The recent fraudulent release pertaining to be from G4S, demonstrates the impact of online activity on a brand. Even when the information is false and from an unofficial source. The share price of G4S dropped significantly upon the media receiving the release, before the fraud became clear, and the share price recovered.
Monitoring online activity is crucial at the corporate level, not just to understand genuine comments, but also to be aware of when social media is being used maliciously against an organisation. Whether in the form of fake profiles or leaks of information, social media offers the perfect platform for the discontented and malevolent to have a detrimental effect on the brand. As seen with the G4S example, the sophistication of such activity makes being more vigilant all the more important.
Automated Alerts and portals can go some way to help monitor overall volumes of commentary around a brand. Where they fall down, is they are not working in an ideal world. As with all human interaction, there is the presence of sarcasm, colloquial language, language nuisances and irrelevant noise online. All of which can mislead and allude automated monitoring.
Technology is a vital starting point to gather together the presence of a brand, but that is really only the start. To really understand what effect social media is having on your brand, you need to analyse and disseminate the information, and for this you still need humans. Technology can give you all the pieces of the puzzle, but to build a picture from those pieces, you still need expert human analysis.