why smm is essential in 2021

Social media monitoring tools are crucial in our digital world. In fact, it has never been more important for brands and businesses to develop and execute a social media monitoring plan.

Why – and how can you sell stakeholders on its importance?

We’ll share all of that and more below including:

  • Just what is social media monitoring
  • The benefits to brand health, share of voice, benchmarking, emerging trends and more
  • Integrating your own data and consumer feedback into Netbase Quid

And using social analytics enhances the benefits brands experience with social media monitoring. If you haven’t been leveling up your social media monitoring game, now is the time to start:

  • There was a $16 billion jump in social media marketing from 2017 to 2021.
  • 40% of marketing and sales teams believe data science driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is foundational to their social media marketing success.

And they’re right! Let’s dig in.

ultimate how to guide for social and media analytics

What is Social Media Monitoring?

Think of social media monitoring as a ‘check engine’ light in your vehicle making you aware of possible issues. It reminds you to perform maintenance on your car, so it can continue to run smoothly. Social analytics helps brands establish a baseline for the company, while social media monitoring is about preserving (or improving upon) that baseline.

It does this by alerting you to changes in your brand’s perception, or simply making you aware of a rise in brand mentions – or a decline in them. And this is helpful for your brand, especially if the increase in mentions are negative. Social media monitoring tools can help you be Johnny-on-the-spot and diffuse a tense situation , when needed. And it’s always eventually needed online.

But it’s not just about putting out fires. It also breaks down where your brand may be succeeding and identifies challenging areas. Maybe your newest product is a slam dunk, while your customer service leaves a bit to be desired. This is important to know.

There are so many different ways a social media monitoring software can help your brand, and we’ll break down a few of them to illustrate what social media monitoring can do for you!

Brand Health Benefits from Social Media Monitoring

When we talk about brand health, we are talking about all the many moving parts that make up how your brand is seen and mentioned as well as how you can track this against business priorities. And because brand health is made up of brand perception, something a brand cannot control and the consumer does, it’s more critical than ever to have a social media monitoring tool on your side.

Social media monitoring allows you to understand how your consumers talk about brand experiences by analyzing large volumes of customer experiences. And it pulls this data from feedback channels and media from all over, including top social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Monitoring your brand health creates a roadmap to how your consumer thinks, zeroing in on what excites them and why they love your brand. You can use these revelations as a way to leverage your company while connecting in a personal way with your audience, building positive emotions. Research shows that customers who are emotionally connected have four times greater lifetime value for your business. And the more positive the passion for the brand, consumer concern over pricing as a deciding factor declines as well.

But customers are fickle creatures and what they feel one moment will change by the next month. This is why tracking sentiments over time, to make sure you’re on the right side of the emotional fence, is key to brand health.

As an example, we can see below that PepsiCo saw a spike in mentions on April 21. Exploring that spike reveals conversation (and corresponding excitement) about its previously discontinued and “most ambitious” flavor, Pepsi Blue, returning to the U.S. in May.


And then asking other questions such as how your consumers feel, in particular what is driving their sentiment – or what is driving them to post about it enables your company to identify product attributes, experiences and service issues so that can you can amplify the good, confront the bad, and improve overall brand health.

And comparing results with a nearby competitor can be helpful as well.

Growing Share of Voice

The internet has taken an already crowded room and stuffed as many brands as it can in consumers’ faces, making it harder to stand apart in any category. If you plan to win, you need to bring your ‘A’ game, arming yourself with the best social media monitoring tools available.

A good tool has the ability to measure your brand’s share of voice against many others, viewing not just sentiment, but consumer reactions – to prices, services or even delivery. You’ll be able to see what’s driving brand conversations and monitor your market perception via social media and news media, benchmarking your share of voice as you go.

As an example, below we have three of the top soda brands, anonymized. We can clearly see how many posts, potential impressions each has, as well as Net Sentiment (a measure from -100 to100) and passion intensity (a scale from 0 – 100):


Beyond understanding share of voice and if you’re winning consumer love, you can plan for and benchmark campaigns . . .

Planning for and Benchmarking Campaigns

To avoid a marketing disaster, social media monitoring can help you properly plan your campaign. First, you’ll want to locate where your audience is talking, from blogs to news to social forums:


Once you’ve located your consumers, it’s time to see what they’re interested in and connect meaningfully.

  • What are their hobbies?
  • Are they in the same age ranges or locations?
  • What are they talking about, and how often?
  • What about sentiment? Are they positive, negative or neutral about a topic?
  • And are they passionately in love (or dislike) of these things?

A sentiment analysis is a powerful tool to help discover what your consumers feel about everything from apples to zebras. This is your testing ground and these details are critical when campaign planning. Each significantly impacts consumers – and, correspondingly, how your campaign will be received.

So, you’ve done your homework and you launch your campaign, you’re done right? No. In fact, your journey has just begun! Luckily, social media monitoring doubles not only as a planner but a tracker. You can use those same efforts to benchmark your campaigns. You can also use these skills to identify emerging trends.

Identifying Emerging Trends

Social media monitoring gives a brand the ability to be the first to observe and track an emerging trend. A trend analysis provides you with actionable insights. It boils down broad topics to the meat of the issue, highlighting major or niche narratives over time and whether any of these conversations are growing or slowing. All of this, of course, helps steer you in the direction you should go.

For example, we know cryptocurrency is trending, thanks to Elon Musk and others sending its valuation skyrocketing with every tweet about it – but what is happening within that conversation? As the conversation expands, so too are users’ concerns around their cryptocurrency wallets. Crypto wallets with less than 1 BTC saw double-digit growth since March of 2020. And Blockchain.com wallets reached over 70 million wallet users at the end of March 2021.


Where will this be in another 3 months? Using social media monitoring you’ll be able to track mentions and sentiment to be the first to know!

And perhaps you’ll need someone to carry your brand’s message once a given trend expands. That’s where influencer marketing comes in.

Partnering with Influencers & Winning Over Detractors

No doubt you’ve heard of influencers. But did you know that partnering with one can help you connect more meaningfully to your audience? Consumers trust influencers over brands and find them to be more honest and genuine. Utilizing one could help you align yourself with consumers and their values. Also, brands that do so have greater returns on their KPIs. And brands who are perceived as meaningful outperform the stock market by 134%. Lots of reasons to partner with an influencer right there!

The growth of influencer marketing in recent years is staggering. A recent Twitter study noted that 49% of people who have social networks regard a message sent by an influencer just as important as one sent by a friend or family. And this is because they connect with your consumer in an authentic way. They don’t come across as selling something, even if they are. The good ones don’t, at least. And with 92% of consumers trusting earned media over paid advertising, partnering with an influencer a no brainer.

But the influencer you partner with needs to be the right one for your brand. Social media monitoring helps locate these stars on a variety of social platforms, and then monitor them in real time, so you can keep tabs on how your partnership is doing. Netbase Quid locates influencers in your category by number of visitors/followers, content, trending terms, shared media, or by mentions:


By engaging an influencer, you are bridging the communication gap between consumer and brand, and you could be softening the hearts of your detractors simultaneously.

Instead of being the faceless wizard behind the curtain, you become a human who is tangible and capable of human interaction. That’s huge – and differentiating.

NetBase Quid Offers Superior Social Media Monitoring Capabilities

On top of sentiment analysis, trend tracking, benchmarking capabilities, pinpointing demographics and the many other offerings, NetBase Quid also offers the ability to ‘bring your own data’ to upload and integrate with other data sources. From here, you can incorporate it all into your dashboard with our real-time social media monitoring for a more complete analysis that targets whatever goal you have in mind. And it helps identify new goals you’d never have considered otherwise. It provides rapid time to insight and measures impact in ways that are actionable and intuitively correct. It all just makes sense and you move forward with insight that you can trust, as our accuracy is second to none.

NetBase Quid’s advanced AI parses language and processes it the way a human mind would, but much faster – extracting insights and sentiment that matters most. And our natural language processing (NLP) can distinguish between nuances in language that other tools miss. For example, slang is important to understand.

Slang today is just as weird as it’s always been, except we have it coming at us with greater speed, much like everything else online. It leaves little room for error, as the younger set is quick to latch onto mistakes, just as every younger generation does. The difference today, of course, is that the ridicule can quickly go viral and cause a major headache for a brand that has not done its due diligence. And what brand wants to be portrayed as out of touch online?

Understanding slang, emojis and imagery may feel like a fleeting endeavor – and it is, but it’s also important as it’s not going away. And fortunately, we have you covered when it comes to each – yes, even social media monitoring for imagery. If your logo is posted online and its upside down and blurred, with no other brand mention – our AI will capture it and offer it up as part of your insight sandwich. That’s powerful.

There’s really just so much to explore once you dig in! Reach out for a social media monitoring demo to get your creative juices flowing and customers streaming in.

ultimate how to guide for social and media analytics

NetBase Product Line

Premier social media analytics platform

Tailored platform for growing businesses

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

The power of social analytics for your entire team

Customer experience analytics platform

Out-of-the-box integration with other data sources

Actionable data to drive your business decisions

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools & more

Product configurations to meet all needs

Quid Product Line

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Media coverage for historical & real-time monitoring

AI algorithms, NLP, data sources, and visualization

Tailored, configurable solutions