Social media measurement
Social media measurement or ‘social media monitoring’ is an active monitoring of social media channels for information about a company or organization, usually tracking of various social media content such as blogs, wikis, news sites, micro-blogs such as Twitter, social networking sites, video/photo sharing websites, forums, message boards, blogs and user-generated content in general as a way to determine the volume and sentiment of online conversation about a brand or topic.
Social media monitoring allow users to find insights into a brands' overall visibility on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, identify opportunities for engagement, assess competitor activity and share of voice, and be alerted to impending crises. It can also provide valuable information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific topics, brands or products. This is the work of cross section of people including market researchers, PR staff, marketing teams, social engagement and community staff, agencies and sales teams. Several different providers have created tools to facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels from blogging to internet video to internet forums. This allows companies to track what consumers are saying about their brands and actions. Companies can then react to these conversations and interact with consumers through social media platforms.
There are a wide range of monitoring platforms available, from entry-level free tools to much more powerful enterprise tools, each of which provides different functionality and methods to find, manipulate and work with the relevant data. Some tools are geared more towards engagement, offering solutions to track and respond to mentions of a brand, whilst others are more data-focused, though most tools offer, to varying degrees, a combination of both.
Due to the industry being relatively young, new tools and offerings are still emerging and evolving.
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to measure all social media conversation. Due to privacy settings and other issues, not all social media conversation can be found and reported by monitoring tools. However, whilst social media monitoring cannot give absolute figures, it can be extremely useful for identifying trends and for benchmarking, in addition to the uses mentioned above. These findings can, in turn, influence and shape future business decisions.
See also 
- "Social Media Monitoring". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 October 2012.