December 21, 2011

Christmas is a perfect time to make havoc online

http://holderbaum.educationextras.com/Grinch%5B1%5D.jpgChris AbrahamIf you want to tar and feather your sworn enemy online using social media, now’s the perfect time to do it! Blog, tweet, and Facebook your slander or meritless accusation; make a chastising video, post it, promote it, and kick it to viral! Turn it up to 11! If you have an axe to grind or a bee in your bonnet, and want to get sweet, sweet revenge, a once-a-year opportunity is upon you … Christmas!

We’re entering a time when most companies — and people — are ill-prepared to defend their online reputations while they’re spending every last minute of their “use it or lose it” end-of-year vacation time! Suckers! From now until some time in January.

If you’re interested in committing mischief, it’s time to put all your resources online.

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January 12, 2011

Top 20 social media monitoring vendors for business


A screen grab from Sysomos.

A comparison of the major monitoring & engagement services: Radian6, Lithium, Attensity360 & 17 more

Target audience: Brands, corporations, mid-size to large businesses. See Socialbrite’s series on social media monitoring:
Guide to monitoring social media conversations
20 free, awesome social media monitoring tools
10 paid social media monitoring services for nonprofits

By J.D. Lasica and Kim Bale
Socialmedia.biz

The online landscape is saturated with more than 200 tools and platforms claiming to be able to help you track and assess mentions of your business or brand in social media channels. While there remains a lot of churn in the field, a number of listening platforms have evolved to help you go beyond basic monitoring into an integrated approach that helps inform multiple parts of your business: product development, customer support, public outreach, lead generation, market research and campaign measurement.

Born as a way to respond to crises and manage brand reputation, social media monitoring, or brand monitoring — which ties into social media measurement and analysis — is finally maturing into a business process that helps the bottom line.

A comparison of pricing, features & clients you rarely see on the open Web.Today we’ll turn the tables on these companies and offer some business intelligence that you rarely see available on the open Web: a comparison of social media monitoring vendors, with descriptions of their strengths, clients and pricing. Many offer end-to-end solutions, providing not just tracking capabilities but a rich set of analytics and response tools to help you grow your business and engage with individuals who influence broad swaths of the market.

Social media monitoring vendors come in all shapes and flavors. Some cater to small business with modest budgets that want to handle monitoring analysis internally. Others service global corporations that want access to expert analysts as well as a robust suite of social tools that plug into business processes. So this roundup is admittedly mixing apples and oranges. (See our discussion of social CRM below.)

To draw some distinctions, we’ve broken this package into two groupings:

• 20+ social media monitoring & engagement vendors for business (below)
10 lower-priced monitoring services for nonprofits & organizations (on our sister site, Sociabrite.org)

Monitoring should plug into your business processes

Companies that will succeed in the 21st century will be social businesses, committed to forging deep and meaningful relationships with their customers. So use the new year as a fresh impetus to create a Social Media Plan (Socialmedia.biz can help with that), begin monitoring and consider evaluating an outside vendor by signing up for a free trial.

Keep in mind: Listening to conversations and gathering data is only one phase of a multi-step process that also involves engagement, metrics and acting on what you learn. As Jeff Nolan writes, “In its most pure form, social media monitoring is both listening and responding to social channels.”

Here is our guide to the Top 20 Social Media Monitoring Vendors for Business. Have your own favorites? Please add them in the comments below! And if you have any corrections or updates to the information here, please share that as well.

 

Radian6/Salesforce Cloud: A proven solution for big brands

1Radian 6, purchased by Salesforce in 2011, works with brands to help them listen more intelligently to your consumers, competitors and influencers with the goal of growing your business via detailed, real-time insights. Beyond their monitoring dashboard, which tracks mentions on more than 100 million social media sites, they offer an engagement console that allows you to coordinate your internal responses to external activity by immediately updating your blog and Twitter and Facebook accounts all in one spot. Fully automated. Cost: The dashboard starts at $600/month, though registered nonprofits can apply for two free uses per year under the company’s Giving Back program. They also offer free trials to students and educators for research and project purposes. Radian6 uses a monthly subscription based pricing model, with the monthly fee varying depending on the number of topics monitored each month. Clients: Red Cross, Adobe, AAA, Cirque du Soleil, H&R Block, March of Dimes, Microsoft, Pepsi, Southwest Airlines — a wide range of clients. Owner: Independent. Also: See our interview with the CEO of Radian6.

collective-intellect

Collective Intellect: Social media intelligence gathering

2Boulder, Colo.-based Collective Intellect, which started out by providing monitoring to financial firms, has evolved into a top-tier player in the marketplace of social media intelligence gathering. Using a combination of self-serve client dashboards and human analysis, Collective Intellect offers a robust monitoring and measurement tool suited to mid-size to large companies with its Social CRM Insights platform. It applies spam management techniques and text analysis to clean data sets, delivering customers rich intelligence.Cost: Pricing starts at $300/month and scales based on specific client needs, according to published reports. Clients: General Mills, NBC Universal, Pepsi, Walmart, Unilever, Advertising Age, CBS, Dole, MTV Networks, MillerCoors, Paramount, Verizon Wireless, Viacom, Hasbro, Siemens. Owner: Independent.

lithium

Lithium: Adjust your campaign on the fly

3Lithium monitors your search-specific mentions and sentiment in social media outlets and outputs them into easy-to-read graphs and numbers resembling the stock market. Lithium will aggregate information from a variety of platforms including blog posts and comments, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and many others, and it’ll assess emotions surrounding your brand pre-, mid- and post campaign so you can adjust your strategies accordingly. We miss ScoutLabs, which is now part of Lithium. Cost: Base plan of $249/month for five users and five searches. Free 14-day trial. Clients: Best Buy, BT, Barnes & Noble, FICO, Disney Online, Stubhub, Motorola, Coca Cola, Focus Features, Netflix. Owner: Independent. Lithium bought ScoutLabs in May 2010.

Sysomos: Manage conversations in real time

4Sysomos’s Heartbeat is a real-time monitoring and measurement tool that provides constantly updated snapshots of social media conversations delivered using a variety of user-friendly graphics. Heartbeat organizes conversations, manages workflow, facilitates collaboration and provides ways to engage with key influencers. For more, see ReadWrite review. Sysomos also offers a Media Analysis Platform. Cost: Entry-level price of $500/month. Clients: IBM, HSBC, Roche, Ketchum, Sony Ericsson, Philips, ConAgra, Edelman, Shell Oil, Nokia, Sapient, Citi, Interbrand. Owner: Marketwire. Continue reading

November 19, 2009

Sysomos Heartbeat 2.0 released

It’s a shiny, real-time monitoring and metrics tool for social Web

Image representing Sysomos as depicted in Crun...Chris AbrahamBack in May, I wrote about a demo presentation I had received from Sysomos and called their new technology alien technology, because it looked like the kind of cool stuff you see in science fiction movies set in the 22nd century.

A few days ago, I got a follow-up presentation from Nilesh Bansal, Sysomos CTO and Co-Founder, in anticipation of their release of Heartbeat 2.0, “a cost-effective, real-time monitoring and measurement tool” for the social Web. Not only is the technology still really cool, but the interface is incredibly clean, visually appealing, and pretty easy to use.

Nilesh said the company worked closely with clients who had signed on for Heartbeat 1.0, listening to their feedback about what the product needed to improve and incorporating those things, such as how data is presented and improving the workflow module. Continue reading

May 15, 2009

Sysomos MAP is alien technology

Image representing Sysomos as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Chris AbrahamI just got off a demo presentation by a company you might not have heard of yet called Sysomos. Nick Koudas, Sysomos’ founder, personally showed me around two of the company’s products, MAP and Heartbeat, and I have to admit that I think I just witnessed 22nd century — maybe even alien — technology.

Sysomos MAP is the sort of research and social media metrics tool that they have on TV and movies, the sort of data forensics tool they tout on CSI or NUMB3RS that looks spiffy on television but doesn’t exist in real life.

Well, it does exist, and in real time and in real life.  You really need to check out Sysomos and you really need to know about these tools. Seriously. Alien technology, for real.

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