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The Maranda Writes

You HAVE the Right to know!!

Social media monitoring is tracking a variety of social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Myspace) to find the effectiveness and popularity of a particular company.  In a world where most information is easily accessible with one click at peoples fingertips. Information is never far away. 

Morgan Mclinte compiled a list of the 5 most popular social monitoring companies as Viral Heat, ListenLogic, Biz360, Radian6, Filtrbox. These companies monitor all social media sites compiling lists of comments, company history and other facts specified by company or brand name.  http://www.morganmclintic.com/pr/2009/11/the-top-5-social-media-monitoring-services-poll-results.html

Some people might argue that social media monitoring is unethical.  It’s completely based on the feelings of unprofessional in an uncensored environment.  For example, a customer upset with a personal dispute over a statement from Wachovia bank might take to twitter to vent. This one-sided opinion might be held against the company as a reflection of all of its customers.  

 Todd Overpeck listed a list of the social media ethical dilemmas  

— Revisionist History

— Rumors

— Pay for Play – people paid to leave disparaging comments about another company

— Flogs (fake blogs)

— Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.  

— Netiquette – ethical and respectful conversations and comments

— no distinction between the legitimacy of comments

Supporters of social media monitoring would argue that it gives direct uncensored access to feedback from customers. Most company messages and advertisements are formulated based on the viewpoint of that company or brand, so they would naturally portray themselves in a positive light. Of course some comments or opinions might be distorted, but that falls on the responsibility of the researcher to verify the credibility in these instances.  I personally agree with this perspective. Some comments will be negative but in a realistic setting this is  to occur, these opinions still matter. 

However it is important for PR professionals to remember these facts when condusting social media monitoringresearch.

— Represent the organization as you would as spokesperson.

— Know your purpose for using a particular Social Media tool.

— Update entries and reply to inquiries regularly.

— Model good grammer and speling.

— Stay focused on business.

— Correct errors quickly and admit mistakes when necessary.

— Monitor Social Media use just like news media monitoring.

— Think like a potential customer.

— Develop measurable goals.

— Analyze the goals and objectives vs. the tactics.

— Think about not only your messages, but about how to solicit responses and create conversation.

— Develop integrated PR/Marketing/Advertising Social Media campaigns.

— Be prepared for “offline” contact.

— Be aware of your competitors… they are watching you.

You have the right to know!

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