Social media monitoring: can we really predict the future?

by Laurent François

We often have this question from our clients: what’s the value of listening to social media? Can we predict the future? How can you interprate a huge volume of signals?

Beyond those questions, one thing really matters: explaining that social web monitoring is not about divine super-powers, but about implementing a strong rational material in this strange -and oh! FREE- world.

  • you filter and structure the social discussions
  • you better understand how public opinions can be shaped, thanks to an analysis of where the conversations happen, of who’s talking and why, and which arguments are used
  • you reveal what are the communities that are involved in the debate, and also communities that are not present whereas you thought they should be there
  • you summarize the whole insights in a simple manner, that can be understandable by anyone

Social media monitoring is all about finding the insights you’re looking for in order to better understand the marketplace you’re working on. About understanding expectations and usages. It’ll help you avoid big mistakes and misunderstandings. And it’ll drive you to the good people.
You deconstruct to map this liquid world.

Once you know where you are, who THEY are, and what you can do…it’s like being aware of who’s the smoking gun in a thriller: you don’t know yet the whole story, but you know where it can go…

More challenges are to come: always more media to include, always more formats, networks. But out of the web spaces, the priority is to share a good knowledge of what social media monitoring means (objectives, means, techniques): as we’ve seen, it’s an executive tool, made for decision-makers. You need to make sure that these guys know what they can do with this kind of report.

2 Comments to “Social media monitoring: can we really predict the future?”

  1. Great post! I think listening to where the conversations are have huge value to anyone. However, it can also serve as information overload. Plus, everyone is obsessed with this real-time thing. However, some things become valuable just because it is happening now. If people only can learn about the event a day later, then the information is not valuable enough for them to spend time on it. That could really take out precious time out of a day.

    Btw, I really like your blog so I submitted it to That will help more people discover it! If you want you can claim your blog at which will also help your ranking. Hope you get more traffic through that!

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  2. Great post. I think monitoring in social media is a great start but the challenge is to find the real value in all that data. I think analytics companies working in this space still have work to do to close the gap between data (from your monitoring tool) and action (a marketing event or campaign) based on that data.

    What metrics should I pay attention to? Engagement? Sentiment? Influence? What can I use beside keyword searches to sort through the sea of conversations that happen online every day? It's a great challenge to be working on and I'd love to show you what we're doing with our app, SocialSense. Contact me for a demo!


    Alex Fortney
    Marketing & Community Manager
    Networked Insights

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