Gary Vay*ner*chuck recently declared that there is “no such thing as social media”. Did he just say this to get a rise out of people? Probably, but his point is well taken. I’d take this a different direction and make the argument that there is no such thing as “social media monitoring”.
Call it whatever you want: monitoring, listening, measurement, intelligence, etc. The fact is that the majority of the snake oil being pushed today in this space is laughable. Actionable insights? Social Media ROI? More like vanity metrics and fancy visualizations. Simply aggregating social data and shoving it in a “dashboard” is far from adequate regardless of how elegant the UI/UX may be. The meaningful analysis is just not there and yet people continue to throw money at these scrubs.
For the past 3 years, after countless demos, trials, and tutorials, I have really only found 3 solutions that made the shortlist. This means that I felt they provided actual value. They are able to see beyond the limitations of sentiment analysis and focus their energy on the qualitative. These scalable and flexible solutions offer sufficient firehose data access and real-time analytics that can be directly aligned with business goals.
However, even these market leaders typically fail to live up to their potential. The problem is that they require significant time and resources for training, usage, and maintenance. This is particularly true within agencies as they generally lack the skilled manpower and billable hours from their clients to properly leverage these tools. What ends up happening is a few “junior strategists/analysts” scramble to crank out as many PPT decks as they can for a deadline knowing that they have only scratched the surface.
There is no such thing as “social media monitoring” and ignorance will only lead to greater inefficiencies.
Want to know who made my shortlist? I’d love to hear your take and continue the conversation…