A question I get a lot is what kind of monitoring system do I use and recommend?
As with most things, there is no right answer, as it really depends on one’s needs. I had the chance to use various solutions from Radian6,(acquired by Salesforce) to the Social Media Monitoring powerhouse Tracx, to even simpler channel-specific solutions.
Most of those systems are complex and offer a variety of advanced tools (monitoring is just a portion of the entire product). I’ll definitely review and recommend them some other time.
But today, I’d like to focus on a quick power tip, that is a completely free monitoring tool for social networks.
Why and who needs monitoring?
Monitoring online content is an essential part of today’s digital marketing activities. As incredible amounts of data are being created every minute on the internet, it is more important than ever for companies to monitor, archive and analyze it. This data often relates to brands, different stakeholders in the ecosystem (relevant vertical and industry) and in some cases it can even be used as a competitive intelligence tool.
Tracking all that information can be a daunting task and present many challenges. One that is particularly challenging and requires efforts is separating the “noise” from the valuable content while ignoring false positives.
So let’s get right to it, I am a big fan of automation. Doing more with less time invested. There are quite a few smart services that can connect multiple systems together and create great value with little effort or technical know-how.
One of my very favorites is a service called IFTTT. Stands for “If this, then that”. It basically allows anyone to create such formulas (called recipes) that connect different services based on triggered action. The combination of various services can be very powerful if done wisely.
I use IFTTT in a number of neat ways, and there are loads of different options available through IFTTT for powering up your online marketing efforts. One particular way I love using it, is an alternative to the complex monitoring systems out there, especially when either you’re low on budget or time.
(Notice: that I am writing about Twitter recipes for content monitoring, there are additional ones involving other social networks)
First of all, you’ll want to use a recipe that collects all of the Tweets that contain a relevant hashtag of your choosing, into a Google sheet, right along with additional available data. (You can customize and pick what data you’re interested in that is available through twitter API)
This way you’ll actually be able to create an archive of the entire online conversation and postings about that particular hashtag that you’re interested in, for further analysis, reporting and future qualification for a marketing program.
Next up, you’ll want to complement that one with a recipe that will assist you with gathering all the relevant Twitter accounts that have used a specific hashtag and automatically save them into one of your Twitter lists. Twitter lists are a fantastic method of saving a segment of Twitter users, interacting with them and performing all sorts of analysis and research based on that particular segmented group of individuals or brands.
Say your company participated in a conference, it will be highly beneficial for the marketing team to archive, analyze, qualify and might even engage the relevant people who either participated or shown explicit interest in the event.
Automation is a powerful concept, especially when one can combine multiple systems to perform different tasks easily and in our case, free of charge. Courtesy of IFTTT, Google Drive and the magic of Twitter API.
Are you familiar with IFTTT? I’m curious to know how you use it to compliment your online marketing.