Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to clarify the aims, monitoring methods and challenges of social media monitoring from the perspective of international companies. Trends in the literature are also investigated. Design/methodology/approach ? Based on a systematic literature review, 30 key articles from 2008 to 2012 were further analysed. Findings ? International companies need real-time monitoring software, expertise and dynamic visualization to facilitate early detection and prognoses supporting strategy making. This is a costly affair, prompting questions about return on investment. A recent trend in the research literature concerns the development of models describing how issues spread in social media with the aim of facilitating prognoses. Research limitations/implications ? The online databases used comprised refereed peer-reviewed scientific articles. Books were not included in the search process. Practical implications ? Because information spreads fast in social media and affects international companies, they need to identify issues early, in order to monitor and predict their growth. This paper discusses the difficulties posed by this objective. Originality/value ? Social media monitoring is a young research area and research on the topic has been conducted from many different perspectives. Therefore, this paper brings together current insights geared towards corporate communication by international companies.
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