I thought I’d share some simple, manual ways to get started with Social Media monitoring for those who haven’t yet taken the leap. Below are 5 ways of sticking your feet in the pond before you make a decision about a longer-term, less manual solution like Radian6, Trucast or Buzzlogic.
Volume of mentions
2. Tally the quantity of you vs. your competitors.
4. Graph both volume and weighted volume side-by-side for an easy comparison.
Impact of mentions
On a day-by-day basis, how did the volume (both total and weighted) impact lead generation? We’ve learned that some sources produce much better results than others.
For example, we compared a huge Digg spike versus a big product launch, and the social media buzz surrounding both had very different impacts on our download rates.
Tone of mentions
Tone is a tricky thing. I’ve recently learned that the dirty secret of monitoring software is that they use a Nielson-like “human API” where people (not software) score content for sentiment.
For basic purposes, this is something you should be able to do yourself. By scanning the content, you should be able to get a ratio of good vs. bad vs. neutral responses.
Subject matter of mentions
This should be divided into two buckets: product and theme.
For product, what product is the buzz in relation to? For Jive, it would be Clearspace vs Clearspace Community. We want to understand which facets of our suite is generating the buzz.
On the theme side, we want to figure out why people are talking about us. Is it:
- Company news?
- Product launches?
- Enterprise software?
- Local focus?
- What’s the spin that catches?
There are three categories of influencers to identify and track:
- Supporters – identify who can help you.
- Competitors – learn from examples and see what they are up to.
- Bloggers who mention your space, but are not familiar with you.
Resist the temptation to hit any of these influencers with communication. Remember, this is monitoring. Getting smart about the etiquette, protocols and best way to built relationships is an important lesson so watch and listen before you jump into the pool.
For all you jedi monitoring experts out there, are there some other free, “getting started” suggestions you’d add to my short list?
Big thanks to Paul Biggs for his help with this post. If you’re not familiar with Paul, check out his blog. He’s the man.