Separating social media monitoring facts from myths.

The advent of social media has increased the amount of information organizations in almost any industry can use to their benefit. Social media monitoring gives us the ability to not only discover relevant, timely social data, but also filter it and refine it to find exactly what we’re looking for.

But where is this data coming from? What is being done with that information? Is social media monitoring even needed? Variations of these questions are echoed by organizations and social media users alike. Like a game of telephone, as people pass along answers and information about these questions, some misinformation inevitably gets included along the way.

We’ve put together a list of five of the most common myths surrounding social media monitoring and explain why the practice is, and will continue to be, relevant in our digital world.

Social Media Monitoring - Facebook on a laptop on table

Myth #1

My social data is private and is none of anyone’s business.
Like it or not, social media is public media. It is considered Open-source Intelligence, or OSINT for short. This means it is a publicly-available data source for anyone with the desire and technology to use it. Even with privacy settings and preferences established, using social media enables others to look into lives and see preferences, habits, intentions, social networks and other activity.

Myth #2

Social media monitoring is like Big Brother and my life would be better without it.
The majority of social media monitoring is used by companies not wanting to watch your every move for the sake of surveillance, but to provide a better customer experience. It is not monitored by companies only wanting to market and sell products/services, but also to build relationships and engagement opportunities with prospects, customers, influencers, partners, etc. Studies show the majority of consumers actually like being marketed to in a personal way. In fact, in a survey performed by Zogby and the Digital Advertising Alliance, 41 percent of respondents say they prefer targeted messaging over random/generic messaging and only 16 percent prefered random/generic.


“By monitoring the activity taking place on social networks, retailers can amplify successful marketing and sales strategies and avoid weak tactics which can later be tied back to organizational objectives.”
Ryan Holmes, Founder & CEO of Hootsuite


Myth #3

Keyword searches on Google will provide all mentions of my brand.
While Google does offer keyword searches, it is by no means an exhaustive representation of brand mentions. Setting up Google alerts may yield some results, but if it’s the only tool being used, there’s a good chance plenty is being missed. Most social media monitoring technologies provide much deeper search results across more social platforms. Because of their embedded analytics, they are designed specifically to find relevant brand mentions, saving the user time in trying to filter out the irrelevant mentions.

Myth #4

If I monitor daily all of the social channels my company uses for mentions, I won’t miss anything.

As hard as one may try, it is virtually impossible to track every possible online mention of a brand without some type of technology to automate the process. Social platforms are continuing to evolve and expand, making the task increasingly difficult and time consuming. One of the many benefits of social media monitoring software is its ability to quickly scour and collect from the most widely used social platforms, along with other online sources, such as blogs, articles, ratings and reviews. It can also provide more accurate campaign measurement to help organizations gauge just how successful each initiative was at getting media and consumer attention.

This is an excerpt from our FREE eGuide – The Definitive Guide to Location-Based Social Media MonitoringClick here to receive your free copy.

Myth #5

Social media monitoring is too expensive.

Because of the growing need for automated social media monitoring, there are a lot of options for organizations. One size doesn’t fit all and companies can research available software to find one that best fits their requirements. Many are surprised to find how relatively inexpensive such technology is, particularly when the value of the technology is considered. The investment in such software is generally offset rather quickly with the efficiencies obtained and the better accuracy of the results.


Marketing & Communications Manager Jessica is responsible for marketing strategies and loves Baylor football, exploring Austin, and vacationing in her home state of Florida.