Social Media Monitoring: A Glimpse At the Future

crystalballWarren Sukernek shared this presentation recently and it hit home on a variety of fronts. As we spend time with clients working through social media monitoring, we find more and more examples of how it’s not a precise science.  Sitting side by side with folks who work every day in detailed web analytics who continually look for ways to optimize PPC spend, our social media team has experienced first hand many challenges outlined in Marshall Sponder’s presentation.  Some points that resonated strongly:

  • Sentiment analysis today is too much like Quantum Physics
  • There is a lot of manual work to determine influencer lists
  • Social media monitoring tools are not capable of advanced meme clustering or semantic analysis
  • Clients ask all the time around geo-location – the science to identify local influencers and posts is crucial to many businesses and these tools aren’t anywhere near perfect
  • Great to see Ken Burbary‘s Wiki of Social Media Monitoring Solutions getting some props

As for predicting the future? Integration to CRM and web analytics, factoring in new technologies like Google Sidewiki, and evolution to standard business intelligence practices.  Keyword tools will help down the road too – curious if the same that help with PPC and SEO optimization will apply here.  This is a practical, thoughtful guide on where social media monitoring has room to mature.  For now, my experience is showing that labor (smart, social media savvy, analytical folks) is making up the difference, but it’s challenging to “read the tea leaves.”  What is your experience?

Photo credit: seanmcgrath via Flickr

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  • Adam, thanks for the attribution to my curating skills, but it was totally unnecessary. More importantly, I agree with your points in that good hard effort is compensating for the weaknesses in the tools today. As the industry evolves and stronger players emerge, I'm sure that the new tools will address many of the weaknesses that you and Marshall identify. Until that time, we've got to roll up our sleeves if we want to get actionable insights from monitoring.

  • Hi Adam, nice to meet you a couple weeks ago at the AAF Radian6 luncheon. I absolutely agree that talented staff is the key to bridging the disconnect between gaps in tool capabilities and influencer data. Building a list of key influencers isn't like crafting a media list using a database…there is no tool that's completely reliable (although, I guess media lists still need refined based on researching what reporters/producers have covered). We caution clients all the time that while OOP costs for social media can be low, the amount of staff time needed is high.

  • Hi Adam, nice to meet you a couple weeks ago at the AAF Radian6 luncheon. I absolutely agree that talented staff is the key to bridging the disconnect between gaps in tool capabilities and influencer data. Building a list of key influencers isn't like crafting a media list using a database…there is no tool that's completely reliable (although, I guess media lists still need refined based on researching what reporters/producers have covered). We caution clients all the time that while OOP costs for social media can be low, the amount of staff time needed is high.