Social media monitoring is an important component of social media marketing, PR work, and marketing planning and evaluation. Social networks are searched for information that is relevant for their own reputation as well as for their own products or services. For social media monitoring, tools are used that enable continuous work.
Due to the increasing popularity of social networks in the course of the internet’s development into Web 2.0, in which the user becomes active, the importance of social networks for online marketing and marketing in general has also increased. However, in contrast to the analysis of visitor flows or visitor behavior within the framework of web analysis, social media monitoring is based on other aspects. Much more data has to be processed in social media monitoring, and this data has to be processed in near real time so that companies can react directly to trends, criticism or activities of the competition. It is not directly about the analysis of one's own websites, but with the observation of topics and keywords in a variety of different social media.
Social media monitoring tools have been developed to bundle the mass of different data and prepare it for analysis. These programs make it possible to constantly search social networks for information relevant to corporate planning.
HootSuite is a social media dashboard published from HootSuite Media Inc. The software makes it possible to manage and control activities in various social networks with a single tool.
HootSuite describes its main function as "Social Network Management". Specifically, this means that the user can manage and control profiles in different social networks with only one account. The functionality of HootSuite is illustrated in a YouTube video.  In addition to the possibility of posting via HootSuite, users can also follow individual topics or contact other users directly.
The software is browser-based and can be used as a free basic version as well as a paid version with additional features.
HootSuite can be used with the following social networks:
HootSuite delivers concrete data on the reach of individual social media campaigns. This data can be created and retrieved as reports. The HootSuite account can be linked to Google Analytics for analysis. Other data sources such as Facebook Insights and statistics from Twitter or the URL Shortener ow.ly can also be imported.
A big advantage of HootSuite is that several users can work with one account. This makes the Social Media Monitoring Tool perfect for teamwork. HootSuite is also suitable for use on smartphones or tablets, meaning that campaigns can be managed and monitored while on the move.
FriendFeed is a service that allows you to bundle different social networks, blogs, RSS and web content into a single account. Strictly speaking, FriendFeed is not a social media monitoring tool, but its own meta-social network. However, the tool can also be used for marketing purposes. You can register via Twitter or Facebook account and it is free of charge. The tool was launched in 2007 and is now part of Facebook Inc.
FriendFeed not only allows users to bundle accounts from different social networks into a single feed, but they can also fill this feed with news, topics or information from social media channels. The feed can be shared with friends or partners who will be notified of any changes to the subscribed content.
In the personal feed, over 55 different web services such as social bookmarks, social networks or blogging services are included. Thus, the feed goes far beyond traditional social networks. The following services (with examples) can be integrated thematically.
Whoever uses FriendFeed should not expect a ready-made social media monitoring tool. Rather, the bundling of several and very versatile social media channels makes it possible to identify trends and read up-to-the-minute topics. Unlike HootSuite or SocialBench, FriendFeed brings together news from an even wider range of social networks. Thus, FriendFeed is ideal for finding opinions on specific topics and products.
SocialBench is a web-based service that enables the monitoring and analysis of social media activities of various social networks. One of the main features of the tool is the creation of social benchmarks.
The Social Media Monitoring Tool is subject to a fee and can be used by several people at the same time, depending on the version. Prices vary between just under 50 and nearly 800 EUR per month.
The tool offers its users a variety of functions. The focus is on benchmarking, within which the performance of individual social media channels can be measured and reports can be created.
Further functions include the analysis of trends and the direct detection of trends. The competition comparison is also interesting.
Through the connection to Google Analytics, traffic flows from different sources can be compared and analyzed directly via SocialBench in addition to social interaction.
A special feature of SocialBench is to analyse users and their reactions on the Social Web. In this way, it is possible to trace exactly in which social networks the users of their own profiles are also active.
The monitoring tool offers many starting points for evaluating your own social media activities and campaigns, or by using defined KPIs.
Possible KPIs are:
The special thing about SocialBench is that these KPIs can be analyzed as benchmark comparisons with competitors' social media channels.
Today, social media marketing is an integral part of companies' marketing mix. But hardly any other area is so dynamic. Opinions can quickly change, top topics can emerge and disappear into insignificance just as quickly. The line between liking and bashing is often very narrow. For this reason, social media monitoring is becoming increasingly important. By continuously monitoring the target groups in the social networks, it is possible to identify trends, anticipate criticism or create opinions.