Q: How can SMEs get the most out of social media?
A: Over the last few years, social media has attracted unprecedented levels of traffic and interaction.
And the evidence is overwhelming - social media has today assumed a key role in business.
Just in the last couple of years, the number of "social media analytics" start-ups has skyrocketed and obviously major analytics vendors too have released products in this space.
Last but not least, several open-source platforms now offer decent social media analytics packages or libraries.
SMEs are best positioned to take advantage of social media because there is a plethora of venues online for establishing social presence nearly free of charge.
Some popular platforms provide APIs (Application Programming Interface) for data extraction and there are many open source tools and packages for data analysis.
Despite advancements in social media analytics, social media monitoring can still present a number of challenges, as outlined below:
Choosing the right channels to tune into
Do you know where your customers online are and where they will be months from now, a year from now?
Do you know where your competitors are and where their customers are?
While Facebook and Twitter are popular social networking sites, there are still many, many online venues such as forums and blogs where your customers could be advocating or damaging your brand.