Clarity is a new agency with a new approach to communications.

Modern communications.

Brands now live in a world where the lines between traditional and digital media are blurred, if they exist at all.

We create strategies, campaigns and activities that add to the bottom line.

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6 Social Media Monitoring Tools: Free and Paid

Analysis is a crucial  part of social media management. It’s not enough to simply schedule Facebook posts, tweets and updates on a regular basis. While this will give you a regular stream of content, it provides very little feedback or evaluation.

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By Ahmed Ahmed, Senior Account Manager at Clarity

Monitoring your social media community is important because it allows you to:

  • Identify high-performing content
  • Identify poorly performing content
  • Learn about your fans and followers
  • Discover trends in community behaviour
  • Evaluate the growth (and growth rate) of your social channels

All of the above should feed into your thought process as you generate ideas for new content, changing the weekly ‘what-shall-we-post-this-time?’ into an informed, continuous improvement process.



Basic

These tools are free to use, and offer a baseline level of insight for social media managers. They focus on monitoring your own channels’ performance.



Facebook Insights

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Features

Found within the Facebook Page Manager. Provides statistics on: Likes, reach, visits, individual post performance and audience demographics.

Pros

Detailed age demographics, reveals sources of page likes and times when community most active. Also allows easy monitoring of competitor pages.

Cons

Difficult to determine numbers of likes, comments, shares day by day.

Cost

Free



Twitter analytics

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Features

Found within Twitter, via Settings>Twitter ads. Provides statistics on response to tweets (including clicks on links), follower growth

Pros

Follower interests provided, as well as other accounts they follow, ‘Websites’ tool allows tracking of all links to your site shared by Twitter users

Cons

Very basic demographics compared to Facebook Insights

Cost

Free



Hootsuite

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Features

Link analytics (if you use the ow.ly shortener), basic reports on profile growth and engagement

Pros

Provides customisable reports for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Cons

Figures sometimes lag behind real-time, anything beyond very basic stats overview requires spend

Cost

Free overview report, deeper level information requires upgrading to Hootsuite Pro (from $8.99/month) or Enterprise.



Twitonomy

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Features

Statistics on follower growth, mentions and retweets. Also allows hashtag analysis

Pros

Very detailed, easy to export statistics

Cons

Only analyses one social network: Twitter. Detailed information

Cost

Premium costs $19 per month.



Advanced

These advanced tools are paid for, and offer a deeper levels of insight, with access to historical data, and the ability to monitor conversations and identify influencers on given search topics.



Brandwatch

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Features

Works via queries; searches that you set up for particular terms, which can be refined by excluding other similar but unrelated terms in order to maximise relevance. It provides data on the sources, scale and sentiment (positive or negative)of conversation around topics or brands.

Pros

Sentiment accuracy is high, system can be adjusted to ‘learn’ language patterns, good tool for online reputation management

Cons

Queries can be complex to grasp initially, and may return a high volume of irrelevant results that eat into you allowance (which is based on number of social media mentions monitored)

Cost

Basic package starts at £500/month, rising to £2000 per month for Enterprise packages



Pulsar

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Features

Monitors and measures by topics, audience and content, allowing tracking of published assets as they spread organically,

Pros

Collects all publicly available data, attractive data visualisations, customisable detailed reports, more reliable influencer rankings based on expertise as well as size of following

Cons

Can take a while to collect data,

Cost

Entry price of £500/month for basic package.

Who Do the British Public Trust, and Why?

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PR and communications experts are concerned with establishing trust between an organisation and its stakeholders – be they consumers, other businesses, voters or society at large.

No wonder then, that Edelman, one of the world’s largest PR agencies, has carried out a global survey into the public levels of trust in different institutions and organisations. Looking at the UK segment of the research, I’ve cherrypicked some interesting points for discussion.

By Ahmed Ahmed, Senior Account Manager at Clarity

The government and the media are losing trust

Compared with the 2013 study, there was no difference in the level of trust shown in ‘business’ as a whole: 56%. Trust in both the media and the government, however, fell. Both previously at 47%, they dropped to 41 and 42%.

Are scandals and exposés to blame?

A number of political scandals broke last year, from Chris Huhne’s driving offences, to the revelations about NSA and GCHQ’s cooperation in internet eavesdropping.

While neither of these can be laid squarely at the feet of the present government, such episodes contribute to growing public suspicion of politics and politicians. ‘Poor performance’ was the top reason survey respondents gave, perhaps an indictment of the slow economic recovery.

The media has also had its share of damaging exposés: the continuing phone hacking saga, the Daily Mail’s attack on Milliband senior, and the BBC salaries and ‘payoffs’ row. The most common reason given for not trusting the media was ‘lack of regulation,’ suggesting the public may want more robust controls on the press.

Technology and brewing are highly trusted industries

It seems the trust we place in our handy smartphones and tablets is reflected on a larger scale. Technology was the most trusted industry, scoring 79% (up from 72% last year).

Interestingly for us at Clarity, given our work with Marstons and Aston Manor, the brewing industry scored a high 71%. This was up from 62% last year, due in part, we like to think, to the rising popularity of real ale.

When it comes to distrust, it seems Energy is the new Banking. We’d grown familiar with anti-City sentiment throughout the Recession, but towards the end of 2013, a new ‘villain’ emerged on the public stage: the energy companies. They dropped from a 38% to a 32% trust level.

Banking, however, did rise from 29% to 32% trust, perhaps indicating some ‘green shoots’ of recovery for the sector’s reputation in the public eye.

Why does trust matter?

Leaving aside the warm- and-fuzzy side of things, there are clear business consequences when an organisation fails to build trust with its public.

In the Trust Barometer, participants reported that when they distrusted a company, they:

  • Refused to buy its product or service (53%)
  • Criticised them to a friend or colleague (56%)
  • Shared negative opinions online (30%)

And conversely, when participants trusted the company, they:

  • Chose to buy from them (63%)
  • Recomended to a friend or colleague (51%)
  • Paid more for products and services (36%)
  • Shared positive opinions online (32%)

Building trust through communications

Communicating the right message to the right people, in the right place, in the right way, is absolutely essential.

PR agencies like Edelman, and of course Clarity, spend time getting to know their clients’ audiences, and craft strategies designed to build trust. They do this not simply via traditional press activity or events, but through online interaction and engagement as well, harnessing a multi-way conversation.

In the age of microblogging and online reviews, when a single disgruntled customer can achieve instant global publicity, it’s vital to be able to respond and rebuild trust rapidly and continually.

Trust is no longer the end goal; it’s the whole process.

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