With this program I have had the ability to test many different listening and monitoring tools and have found what works for me at this time. With the constant evolution of technology this may change down the road but at this time I think something very simple and to the point has worked for me.
During the Monitoring and Measurement course I found that two things need to be thought of when using a measuring/monitoring tool and to see if it works for you. It is not just the actual tool itself, but it is also the way you are using it. For anyone using a new monitoring/measurement tool I would say that trial and error should be used before giving up on the tool all together. All of them are different and can be useful but it does depend on the way you are choosing to use them as well.
Two of my favourite tools would be Google Alerts and Social Mention. These are two tools that I had decided to use for a previous course and that fit the best with the organization I was monitoring and with my skills and ability. These were chosen as well because they are free to use.
After trying other alternatives, I decided to stay with Google Alerts as it was a tool that was easy to learn and easy to change if needed. When I first started using Google Alerts, I had an issue where I though more keywords the better and then I found myself having information sent to me that was not relevant or important. After realizing this it was very simple to eliminate the keywords that were not providing needed information regarding the organizations. I was also monitoring an organization that put out many products a week, therefore I was always needing to change keywords. That was very easy to do on Google Alerts. When changing key words almost daily it was important for me to do it with ease.
An alternative to Google Alerts that I did attempt to use was Sprout Social and while I do want to use it in the future, I found the learning curve was too much for me at the time. I spent hours trying to get the program set up the way I wanted and kept coming across obstacles. I think ease of a program is very important for people who may be just starting to use a monitoring/measurement tool and this one was not a match for me.
I enjoy using Social Mention as it provides me with real time mentions to whatever keyword I type into the search bar. Google Alerts is great to provide a round up of what is being said but it is important to see what people are saying in real time as well. I would use this while monitoring when the brand would release sneak peaks of a new product or collection. To see what people were saying right away.
I have done research on a tool called Mention as well. This tool seems easy to use and goes in depth a little more than Social Mention would. I do plan on trying this tool in the future however, to get the most out of it there is a cost which I am not looking to do currently. From what I have read this tool is a step up from Social Mention. I wish they would provide more alerts and mentions to their free version so I could get a better feel of the program before purchasing a monthly subscription.
While all tools can be helpful in the monitoring/measurement process I think that it depends on the person, organization, and the result on what is best to be used. This can change over time as new tools are being introduced to the market.
What tools have you found useful when monitoring? Were there tools that you found that you plan to revisit at a later time?