2 items tagged "monitoring"

  • 4 Ways social media posts can provide competitive intelligence

    4 Ways social media posts can provide competitive intelligence

    Over the past decade, social media has transformed the way businesses promote themselves by opening up new, direct lines of communication with current and potential customers. Unlike traditional advertising, social media is interactive and immediate, and the content is often more diverse and in-depth than what you’d find in an ad.

    With all that in mind, keeping track of what your competitors are posting can provide valuable insights. If you’re starting a social media monitoring process, here are four types of posts you’ll definitely want to capture:


    • Industry relationships: It’s always useful to know who’s rubbing elbows with your biggest competitors, and many businesses use their social media accounts to actively promote their relationships with other businesses. Keep an eye on who your competition is retweeting, reposting, and tagging on social media, particularly on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, for a glimpse at what companies they’re talking to and, potentially, partnering with.


    • Events & webinars: Conferences and expos great opportunities to find out what other businesses are offering, and knowing which events your competition will be attending can give you an edge in terms of deciding which events are worth your time and money. Many businesses use social media to advertise the events they plan to attend, as well as the events and webinars they plan to host in the near future.


    • Customer complaints: It’s easy to find out what your competitors’ view as their strengths, just check out their advertising campaigns. But very few companies are upfront about their products’ weaknesses. To find out what’s not working for them, look for customer complaints and questions directed at the competition’s social media accounts. Many customers turn to Twitter for an immediate response when they have a customer service issue, and those public posts are a great source of insight into the problems the company is dealing with, as well as how they’re handling the complaints.


    • Sponsored or employee-generated content:Native advertising, or ads that blend in with the publication’s non-sponsored content, have blown up over the past decade. Companies are jumping at the chance to engage potential customers through sponsored or employee-authored articles, and the content they produce is often full of useful tidbits. Watch your competition’s social media accounts for posts promoting articles or guest blogs written by employees of the company. Chances are, even if it doesn’t look like an advertisement, it still promotes the business’s products and perspectives.

    Source: CI Radar

  • Finding the right monitoring tool: start asking questions!

    Finding the right monitoring tool: start asking questions!

    I spend a lot of my time at conferences and there’s one question I often hear with increasing frequency: Why are there so many monitoring tools?

    Looking around the vendor area at any conference, I see loads of monitoring tools and companies, and attendees are often overwhelmed by the sea of options. How can all of these tools be different and/or better than the other? The problem starts with the way we talk about monitoring.

    What does monitoring really mean?

    Monitoring is a pretty vague term: I can monitor my deployments, my application performance, and the cupcakes baking in the oven. It’s more important to ask ourselves, 'What problem are we trying to solve through monitoring?' I can buy a fire extinguisher because my cupcakes keep burning, or I can buy an oven timer so I remember to take them out of the oven. Simply put: there are a lot of monitoring tools because they solve a wide variety of problems. To differentiate and find value in the tools available, we have to know what problem we’re trying to solve. A lot of us have to address downtime in our systems, so we turn to monitoring solutions after some catastrophic failure. Others turn to monitoring to solve the tricky issue of resource allocation: there are entire consultancies built around which services use the most resources and how we can optimize them. Others use monitoring data to forecast sales in order to better measure the accuracy and success of their systems.

    Monitoring is so important because businesses and technology both survive on the premise that our services are available for as much of the time as possible. System uptime means community engagement and sales and relationships being built. There’s an abundance of monitoring tools because different systems and types of data require different approaches. Let’s talk about how you can start pruning the landscape.

    How do I find the right monitoring tool?

    To find the monitoring tool that fits your needs, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

    What type of data do you want to monitor? Are you gathering metrics, events, logs, user data, a combination of these, or something else entirely? Different types of data have different requirements for how we collect, store and analyze them. Look for tools made specifically for your type of data so you spend less time on setup.

    What is the source of your data? Is your data being generated by IoT sensors, web browsers, AWS or local servers? When choosing a monitoring tool, make sure it fits easily into the pipelines that already exist. Some tools are made specifically for the cloud while others are made for industrial IoT machinery. If you’re using a combination of data sources, you might have to think about a flexible collection agent.

    Do you have performance requirements? If you have limited resources or strict performance requirements, you can’t always instrument your applications with a full suite of monitoring tools. Find out how much work you have to do to optimize the tool. Look for benchmarks, user stories and hardware requirements.

    These are just a few questions to get started, and hopefully researching these will lead you to even more questions. Don’t be afraid to ask companies how their products are different. These are the questions that allow each monitoring company to show you its strengths. Here are a few questions you can start with:

    1. What type of data is the tool built for? Purpose-built solutions that match your data will be an easier transition.
    2. What ecosystem is the tool made to run in? Some tools are built specifically for a cloud-only environment while others are made for bare metal servers.
    3. Do you have an open source version or a free trial? There are a lot of pitfalls when it comes to implementing monitoring solutions, and being able to test them out before any money is involved is so much nicer.
    4. Bonus: I like to ask the person I’m talking to what their favorite feature of the product is. It can be surprising and enlightening.

    Get out there and start asking questions!

    Author: Katy Farmer

    Source: Insidebigdata 

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