Social media monitoring Sites

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What IS Social Media Monitoring? Answers to Common Questions and Misconceptions

Sometimes, it’s easy for those of us in the SMM industry to forget that – to the ordinary person – the world of social media monitoring can be a confusing one.

We’re guessing that if you’re reading this, you either already know of us and therefore have some knowledge of social media monitoring, or you have come here through a search engine, in which case you may know very little (if so, hi, we’re Brandwatch, a social media monitoring company).

Today we’re taking it back to the very basics, and also addressing some common misconceptions about monitoring. So, here goes, some answers to the most common questions we see:

Firstly, what is social media monitoring?

In basic terms, social media monitoring is the act of using a tool to, well, monitor what is being said on the internet.

It sometimes also goes by the name of, or is bundled with, Social Listening, Online Analytics, Buzz Analysis, Social Media Measurement, Social Media Intelligence, Social Media Management, SMM (also the acronym for Social Media Marketing, confusingly) … we could go on.

But how do social media monitoring tools work?

Of course, the answer above is very basic. In actuality, it’s a bit more complex.

Most monitoring tools work by crawling sites continuously and indexing them. Some are crawled in real time, such as Twitter. Other sites might be crawled less often – say, every 10 minutes, or every day, if they are less important. Some tools, like us, do this crawling themselves. Others use data providers. We’ll let you guess which of those options we think is better.

Anyway, once all those sites are indexed, they can then be searched. Most tools use some form of queries, or search strings, that the user writes to find mentions of specific words and phrases on those pages. It will then bring these (we call them ‘mentions’) back into the tool’s interface, which can then be read, sliced, diced and so on.

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