With more than three quarters of a billion people on Facebook, companies know that social media is important. But just because companies know the power of social media, it doesn’t mean they’re getting the most from it. Today, most companies are starting with monitoring: testing the waters before dipping a toe in, understanding the framework before building and listening before talking. Once engaged in social media, most companies know they must still listen. They monitor online conversations for brand mentions, count the number of Facebook fans, or track a competitor’s Twitter handle.

Unfortunately, this isn’t enough -- companies are wasting their time monitoring social media because the data collected isn’t being used effectively. They’re also falling prey to a common problem: Listening to social media only tells you about social media. To maximize the return of monitoring efforts, companies must get social data out of its silo and integrate it with business data.

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