Social media measurement

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Social media measurement or 'social media monitoring' is an active monitoring of social media channels for information,[1] 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 and user-generated content in general as a way to determine the volume and sentiment of online conversation about a brand or topic.

For brands[edit]

Social media monitoring allows users to find insights into a brand's 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 a cross-section of groups that include 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.[1]

Quantifying social media[edit]

Social media management software (SMMS) is an application program or software that facilitates an organisation's ability to successfully engage in social media across different communication channels. SMMS is used to monitor inbound and outbound conversations, support customer interaction, audit or document social marketing initiatives and evaluate the usefulness of a social media presence.

It can be difficult 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.

In order to access social media data (posts, Tweets, and meta-data) and to analyze and monitor social media, many companies use software technologies built for business.


Most social media networks allow users to add a location to their posts (reference all of our feeds). The location can be classified as either 'at-the-location' or 'about-the-location'. "'At-the-location' services can be defined as services where location-based content is created at the geographic location. 'About-the-location' services can be defined as services which are referring to particular location but the content is not necessarily created in this particular physical place."[2] The added information available from geotagged (link to Geotagging article) posts means that they can be displayed on a map. This means that a location can be used as the start of a social media search rather than a keyword or hashtag. This has major implications for disaster relief, event monitoring, safety and security professionals since a large portion of their job is related to tracking and monitoring specific locations.

Technologies used[edit]

Various monitoring platforms use different technologies for social media monitoring and measurement. These technology providers may connect to the API provided by social platforms that are created for 3rd party developers to develop their own applications and services that access data. Facebook's Graph API is one such API that social media monitoring solution products would connect to pull data from.[3] Technology companies may also get social data from a data reseller, such as DataSift or Gnip, which was acquired by Twitter. Some social media monitoring and analytics companies use calls to data providers each time an end-user develops a query. A small number of companies, including Crimson Hexagon, archive and index social media posts, which provides end users with on-demand access to historical data and enables methodologies and technologies leveraging network and relational data.[4]

Additional monitoring companies use crawlers and spidering technology to find keyword reference. (See also: Semantic analysis, Natural language processing.) Basic implementation involves curating data from social media on a large scale and analyzing the results to make sense out of it.

See also[edit]