Social networking is a relatively new activity. The first prominent social network was called Friends Reunited and launched in England in 1999. The purpose of the site was to reunite old school mates. Friendster, the next major effort grew to nearly three million members in 2002.
It wasn’t till a few years later that today’s most popular and successful social networking sites took root including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Linkedin. When these social networking companies started, they attracted investors who knew that the social media data could be harvested for societal and consumer trends. Today the major social networking sites serve as their own platforms for a host of ancillary services that help marketing executives make critical decisions about where to deploy precious resources. Social media metadata, when organized and charted, reflects not only the feelings about a particular brand but also provides insights into politics, trending news, and social issues.
The Social Media Monitoring Definition is the aggregation, analysis, and usage of social media data to determine what is being said about a particular brand, issues, person, or product. While it has become common for companies to create Facebook or Linkedin pages and profiles, businesses that make sense of the unstructured data created by millions of users posting and tweeting each day can gain significant competitive advantages. Social Media Monitoring can help companies better understand the feelings of their customers and the efforts of their competitors.
The Social Media Monitoring Definition is met by a number of companies including:
Klout–is a site where users agree to have their social media profiles aggregated and ranked to determine the amount of influence they have in their respective communities. Person with higher ranking receive incentives and prizes in exchange for become social networking promoters of the product.
Oracle Intellect–is a complete software suite for the collection of social media data, analysis, marketing, and user engagement. Intellect actually goes beyond the Social Media Monitoring Definition by adding in more traditional sales and marketing tools.
Crowd Riff--tells you the underlying information about one’s customer base. The site is so hot right now that they’ve restricted it to invitation only. Crowd Riff too meets the the Social Media Monitoring Definition.
As social networks continue to grow and evolve, so too will Social Media Monitoring sites that specialize in different verticals. Currently are at least 100 different sites that specialize in one aspect or another of social media data analysis and action. To get started is easy and many of them are free.