11 Questions to Ask Media Monitoring & Measurement Vendors

By William Comcowich

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The widespread popularity of social media has caused social media listening to become a must-have service for large and mid-sized companies. Public relations professionals use media monitoring to handle crises, manage corporate reputation, and evaluate the impact of their PR activities. Social media monitoring and measurement also helps businesses and brands improve customer service, conduct market research and pinpoint fruitful marketing strategies.

While more companies embrace news monitoring and social media listening, finding the right media monitoring solution can be difficult. The market is saturated with a range of monitoring tools. Media monitoring firms continually emerge, go out of business, overhaul their products, or merge with competitors. All too frequently, companies chose a media monitoring vendor that doesn’t meet their needs and must start a new search almost immediately or when their contract expires.

Asking these questions can help you find the best media monitoring service for your organization and avoid such unhappy scenarios.

Does your service monitor the media I need? Many media measurement vendors do not monitor all types of media. Some monitor strictly traditional media outlets such as online or print news; others focus on social media. Some social media listening services may not monitor online news, radio, television or print. Ask if the vendor monitors the social media networks, blogs, online forums and specific news outlets you need. Most organizations need to monitor particular local news sources, trade publications, blogs or social media accounts. If a service doesn’t monitor a certain website or network, it may be able to add it to its monitoring list upon request. If the service does not monitor some sources on your “must-have” list make their inclusion part of your agreement, including an option to cancel if the vendor does not add the required sources within a specified time.

Do you provide timely alerts? Customers with problems expect a response within hours. Organizations must act quickly to solve customer service issues and to extinguish potential PR crisis. Ask if the vendor can send media alerts at the times you need them and, if needed, multiple times per day to multiple people on your staff.

How accurate are your reports? Only a high-quality media monitoring service with good keyword filters can weed out the large numbers of irrelevant mentions, including spam, porn and geographical references. Unrelated mentions can be an especially large problem if you’re monitoring generic words. Negative keywords and other advanced search operators can deliver targeted results.

Do you offer sentiment analysis? Sentiment analysis, either by human analysts or automated software, rates the tone of mentions on a positive to negative scale. Although automated sentiment analysis offers major brands with large numbers of mentions a cost-effective option, software programs are less accurate than reviews by human analysts. Seek a vendor that can combine human analysis and automated software for greater accuracy.

Do you integrate analytics from all media into a single report? The best media monitoring services integrate analytics from all media and social networks, including the client’s Google Analytics, into Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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