Social media monitoring is a practice that sees widespread use in various industries, and should be part of the core curriculum for every communication degree program.
A variety of tools, either free or paid, allow us to monitor how people are talking about us or our brand across different social media platforms, and new tools are also being constantly developed and promoted.
KISSmetrics has an infographic that shows survey results of social media monitoring tools that are popular among the 150 social media professionals in the survey. Below is a chart that only lists some of the popular free social media monitoring tools:
This (partial) list, along with some other useful lists of tools, may look daunting and leave a communication instructor or student wondering which one to teach/use; remember, what really matters is not the tool itself, it is what you do with the tool.
Whichever tool you use, you should be monitoring for some basic things about you or your brand, as listed in a Huffington Post article:
- Your brand name: Add a few variations of your brand/organization names, variations on key staff (first name only, last name only, first & last), and any abbreviations of your company name.
- Slogans, key messages, or mottos.
- Alternate spellings or misspellings of your name: If you have a “unique” name, this is even more important because chances are, people will forget how to spell your name and typo’s do occur.
- Key words or items that are relevant to your industry.
Personally, I use the free version of Hootsuite to monitor Twitter streams and below is the dashboard that I set up. At the time of writing, there are three streams (columns):
- the first one monitors any mention of “digital journalism” or “multimedia journalism”, which is my main interest for both blogging and tweeting
- the second one monitors “mulinblog” or “Mu Lin”, which are my blog and my name, respectively
- the third one monitors “web writing” or “writing for the web,” which was recently set up to monitor for a new online course in web writing that was about to launch at my MulinBlog Online J-School.
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