by David Jones
1. is it a real-time crawl of the web or just a sampling of content?
2. how well does it identify location?
3. are there data caps, record limits?
4. how easy is it to set up search queries?
5. how many platforms does it monitor?
6. what is on the roadmap for the future?
7. financial terms; price, term, etc.
8. how well does it visualize data, create reports, etc.
It's a fairly mature space, but there's more work being done on truly understanding sentiment and emotion in a more granular way. I've also seen tech that is able to extract ethnicity from avatars and others that are able to match social profiles to customer databases with good accuracy.
Suffice to say that all the things you've thought were limited about social media monitoring solutions are being worked on and solved as you read this.
My advice is to never settle for the solution you have. Continually evaluate every new player and compare the features, pricing, flexibility against what you're using now. Keep an active list of features you absolutely need and others that you hope to see and seek out monitoring platforms that deliver on them.