For many of us marketers, PR practitioners, and community managers, social media monitoring has become a part of our day-to-day lives – brands from all industries are tapping into social media monitoring for crisis management, lead generation, customer service, real-time marketing and more. But, do you really know how your social monitoring tool is finding and classifying conversations about your brand? There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to help you with your social media strategy.

We created an ebook to help any Social Media Monitoring newbies, or even Social Monitoring veterans, get their questions answered: “6 Questions About Social Media Monitoring You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask.” I highly recommend you check it out if you want to know more about the fundamentals of Social Monitoring. In the meantime, here are my favorite 3 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about Social Media Monitoring so that you can finally get answers to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

1. What is Social Media Monitoring?

This is the most important question that anyone can ask about Social Media Monitoring and the best place to start. This is also the question that may be the most embarrassing because it seems so simple, but yet there is so much to it. Social Media Monitoring is so much more than just knowing how many followers, likes, direct mentions, etc. that you have.

Social Media Monitoring is the active monitoring of social media for information about a company or organization, usually tracking social media conversations and content on blogs, mainstream news sites, microblog sites (like Twitter), social networking sites (like Facebook), video sharing sites (like YouTube), photo sharing sites (like Flickr), forums, message boards and user-generated content.

2. How do brands actually use Social Media Monitoring to help them?

This is not a simple answer, as every brand is different and uses data in different ways. However, we have a lot of different Social Media Monitoring use case studies on our website. Here is how we worked with Peugeot, a leading global automotive brand:

Synthesio helped Peugeot identify their main ambassadors on social media as well as the most influential sources in the auto industry. With this intelligence gleaned from social listening, the brand has brought together a community of bloggers and brand ambassadors for influencer campaigns online and offline.

Peugeot also leveraged the Synthesio platform to create a listening dashboard just before a TV show about diesel engines and the Automotive Industry. This helped Peugeot’s team follow the on-topic conversations across Social Media channels and engage with the community in real-time.

3. What can a brand do with the Social Media Data they pull from a Social Media Monitoring tool?

Social Media Intelligence gleaned from Social Media Monitoring platforms provide valuable insights into a brand’s overall visibility on social media, allows them to measure the impact of marketing campaigns, identify opportunities for engagement, assess competitor activity, understand competitor share of voice and be alerted to impending crises. Social data also provides valuable information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific topics, brands or products.

Social Media Monitoring allows companies to react to these conversations about their brands and products, and be able to respond strategically in real-time. Brands can connect these social media insights to achieve business results in sales, communications, crisis management, public relations, marketing, customer service, and human resources initiatives.