Social Media Monitoring (SMM) is identification, monitoring and analysis of user-generated contents in social networks for the purpose of marketing research.
Before starting SMM the organization needs to answer to five questions:
1) Why to start SMM?
What are the objectives of the organization? Some examples: to improve online service, to reduce customer acquiring and service costs, to build relationships with customers, bringing outside ideas into organization, to optimize search engines and other.
2) What to look for?
What is the content to look for? Which are the words or phrases to find? For example: company name, product names or any other relevant words.
3) Where to look for?
What are platforms where these words and phrases look for? Either in platforms which are related with professional activities, for example, tourism platforms, online selling, professional forums etc. News sources – newsletters, blogs etc. Social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Xing, My Space etc. Search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing, search engines in forums etc.
4) Which way to do SMM?
With quantitative or qualitative methods, or both? Quantitative methods measure and evaluate directly ascertainable facts, for example – how many times the word appears. Qualitative research describes, interprets and understands connections and factors behind certain behaviors or situations, for example, why customers think badly about the organization’s product.
5) With what to do SMM?
SMM can be done either via free tools and web-services (only to a certain level and extent) or commercial via commercial tools and services. Free tools or web services are, for example: search engines, Google BlogSearch, Social Mention, TweetBeap, HowSociable and others. There are several online platforms where these free tools are collected and freely available, for example: netzpiloten.de, t3n.de.