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The Social Media Intelligence Blog

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60+ Free Resources for Mastering Social Monitoring

By Rion Martin  •  September 30, 2015


60+ Free Resources for Mastering Social Monitoring

Posted by: Rion Martin on September 30, 2015
Rion Martin
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How many ways can you get value from listening to the social web? One hundred? One thousand? One hundred thousand?

Whatever the actual number, there is no doubt that the number of ways to apply social media monitoring is enormous.

So, to help you get the most from this powerful practice, here’s a well-organized list of great blog posts, reports, videos, and tools, broken out by general information and specific use case. (Note: ! Indicates that a resource requires you to submit your email)

Have a resource to add? Tweet me @rionmartin.

Table of Contents for Quick Reference

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Evaluating Tools? Read Reviews and Recommendations

Compare the best business software and services based on user ratings and social data.

Boolean query writing

The Secrets to Building Great Social Media Monitoring Queries (Blog)
Writing effective queries is essential to getting great results from social media monitoring. Here’s a guide for building Boolean queries that achieve the best outcomes.

The Importance of the Boolean Search Query in Social Media Monitoring Tools (PDF)
This paper will help you understand Boolean search terms, show some social media monitoring tool comparisons of how they implement their query of social mentions.

Definitions for common and universal terms

The Differences Between Social Listening, Monitoring, and Analytics (Blog)
Social media monitoring, listening, analytics, and intelligence are often used synonymously, but in reality each term actually describes something quite different. Here’s a master list of key terminology.

Understanding Sentiment

The Comprehensive Guide for Understanding Sentiment (Blog)
If you’ve ever demoed a social media tool with built-in sentiment analysis, at some point you’ve probably found yourself asking, “can I really trust this?” In most cases, you shouldn’t. Here’s why.


5 Templates to Make Your Social Media Insights Actionable (Blog)
This post details five frameworks and templates that you can start using today to answer the “so what?” questions and make your social insights more actionable.

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The Quick, Easy Guide to Build a Social Listening Dashboard (Blog)
How to build a social listening dashboard to track the right conversations and key words and get involved in all the conversations that matter to you!

The Two Biggest Mistakes in Social Media Analysis (Blog)
The two potentially catastrophic mistakes that researchers make when conducting a social media analysis and what can be done to avoid them.

How to measure the ROI of social listening (Blog)
Measuring social listening return on investment can be a challenge but is possible. Here’s some tips.

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Audience Discovery / Analysis

5 Things Millennials Want McDonald’s to Know (Blog)
There isn’t a single fast-food restaurant that isn’t interested in grabbing the “echo boom” generation’s attention. In particular, fast-food giant McDonald’s, has failed to connect with Millennials, but perhaps these are some of the reasons why…

What Gamers Think of the Top Delivery Pizza Chains (Blog + Report !)
Using social data to gain deeper context on what motivates gamers in their choice of brands and the how their opinions deviate from the general population.

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Kellogg’s: Special K Brand and Market Analysis, Targeting Healthy Eaters (PDF Report)
A report that looks at how the Special K brand differs between people who are very passionate about healthy food options versus the general population.

Brand Analysis / Reputation Monitoring

Understanding the Coca Cola and Pepsi Brands and Brand Extensions Through Social Media Research (PDF Report !)
A detailed examination of preference for each brand, net favorability, emotional attachment, expressed purchase indicators, consumer opinions of sweeteners, and more.

Building a Brand Worthy of Fans and Advocates: Warby Parker Brand Analysis (Blog)
Using social media analytics to understand Warby Parker’s disruption of the eyewear market through strong brand vision and careful listening

Subway: Pinpointing and Analyzing the Perceptions of Core Consumers (PDF Report)
A report that details how perceptions of the Subway brand differ between people who are very passionate about healthy food options versus the general population.

Campaign Measurement

Old Spice’s ”Mom Song” vs P&G’s “Pick Them Back Up” Who did it better? (PDF Report)
A social media campaign analysis of two viral, mom-centric commercials.

Category and Industry Analysis

CVS and Walgreens go Head to Head in Beauty (Blog)
Explores the beauty category for the top two drugstores in the United States, CVS and Walgreens, to demonstrate a different and dynamic way to leverage social media insights.

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Shaken, Stirred, or Straight Up? A Category Analysis of Vodka Brands (PDF Report)
This report analyzes the vodka category within the spirit industry over a period of six months. The analysis is focused on five specific vodka brands: Absolut, Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Stolichnaya (or Stoli as it is commonly known), and Russian Standard.

Carbonated Beverage Industry Analysis (PDF Report)
Analyzes dialogue from within particular consumer groups to better understand what aspects of these products create preference toward brand advocacy or sensitivities which are potentially damaging a brand’s perception.

Community Management

4 Essential Social Media Community Management Activities to Complete in Less Than 2 Hours (Blog)
How to overcome common bottlenecks in order to be a move productive community manager.

Competitive Intelligence

Getting Started With Online Competitive Intelligence (Blog)
This post walks you through using free and paid platforms to become a rock star at keeping current on what your competitors are saying about themselves and consumers are saying about them.

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6 Ways to Use Social Media to Learn From Your Competitors (Blog)
If you’re not familiar with using social media listening to gain competitive intelligence, here are some ways to start learning.

Competitive Intelligence: 5 Tips for using Social Listening to Gain an Edge (Blog)
An example of how you can use social listening for competitive intelligence by looking at two world famous supercar brands – Ferrari and Porsche.

Content Creation / Planning

How to Optimize Your Content Strategy With Social Listening (Blog)
How social monitoring can help you find new keywords to target via paid search, find new networks or websites to run display ads on, and it can also help you optimize your content strategy.

How To Use Social Media Listening To Create Better Content For Your Audience (Blog)
Here’s how you can lay the foundation of a strong and sustainable content strategy by using social media listening to hear what your community is saying.

Banner for the general resources sectionImage by: Coschedule

7 Ways You Can Leverage Social Listening in Content Marketing (Blog)
Tips for leveraging social monitoring in content marketing.

Four Social Listening Tactics for Smart Content Creation (Blog)
A guide for listening to your audience and effectively balancing being social and promotional.

Customer Service

How to Offer Great Customer Service With Social Media (Blog)
In this article you’ll find out how to provide great customer service with social media.

The Complete Guide to Using Social Media for Customer Service (Blog)
The first step of great social media customer service is making sure you know everything that’s being said about you online. Here’s the steps to deliver after you start listening.

Banner for the general resources sectionImage by: Buffer

Influencer Identification

The Definitive Guide to Influencer Targeting (Blog)
What an influencer is and a guide for where to find ideal influence to promote your business.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media Influencers (Slide Share Presentation)
This presentation gives an overview of the social influencer market, and demonstrates how brands and their agency partners can best tap into the influencer resource.

Lead Generation

Find Leads with Social Media Monitoring (Webinar)
Video walkthrough of using social monitoring to find new leads.

How to Generate Leads on Social Media by Simply Listening to Your Audience (Blog)
Four specific ways you can generate leads by listening to your audience on social channels.

Market Research

Social Listening is a Very Effective Form of Market Research (Blog)
Nurturing and monitoring online interactions will allow your company to collect the honest, straightforward opinion of the consumer audience.

The Impact of Automotive Recalls on Consumer Opinion (PDF Report !)
This report combines traditional survey based research and social media analysis to uncover the systemic impacts to impression and purchase consideration for automotive brands that issue widespread recalls.

How Social Media Data is Enriching Market Research (Blog)
Explores how one market research agency made the move to integrate social media research and why it became an integral part of every single client project.

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Supercharging Market Research With Social Media Data (Blog)
Five ways that analyzing social media can provide tremendous benefit to market research.

New Business Pitches

How Insights From Social Media Helped Win Jaguar’s Business (Case Study !)
An agency’s perspective on leveraging social media analysis to compare buyers from around the world in order to gain unique insights and win the big account.

How Agencies Can Win New Business with Social Media Monitoring
Practical advice on how can agencies can use social data to stay ahead in the highly competitive agency world.

New Product Launches

Measuring Consumer Reactions to Apple’s iPhone 6 Launch Event (PDF Report !)
This report covers consumer anticipation leading up to and reactions during the event for one of Apple’s annual keynotes.

Taco Bell Wages War on Breakfast, Takes no Prisoners (PDF Report)
With Taco Bell’s bold move into the fast food breakfast category, this report uncovers the audiences the brand activated, the performances of related marketing campaigns, and how the breakfast menu was received after launch.

LG: Monitoring the Launch of the Optimus G Pro (PDF Report)
Analyzes news and public reactions surrounding the early information leaks and later official announcement of LG’s Optimus G Pro.

Product Innovation

The Strategic Value of Social Media for Pharmaceutical Companies (PDF Report !)
Use cases that detail how social insights can be leveraged for innovation in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries.

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Using Social Media for New Product Innovation (Editorial)
Wouldn’t it be great if brands could just sit in while a woman did her makeup, listen to her complain about what’s not going right and see her smile when she gets the look she wants? Thanks to social media, they can do just that.

How Social Media Listening Can Benefit Product Development (Editorial)
How social media monitoring reveals a product’s strengths and weakness, consumer preferences, market trends, and competitive threats.

How social listening can power your product development (Editorial)
There’s power in social media if used effectively. By exploring what customers talk about besides your brand, it may be possible to spot certain patterns and links such as coffee drinkers love to talk about dogs.

PR Risk / Crisis Management

Coke’s America Commercial Actually Didn’t Ignite Widespread Xenophobia (Blog)
Did you see that extremely controversial commercial that Coca Cola ran during the Super Bowl? The story here is simple, there really isn’t a news story at all. The reality is that the trending hashtags were taken entirely out of context by the public and news media alike.

Social listening and crisis management: How social can save your brand’s reputation (Editorial)
There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to escalate and respond to a crisis, as long as you have an effective plan in place that can be implemented quickly, when required. Here are some steps to follow.

Navigating a PR crisis in a social media landscape (Editorial)
Using social monitoring to narrow in on the top five public relations crises of 2014 and analyze why they gained traction.

Sales Measurement

The PS4 vs Xbox, Who Will Win The Market Share War? (PDF Report !)
Three weeks after this report predicted a 39% sales margin advantage for the PS4 based on social data and analytics, official numbers were released indicating a margin of 40%, one point higher than the projection.

Box Office Forecasting Using Social Analysis (PDF Report)
Hypothesizes that through analysis of online consumer dialogue in the seven days prior to a movie’s release, we can model a more accurate prediction of the outcome of a box office opening.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

4 Ways to Enhance SEO with Social Listening (Blog)
Think about how words are used and where they are used to search and to interact. This “how” and “where” are the key differentiators between SEO and social. And guess what? They’re also the most common denominators.

Boost Your Social Strategy With SEO Data (Blog)
A counter-intuitive approach to traditional practices. How can you use your SEO data to help improve your social media strategy?

Trend Identification / Analysis

The Pumpkin Spice Latte: A Flavor in Decline? (Blog + PDF Report)
A look back at declining passion for the Pumpkin Spice Flavor over the past several years that begs the question, “are consumers still in love with the Pumpkin Spice latte?”

Starbucks latte on a tableImage by: Nicola (flikr)


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