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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 30, 2007

Marketers measuring online buzz

With the increase in peer to peer recommendations it’s becoming harder for marketers to track online chatter about their products and services.

by Helen Leggatt

The blogosphere and social networking websites are playing an increasing role in online communication. More people are relying on the opinions of their peers rather than traditional information sources, such as the media. Blogs and other online forums are where users are voluntarily providing insight and instant feedback.

BuzzManager.jpgTracking and measuring this online “buzz” gives marketers an insight in to their biggest critic’s issues and attitudes. A service, Buzz Manager, is already available and has so far been applied to the sports marketplace. The web-based research tool trawls sports blogs, forums, YouTube, social networking sites and podcasts and captures relevant discussion, monitors and analyzes it, and reports back to the client.

"The combination of emotion, opinion, and expression has tremendous power to affect the brand reputation of any sports organization," said Kathleen Hessert, president of Sports Media Challenge in a statement earlier this year. "Word-of-mouth online opinions, and the responses can build excitement around sports brands, but can also cripple them. Athletic Departments, pro teams, leagues, and corporate sponsors need to understand what fans, critics and competitors are saying online and to manage that discussion effectively."

According to the Washington Post, NASCAR are the latest to incorporate Buzz Manager in to their marketing strategy.

Tags: Buzz Manager, measurement, peer-to-peer, social marketing, social networks, word-of-mouth

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