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NEWS19 May 2010

Survey finds DIY tools popular for social media monitoring

Trends UK

UK— A significant number of marcoms professionals in the UK seem content with taking a DIY approach to online brand monitoring, according to the second wave of McCann Erickson’s Social Media Index study.

The survey of 115 in-house marketing and communications managers found 45% using simple Google Alerts to track mentions of their brand online.

Paid-for tools are in use – but no individual provider matches the popularity of Google. Radian 6 came closest, with 14.3% of respondents using the software, following by PR Newswire’s Social Media Metrics at 10.4%.

The results broadly reflect the findings of a US study by Business.com, which found a high reliance on Google and other search engines for brand monitoring purposes.

Returning to the McCann Erickson research, 48% of those surveyed said they don’t feel they have adequate knowledge on how best to use social media channels effectively for marketing purposes. This is down 16 percentage points on the first wave of the study, but still “surprisingly high”, says McCann – especially since average usage of each of the main social networks is up by around 22% on the last survey.

Joanna Randall (pictured), head of PR and social media communications at McCann Erickson Bristol, said: “There is a clear need for more information and training specifically targeted to marketers.”

@RESEARCH LIVE

6 Comments

9 years ago

Thanks for sharing the results of the survey Brian. Great to see that data. I wanted to comment on the '48% of those surveyed said they don’t feel they have adequate knowledge on how best to use social media channels effectively for marketing purposes.' It would be interesting to dive into this group's issues a bit deeper. Also what did the 16% discover that helped them gain a better appreciation for how to approach social media? I think part of the issue for the slower ramp up is that social media isn't just another channel to add on to the current roster. Had the phone been invented and introduced at the same time as social media I believe we'd see the same struggle to climb the curve. Like the phone, social media is a two way communications channel, used for many types of things, generally person(s) to person(s) where a relationship is considered (whether just starting off or well developed). It's not something to deliver one way messages on, just like the phone isn't. This has been the perplexing problem for marketers I believe. The introduction of social media has caused marketers to look inward right to the soul of what they are doing. It's not just about a new tactical approach, it's a fundamental shift in thinking, in feeling, in relating. That kind of knowledge can't come from a course or from reading a couple of great whitepapers. It can start there but it is truly a new journey. A 16% shift is actually pretty good when you consider the magnitude of the effort ahead of marketers to transform their strategies right down to the root. The phone revolutionized how we live and work. Social media is doing the same but at 10 times the rate. Exciting stuff. Thanks for the article. Cheers. @davidalston Radian6

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9 years ago

The other way to look at it is that 55% of communications managers are not using DIY. This route is getting easier because there are more tools, including social media services, that offer bells and whistles based on your needs. Mark Mark Evans Director of Communications Sysomos Inc.

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9 years ago

David and Mark, thanks for the comments. Just to add to the DIY vs. paid-for issue. I wonder whether social media brand monitoring will go the same way as web analytics – that is a high proportion of people using both free and paid-for tools. This survey (http://bit.ly/11LPFg) by Econsultancy and Lynchpin Analytics found some 80% of companies using Google Analytics to track the performance of their website, although only 23% were using it exclusively.

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9 years ago

Interesting survey indeed, thanks for posting this Brian. It’s striking the way in which the Social Media Monitoring space has grown over the last few years, including social media as a whole. It’s encouraging to know that more and more companies and professionals are talking about it and thinking of, if not outright integrating social media in their strategy. I do think that as companies and individuals become more comfortable with social media and learn to integrate it throughout the business they will eventually consider paid tools like Radian6 which allows you to not only monitor but also engage (and engage quickly) with customers and prospects who are talking about you. Which tools are used really does depend on how much understanding companies and professionals have of them which is why we actively speak to companies about how social media can complement their current marketing strategies as well as offering training on Radian6. For those who are just getting started in this space I recommend taking a look at this Whitepaper http://6con.bz/dCHR0E. Olivia Marketing and Community Manager 6Consulting @Olivia6C

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9 years ago

hi Brian Thanks for sharing this. it doesn't surprise me that Google alerts are popular. They're free, easy to use and give reasonable data, especially for small volume b2b brands. We do a lot of comparison between our tool and Google alerts and see some big difference in the quality, timliness and raw quantity of the results. Google alerts really only is a sample of what's published online - not sure everyone knows that and often the results are out of date too which is rather annoying But it's a fast-changing market and i'm sure systems like Radian6, Brandwatch and the others from the quality companies in this space will continue to make up ground as the market matures. it will be interesting to see how fast it happens Best wishes Giles

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8 years ago

Interesting data, and great to see some comments here from the people working with the monitoring side. Part of the challenge I see on the agency side, which I am sure is at least the same on the client side, is the complexity of making a choice, and the cost of a paid service. Absolutely get the benefits AND... - It's very difficult to compare services easily - Which makes it difficult to compare pricing, easily I've also found personally, that often the free trial period when you are looking isn't necessarily the same as when you are able to dive right in and really get used to the tool as a whole and understand what it does and how it can help you - plus any gaps. A final point - at the Monitoring Social Media Conference earlier this year, it was really emphasised the people element, which will get clearer to people as we go, I think, about investing time to understand the content of the discussions. Claire

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