While equally essential to the social media marketing process, social media monitoring and social media measurement are two completely different social media practices. Social media monitoring focuses on social “buzz” conversations and the emotional side of social media. Social media measurement, on the other hand, focuses on actual customer experience, the rational side of social media. Knowing the difference between these two practices will help you plan and execute your social media campaigns accordingly.
In order to clear up any confusion, let’s take a closer look at each approach:
Monitoring Your Brand
Social monitoring is about searching social media to see what’s being said about your brand, your competitors, and your industry both in your Lansing home community and across the internet. The continuous discovery of conversations is used to learn, engage, and build relationships with your customers. The process of social media monitoring starts by collecting keywords and phrases that are relevant to your company or industry, and then tracking them in major social networks’ blogs (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube, etc.), news sites, and forums. Pay attention to the content, trends, questions, comments, feedback, and any links associated with the keywords and phrases. The more you search, the more keywords and phrases you can add to your list that will ultimately provide you with certain insights, namely what people are saying about your company.
By monitoring your brand on social media, you will be able to answer questions such as:
- What are people saying about my competitors?
- Who are my brand advocates and influencers?
- What does my brand’s reputation look like online?
- What are the trending topics within my industry?
- How well are my marketing campaigns performing
Measuring Your Brand
By measuring your social media activity, you will be able to answer questions such as:
- Who is liking, retweeting, sharing, and commenting on my social media posts?
- When are my customers most active on social media platforms?
- Where is the traffic to my social media page coming from?
- How many people have viewed my page?
- How many people are your posts reaching?
‘Social Media Monitoring’ and ‘Social Media Measurement’ are separate and distinct practices that rely on each other to succeed. Determining which practice you should use depends on the length of time you have been using social media marketing and what your company is looking to accomplish.
Social media monitoring can provide a broad, insightful overview of the social sentiment of your brand. Monitoring is ideal for companies who are new to social media marketing and want to know how to plan their content.
Social media measurement can provide deeper, advanced insights used to guide decisions, set strategy, and detect threats to the business. This practice works well for companies who have been using social media marketing for a long period of time, or long enough to have collected sufficient insight and analytics.
These two social media practices are often used interchangeably and it’s easy to see why; both involve tracking and collecting data from social media websites. The difference between social media monitoring and measurement is interpretation of the data. Once you have made the distinction with your own social media data, you can strategize how to collect future insights and how to apply the results to your overall marketing plan.