Don’t rely decisions on reviews (alone)

Searching the best social media monitoring (SMM) tool or at least recommendations for good SMM tools, I found a lot of reviews from different authors and institutions. Looking for patterns I chose 15 of them, issued by well-known experts like Econsultancy, the Fraunhofer Institute, MasterNewMedia, RMM, Marshall Sponder, or Stefanie Aßmann. Sources can be found at the end of this posting.

The outcome of a meta-analysis of these 15 selected reviews is:

  1. Assigned criteria for evaluation differ.
  2. Reviews reflect only a very small share of the market.
  3. Only very few experts who present a tool tested it. (Just those reviews that come with costs are not based on tests!)
  4. Up-to-dateness of the review is key when using it for argumentation, as tools change constantly.
  5. Reviewers show preferences.
  6. Reviewers don’t recommend explicitly.
  7. Background of reviewers (academic, commercial …) influences the methodology.

The ten most frequently mentioned tools are:

  1. Radian 6 (10 mentions)
  2. Alterian SM2 (formerly Techrigy) (7)
  3. Attensity360 (formerly Biz 360) (7)
  4. Brandwatch (7)
  5. NM Incite My Buzzmetrics (7)
  6. Sysomos (7)
  7. Google Alerts (5)
  8. M | Buzz (Meltwater Buzz) (5)
  9. socialmention (5)
  10. Blogpulse (4)

The ten most frequently recommended tools are:

  1. Sysomos (3 recommendations)
  2. Alterian SM2 (formerly Techrigy) (2)
  3. Brandwatch (2)
  4. Radian 6 (2)
  5. AUSSCHNITT Medienbeobachtung (1)
  6. Business Intelligence Group (B.I.G.) (1)
  7. cognita (1)
  8. Google Alerts (1)
  9. Sentiment Metrics (1)
  10. socialmention (1)

Therefore, do not rely managerial decisions on third-party recommendations alone. It is advisable to evaluate tools yourself by using an up-to-date-tool like the evaluation framework by SOMEMO, at that point in time, when you have to make a desicion.


Sources of 15 selected reviews: – a more detailed report was mailed to the author of this thesis

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