Thursday, 17 February 2011

Social Media Monitoring

There are two things that have been obsessing for the last few years: Web Analytics and Social Media Monitoring. Web analytics measures official outputs BY companies whereas Social Media Monitoring measures unofficial outputs ABOUT companies.

Gradually these are coming to the attention of the MRS and ESOMAR. Indeed ESOMAR has a set of codes for Social Media Research up for debate - see

I love some of the jargon - cloaking, scraping, DORCs and more. One thing that passed me by was the new term MROC – apparently thought up by Forrester to mean Market Research Online Communities – for a good account see

There are steps afoot to standardise the terms used in this sphere. These are the two main attempts: SMAC Social Media Advertising Consortium Web Analytics Association

Software trawls consumer generated media (blogs, facebook etc.) continuously and inspects this information using text analysis programs (like NVivo etc) and then sells information to companies about how they are perceived - negative or positive.

At a recent seminar I suggested that this analysis was ineffective when such things as metaphor, and euphemism come into play. The word wicked is a good example - a company can be wicked (good) or the company was wicked (negative) - I fear that without a human such nuances are lost.

Oh this is the dawning of a new industry - so exciting to see the doors opening!