This is Part 2 of a Social Media Policies Series. In How to Write Social Media Policies Part 1, we discussed myths around your corporate social media policy. In Part 2, we continue the discussion diving into social media monitoring tools and research involved before you craft your corporate social media policies for employees.
Get to Know Your Social Media Monitoring Tools
To get you and your company started in the research process, I recommend considering the following third party websites and social media monitoring tools to get you started in learning more about what is already being said so you can plan a strategy of how and when to respond and act.
Free Tools to Monitor Social Media
- BackType.com. This website helps you monitor keyword and brand mentions made on blog comments throughout the Internet.
- Google Alerts. Email alerts from Google.com/alerts can be sent daily or even hourly to your email inbox. Google notifies you after a series of keywords in which you select are found by their online web crawlers. Yahoo Alerts provides a similar feature, but for the Yahoo webcrawlers.
- BoardTracker.com. This website monitors mentions of selected keywords on forums and internet message boards. There are millions of forums and boards some specific to an industry, local region, or area of interest.
- Twilert.com. Twilert monitors the popular microblogging site Twitter and alerts you to mentions via email. Much like Google, Twitter is a powerful search engine that can be used as a research tool in real time. The more than 190 million users post comments in rapid succession. Most profiles and their information are searchable on the Internet.
Paid Social Media Monitoring Services
- Paid Monitoring. Consider investing in a paid social media monitoring tool that goes beyond the above mentioned social media monitoring tools. These paid options can help you streamline your content monitoring and reporting. Radian 6 as well as Buzz Ding offer different features and pricing options.
Master the Art of Social Media Listening
Employee meetings and focus groups in a comfortable and open environment are another effective way to learn how your employees are already using these online social media tools either for personal or professional use. It is important for these meetings to be conducted in a manner where employees feel able to talk freely and openly about how they are accessing these social media sites during work whether from their desktop work computer, laptop, or via mobile smart phone.
I recommend other methods of capture information anonymously to further support your research and social media monitoring efforts using online survey methods or adding to your annual employee survey. These answers will allow you to make sure to address certain hot points of interest in your policy and training process for current employees when you introduce the new policy as well as new hire training for those during the orientation process.
Be sure to check out Part 3 of the Social Media Policy Series, where I share some scenarios that companies and HR teams may have already encountered when branding on social media networks.