Social Media Monitoring Tools
Numerous social media monitoring tools are available commercially but their functionality varies significantly and must be researched thoroughly before selecting the tool most appropriate to your needs.
The necessity to monitor social media communications has led to the emergence of Social Media Monitoring tools. In many ways they replicate the well-established traditional media monitoring services which was often referred to as ‘clipping’ services due to the fact that printed news stories were physically ‘clipped’ and copied into reports for distribution to clients. Such reports often included transcripts of audio recordings from television and radio. In the online news world ‘clipping’ is conducted by tracking specific word(s) across a variety of communication channels and providing part of the text and/or link to the source URL. This allows the end user to access the record on the web providing the page or contents are still available.
Numerous social media monitoring tools which track and analyse content across one or more social media platforms are available commercially (some are available free of charge). The functionality of these tools varies significantly and must be researched thoroughly before selecting the tool most appropriate to your needs. Consideration should be given to:
- the communication channel(s), geographical location and languages to be monitored
- the timelines to be monitored (i.e. is the monitoring real-time or retrospective)
- he purpose of the monitoring (i.e. to monitor the networks, content, volume etc)
- the ease of use and technical support provided by the vendor
- budget and operational considerations (e.g. staff training)