Skip to main content

Is social media monitoring a gold mine or a bubble?

(Disclaimer: I used to work at Brandtology but left the company last August. The views here are from the experience with clients and would be clients from August to the date of the post. It has nothing to do with my experience in dealing with customer at my time with Brandtology.)

A friend was asking me about the social media monitoring/analysis market and it got me thinking about this post.

In all my freelance jobs, social media monitoring/analysis has not been an important criteria or a deciding factor if I get the job or not. It all boils down to how creative I can be with the social networks I proposed. However, there are a few signals from clients that indicate that social media monitoring/analysis might be a bubble.

Clients moving to Facebook Fan Pages

All of my clients are looking at their social media strategy on Facebook, especially Fan Pages.

The advantages of Fan Pages are that you are usually dealing with real people and it provide a demographic report abit 48 hours later. The demographics report is actually important because it helps the client to see if their fan page is targeting the right market or there is a need to push certain content to get the targeted audience involved in the fan page.

Forums and blogs do not provide that that sort of demographics instantly.

Naysayers could say that one would cheat about the age and location, but so far, most of these age cheaters are usually those who cannot register onto Facebook because of their age (<13).

Facebook also has a policy about third party vendors storing data on their servers so this could be a problem for these social media monitors/analysis.

Also, Facebook recently launched Community Pages which are pages launched, not by the owners of the brand, but rather the consumers or the fans. The biggest difference is that Facebook will give the fans control over the page once they reach a good numbers of friends, which is usually 10,000.

I wouldn’t be surprised if clients will ask soon about Community Pages.

Comments from Forums and Blogs in Asia may lack in quality and quantity

I do the monitoring of social media sites for my clients as I include it in the budget. But from the monitoring results, the comments from Forums and Blogs, especially does from Asia often lack in quality and quantity that the client can justify working on.

For example, I found a client’s press article cut and pasted into a Asia forum and the subsequent comments were many but made up of usually two or three words.

How can the client work on the feedback if the comments were just “Not good”, “Maybe I buy?” ?

I have come across forums in US and Australia and their comments are so long that they deserved to be the post themselves. This allow for clients to learn from social media.

Complex touchpoints for comments

Comments are now no longer limited to the source of the content.

For example, somebody might blog about a subject and the headline is retweeted on Twitter, posted on his/her Facebook status, Plurked or even on Linkedin. The source can be on any

Given that all of these networks provide for a comment feature, I currently feel it would take a bit of human intelligence to figure out the link from one Tweet to the Facebook updates and the comments that comes with the linking.


Jon said…
Hi Aaron,

Interesting post and comments. Personally I do believe that social media monitoring is growing in importance though I think the question is who takes the job: client or agency.

I agree that reactions (to content) occur across the web (e.g. retweets, diggs, reblogs etc) and, give the range of platforms, their differing usages and the 'skill' of good monitoring, i do believe the lion's share of monitoring is better done by a specialist.

Of course, the coal-face interaction is best done by a client - under guidance perhaps - as social media encourages comment from 'the horse's mouth' though that does not mean to say an entire social media operations can be run by an internal (client) team.
Aaron Koh said…
Hi Jon,

Thanks for your comments.

Basic Google search is at times good enough for searching blogs and web.

There is to search local forum.

Search is itself an expertise that some take it for granted though.
Lavneesh said…
Hi Aaron,

I think although the importance of monitoring the social media is definitely increasing but the question is whether is it a must have or a nice to have solution. My interaction with clients on these solutions tells me that whereas it generates a huge interest and a wow factor, when it comes to buying the service the clients feel that a simple search is good enough and it may not be worthwhile for them to invest in a full blown service.
Having said that the importance on Social Media monitoring can only grow from here !
Plewman said…
good post, if the faceboopk communities require 10,000 fans to engage, this will limit communities to multi-national brands

Popular posts from this blog

Why is Ramly Burger banned in Singapore?

Yahoo Singapore ran an article of the Ramly Burger by highlighting that it is ban in Singapore.

Yet, the writer from Makansutra failed to address the most important issue of why the Ramly meat patty is banned in Singapore.

A search online easily did highlight that the famous Malaysian meat patty is banned by the AVA but didn't go into details.

Wrote Arlina Arshad for The Straits Times in January 2004,

"But the importing of beef and beef products from Malaysia is not permitted, said theAgri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

Selling and supplying them without a permit is also an offence, and offenders can befined as much as $50,000 or jailed two years, or both, said the AVA."

In May of the same year, another article highlighted that a man was even charged in court for "smuggling" the Ramly burger in 2004.

"The AVA said that meat products processed in Malaysian food factories which it had notapproved were banned here.Suzali was yesterday jailed for four month…

Those Who Gamble Online Have Poorest Control - NCG Survey In 2012

Singapore will soon exempt local operators, Singapore Pools and Turf Club, from online gambling ban and the sites will be ready in November 2016.

Ministry of Home Affairs explained that a complete ban on remote gambling drives demand and activities underground, and may create larger incentives for criminal syndicates to target Singapore."

Yet in a 2012 survey by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCG) found that those who gamble online have the poorest control.

For those who indulged in online gambling, 30.4% said they gambled for a longer period than they planned to, 33.3% gambled with more money than they planned and 29.2% gambled more frequently they planned to. 
Will launching the online gambling sites be like opening a Pandora Box that will create more issues in the future?

A Very Small Chicken Or An Oversized Popcorn Chicken?

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Singapore Facebook Page recently received a complaint of the size of the chicken being served at KFC.

Barnabas Ng took a photo of his chicken from KFC which showed it to be almost the size of the KFC small container. It also looked like a an oversize popcorn chicken.

Wrote Barnabas,

"Hi KFC, is this your new standard size for a chicken? I order 3 piece meal and 2 pieces including this so called original recipe chicken is smaller than the size of the cap of ur small mash potato.

Have you guys try to cut cost so much that you are offering half a size chicken pieces for a full price meal? It is just getting from bad to worse"

KFC Singapore did reply to Barnabas for him to PM his mobile number but Barnabas has yet to receive any calls from KFC Singapore, as of this posting.

Maybe chickens are also shrinking with the current climate change?