It seems like no matter how popular we report social media outlets to be, it’s still going to sound like an understatement. The phenomenon continues to grow not only up, but also out, around, through and directly into every corner of the Internet-accessible planet.

How to deal with the explosion of information? That is the question.

TMI Syndrome

Can you imagine the amount of information media outlets generate, and what kind of insight it could provide companies? Of course you can. In fact, it's quickly becoming a fact of Internet life:

"Blogs, message boards and discussion threads can reveal invaluable information about how messages are resonating, what customers are saying about an organization, who is supporting a brand, and when crisis situations are developing," explains Allison Murphy, product manager for PR Newswire's monitoring and measurement services.

The company's personal answer to the age of information overload is a tool called Social Media Metrics, which was recently launched across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. Social Media Metrics is a type of intelligence tool powered by Sentiment Metrics that enables professionals and marketers to monitor, analyze and measure the impact of what is being said across the social media landscape.

The SMM Cure

Social Media Metrics reportedly monitors over 20 million blogs, 5 million forum posts, and 30,000 online news sources, social networks and microblogs (yes, Twitter included). Users can build customized searches to keep track of mentioned keywords related to their company, industry and competitors. Simultaneously, specific geographic, demographic and language parameters can be isolated for an even deeper look. Users can also set search inquiries to target specific blogs and social media sites that are important to their customers or industry leaders.

Once a user establishes their search criteria, Social Media Metrics provides feedback through various analytical tools:

  • Authority Score reveals the impact of a blog or social media network on a brand or communication by providing the number of inbound links from other social media sites
  • Top Topics Report identifies the most frequently discussed topics surrounding a brand and/or its competitors
  • Sentiment Report delivers additional insight on social media mentions by establishing whether discussions are positive, neutral or negative. Key to the Sentiment Report tool is the ability to create alerts that isolate negative mentions and warn the user that a potential crisis may be building

Additional features include reporting capabilities that enable users to tabulate data in customizable charts (CSV, graphs, pie), and a PDF Report Builder that combines graphical information with a user's own personal notes.

One Phenomenon Leads to Another

There's seemingly at least one analytics tools for every media outlet, which makes Social Media Metrics a single option in a virtual grab bag. A speck in the rapidly expanding Webverse, if you will.

Of course, only time will tell whether or not the solution will move and shake the EMEAI regions specifically targeted. At present, only one thing seems certain, and summing it up perfectly is Leon Chaddock, Managing Director of Sentiment Metrics:

"As new media continues to grow in influence, the companies and brands that utilize social media intelligence...will rise to the top, while those that ignore the influence of online voices will risk losing out on valuable opportunities and in some cases, suffering irreparable damage to their brand."