Social media marketers have been around for nearly a decade now, and the rapid creation and expansion of this entirely new industry has not been without its growing pains.

As of last year, nearly 200,000 Twitter users included the term "social media" in their bio.

Of those Twitter uses, tens of thousands described themselves as social media gurus, evangelists, ninjas, rock stars, mavens, warriors, and—my favorite—missionaries.

Just as these cringe-worthy job titles are falling out of fashion as the industry as a whole matures, so does the technology that serves as its foundation. First-generation social tools, which have been around nearly as long as sites like Twitter and Facebook, just are not delivering the results that modern social media marketers need to perform in today's crowded marketplace. 

Even today, marketers continue to struggle to quantify the ROI of social listening. It's time for us to start demanding more from the tools that we rely on.

Let's take a look at the three ways that first-generation social listening tools are falling short, and propose solutions that the next generation of social media marketers can implement.

1. Social listening is a manual process

We all know the drill. Set up your dashboards. Enter your keywords. Choose bar graphs or pie charts. Then, the real work starts as the social media (insert your title here) continuously and manually monitors the monstrous river of real time data that you've just released.

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image of Kristin Muhlner

Kristin Muhlner is CEO of newBrandAnalytics, a provider of social intelligence solutions.

LinkedIn: Kristin Muhlner