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Social Media: Monitoring Vs. Measurement

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Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim asks, Would you search for social media monitoring or social media measurement? It’s a good question and it must be pointed out that the two are distinctly different. However, I wouldn’t say either is more important than the other.

His Twitter audience overwhelmingly favored monitoring. Some of the responses were quite interesting:

@schachin monitoring… social sounds like it needs monitoring not measurement like ROI or CTR

Point well taken, but I think social media needs both.

@tonicarr I think I would be more apt to search “social media analytics”, then I would vote for your “social media measurement”

Here’s another point well taken, but not everyone knows to search for a term like “analytics”. But that’s essentially what the term “measurement” implies.

@SurjGish Depends, monitoring & measurement are 2 different things

Let’s see, where have I heard that before? ;-)

@1000cigarettes would depend on my intentions. measurement if i were looking for my own results, monitoring if looking to see cumulative mentions

This is perhaps the most revealing of all the responses. If I was looking for ways to measure and analyze data acquired from social media then I’d search for “social media measurement”. But if I was looking for ways to monitor mentions of my company brand then “social media monitoring” would be the more appropriate phrase.

@jimmyrey Social Media Monitoring is what I search for when looking for people who want to buy it

I’m not sure why you’d search for that term when looking for people to buy, but it’s an interesting response.

@chriskovac I’d search for “”social media monitoring” — “measurement” seems to vague, especially to people that are just now experimenting

Social media measurement is a rather vague term. If you don’t know what it means or you aren’t sure what it might mean then you likely would not search for it.

@EvanKRob social media monitoring. Seems to project a proactive philosophy where measurement suggests reactive.

Here’s another very telling response. I’m not sure that “social media measurement” is reactive. It depends on whether you intend to act on the data you collect.

@KidQuick my vote goes to social media monitoring. But, my 1st search query on that topic would be something else “social media analytics”

Another interesting response that favors “analytics” over either of the other two terms.

Personally, I think which search term you’d use depends on your knowledge and experience of social media marketing in particular and Internet marketing in general. If you’re familiar with the terms then you’d likely search for the term that is most appropriate to your needs. If you’re only familiar with one of the terms then you’d like search for that one. I doubt that anyone would search for any of the terms unless they’d heard them before somewhere.

But Andy Beal’s point shouldn’t be missed. What’s important when marketing to search engines is what people will search for. You may provide social media analytics, but if more people will search for social media monitoring then you should probably include that in your keyword list and target the phrase.

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