Which Tool Should I Use to Monitor My Social Media? [Infographic]

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

It seems like everyday they come out with a new “social media monitoring tool”, everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie. No wonder why we’re all getting confused. But do I need to monitor my social media in the first place? Duh! How else are you going to know what people are saying about your brand (called sentiment monitoring) and how well you’re doing in terms of views, likes, and traffic (referred to as analytics tracking) and what the trending topics are.

Ok, so let’s get to the good part. Which social media monitoring tool should you use? The good news is that there are some really good free tools out there, the bad news is that there many of them, so figuring out which one to use could be daunting. For example, Socialbrite came up with 20 free, awesome social media monitoring tools that you could have a look at.

Just to confuse you even more, Tripwire Magazine prepared a list of 30 Useful Social Media Monitoring Tools that you could also review. One of our favorite ones mentioned in both lists is HootSuite, which allows you to monitor up to 5 social media networks (e.g.  Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Blog) for free. It’s good if you’ve just starting out and have got 5 or less channels to monitor.

However, as great as some of those free tools are, it wont do the full job for your company if you’ve got many channels to monitor and are highly involved in social media conversations and engagement all over the Web. This is when you have to start paying a little bit of cash to get the full job done. You could be paying anywhere from $100-$500 per month to use one those bad boys.

For example, Radian6, one of the most robust tools out there, could cost you well around $500 a month to use, but boy is it powerful! It helps capture more than hundreds of millions of posts each day, including the full Twitter firehose, Facebook, blogs, news sites, discussion boards, video and image sharing sites.

Although we’re trying to narrow down the list of potential tools down for you, it still wouldn’t be fair to mention just two of them. There are plenty of other tools that deserve to be analyzed as well. The good news is that Oneforty surveyed 150 social media professionals to find out how they used social media monitoring tools, and worked with KissMetrics to put their responses into infographic form.

It still doesn’t quite boil it down to the best tool to use, but it does narrow down the list a bit more based on the opinions of 150 social media experts. Feel free to click on the infographic to view the enlarged view. Enjoy!

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Finally! Some Ways to Measure Social Media Impact on Business

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

One of the terms that gets thrown around way too loosely and vaguely, is the concept of ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI), what is it exactly?

Simply, it is the yields that you receive in return for some sort of resource that you’re sacrificing, such as people (we’re not talking about the Chichen Itza style of human sacrificing), money, time, or anything that keeps you from sleeping at night. Here’s the equation to compute ROI:

But here’s the tricky question, how do you define gain from investment? What exactly is the gain? If you hire a marketing coordinator, then you know the cost of the investment, it’s his or her salary and related expenses. But how will you determine whether you’re generating a healthy ROI with this hire? Will the gain be attributed to leads, sales, profits, or some other sort of metric. You see how confusing it can get!

To make it even more confusing, let’s talk about social media? Does social media actually generate a ROI? That is the least of many questions circulating this topic. Some experts argue that the because of the importance of social media in today’s information, collaboration, and sharing age, the ROI of social media is that your business will exist in 5 years!

Some argue that there is a ROI, but it’s too early in the game to define exactly what gain you receive from your social media investment. Even if you were able to pinpoint exactly what sort of gain you receive out of the whole crazy world called social media. The truth is that marketers have yet to come out with a solid standard measurement of social media success, but they’re getting closer to doing so.

For instance, Wildfire conducted a ROI survey of over 700 marketers from all around the World to reveal what kind of impact social media is having on their businesses, and what are some of the top measurements they value the most. The results were compiled into an easy-to-digest infographic, found below. I know it;s too small to view, so just click on it so you can be taken to the larger version, enjoy!