5 Dashboards for Monitoring Nearby Social Content

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Social media has become a go-to channel for small business marketing, but whether a business is successful at achieving its campaign goals depends largely on strategy. Forty-two percent of businesses surveyed in Street Fight’s Local Merchant Report said they use social media to generate leads, and 39% said they use it to build brand awareness. One of the most effective marketing strategies cited in Street Fight’s report involved using social media dashboards.

More than half of merchants surveyed by Street Fight said they use a dashboard to manage social channels like Facebook and Twitter. However, merchants with the most developed social marketing strategies are increasingly utilizing platforms that zero in on what customers located nearby are saying about their businesses online. Here are five examples of location-based social monitoring dashboards that merchants can try.

1. Banjo: Organizing “social signals” by location
Banjo connects social content to geographic location, and adds a real-time element for good measure. The platform offers brands a better understanding of what’s happening nearby their brick-and-mortar establishments, or anywhere else in the world, by filtering social posts and pulling out trending events. Banjo’s platform works across geographies, enabling brands to dig into the social activity that’s happening at specific venues or stores. Banjo users can see the posts being generated by customers shopping inside their stores, and they can use the information to improve operations or marketing outreach. Banjo also has plans to bring weather, traffic, and purchase data into its platform.

2. WeLink: Capturing digital chatter on nearby streets
WeLink allows merchants to filter social media content down to the street level. Most frequently, WeLink users will monitor what’s being posted about their businesses within their own cities or related venues (like malls or sports arenas). WeLink monitors sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare, and Flickr, and it can filter content by keyword or hashtag, in addition to location. Merchants then have the ability to target nearby “influencers” with direct ads and respond to customer feedback in real-time. WeLink also offers analytics for examining tends and measuring marketing effectiveness.

3. Gnip: Filtering social content by geo-boundaries
One of the challenges with location-based social media monitoring is that content posted by users who choose not to share their location is often lost in the ether. Gnip has developed a way to normalize the latitude/longitude data that users do share on social media, which helps merchants view the approximate location of users who haven’t geo-tagged their posts. Retailers and brands can filter posts based on geo-boundaries, keywords, and phrase matches. They can also generate maps to indicate the relationships between certain venues and user profiles. Gnip connects with sources like Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Disqus.

4. Geofeedia: Location-based social media monitoring
Geofeedia filters social content by time and location. Merchants can draw a perimeter around any area to see the content that’s been posted by users within that perimeter. Geofeedia searches platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Being able to see what people are posting about nearby provides merchants with insights into the types of content they should publish, along with the types of promotions their customers would be interested in receiving. (For example, if everyone nearby is talking about the weather, a retailer could promote a discount anytime the temperature reaches 100 degrees.)

5. Ground Signal: Identify and understand local influencers
Designed for retailers, restaurants, agencies, and hospitality firms, Ground Signal allows its users to draw on maps to access social content and analytics. The company collects content from partners like Twitter and Instagram, filters that content based on the location a user has selected, and then layers the content with “audience enrichment and image recognition.” This provides merchants with insights into the types of stories their customers are sharing, as opposed to just looking at the stories themselves. Merchants can also use Ground Signal to find local influencers, and they can create alerts to stay updated in nearby trends.

Know of other location-based monitoring dashboards? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.