Beyond the Buzz: A Guide to Social Media Monitoring for Healthcare

August 16, 2014
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Social Media Monitoring: The process of proactive listening (in real-time) to what is being said about you, your company, product, service, or industry on the Internet.

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Social Media Monitoring: The process of proactive listening (in real-time) to what is being said about you, your company, product, service, or industry on the Internet.

Social media is a two-way conversation that requires you to listen more than you talk. With increasing numbers of patients turning to the Internet to research their health and joining online patient communities to discuss their care, it is good practice to have a system in place for monitoring what is being said about you online.

6 Reasons To Set Up Social Media Monitoring

1. Helps you find pertinent healthcare conversations.

2. Gives you an opportunity to contribute your expertise.

3. Guides you to key healthcare influencers and opinion leaders.

4. Provides you with deeper insights into what your healthcare community needs.

5. Improves customer service.

6. Assists you in responding and resolving issues in real time.

How To Monitor Your Healthcare Brand Online

It’s easy to get caught up in the metric of having the most likes on Facebook, views on YouTube and followers on Twitter as an indicator of your impact. But likes, views and followers are not an objective measure of your brand’s true position. You need to dig deeper to find what patients truly think of your product or service. Set up keyword searches to incorporate your name and include words relevant to the healthcare industry.  Bear in mind that most users will be searching for discussions about specific diseases or conditions, followed by specific medical treatments and procedures, so make sure you include these in your keywords.

Top Tip

Don’t just monitor mentions of your brand’s name. Aim to evaluate sentiments attached to those mentions. Tweets that indicate issues with your company should be resolved immediately. Doing so strengthens public perception that your focus is strongly cantered on patient satisfaction.

There are many free and paid monitoring tools (with new services being added continually) which help you track the metrics relevant to your brand across the web. Below I have listed some of the best known tools, both free and paid versions. These tools vary in scope and range across number of sites, real-time or delayed searching, sophistication of analytics, flexibility of data presentation, integration with other applications, and of course, price.Some tools use all in prices; others use component-based prices and some decide their price based upon your level of use.

How To Choose The Right Tool For Your Social Media Monitoring

With so many tools to choose from how do you know which tool is right for you? The first step is to define what your monitoring goals are. Depending on your goal, you might only need a free tool like Google Alerts, or you may need a more comprehensive paid-for solution.  The latter can be a costly commitment, so it is important that you identify how social media monitoring can support your overall business and marketing goals. Check the list of mointoring tools below and identify which of them can best meet your monitoring needs. Request product demos from your shortlist of tools to determine which social media platforms are included in the data sets, how the data is segmented so it contains the most pertinent discussions, how the data is analysed and whether actionable insights are provided.

Popular Social Media Monitoring Tools

This is by no means a definitive list but it is a good place to start your search for the tool that best matches your specific needs. 

 

Free

Paid

Addictomatic

Addictomatic shows you “the latest buzz” on your chosen topic from Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Google, WordPress, Bing News, and more. After you search, you can personalize your results dashboard by moving around the source boxes. When you’re done, bookmark the page and keep coming back to your personalized results dashboard for that search.

 

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Attentio

This multi-lingual Belgium-based Attentio tracks global conversations taking place across social media (blogs, forums, social networks, Twitter, YouTube) and online news sites.

 

 

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Brandwatch

UK-based Brandwatch trawls the Internet looking at news, blogs, forums, wikis and social networking sites and finding mentions of brands, companies, products and people. Clients define keywords (brands, topics, people names, products) and receive reports and brand summaries that they can take action on. Features mutilingual coverage.

 

 

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Crimson Hexagon

Based on a technology licensed from Harvard, Crimson Hexagon taps into billions of conversations taking place in online media and turns them into actionable data for better brand understanding and improvement. 

 

 

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Crowdbooster

Crowdbooster focuses on gathering data from your Facebook and Twitter feeds. It will give you some vital information regarding your social media strategy, such as when people are most likely to view your latest images or video uploads. Other features include being able to analyze impressions, total reach, and engagement.

 

 

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Google Alerts

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

 

F

 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides integrated reporting for the Google +1 button “out of the box.” To track networks including Facebook and Twitter with Google Analytics, you will need to integrate the Google platform with each network button. Social Engagement reports allow users to see how content is being shared through social interactions such as Likes.

 

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Hootsuite

This Twitter tool allows you to create multiple tabs with 10 columns to help you monitor your mentions, direct messages and keyword searches. There are paid and free versions to choose from. 

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HowSociable

A free account allows you to track 12 social sites, including Tumblr and WordPress. However, if you’re interested in more, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. a pro account is a must. One of the unique aspects of HowSociable is the analytics — you get a breakdown of scores for individual platforms, showing you which social media sites are working out best for you.

 

F

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IceRocket

This tool offers blog, Twitter and Facebook monitoring in 20 languages, as well as allowing you to choose the periods of time you are interested in monitoring.

F

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Radian 6

Tracks keywords across all types of social media, monitoring everything from location to sentiment and providing real-time data on a dashboard widget. You can create, schedule and control where your content is published. It uses a monthly subscription based pricing model, with the monthly fee varying depending on the number of topics monitored each month

 

 

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Reachli 

A tool that measures and optimises video and image content. It offers various features for measuring image and video effectiveness, and is particularly famous for its Pinterest analytics.

  

 

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Social Mention

Easy to use with in-depth results, social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites providing detailed analytics and shows your social influence across four categories: strength, sentiment, passion, and reach.

 

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Spredfast

Measures data gathered from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, to show how many people you’ve reached and whether or not your target audience is engaging with you. The data is clearly presented in formatted graphs. Other useful features include a calendar that shows you when the optimal tweeting times occur.

F

 

Sprout Social

Sprout Social lets users manage, monitor, and track their presence on social networks including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Social Reports provide messaging analytics, a drill-down into user activity and demographic information. Among many other features are separate tabs for Twitter and Facebook that let users capture data in a browser or export it to PDF. Message summaries break down updates into type and show how widely they were shared.

 

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Spiral16

Provides an in-depth look at who is saying what about a brand and compares results with those of top competitors. –

 

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Sysomos

A real-time monitoring and measurement tool that provides constantly updated snapshots of social media conversations delivered using a variety of user-friendly graphics.

 

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Trackur

Tracks sentiments and trends in social media mentions with alerts via email and RSS Boolean keyword query with option to exclude specified sites.

 

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Twazzup

A good choice for social media beginners looking for Twitter monitoring. You just enter the name you want to track and you instantly get real-time updates including top retweeted images and links, most active top influencers, and the top 10 keywords relating to your search.

 

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TweetDeck

Twitter tool similar to Hootsuite, with features for monitoring multiple Twitter accounts, creating and managing custom timelines, automated searches for keywords and hashtags, and sending out scheduled tweets, and more.

 

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TweetReach

Allows you to track the impact and implications of your brand’s social media discussions. You can search by Twitter name, URL, hashtag, or keyword phrase and view reports that show the reach and exposure data for relevant tweets.

 

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TwentyFeet

This social tracking tool gives you monitoring tools and analytics for social networks, as well as other services your business uses, such as link shortener tracking. Also aggregates your data and lets you set up email alerts.

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Twitonomy

Australian-based monitoring and analytics tool that lets you measure mentions, reach, and even conversions. You can track follower growth, click-throughs on your tweeted links, mentions, retweets, favorites, and more.

 

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Visible Technologies 

Helps clients monitor, analyze and participate in social media conversations as well as protect their executive and corporate brands online.

Limited Free trial available

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 Logo by Marie Otskua