate on tying efforts directly to business strategies when implementing social media analytics programs. Continue Reading
The process of analyzing social media data is a complex and inexact science, according to consultants, who say users need to proceed with caution. Continue Reading
According to a TDWI survey, many businesses are dragging their feet about investing in and implementing social media analytics systems due to ROI concerns and budget limitations. Continue Reading
Social media offers business value, but it also requires changes to enterprise architectures to help companies maintain some control over the flow of information. Continue Reading
3News and trends-
News and trends associated with social media monitoring
Companies in various industries are starting to recognize the potential value of managing their social media presence and engaging in social listening. The news and trends stories in this section offer insights from organizations such as SAS, Xerox and the Red Cross on the important role that social media analytics tools are playing in their business operations.
Speakers and attendees at a SAS conference focused on the potential value of marketing analytics, including studying social media data to help understand what customers are looking for. Continue Reading
This article discusses the combination of social collaboration and social media monitoring tools to help companies keep track of grievances and other online customer comments. Continue Reading
Managing a company's social media presence is challenging. Are social media listening tools mature enough to handle that challenge? Continue Reading
Looking to gather useful information from social networks such as Twitter? This article offers advice on how to get started on mining social media data. Continue Reading
Various organizations can use data from social media to affect business outcomes, as demonstrated by disaster relief efforts. But there are some lessons to be learned, too. Continue Reading
Glossary of social media analytics terms
Learn and review some key social media analytics terminology with this glossary of relevant definitions.
Social media monitoring tools quiz
Take this brief quiz to test your knowledge of social media analytics and monitoring tools.Take This Quiz