Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the internet.
The right tools can be anything from free Google Alerts to an expensive software suite like Radian6 or Lithium with full integration of a customer relationship management (CRM) application like Salesforce.com
Conversations on the internet produce massive amounts of unstructured data. In fact, social media listening is often a key component in Big Data analysis.
But it’s not the data, it’s what you do with it. To help get you started on what to look for, here are 21 social media listening metrics every marketer should know.
ALERTS: An automated web search from Google Alerts or Yahoo Alerts to help people and businesses monitor the Internet for developments and activities that could either delight or concern them. Results are sent to subscribers by e-mail.
PRESENCE: The complete collection of a brand’s presence across all the social networks.
REACH: The total combined amount of a brand’s audience, compounded by the friends of the audience and anyone in the greater community who is talking about or engaging with the brand.
TRAFFIC REFERRALS: The number as well as percent of people who come to your website for social media in general and by each social network as measured by Google Analytics.
REVIEWS: According to the Huffington Post, a one star boost in Yelp can lead to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue. A service like Review Tracker can help in the tracking.
INFLUENCERS: The authority of an online consumer, measured by his or her overall reach online. A consumer with a highly read blog and thousands of Twitter followers is assigned a high influence score. Services like Klout or Kred monitor them.
SHARE OF AUDIENCE: How a brand does against these audience metrics in comparison to their competition.
KEYWORDS: To determine the volume of people looking for the product or service you sell, it is important to understand search volume for primary keywords in social media and where they come from. Hootsuite can be configured to help you find people in real time who are looking for what you have to offer.
SOCIAL MENTIONS: How often a phrase like your brand, an event or a competitor comes up. Social Mention is social media search engine and analysis platform aggregates user-generated content from multiple social sites (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, comments, mainstream news, video, and images) into one activity stream.
LINKS: Content that is posted on social networks through short links and how often it is shared. Short links services like Bit.ly track with analytics by social network.
SENTIMENT ANALYSIS: A linguistic analysis technique where a body of text is examined to characterize the tonality of the document. It is useful in social media monitoring to automatically characterize the overall feeling or mood of consumers as reflected in social media toward a specific brand or company. Topsy is a good example of a free sentiment analysis tool while Lithium is good enterprise solution that find sentiment from millions of social media sources.
TEXT ANALYTICS: The process of deriving high-quality information from text and keywords. Text mining usually involves structuring the input text, deriving patterns within the structured data, and evaluation and interpreting the output.
VIRALITY: The rate or how fast a brand’s content spreads across a social network or social networks. In some instances the success of a piece of content is tied how viral it becomes.
SHARE OF VOICE: How big a brand’s slice of the conversation is compared to their competition.
FACEBOOK ENGAGEMENT: The percent of people “Talking About” divided by “Likes.” “Talking About is an algorithm Facebook uses that combines comments, shares and likes to a post so the ratio show not only if people “Like” you but they like and share what you’re saying.
TWITTER ENGAGEMENT: Combination of all the activity on a brand’s Twitter account to mention not only quantity but quality of followers and content: Re-Tweets, mentions, replies and clicks. Simply Measured offers a Follower report.
GOOGLE+ ENGAGEMENT: Combination of all the activity on a brand’s G+ page: Re-Shares, comments, and +1s for the same reasons as above.
YOUTUBE ENGAGEMENT: Combination and ratios of the activity on a brand’s YouTube channel – Views, comments, shares and subscribers – to measure not only who views but who comes back.
PINTEREST ENGAGEMENT Combination of all the activity on a brand’s Pinterest page: Repins, comments, and likes.
BLOGGER ENGAGEMENT: Comments and links to a blog as well as user generated content that isn’t get picked up as news or alert. Use Google Blog Search and Technorati to monitor.
SHARE OF ENGAGEMENT: How a brand does on these engagement metrics compared to their competition.
You may or may not need all of these measurements to listen effectively for your business. But if the ones you choose ones cover your audience, content and engagement, you’re more likely to come up with a good plan to listen.