Online brand reputation or social media monitoring tool comparison review

A comparison of 36 social media monitoring software tools

There are a bewildering number of social media monitoring tools to chose from. A July 2012 comparison of social media monitoring tools by Ideya Ltd shows that there are around 250 tools available. Of these 191 are paid, with the remainder free or using a combined model.

How to decide which tool(s) is best for you?

Knowing how to decide on the best tool is certainly challenging. This post isn’t as comprehensive or up-to-date as the latest Ideya report, thanks to all the merger and acquisition activity in this area, but it compares 36 of the best known social media listening tools including free and paid. If you want to know the free tools go straight to category 4.

The bulk of the work on the original post was completed by a specialist, Michael Brewer of Clerestorey who compiled this comprehensive directory of the leading social listening tools tools to support his work in advising clients on monitoring their brands in social media. In January he completed an update and we have made the guide available as a PDF – download: Social listening platforms comparison – Update 20.01.10 – PDF version. Note this is more up-to-date than the version below since it now contains 36 tools. Thanks Michael!

With so many well-regarded tools, from free to paid, it’s difficult to know where to start. To help with this decision I interviewed Gray Dudek of Infegy/Social Radar to get his views on how to select a buzz monitoring system. For a more independent view, I have been talking to Econsultancy to help prepare a new buyer’s guide and I will let you know when this is released.

1. Competitive landscape for reputation management tools

Reputation management tools have been categorised as a form of software in different ways, for example

  • Listening platforms (used by Forrester in their review of 10 tools earlier in 2009)
  • Reputation or online management tools (ORM)
  • Brand defence tools
  • Social Media Monitoring
  • Buzz tracking or buzz monitoring software
  • Consumer Generated Media (CGM) tracking

Take your pick!

Within these areas, Michael has defined 7 different product categories for brand reputation management and monitoring software which you can see in the 7 colour coded sections of the table.

Category 1 – Wide scope analytical and reporting tools for all aspects of monitoring customer opinions and campaign effectiveness
Category 2 – Blog based influence assessment tools, designed to gain access to influential customers/commentators
Category 3 – PR and media management tools for reputation management and assessing opinion forming influence
Category 4 – Social media tracking and intervention including free tools
Category 5 – Fraud protection, security and threat detection
Category 6 – News media tracking
Category 7 – Social media within sales management – for identifying B2B prospects

I have highlighted the most widely used tools in each category with an asterisk.

2. Key distinguishing features of competitors in 2009

  • Scope and range of searching – number of sites, etc, real time or delayed
  • Sophistication of analysis tools, especially for language analysis; statistical or semantic
  • Flexibility of data presentation, quality of text/charts, dashboard fixed or user configured
  • Communication tools for issuing alerts, collaborative working, via email, text, IM
  • Integration with other applications, primarily web data tracking and CRM systems
  • Option or requirement for ‘human intervention’ by user and/or supplier
  • Charging model and implications for total cost of use

3. Upcoming competitive features in 2010 and beyond

  • Capability for image tracking, video, logo, photos etc
  • Integration with workflow, ERP systems, etc
  • Range of report formats, styles, configured as ‘products’
  • Chart and analysis integration – mapping, 3D, tag clouds, visualisation techniques, etc
  • Actionability -direct intervention in dialogue, development of advertising, web campaigns, etc

4. Notes on compilation

  • Twitter-only search and tracking tools have been excluded (eg Twendz, Twitratr)
  • Some suppliers include agency/consulting services as standard – eg Nielsen Buzz Metrics; Cymfony; Reputrace
  • Typical billing models include annual/monthly subscription, number of profiles tracked, volume of data collected, number of users
Name Positioning Analysis Reporting/Products
Category 1 – Wide scope analytical and reporting tools for all aspects of monitoring customer opinions and campaign effectiveness
* Radian6in partnership with Web Trends Social media monitoring platform for marketing, communications and customer support professionalsBilling is tied to results, not the parameters used Sentiment, engagement, reach, inbound links, vote count or comment countPost and source tags to create a “social web caller ID” system, and segment results for in-depth reporting and analysisSupports filters Flexible dashboard and as-it-happens alerts enable monitoring of all forms of social media and related comments in real-timeResults can be filtered by country, by source and by media type, within date range or for pre-set daysEmail, IM, communication toolsWebTrends integration filters social media content with web stats like site visits, conversions, or purchases
Infegy Social Radar The most efficient, fastest, and most effective social research toolset backed by vast data collection Using artificial intelligence, categorizes media types and conversation topics with contextual tone analysis Generates charts and graphs from data sources within a given period by topic Creates “€˜maps”€™ of influencers around topics
Trupulse (Visible, founded 2005; strategic partnership with WPP) Online brand management – Repair, protect and proactively promote brand or corporate reputation in search engine results Powered by the proprietary truCAST engine – discovery, collection, processing, analysis and engagement architecture for social media content truREPUTATION – online reputation management servicetruPULSE – RSS based web monitoringtruINSIGHTtruVOICE – allows participation with consumerstruSEARCH – SEO tool
* Scout Labs Relatively low cost ‘self service product’Costs range from $100 to $750 a month (Feb. 2009) depending upon how many platforms, or “workspaces,” and how many concurrent text searches clients need, there is no limit on nos users per workspace Proprietary tools Create graphs, forward, bookmark, initiate discussions, download graph data or copy graphsThe dashboard offers real-time metrics for buzz volume, customer sentiment, and competitive share of voice across the webAgencies can ‘white label’ the reports
SEER (VML, part of WPP group) Defines a brand ‘ecosystem’ System built on1) a focused crawler;2) custom dictionaries and parsing;3) a web-based control panel;4) a three-dimensional visualization tool

Constantly updated

Builds a model over time of the patterns of communication within the target audienceEvery relationship is mapped out three-dimensionally, with ‘hot spots’ and tag clouds to identify areas of interest
* Nielsen Buzz Metrics Real time market intelligence and brand metrics, with expert input and support Text-mining, analytic technologies andexpert analysts 30 report formatsCustomisable dashboardThreat Tracker alerts by emailBrand Tracking, Audit and Scorecard reports for regular informationBrand Association maps
Feedback Ferret Voice of Customer Platform to gather, analyse and report on customer feedback Contextual analysis engine extracts topics, themes and sentiment from unstructured feedback; can build in customer data files Interactive dashboards supplied; capability to share across organisation
Interwoven (acquired by Autonomy 2009) Interwoven web content management uses Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to provide a powerful solution for profiting from social media Uses Meaning Based Computing technology; IDOL gives clustering, pattern matching techniques, and probabilistic modeling Dashboard data delivered within the content management systemTeamSite, LiveSite, and Optimost automatically deliver dynamic, targeted, and optimized content and offers to consumers based on social media sentiment and emerging trends
Category 2 – Blog based influence assessment tools, designed to gain access to influential customers/commentators
Nielsen BlogPulse Blog tracking and management for individuals and bloggers as well as corporates Based on machine-learning and natural-language processing techniquesSearch by link (URL), keyword, phrase, boolean query, and date range “Performs a unique kind of text mining on blog data to help reveal topics and themes within blog entries every day”Statistical reports, produced dailyTrend analysis and chartingBlogger profilingConversation tracker
* Market Sentinel A range of tools for sentiment monitoring, identifying key influencers and campaign buzz tracking. Based on machine-learning and natural-language processing techniquesSearch by link (URL), keyword, phrase, boolean query, and date range “Performs a unique kind of text mining on blog data to help reveal topics and themes within blog entries every day”Statistical reports, produced dailyTrend analysis and chartingBlogger profilingConversation tracker
Buzz Logic Blog based media agency – tracking influential conversations on the web and aligning ad campaignsCosted on monthly subscriptions Algorithms calculate the expertise and credibility of conversational media, and map the social graphs emerging around each site’s contentBased on analysis of:-traffic and number of inbound links
-contextual relevance to a customer’s specified area of concern, such as key words.
-frequency of content publication on such topics
-the traffic it sends back to the marketer
??
Category 3 – PR and media management tools for reputation management and assessing opinion forming influence
* Cymfony (acquired by TNS Media Group in 2007) PR management tool with customer service and marketing applications, especially crisis management Powered by Cymfony’s InfoXtract(TM) technology, an information extraction and analysis engine used by US government and intelligence agenciesProprietary Natural Language Processing engine automatically identifies, classifies, quantifies and benchmarks important people, places, companies, concepts, relationships, and events in documents from both traditional and social media.Based on detailed grammatical analysis of the text Orchestra – a model centred on metric views, reports, and clippings. With interface tools to help users build custom views, create and share reports and structure complex queries to sort though massive amounts of dataCymfony’s Professional Services team delivers customized reporting services, specializing in integrated media measurement programs with corporate six sigma initiatives
Marchex Reputation Management(in development) Customer insight tool for SMEs Standard charts on positive, neutral or negative reviews Checks business listingsIdentifies keywords for differentiationCompetitor comparisonCapability to share positive news and reviews with customers and employees through email, Twitter, Facebook, Digg or other sources
Reputica Reputation management and recruitment supportClaims to be able to predict where stories will go as well as track where they came from Powered by iFeed, a discovery and aggregation engine for social mediaSelf-learning capabilityInbuilt ranking and scoring system with sentiment analysis Dashboard capability for online reputation monitoringSearch related tool for recruiters
Jodange Opinion based reputation managementTargets publishers of online content Uses linguistic analysis to extract opinion data from documents and identify the opinion holder and topic each opinion expressionIgnores factual statements to focus on opinions and score sentiments Defines the relationship between Opinion Holder, Opinion, and TopicCapability to correlate opinions to outcomes over time
Category 4 – Social media tracking and intervention including free tools
Converseon Social media agency with proprietary tool for listening Advanced proprietary natural language processing and related technologies plus human interaction from the set-up phase through to report delivery and engagement Conversation MinerTMConversation ManagerConversation MonitorSERM Analyzer
* Who’s Talkin Free tool for individuals or organisations wanting to monitor their own or competitors presence in social media conversations Search and sorting algorithms Search strings
* Social Mention Free social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content Analysis based on:Strengthis phrase mentions within the last 24 hours divided by total possible mentions.Sentimentratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative.Passion is most frequently used keywords and number of times mentioned. Number of mentions by sentiment.Reach the number of unique authors referencing your brand divided by the total number of mentions Search stringsDelivers daily social media alerts
* Trackur Tracks sentiments and trends in social media mentions with alerts via email and RSS Boolean keyword based query with option to exclude some sites
* Viralheat Viralheat aims to be a one stop shop for understanding social mediaEffectively a search engineMonthly subscription (10 profiles for $10 and 50 profiles for $40) User generated profiles. Operate on a proprietary, custom-built cloud host. Includes Compete and Quantcast numbers. Generates dashboard chartsInsights delivered in real timeExports to Excel or pdfDaily email alerts can be shared
NetBase Consumer Insights Market and consumer insights in real-time to identify actionable consumer opinions Content Intelligence is able to read every sentence of every document, linguistically understand the sentences, and provide market and consumer insights
Category 5 – Fraud protection, security and threat detection
Envisional Fraud and piracy protection for logos and trademarksPatented A31 visual search technology Built in filters with user defined parametersUnique, patented search technologies alongside a team of experienced analysts”sentiment monitoring” system, using fuzzy logic and self-organising maps ??
KnowEm Brand protection and security Identifies users of brand names and their contact detailsTracks multiple metrics to determine which networks are gaining (or losing) traction in the social media landscape ??
Reputrace (Repumetrix formerly CoreX) ‘All purpose’ but focus on security applications High speed reporting on latest mentions and referencesReporting tool sends summaries from the site that include company logos
Mark Monitor Brand security, particularly domain monitoring
FiltrBox News tracking system Looks at multiple dimensions to generate a score (1-10 scale) for each articleCan be user defined Rapid alert systemEmail, web dashboard, and custom RSS feeds (FiltrFeedsTM)Daily briefing emails
Category 6 – News media tracking
Newssift News media based search tool exclusively focused on business Identifies the people, companies, places and connections common across all stories; scores sentiment within stories User defined queries
NewsLive (ebiquity) Completely automated digital service plus all the benefits of a traditional, tried-and-tested manual clippings agency The Newslive editorial monitoring service 3 different scores, allocated by trained readers. Scores can be weighted according to the size of audience An email alert is sent as soon as a relevant news story breaks; the latest headlines and content transcripts are included by a team of specialist news readers and précis writers working 24/7Users can track the scores
Category 7 – Social media within sales management – for identifying B2B prospects
Inside View Identifies B2B sales companies prospects from intelligence gained from social media and traditional editorial sources Continuously aggregates and analyzes personal, executive, and corporate information Delivers contact lists, exports leads, manages watch lists, etc

Please add your experiences or comments on other social media monitoring software. Thank you!

Dave Chaffey and Michael Brewer

This entry was posted in Reputation management, Social media listening. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Michael Fraietta

    Hello Dave,

    Thanks for including Filtrbox in your list of tools. Let me know if you have any further questions about our service, our company or the industry in general.

    Michael Fraietta
    Filtrbox Community Manager & Chief Listener
    @MichaelFraietta

  • http://mattermidia.com.br Eduardo

    Great list, most comprehensive to date. I am surprised to see that Alterian/Techrigy SM2 is missing.

    Eduardo Barcellos
    @MATTERmidia

    • http://www.davechaffey.com Dave Chaffey

      Thanks Eduardo, Will add that to the list along with other suggestions we get. I thought of Alterian as CRM software – didn’t know about that acquisition.

      Techrigy position their SM2 software as “a software solution designed specifically for PR and Marketing Agencies to monitor and measure social media”.

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  • http://www.socialmediamonitoring.co.uk Tom Messett

    Hi David,

    I work for 6Consulting, the UK solutions partner for Radian6. I am just leaving a quick note to say thank you for including Radian6 on your list of monitoring tools. If you would like any more information on Radian6 then please do feel free to contact me.

    Thanks,

    Tom
    @TomMessett6c

  • http://ipub.ca.cx ipub

    There is also sysomos MAP & HEARTBEAT for social media brandmonitoring

    sysomos.com

    • http://www.davechaffey.com Dave Chaffey

      ipub – Thanks!

      Tom – Thanks also – I was wondering how long any of the suppliers would take to reply – this blog is small in the scheme of things but influential within UK hopefully, with a quarter of audience from US. It’s a good sign you have responded first…

      I would be interested if you have any UK case studies of how Radian 6 is applied or a general method of reviewing escalating individual blog / social media comments – Kerry-Bridge of Dell presented an excellent response decision tree / flow chart at the recent Econsultancy Masterclass. Do you have a generic version?

  • http://www.repumetrix.com/blog Joseph Fiore

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for mentioning RepuMetrix and including RepuTraceâ„¢ on this impressive list of tools. We would encourage you and your readers to contact us with questions relating to our tools and service scope.

    On the reputation management front, we have a new addition to our product suite called RepuTrackâ„¢ which we would be happy to demonstrate to anyone with an interest in managing their online brand reputation.

    Joseph
    @RepuMetrix

  • http://www.socialmediamonitoring.co.uk Tom Messett

    Hi David,

    I do certainly have some good UK case studies and would be happy to discuss further, my email is … please feel free to drop me a line and we can set up a time to talk in more detail about workflow and UK case studies.

    Tom

  • http://sm2.techrigy.com Connie Bensen

    Hi Dave,
    Is there a reason that you haven’t included Alterian SM2 (was Techrigy SM2)?
    I believe that it fits in Category 1. It has the most comprehensive charting & analytical abilities on the market. It also has automated sentiment with a customizable dictionary, workflow and many other aspects (geomapping, etc).

    I’d be happy to introduce you to it.

    Connie Bensen
    Director of Community Strategy, Alterian
    @cbensen

    • http://www.davechaffey.com Dave Chaffey

      Hi Connie,

      We haven’t included it since we were unaware of it. Michael is closer to social media monitoring options than me, but like me has been compiling a list for some time but hadn’t encountered it through talking to clients or when asking for recommendations. Michael will be in touch to gain details and we will update in January.

      It wasn’t in the The Forrester Waveâ„¢: Listening Platforms, Q1 2009 review we cross-checked against, although that only included 7 vendors.

      Dave

  • http://www.teamworkscom.com Paul Pruneau

    Thanks for the compilation and analysis.
    Great starting point to evaluate these tools.

  • http://www.thesocialmethod.com Rebecca Markarian

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for putting together such a comprehenisve list and sharing it with all of us – immensely helpful! I have used (and continue to use) many of these. I would add a few notes on Scout Labs and FiltrBox (both which I use).

    ScoutLabs volume and sentiment only take into account blogs and mainstream news in their data and charts – although they offer tracking for comments, twitter, videos, photos and more. I think they’re working on including that in their tracking, but it’s created challenges for us. We had a campaign that had huge favorable response on Twitter, but in the reporting it seemed there was nothing going on. Still a great tool for monitoring and reporting too – just know what you are and aren’t reporting.

    FiltrBox could probably be in category 1. With their premium service you can collaborate with team members and do most of the things you can do in Radian6. Only challenge I’ve found is their search isn’t quite as comprehensive as Radian6 although I know they’re catching up fast. A big bonus is one fee and unlimited searches and that fee is about 1/5 of Radian6. So, if you’re on a budget it might be worth sacrificing a little to get more if you want to track lots of different things. The reporting is pretty good too!

    Just thought I’d share a few thoughts. Thanks again so much for doing this – I’m definitely going to be testing out some of these other tools as well!

  • http://www.listenlogic.com/ Mark Langsfeld

    Hi Dave,

    Might also want to put ListenLogic to your radar too. In the Category 1 – Wide scope analytical and reporting tools bucket. Great blog!

    Mark

  • Donny Davidson

    Some of these are monitoring applications, which are completely different from listening platforms. Monitoring tools simply count mentions (Radian6) and they have there own purposes on a very tactical level. But listening platforms, in my brief experience offer much much more.

    Also, I am not sure this is a very comprehensive list as mentioned in a previous comment. Platforms such as Alterian, and even a step above like Networked Insights Social Sense are not included.

    Good information, but not complete information.

    Thanks
    DD

  • http://www.attensity.com Catherine H van Zuylen

    There is also another group of tools in social media listening software – text analytics systems that don’t focus on reporting on social media from a PR reach sense, but ingest social media content along with other traditional “voice of the customer” sources like surveys, CRM records, emails, etc., and then report on that information to guide product development, potential service changes, etc.

    My company, Attensity, falls into this class of vendors.

    • http://www.davechaffey.com Dave Chaffey

      Thanks all for your thanks and suggestions everyone. Our thanks must go to Michael who has been working on building the evaluation for quite a while.

      It’s good to seem some new categories such as using social media for customer preference research, New Product Development – I think Michael would argue that a few in category 1 have that capability including Autonomy, but think it’s useful to pull out separate lists.

      Donny – we have put this list up to be helpful gain feedback and extend – we want to define the main credible providers in terms of well regarded and most popular.

      Most previous lists have been random “top 5s” and “top 10s” without categorisation or evaluation criteria so I think the response shows we have moved knowledge about the category forward.

      Certainly a few have mentioned Alterian SM2 and we will include those and other significant ones in an update in January. Then we need to work on how to establish popularity…

      Rebecca – thanks for sharing your experience – really helpful!

  • http://www.socialwebanalytics.com Philip Sheldrake

    Hi Dave, Michael,

    Interesting categorisations. I’m working on grouping the tools myself at the moment, so may look to take your example as my lead. You might also be interested in my post “The increasingly crowded market of Social Web Analytics“, which lists somewhere north of 70 vendors in this space at last count.

    On a related topic, love to know what you think of the Influence Scorecard project a group of us (including Connie above) have started to flesh out. It’s about the coming of age of analytics, in particular the ERP’ing of analytics.

    Best regards.

  • Chris

    I think Digimind is missing here. This platform combines consumer intelligence and other web intelligence (technical, market, strategy, and sales intel).
    It also includes text analytics (sentiment analysis, reputation/perception analysis).
    White papers are available at http://www.digimind.com
    Primarily falls into category 2, 3, 6, and 7.
    A recent AML/KYC module in Digimind would fall into category 5 (Fraud intel).
    Hope this helps.
    Chris.

  • http://sm2.techrigy.com Connie Bensen

    Hi Dave,
    That’s understandable. There are over 100 tools and cover a diverse spectrum of functionality.

    As a bit of info – Alterian is a UK company with offices around the world. They provide a suite of marketing products with a focus on customer engagement. Early this year they reviewed over 50 social media monitoring tools and they chose Techrigy SM2 as being the strongest & most versatile for digital marketers & communications agencies. They acquired Techrigy in July. Alterian SM2 has customers (agencies and brands) around the world as well as channel partners.

    We look forward to showing it to your team. One of my UK colleagues would be happy to do it in person.
    Connie

  • http://www.sysomos.com Mark Evans

    Dave,

    Another company that fits into category one is Sysomos, which offers social media services – Heartbeat, a monitoring and measurement tool, and MAP, which provides analytics and reporting capabilities, as well as automated sentiment, geo-demographics and more than three years of spam-free conversations from social and traditional media.

    Mark

  • http://AdvancedLifeSkills.com/blog Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills

    Hey Dave, thanks for the great resource list. This is one of those lists that takes a good long while to fully explore. I appreciate all the work that went into creating it.

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  • http://www.demainlaveille.fr Aref

    Hi Dave
    You can also take a look at the reputation market map with a lot of social media monitoring solutions :
    http://www.demainlaveille.fr/2009/11/16/e-reputation-market-map-v2-marche-de-la-e-reputation-v2/

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  • Shyam Kapur

    This is a great list. Thanks. I would also recommend TipTop, a free search tool now available to consumers, that shows in real-time a variety of insights about whatever you want to monitor. I hope there will be an enterprise version out soon.

  • http://goldenseeds.com Sheryl Schultz

    Suprised to see Crimson Hexagon missing from your list. Happy to make an introduction for you.

  • http://www.visinsights.com Blake Cahill

    Dave – thank you for including @visible_tech here.

    Best,

    @bcahill

  • http://blog.moreover.com/ Zak

    Hi Dave,
    Great post and a great list, I think you might want to also consider Moreover’s Newsdesk tool for a complete news and social media monitoring solution. Newsdesk is a versatile and powerful solution that offers instant access to breaking news and views, along with various filters and analytics to measure and compare content all through a single service.
    Thanks
    Zak
    @moreovertech

  • http://www.asomo.net Jonathan Moody

    A quick shout out for ASOMO – we’ve been working across multiple sectors, geographies and languages in this space since 2003 (development since 2001). Social media insight for action.

    On a more impartial note, Nathan Gilliatt at Social Target (www.socialtarget.com) has possibly the widest grasp on all the technology/service providers in this area. Another good source is Socialmediabiz.com – they also have an online index of companies and are doing a survey of end-users of social media monitoring/analysis services.
    Jon Moody
    jon.moody@asomo.net
    Twitter: @jonnybgood68

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  • http://www.newstwit.com Aaron W. Clopton

    I work for Newstwit.com, an aggregator that would fall under Category 6 – do you think you – or anyone – could tell me where this site would fall in comparison to listed two?

  • http://www.buzzstream.com Jeremy Bencken

    Dave- please check out BuzzStream, a monitoring tool that’s tightly integrated with a social CRM for managing bloggers and journalists.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/25/buzzstream-improves-social-crm-and-monitoring-tool-for-marketers-and-pr-reps/

    http://www.buzzstream.com

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  • http://www.davechaffey.com Dave Chaffey

    Two more free tools similar to WhosTalkin.com I have recently been alerted to

    * http://omgili.com/

    * http://www.backtype.com/

  • http://www.anon.com David Moscardini

    Having recently been appointed as a Social Media Manager I am naturally interested in this review of Social Media software and indeed the conversation it is generating.

    For companies like mine Social Media roles in the UK are new and not all companies feel it’s the right path to follow. Tools like these mentioned can provide the evidence required to convince the doubters and reinforce the need to the believers.

    Raising the funds to purchase such tools is another matter again because many companies remain sceptical.

    I am looking for the right monitoring tool to monitor our brand on social media sites with, I presently use Google Alerts and Tweetdeck because they are both free but I would love to find the right tool along with the necessary supporting documentation to help convince the doubters that there is a requirement to pay such a tool rather than use the free ones I’m currently being asked to use.
    I’m open to suggestions.

  • Francis Mulleady

    It all comes back down to ROI for finance people and this makes the case tricky. Reputation tracking is very qualitative in nature and finance people tend to over overly quantitative. All of this is directly related to PR and digital publics. The business case is primarily a PR one. Business owners/excecutive management need to value PR strategy in the holistic sense in the first instance before even justifying a business case, or need a cultural shift towards valuing and managing intangibles.

    Any template and business case would need to consider a risk exposure assessment as the first dimension. How much can negative viral opinion impact the brand? Justifying this as part of the PR budget is the key in my opinion.

    The 2nd dimension revolves around monitoring frequency and looking at the value of qualitative metrics on the degree of favourability.

    Free tools are a valuable part of an overall listening portfolio. There is always a case for paid for tools as some provide specific metrics and customisation options.

    Quoting case scenarios on how the viral nature of the Internet impacts brand equity and reputation is also a powerful persuader if argued properly. Analogy is powerful. The impact on Sony because of the rootkit scandal, burning batteries and poor after-sales discussion on blogs is a case in point. Sony ignored listening to digital publics at their peril. There are numerous other examples both positive and negative.

    I would not be surprised if Nokia’s move to a Linux based Maemo system is somewhat based on the dynamics of online opinion. Symbian is universally recognised on a qualitative basis as outdated by experts and consumers alike through online discussions. In a similar way HTC is reviving its fortunes and its commitment to Android may well be influenced by the favourability and viral impacts of discussion of the HTC Hero and the Androis OS itself.

    Therefore the business logic for a portfolio of social listening technologies revolve around 3 areas:

    1) PR. crisis management and business risk.

    2) Monitoring favourability or lack of it and adding qualitative metrics to internal decision making processes.

    3) The power of intangibles

  • http://www.infegy.com Dave Reed

    Just to follow up on your Twitter DM as requested. For me the business case is simple – if you don’t listen to your customers, how can you possibly have a conversation with them? There’s loads of other points to make around this topic but I believe that’s the fundamental point to convey back to your enquirer.

    As you asked, here’s some more info on Social Radar. The tool is, in my view, unrivalled in it’s accuracy in terms of measuring sentiment, topics, channels used and influence. Using all it’s own content (no APIs or 3rd party content purchases here!) it has collected over 3 billion conversations since launch in January 2007. As a result it’s possible for brand owners to measure the impact of any marketing activity now versus its position at any point in the previous 3 years – see http://www.buzzstudy.com for some case studies.

    Moreover, Social Radar posseses a mind-blowing ecosystem tool which allows users to generate a visual representation of the influential commentators around any subject. In doing so a comprehensive online PR strategy can be pulled together quickly, clearly and accurately. This means that there’s much more certainty involved when social media plans are made in conjunction with Social Radar than in isolation.

    To finish, here’s a couple of anecdotal case studies:

    1. During the US Presidential election last year, Gallup used Social Radar to measure social sentiment and thereby predict the election result. Social Radar gave stats that were within 2% of the stats Gallup generated using traditonal market research techniques – the difference was that Gallup had to telephone 30,000 people to get 3,000 results. With Social Radar, millions of people’s views were canvassed instantly.

    2. When a US mobile hardware company was launching it’s latest model last year, a storm erupted online over the quality of the screens. Unable to understand the issue, the manufacturer began making plans for an expensive and potentially distressing recall of all handsets, however before doing so consulted Social Radar. They found that all the commentary had originated from one highly influential blogger who had unfortunately received a handset with a cracked screen; the manufacturer contacted him, rectified the problem and the storm quickly subsided – avoiding the need for a recall or defensive communications entirely.

    For more info on Social Radar, visit http://www.infegy.com

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  • http://www.whitehatmedia.com Anne Collet

    Hi,
    Very interesting post and the segmentation criteria you’ve chosen makes sense. I have not been that indepth in a post I recently published on 5 Free reputation Management tools, but I think this post could help those who are looking for non-commercial solutions.
    Anne

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  • http://www.navigateconsulting.co.uk Nick Baggott

    Hi dave

    Which do you use? What do you normally advise your clients to use? This is a minefield and there are so many alternatives? I am doing social media for NFP & public sector and would like to give them some help

  • http://www.clipit.nl Hella de Weger

    Interesting post and a very good comparison!
    Clipit is a Dutch online and social media monitoring tool which is used by PR-agencies to analyze the success of PR-activities; by reputation managers to (like the job name says) manage the online reputation and effectively use webcare.
    Next to the daily e-mail our clients receive (including all names, links, abstracts and sentiment analyses), we offer a personalized portal in which our customers can find their personal archives. Thereby they analyze all found messages and articles by using our technology “Media Analysis”. With this, they can – amongst other things – analyze the popularity of their brand(s) and those of their competitors. Next to that, they can analyze on which websites their brand (or those of competitors) have been published most.
    Although we focus on Dutch sources, we also have the most important international websites in our database of sources.
    If you would like to receive more information, please contact!

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  • http://www.kritiskretshjaelp.dk gratis retshjælp

    Great post with the 36 Online Social Media/ ORM tools. We consider one of one to protect our our brand in Denmark. Do you know the best for the Danish market…?

    Thanks

  • Mark Tinger

    There are lots of good online reputation companies about. The key is value for money. I found ClydeStan http://www.clydestan.com most helpful in their approach and costing structure. They specialize mainly in celebrity reputation but I am sure they take on other clients, too. It seems they have connections behind the scenes where actual links and posts are being deleted and not only pushed down in search engines. I have used them twice now and the results are just fine. No problems, would recommend anytime.

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  • http://twitter.com/LinkYeah Joel Windels™

    Odd to see Brandwatch absent from this list, especially as one of its white label clients features on it!

    If you would kindly amend the post, I’d be happy to help provide accurate details, should you need them.

    Thanks,

    Joel

  • Liz Hardy

    Another paid tool to add into the social media monitoring
    mix is Odimax.

    We offer a customisable dashboard, great insights and
    analytics, custom reporting, post scheduling, in-dashboard translation, and
    crisis monitoring and management. Request a demo from our home page http://www.odimax.com

  • Mash Marketing

    We have just signed up to Inkybee for blogger outreach campaigns and it is very easy to use, affordable and has a good campaign tracking system

  • Neil Pursey

    Thanks for this collating this list. Go check out BrandsEye, a great brand monitoring tool developed in South Africa. It may be worth adding them to your database of software providers :)

  • TheVirtualWatchmaN

    You can also add http://www.rssintelligence.com, a tailored monitoring collaborative platform…

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