The Sharpest B2B Social Media Monitoring Tools in the Shed – Part 1

A few months back, I did a deep dive on the marketing automation process and looked at well-known vendors of the service. For my second blog series, I’’ll focus on the importance of social media monitoring tools.

A recent issue of BtoB Magazine contained an in-depth study on “The Impact of Social Media on Search.” Out of the 464 B2B marketers surveyed, 29 percent plan to boost their social media budgets this year, and 56 percent plan on providing additional resources for social media. Social media is taking off in the corporate world and, chances are, the companies that are putting more time, money and resources into it are using a social media monitoring tool to see their results.

The sharpest B2B Social Media Monitoring Tools in the ShedPaul Dunay, global managing director of services and social marketing at Avaya Inc., is devoting 15 percent of his company’s online marketing budget to social media this year. “We have moved from an experimenting mode to a maintaining mode,” Dunay said.

According to Ryan DeShazer, global practice leader for search at GyroHSR, we finally have the opportunity to influence which answers users are searching for, so why don’t over half of the B2B marketers surveyed take advantage of social media monitoring tools? The influence of social media on companies and brands is growing exponentially, and it’s more important than ever to make sure your efforts are being executed efficiently.

Maria Ogneva, director of social media at Attensity, put together a great list of “10 Steps for Successful Social Media Monitoring”:

1. Define an objective. Your objectives must be thorough, thought-out and measurable. Your social media monitoring plan should be a means to an end, so be sure and have a goal in mind.

2. Decide where to monitor. Hone in on where your target audience hangs out. Is it Twitter? Blogs? LinkedIn?

3. Decide what to monitor. Keywords, keywords, keywords!

4. Prioritize. I love Maria’s “signal-to noise ratio” it’’s so true! Focus on the most important.

5. Develop a plan. Have one in place for every situation you don’t want a social media smear campaign targeted at you without a crisis management plan ready to go.

6. Involve others. Make sure everyone in your social media plan has a specific role if there’s a question someone needs to answer ASAP, what’s the most efficient way to get a hold of them?

7. Listen first. Don’’t just wait for your turn to talk LISTEN!

8. Inbound vs. outbound conversations. There are appropriate executions for both figure them out.

9. Build relationships. Nurture relationships with those who are driving the conversations about your company.

10. Select tools that match your strategy. After you decide where to monitor, figure out which company can offer you the best service for that niche.

Once you have your strategy in place, it’s time to find a social media monitoring service that will best accommodate your needs. And don’t worry – most social media monitoring tools can give you some insight if your strategy hasn’’t quite been perfected.

Over the next few blog posts, I’ll highlight a few of the top social media monitoring services available. In the meantime, how did you decide what social media monitoring provider to use?