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Social media monitoring is a process of using social media channels to track, gather and mine the information and data of certain individuals or groups, usually companies or organizations, to assess their reputation and discern how they are perceived online.
Social media monitoring is also known as social media listening and social media measurement.
Organizations use social media monitoring to reach out to customers and prospects for information gathering and front-end customer support. It is used to collect and mine data, especially by organizations seeking customer intelligence to determine current industry trends. The process has become easier - yet more tedious - due to free and readily available outlets, like blogs, wikis, news sites, social networking sites, forums, video/photo sharing sites and message boards.
There are a variety of social media monitoring tools, but most are customized data mining software and Web crawlers. Large enterprises use these tools to search for specific keywords on various websites and blogs. The monitoring software transfers the desired words and phrases from unstructured to structured database data for analysis with traditional data mining techniques.