It seems I'm not the only one thinking about the labels we use around marketing and social media. I asked your opinion on what to call the group of activities around monitoring and analyzing social media a few weeks back (already? wow). Now, Rohit Bhargava and Cameron Olthuis are refining the distinction between social media optimization (SMO) and social media marketing (SMM). So here's my opinion on the labelling question.
I like social media analysis.
I like social media research, too, but analysis sounds to me more approachable than research, and some of these activities don't come off as research. Besides, isn't SMR taken? :-)
I like online market intelligence, but it's very broad, and I don't think many people would associate it with what we're talking about. Reputation monitoring, on the other hand, is only one application.
Monitoring may the basic activity, but it misses some of the more interesting work. Measurement is interesting, but some of the activities—such as monitoring—don't necessarily involve measurement. Analytics is just too geeky for a non-technical audience.
The idea is to come up with an inclusive term to describe some similar services offered under a variety of labels. It needs to encompass these activities (and possibly more):
- Monitoring social media—blogs, discussion boards, online product reviews, newsgroup, et al—to find mentions of the client (company, products, brands, messages, people...)
- Software-aided analysis of the data gathered to identify trends, sentiment, influencers, and associations.
- Presentation of the data in an analytical framework with some sort of reporting interface (web, PDF, Powerpoint, Braille...)
- Human analysis of the data and tactical/strategic recommendations.