With so much online chatter, companies are working hard to get a handle on the new monitoring challenges the endless volume of social media activity poses.
VMS has partnered with Nielsen BuzzMetrics for its blog monitoring service, which accesses more than 30 million blogs. Despite the ability to look widely, narrowing things down is how they're "bringing order to the chaos."
"[You can't] walk away from this environment because it seems vast," says Jim Waggoner, president of professional services at VMS. "We tailor [the results] to meet the specific needs of customers. It's one thing to get hits on Google News; it's another to get what's relevant."
Getting to the crux of what's significant is also behind Collective Intellect's (CI) newly launched service, Media Intellect, a real-time media monitoring service which can rank and sort content based on various criteria.
"For some companies, who's talking about you in social media is important," says Robin Seidner, marketing director at CI. "Some are influencers and some aren't."
Based on a service that they offer to financial-services clients, who watch the ever-changing statistics on outlets like Bloomberg, Media Intellect also has the speed to keep up with today's media.
"Stories bubble up from social to traditional media," says Seidner. "Catch it before [that happens] and you can be more responsive."
Marketers must also be mindful that social media isn't just blogs. DIY Dashboard 3.0, the latest iteration of the media tracking software from KDPaine & Partners, can cull information from YouTube and other social networking sites that use a tagging system.
"Measurement is easier if you look for data in the right place," says Katie Paine, KDPaine CEO. "Look at the response of the people. Reframe the conversation with what you want people to do."
Paine suggests comparing things like views on YouTube with Web site activity.
With all the focus on the technology side of social media, it's easy to forget the human side. DIY Dashboard relies on people to monitor and analyze media content.
"You need the human element to understand the conversation," says Paine. "You can't hit a button and get good relationships."
Don't let the amount of social media activity deter you from monitoring it
Monitor what's relevant, filter out what's not
Frame your monitoring activity in ways that can be measured