I can see more than 300 monitoring tools for media monitoring, Social Media and PR. And that just are not covered – even as new children are born in the monitoring universe, day by day. Already by profession i must to some extent retained as monitoring service provider at least the overview. Therefore, I have taken a large part of these offers from professional point of view under the microscope.
The individual tools have different characteristics depending on the application. In order to compare them, it may be easier to categorize them. I have identified five main sectors for which the respective tools are best suited:
1 Media Monitoring
2 Social Media Monitoring and Engagement
3 Social Media Analytics (Profile tracking)
4 (Classic) Media Monitoring (Incl. print and social Web)
5 Content Automation and Web monitoring
Here I will introduce the five best tools for media monitoring, social media, customer relations and PR management. The first category refers to tools that perform tasks in the other four fields. By this i organize tools that are suitable for classic media monitoring and social media monitoring. Moreover, they can also support the Social Media Engagement and Analytics:
The lovely Money
And then there’s another important factor of categorising the tools: the price. It plays important role especially for small businesses. First, because of course the free (versions of) tools in the eye. Alertio, Board Reader, Feedly, Icerocket, Socialmention, Social Searcher, Topsy and Twingly offer pretty good coverage of online news, social media channels and networks for online media monitoring and social media monitoring. And also they provide close to real-time results for monitoring. For no price this is really a good deal.
Monitoring is more than press of key
But one thing is clear: neither free nor paid tools provide completely satisfactory results for professional monitoring. Only a clever combination of (paid and free) tools, and some crafts and brains leads to the finish. Hence, the user of the tools must always understand the underlying metrics to know – how the tool works and what results it delivers, and then people have to interpret the data obtained .
On the other hand, the seekers also need to know what they are looking: So what are the monitoring objectives and questions to be answered? The best “pairing ” can then be made with combination of issue and tool functionality / properties. This also means that the tool provides proper integrable metrics. For a successful monitoring strategy, I recommend the following procedure:
The second view is important
When selecting the tools you should not use “try and error” approach. Many tool vendors have a support that allows the knowledge of the distribution to look behind the scenes of the tools. I have incorporated this point in the tool selection, but it is yet another important moment .
Not every provider is willing or has the ability to fulfill any special requests. While the support of the evaluated tool vendors rarely works as desired, a few were able to offer perfectly appropriate solution for individual and specific questions about the implementation of study models. It plays an important role especially in the design and planning of studies. It ‘s all about the manual feed of sources, crawler – performance, cost calculation for additional services, customization of features or integration capabilities (APIs).