Companies are increasingly being drawn into the world of social media because it is the media of choice for many of their customers. The only problem is given that it is still such a new discipline, marketing to your customers in the social media space is still a gray area for many, which is a major impediment preventing companies from embracing it fully. Enter the land of Social Media Metrics., Some promise to track your sentiment over time or compare it to competitors in the market. Others let you dive into conversations in the social media world related to your product. These tools equip your company/agency with a leg up and at the very least a proxy metric to determining the success of your marketing efforts in transferring to the world of social media. None of them are perfect, but to not use tools such as these you risk missing beneficial opportunities to engage your customers in new ways.
This article is a precursor to a number of more in depth reviews of social media metrics software which will follow in the coming weeks (provided I can get my hands on them all) and offers a starting point for your own research. Below are the platforms I’m familiar with and a run down on their major strengths and weaknesses. If you are using a social media metrics platform not included below, please leave a comment and I’ll endeavor to include it in my in-depth reviews here moving forward
Social Mention is a handy little social media real time search tool and alert system. Allowing you to mine the social media landscape for “mentions” or specific search strings and set up daily alerts via email to monitor your brand/name online. While a robust search engine, this solution is limited in its analytics and reporting options and is probably best for smaller businesses/individuals looking to make a first move into the social media metrics world.
Radian6 is the most complete solution, offering both measurement/analytics&reporting (common across most of the software suites) as well as integration into salesforce.com CRM for tracking sales leads and other ‘conversation management’ options once opportunities for engagement are discovered.
Mostly a white label offering to be resold by agencies. Not overly powerful, offers a basic set of semantics to track lumped loosely into positive and negative categories. Enables you to drill down into brand mentions, but falls short of enabling you to jump in to conversation streams to engage people through social media. Is mostly a tracking tool.
A more advanced solution compared to Sentiment Metrics and still primarily a monitoring/tracking tool. Probably best targeted to PR agencies looking to track streams of public sentiment in various ways relating to a brand/area of interest. Is more powerful in that it gives you the ability to specify search strings in addition to Bayesian inference to analyse language mentions on your product.
Trendrr is a robust set of tracking tools with reasonable reporting options (for a fee) but is primarily focused on visual comparison on trends in the social web over time. Useful for comparing your own brand vs. another over time, by social network/site.
Nielsen offers their own ‘Buzzmetrics’ service (Where they do the analysis for you and generate a report pack) along with a hosted service called My Buzzmetrics. My Buzzmetrics is really a monitoring tool combined with additional segmentation data available through Nielson. Useful for tracking campaigns amongst targeted consumer segments.
Probably second to Radian6 in features, BuzzNumbers is more hands on than most of the basic monitoring tools, allows you to track individual conversations (set up flags for notification of new mentions in specific threads for example) but is limited in enabling you to engage directly from the interface. Decent reporting/analysis options.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks I will be diving deeper into each of the solutions to give you a better feel for their capabilities and examine the likely best case usage usage scenario for each of these software platforms. I’ve also been made aware of an excellent list of measurement tools included in a presentation from Rachael Maughan at the white agency over at Katie Chatfields site here, well worth a look too.