Social Media Monitoring: The Ultimate Guide to Get Started

Learn how brands can harness the power of social media monitoring for continued success.

Sprinklr Team
July 25, 2023
7 min read

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Did you know that there are approximately 4.76 billion active social media users globally?  

Yes, social media has become a bustling hub of conversations, connections and information sharing in the last few years. From Facebook and X, formerly Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn, social networking sites have revolutionized the way we interact and share information in our daily lives. 

On average, users spend about 2 hours and 31 minutes per day on their favorite social media platforms. This results in an astounding volume of social media activity being generated — including countless tweets, a multitude of photos and videos shared on Instagram and a substantial amount of content uploaded to YouTube. 

Any brand would kill to get their hands on all this data to gauge their customers’ experience better. But imagine trying to make sense of this massive influx of data and extract meaningful insights manually — it’s next to impossible. 

With a social media monitoring tool, however, you can do all that and more. 

In this guide, we’ll explore what social media monitoring is, its best practices and how it can empower you to gather valuable insights from unstructured social data.  

What is social media monitoring? 

Social media monitoring is the process of identifying and evaluating the conversations, opinions and discussions taking place across various social media platforms and online channels. It involves actively tracking and analyzing the mentions, comments and overall sentiment associated with a particular brand, individual or product. 

With an AI tool, social media monitoring becomes easy and effective helping you understand audience sentiment, track trends, identify influencers, measure campaign effectiveness and make data-driven decisions. Monitoring your social media can also streamline your social media reputation management, market research, customer service and overall social media strategy. 

In other words, social media monitoring helps you quickly identify if customers are satisfied or unhappy with your product or service by providing you with real-time data into the overall sentiment surrounding your brand.  

Social listening, on the other hand, involves listening to customer conversations online to understand what customers appreciate and identify areas for improvement. 

How does a social media monitoring tool work? 

Here's how social media monitoring typically works. 

Data collection  

A social media monitoring tool scans various social media platforms, such as X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, to collect data in real time.  

Keyword and topic tracking  

The tool gathers relevant social media conversations by filtering for specific keywords, hashtags or topics relevant to your brand, industry or target audience. This helps focus the monitoring efforts on specific areas of interest. 

Data aggregation 

Once the data is collected, it’s organized and stored in a centralized database, making it easy for you to view and analyze the information conveniently. This includes data on metrics like engagement rates, sentiment analysis and reach. 

Sprinklr dashboard displays engagement rate on outbound social posts with underlying sentiment

Analysis and insights  

Using smart algorithms and natural language processing (NLP), the collected data is analyzed. This helps identify trends, sentiment, potential influencers to collaborate with, customer preferences and other valuable insights. 

Reporting and visualization  

The tool then generates reports and visualizations based on the analyzed data, providing a clear overview of the social media performance, brand sentiment, customer preferences and other key metrics. (Visualizations like charts, graphs and heatmaps make the data easier to understand and interpret.) 

Sprinklr's reporting dashboard displays customer acquisition and listening performance data.

Engagement and response 

Now you can take action based on what you discovered. Actively engage your audience, respond promptly to customer inquiries and address their concerns in real time. This helps build lasting relationships, enhance customer satisfaction and effectively manage your online reputation. 

Ongoing monitoring and iteration  

Social media monitoring is a continual process that requires constant analysis and adjustments to adapt to changing trends and customer behaviors. Regular review management and rethinking strategies based on the insights gathered is essential for success. 

Benefits of social media monitoring for businesses 

From improving your communications to boosting customer engagement, social media monitoring offers a ton of benefits. Here are a few of them. 

  • Reputation management: Take charge of your brand's reputation by diligently monitoring brand mentions and customer feedback — promptly address any concerns, respond to feedback and minimize any potential risks.  

  • Customer insights: Understand customer sentiment and conversations surrounding your brand, products and industry. With monitoring, you can attain efficient audience targeting — helping you create high-converting marketing campaigns, improve your products and/or services and offer stellar customer experiences. 

  • Competitor analysis: Gain a competitive edge by analyzing competitor performance, and tap into market intelligence, spot trends, understand customer preferences and unlock fresh opportunities for product innovation and better marketing strategies. 

  • Influencer identification: By tracking conversations and engagement metrics, you can identify individuals or entities who have a significant impact on your target market. Collaborating with these influencers can help expand brand reach, build credibility and drive customer engagement. 

  • Crisis management: Monitoring can help you detect and respond to potential crises swiftly including negative sentiment, (negative) viral posts or customer complaints.  

  • Customer service and engagement: Monitoring also enables you to identify customer issues, address them promptly and foster positive customer experiences. This strengthens customer relationships and builds loyalty.

7 steps to scale your online presence with social media monitoring 

Unleash the full potential of social media monitoring with these 7 effective steps.  

Step 1: Set clear goals  

Identify specific goals and objectives you want to achieve through social media monitoring. Determine what you want to track, such as brand mentions, customer sentiment, competitor activities or industry trends. 

Step 2: Identify relevant keywords  

Choose keywords, phrases or hashtags that are associated with your monitoring goals. These keywords will be used to identify relevant conversations and mentions on social media platforms.

Pro-tip: Don't buy a silo social media monitoring tool, instead, go for a social media management platform that provides social media monitoring & listening benefits too.

Step 3: Choose the right tool  

Select a tool that allows you to collect, organize and analyze social media data. Look for features like real-time tracking, sentiment analysis, competitor analysis and customizable reports. 

Step 4: Monitor and engage across multiple channels  

Monitor conversations on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, online forums and blogs to capture a diverse range of discussions. Actively listen to your audience, respond promptly to customer inquiries and concerns, engage in conversations and provide valuable insights. By doing so, you foster a strong social presence, build a rapport and increase brand loyalty. 

A campaign analysis dashboard on Sprinklr displays brand mentions, popular hashtags, top phrases and their sentiment distribution.

Step 5: Track competitors  

Keep an eye on your competitors' social media activities. Monitor their content, engagement rates and customer interactions. Analyze their strategies and identify areas where you can differentiate yourself or gain inspiration to enhance your own social presence. 

Step 6: Analyze, optimize and measure 

Regularly analyze the data collected from social media monitoring to uncover patterns, trends and insights. Tweak your messaging and posting schedule based on the data to optimize your social presence. Also, track the performance of key metrics such as follower growth, engagement rates, website traffic, conversions and brand sentiment to understand what's working and identify areas for improvement. 

A Sprinklr reporting dashboard displays the key highlights of a social media campaign.

Interesting Read:
Top social media KPIs for every business 

Step 7: Collaborate with influencers 

Through monitoring, identify a few prominent influencers in your industry. Engage with them, cultivate strong relationships and explore collaboration opportunities. Influencer partnerships can help expand your reach, increase brand visibility and attract a wider audience. 

Social media monitoring examples 

Want to know how many other brands supercharged their growth using social media monitoring? Check out these real-world examples of companies tapping into the power of social media monitoring and achieving remarkable success. 

Case study 1: Coca-Cola's ‘Share a Coke’ campaign 

Coca-Cola is a globally recognized beverage brand that actively engages in social media monitoring to understand customer sentiment and track the impact of their marketing campaigns. 

Share a coke campaign initiative by Coca-Cola



Coca-Cola launched the "Share a Coke" campaign, where personalized names were printed on Coke bottles to encourage people to share their Coca-Cola experiences. It wanted to assess the campaign's success and gather customer feedback 


1. Monitored social media platforms, including X, formerly Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, for mentions of the campaign and related hashtags 

2. Analyzed sentiment and engagement levels of user-generated content 

3. Identified key influencers and brand advocates participating in the campaign 

4. Tracked real-time feedback and customer stories shared on social media 

5. Measured the campaign's impact on brand sentiment and sales 


Through social media monitoring, Coca-Cola found that the "Share a Coke" campaign generated a significant amount of user-generated content and positive sentiment. The campaign became a viral sensation with consumers actively sharing images of their personalized Coke bottles and corresponding stories. The insights gathered from social media monitoring informed the brand’s future marketing initiatives. 

Case study 2: Warby Parker's virtual ‘try-on’ campaign 

Warby Parker is an eyewear brand known for its online retail model and trendy, affordable glasses. It leverages social media monitoring to gain insights into customer preferences, identify emerging trends and enhance their brand image. 

Virtual try-on feature initiative from Warby Parker



Warby Parker aimed to promote its new virtual try-on feature and drive customer engagement.  


1. Launched a comprehensive virtual try-on campaign across various social media platforms to showcase the feature and encouraged users to try on Warby Parker glasses virtually and share their experiences with a specific hashtag #WarbyHomeTryOn 

2. Monitored campaign mentions, user-generated content and engagement levels on social media to track the campaign's reach, sentiment and customer feedback effectively 

3. Analyzed user sentiment and engagement to understand the overall customer satisfaction with the virtual try-on experience, identified areas for improvement and refined the feature accordingly 


The virtual try-on campaign generated significant user engagement and positive sentiment. Users shared their virtual try-on experiences, creating a buzz around the feature and driving brand awareness. Monitoring helped Warby Parker understand user preferences and refine the virtual try-on experience for improved customer satisfaction. 

Case study 3: ColourPop's influencer collaboration campaign 

ColourPop Cosmetics is a direct-to-consumer makeup brand known for its high-quality yet affordable products. It relies on social media monitoring to engage with its passionate community, track beauty trends and drive product innovation. 

ColourPop influencer collaboration with Safiya Nygaard


ColourPop aimed to collaborate with beauty influencers to launch a new product line. 


1. Identified popular beauty influencers aligned with ColourPop's target audience, like Safiya Nygaard 

2. Collaborated with her to co-create a lipstick collection that she promoted on her social handles 

3. Monitored social media platforms for campaign mentions, posts and user-generated content 

4. Analyzed sentiment, engagement and reach of the influencer collaboration campaign 


The influencer collaboration campaign generated significant buzz and user engagement. The new product line received positive feedback from both influencers and customers. The campaign's success contributed to increased brand visibility, sales and loyalty. Insights gathered from social media monitoring helped ColourPop identify successful influencer partnerships and refine future collaboration strategies. 

Why social media monitoring is not just easy but also effective with Sprinklr 

Monitoring social media conversations around the clock has become a necessity in today's world. That's where AI-powered tools like Sprinklr come in.  With Sprinklr, you have the power to tap into 500 million conversations every day, going beyond your core brand channels, allowing you to transform unstructured data into valuable insights that can not only drive business growth but also elevate customer experiences. By leveraging its capabilities, you can stay on top of your social media management game, gain actionable information to make informed decisions. 

  • Harness the power of social listening to tap into billions of consumer conservations on 30+ social, digital and messaging channels. Enrich your data with AI, uncover actionable insights and engage with your audience more efficiently than ever before. 

Sprinklr's listening dashboard widget showcasing popular hashtags with underlying sentiments.
  • With Sprinklr dashboards and a unified approach, gain a comprehensive view of your brand, customers and competition, enabling you to interpret data, uncover opportunities and build smarter business strategies.   

Sprinklr's product insights on a unified dashboard with products benchmarked with top brands in industry along with underlying sentiments.
  • Gain real-time insights into audience engagement with your content and brand. Understand their preferences instantly through social signals, engagement metrics and audience profiles. Capitalize on trends and engage on relevant topics by leveraging advanced audience intelligence to identify influencers and potential brand partners for greater impact and return on ad spend (ROAS). 

    Sprinklr's audience engagement dashboard based on Twitter conversations.

Final thoughts 

Social media monitoring is key to thriving in the competitive social media landscape. Remember, social media monitoring is a two-way street — it's about actively listening to what people say about your brand and genuinely responding to their concerns. And using the right monitoring tool is crucial to better gauge your customer needs and delivering exceptional customer experiences.   

Social Listening

Learn how companies leverage social listening to reach and support customers in real time on modern digital channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Social media monitoring covers a wide range of platforms, including popular ones like Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. Additionally, monitoring can extend to forums, blogs, review sites and other online platforms where discussions about your brand or industry occur. 

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