What makes a social media monitoring solution exceptional? There’s a lot of debate out there when it comes to the best tools to monitor social media, and there’s little consensus on what being “the best” even means. As a result, finding real answers isn’t always easy. So let’s ignore the merits of any particular social media monitoring products, and explore a deeper question. What features do the best social media monitoring tools have in common?
Let’s take a look at seven essential features to look for in a social media monitoring solution.
- Social listening: The most essential function of any social media monitoring tool is the ability to identify and track brand-relevant discussions in real time. The best tools aren’t limited by the APIs of major social media platforms. They can find these discussions anywhere they happen. If your audience is talking about your brand in the comment section of an influencer’s blog post, your social monitoring solution needs to have the ability to detect it.
- Audience management: The best social monitoring tools do more than just allow you to eavesdrop on your customers’ conversations. They also make it easy to moderate discussions on all of your social channels, providing a single interface for managing messages, comments, and other common tasks in one place.
- Competitive intelligence: It’s not enough to track your own brand, keywords, and mentions. You need tools that allow you to gain deep insights into the moves made by your competition. The best tools to monitor social media will make it easy to see your competitors’ audiences, marketing trends, and other insights.
- Early warning systems: When things go wrong on your social media, you need to know about it immediately. One badly phrased tweet or fat-fingered typo on an Instagram post can result in a tidal wave of bad press and audience outrage. The longer it goes unaddressed, the worse the fallout tends to be. A great social media monitoring tool will automatically alert you to any troubling anomalies.
- Trend forecasting: Your brand exists in an almost incomprehensibly complex environment, and the conditions are constantly changing. Your competitors are always trying out new ideas, and your customers are always looking for better deals. Social media monitoring tools allow you to track small changes as they become big trends, improving forecasts and revenue models in real time.
- Analytics and reporting: Your data shouldn’t be hard to understand. If your social media monitoring solution can’t turn raw data into instantly comprehensible and visually compelling reports, it’s not the right tool for your brand.
- Time saving: This one isn’t going to be found in your social media monitoring suite’s navigation or dashboard, but it’s easily one of the most important features to look for. Does this social listening tool actually save time? Does it make your business more efficient? If not, it’s probably time to investigate other options.
The best tools to monitor social media are those that generate real results for your brand. Don’t get distracted by impressive-sounding features that you don’t need, or by expensive add-on services that don’t improve your ROI. Your social media monitoring tools should always serve your brand’s needs, and deliver real value to your company. Everything else is just decoration.
Find out how Sysomos social monitoring tools can help you stay on top of social media. Get a demonstration today.