Social Media Monitoring is a term used to describe the process of searching one or more social networks in order to find current conversation that matches certain criteria.
Common reasons to monitor social media are for companies or organizations to find conversation that mentions their company name, their brand or products in order to interact with potential or existing customers. This could take the form of engaging potential customers or resolving bad press by communicating with an outspoken, unsatisfied customer.
Some may choose to monitor social media networks manually by visiting each of them in turn and making use of the search functions provided. Tools are available to help manage this process via online services like Hootsuite.
Other companies or organizations may opt for automated social media monitoring tools that can be found through online services such as Socialerter. Automated solutions such as this constantly monitor various social networks for keywords that are set by the user which trigger alerts whenever the keyword phrase is matched.