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Buzz monitoring is a term describing the analysis of social websites, blogs, and various news sources as a way to study public opinion. This is often used by companies to determine how the public feels about a new product or marketing tactic. It can also be used for the purposes of product idea research, or as a general way to study groups of people. It has several advantages over many traditional research methods like polling, including the fact that the objects of the research are generally unaware that they are being monitored, which may make the results more accurate.
After a company releases a new product, launches a new web site, or starts a new marketing campaign, there may be a lot of concern about the immediate public response. Companies can often benefit from getting a sense of public opinion as quickly as possible. Buzz marketing is often used in these situations because consumers start interacting with each other as soon as they try something for the first time, which means there is generally no wait time at all.
Sometimes buzz monitoring is handled through the use of special tools, including those that search particular web sites and aggregate information from various related news sources. This can allow companies and individuals to take a quick pulse of public opinion on the subject of different keywords. Furthermore, once a useful set of tools is identified, it is sometimes possible to set up automatic updates to allow for constant monitoring of any changes in the buzz around a particular subject.
In other cases, buzz monitoring might be handled in a more manual way. Sometimes it's simpler to directly insert people into social groups, like message boards or chat rooms. In these environments, an interested party might even decide to directly interact with the people she is analyzing, thereby directing the conversation into the areas of greatest interest and more easily gaining the needed information. In some ways, this could be compared to focus group research except for the fact that the people involved don't know they are part of a focus group.
Many people think about buzz monitoring in terms of business analysis, but sometimes it can be something individuals do for personal reasons. For example, hobbyists with an interest in a particular industry might benefit from many of the buzz monitoring tools used by website owners or other business people. The tools can be effective as a general way to track any kind of news, so there is potentially significant versatility in terms of possible applications.