Unbiased observers must admit that social media monitoring is emerging as a brand new industry despite keeping close ties with traditional media monitoring tools. You cannot cope with a few dozen major social networks on which users create accounts in the range of billions. You need to implement specific monitoring tools to deal with so a complicated ecosystem.
Sure, mainstream media are still the major opinion makers but social media influencers, rumors originating on social media, and peer-to-peer communications are now able to influence large markets and entire industries.
Expect More M&A Deals in Social Media Monitoring
That said, you need to look at social media monitoring services in the context of the evolving media monitoring market. As many other industries impacted by digitalization and introduction of new technologies, a good number of media monitoring companies will be forced to survive through mergers and acquisitions. We witness larger funding rounds by larger corporations while a growing number of VC investors are entering the social media monitoring space.
Strategic plans to expand current service portfolios of established companies will be a major driver for most of the M&A deals but you should be aware that barriers to enter the SMM market are getting more affordable. We can also expect a wave of regional consolidations where larger local players will strengthen their positions through white knight acquisitions and hostile takeovers alike.
Growing Number of New Market Entrants
Technology advancements in fields such as image recognition as well as natural language processing and understanding will give birth to a number of new market entrants that will influence the industry. Cost to build social media monitoring tools is getting more affordable while startups are having access to open AI and machine learning platforms, which results in viable services built on top of leading platforms.
Furthermore, funding for tech startups is growing despite VC investors and funds getting more selective. This way, new companies have access to early funding, especially in fast-developing fields like social media and online content tracking in general.
Automation Is Everywhere
Automation is not exactly a new trend in the field of media monitoring but you should bear in mind that automated tools will expand to new functions and will cover a wider range of processes and procedures in the near future. Both corporations and media monitoring companies understand they cannot cope with the vast amounts of information in the online space and most of the collection and analysis work will be automated within a few years.
Predictive analytics is largely automated already but it will undergo further automation, resulting in fully automated analytical tools for tracking media, social media including. Human analysts will not lose their jobs but most of the signals for emergence of a market trend or change in market sentiment will be automatic triggers.
AI and Machine Learning In Social Media Monitoring
One of the greatest challenges before any social media-monitoring tool is to extract valuable and insightful information provided that most of the information on social media channels and online communications channels is actually data noise. You have to deal with spam from countless of content generators and identify valuable and trend-setting data. While media monitoring experts are good in that, the amount of information available online already makes it impossible for a human to deal with such an analysis.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence will be those technologies that will drive the progress of social media monitoring in the years to come, filtering out spam and data noise, and spotting valuable info in the context of never ending flow of data on numerous communications channels.
Tracking and Predicting Market Sentiment
As a result, social media monitoring platforms will develop into tools for tracking market sentiment, which is the easier part, and will provide AI features to predict changes in market sentiments. Media monitoring analysts have the procedures for spotting market sentiment trends but AI will help them identify trends in unexplored territories such as community channels and micro-influencers.
By implementing machine-learning algorithms in media monitoring, service providers and customers will be able to benefit from self-learning tools that are able to adapt to fast-paced market conditions. Social media monitoring is a perfect example of a market where an obscure rumor can end up as a snowballing news story boosting or ruining one’s brand reputation. So, predictive analytics and a mix of AI-enabled social media monitoring is the only answer to a social media ecosystem that is already out of control.