The 3 Types of Social Media Monitoring Tools
I often get asked which social media monitoring tools I would recommend for particular businesses. Picking a solution isn’t easy and I would recommend going through an in-depth review of your requirements before spending any money. That said, I often suggest to clients that there are three types of monitoring solution on the market, and although they all cross over in different ways, it’s a useful starting point.
Research & Data Monitoring Tools
Some of the best social media monitoring tools are focused on providing data for research and planning. They enable you to capture huge amounts of (often very) reliable data to monitor and review industry trends. These tools tend to be less feature-rich than some of the more mainstream tools, but boast more reliable data, more sources and a longer retained history. Examples include: Nielsen Buzzmetrics, Linkfluence and Brandwatch.
Monitoring & Reporting Tools
Many of the most popular monitoring tools are focused on real-time monitoring, primarily for PR or marketing purposes, so they tend to offer more user-friendly features for tracking conversations and producing reports. Many are also starting to offer customer engagement and social CRM features. The downside is, they often don’t retain a long history of data and are sometimes criticised for their data quality and range of sources. Examples include Radian6, Meltwater Buzz and Synthesio.
Monitoring & Engagement Tools
Some monitoring tools are primarily focused on engagement – i.e. enabling your Community Manager, PR Execs or Customer Services team to listen and respond to social media issues in real-time. With an emphasis on the dashboard and team-working features, these solutions don’t offer the range of sources or quality of data as Research or Reporting tools, but they do provide a user-friendly way of engaging on the leading networks, typically Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Examples include: HootSuite, MarketMeSuite and Conversocial.