As part of our newly launched Wikiweeks, we’ve decided to examine the measurement and social analytics side of the industry of Wikibrands for the w/o April 4-10, 2011.

As mentioned in our book Wikibrands -Reinventing Your Brand in a Customer-Controlled Marketplace, measurement, metrics and insight are one of the ten characteristics of high performance engaged brands and “inability to measure” was viewed as the top impediment to implementation and traction of social media and community inside companies.

Social media monitoring has come full circle and become big business since the early days of manually combing search engines.  In large companies, they are spending over $290,000 on brand monitoring tools (Source: Altimeter Group).  Just this week, bought the leading social media monitoring provider Radian6 for $326 million. Those aren’t bad apples.

The reality is none of these social monitoring tools provide the perfect solution that ties a business or brand effort in the social sphere to outcomes and performance. Alas, ROI nirvana remains but a near-distant dream. With that in mind though, here is a comprehensive set of some of the best companies who monitor, analyze and sift through the data to get to the source of useful information (the first of 5 posts):

1. Actionly

Twitter:  @Actionly

A San Francisco and Mumbai-based social media dashboard with ability to incorporate Google Analytics and into weight of other social metrics and functionalities more than 18 features deep. Ease of use and value is emphasized by Actionly; the basics covered off for $20-100 per month.

Clients – PR professionals are their focus.

2. Alterian –

Twitter: @Alterian

UK-based Alterian is about listening to the consumers and building experiences around what they see as the hot button topics (launched upon purchasing Techrigy). Not strictly a reporting company, they work with clients to build integrated communication strategies based on analytics and help build tighter relationships with the consumer through the use of the data.

Clients – Microsoft, Ogilvy, Skype, Paypal

3. Appinions –

Twitter: @Appinions

New York-based Appinions focus is opinion. Gathering intelligence and finding out what the world is thinking and saying and who the key conversationalist are for pubishers and researchers. They are able to deliver the most up-to-date information as it happens.

Clients – The Economist, Cengage/Gale

4. Attensity –

Twitter: @attensity

Palo Alto-based Attensity focuses on CRM applications, customer enhancement technology,  conversation monitoring and collection and usage of customer conversation data. With an impressive roster of clients they go beyond the key word search process and dive deeper into the linguistics of conversation.

Clients – JetBlue, Whirlpool, Travelocity, Royal Bank of Canada

5. Attentio –

Twitter: @Attentio

Brussels-based Attentio is unique in that it uses a multilingual social media monitoring tool. This is especially key if you are a global company in various language markets. This is a tool not regularly seen in most monitoring companies.

Clients – Disney, Phillips, HP, Samsung

6. Beevolve –

Twitter: @beevolve

India and London-based, free and low cost , Beevolve provides a larger portfolio of options – spam filtering, real time monitoring, sentiment analysis, competitive analysis, demo and geo, text mining, influencer identification, and engagement workflow. On top of social analytics, they also run a distributed web crawler monitor Mozilla, Safari and Chrome that extracts data from sites. They do not currently monitor Internet Explorer.

Clients – Comcast, Recruiter Box

7. Brandseye

Twitter: @brandseye

South African-based online reputation management and brand tracking company Brandseye,  used to identify real time strategic risks and opportunities. Costs range from Lite ($150/month) to Platinum($2,000/month).

Clients – Woolworths, iBurst, Kulula

8. Brandprotect –

Twitter: Brandprotect

Toronto-based Brandprotect offers a reputation and threat management service for mainly large corporations that includes social media monitoring, scouring the universe for emotionally charged content and sentiment analysis and a supportive 24/7 hotline for major flare ups.

Clients – TD Bank, Workopolis, PNC and Comcast

9. Brandwatch –

Twitter: @brandwatch

Built out of a government project, UK-based Brandwatch trawls the Internet looking at news, blogs, forums, wikis and social networking sites and finding mentions of brands, companies, products and people. Clients define keywords (brands, topics, people names, products) and receive reports and brand summaries that they can take action on.  Expert cleansing of data seems to be one of the competitive advantages.

Clients – TBD

10. Buzzcapture –

Twitter – Buzzcapture

Based out of Amsterdam, Buzzcapture is more “thesis based” in that they use a specific research topic and generate data based on specifics. They are more brand capture oriented and have a number of well known clients.

Clients – ING, n/a

11. Buzzlogic –

Twitter: @BuzzLogic

San Francisco-based Buzzlogic, uses its technology platform to identify and organize the conversation universe, combining both conversation topic and audience to help brands reach audiences who are passionate on everything from the latest tech craze and cloud computing to parenthood and politics. However, the social media monitoring tool is no longer available as a standalone product. It now comes as part of BuzzLogic’s ad platform, requiring a media buy to connect to unique audiences through BuzzLogic.

Clients – American Express, HBO, Starbucks, Walmart

12. Buzz Numbers –

Twitter: @BuzzNumbers

Sydney, Australia-based BuzzNumbers is a full software and service solution, therefore there are no software or IT costs and you get instant access to the service. It can be accessed from any browser on the web and also has a support structure in place to assist clients with understanding what social media is in addition to understanding the data analysis. Excel and PDF exporting are old school helps and geographic segmentation is a plus.

Clients: Weight Watchers, Toyota, Philips, EA

13. CiCData –

Twitter:   CiCData

Shanghai-based CICData is China’s leading social business intelligence provider. Having coined the phrase “internet word of mouth” the company researches , captures, reports on and provides technical solutions for business in the sometimes walled off and foreboding social media sphere of China (at least to use Westerners). They also “redesign” the companies to have full engagement from all levels vs creating a separate department dedicated to straight community management protocol.

Clients: L’Oreal, Nike, Pepsico, Edelman

14. Collective Intellect  –

Twitter: @Collectual

Boulder-based Collectual works to monitor and analyze social media data so you know how to engage with your customer, the way they want to hear from you, on the platform they prefer and about topics in which they are most interested. They’ll help guide your company through the 5 stages of  adoption and integration of social media analytics – monitoring, presence and research, moving towards targeting – social CRM solutions or working towards engagement and optimizing your business processes and workflows.

Clients: Miller Coors, Verizon, Unilever, CBS

15. Commetric –

Twitter: n/a

With a focus on the valuation industry, London-based Commetric monitors media and opinion and how it affects the base line of share prices on the stock market. Their four core solutions target and monitor influencers in the finance arena so they are able to better gauge risk and stock movement and target key stakeholders. Text language processing, data visualization and financial valuation of news impact are seen as strong suits by Fortune 1000 customer base. Interestingly, could not find their Twitter profile page.

Clients:  HSBC, 2014 Winter Olympics, Astra Zeneca, Deloitte

16.  Converseon –

Twitter: @converseon

New York-based social-media consulting firm Converseon, named a leader in the social media monitoring sector by Forrester Research and long time member of WOMMA, builds tailored dashboards for its enterprise installations and offers professional services around every step of the social business intelligence process. Billed more as a social media consultancy, Converseon starts with the technology and adds human analysis, resulting in high-quality data and impressive functionality using “Listen, Organize, Engage, Measure” staged protocols and services.

Clients: Hilton Hotels, Graco, Dow, Siemens

17. Crimson Hexagon –

Twitter: @crimsonhexagon

Massachusetts-based Crimson Hexagon takes the numbers-to-insight approach to social media by using statistical patterns in combination with expression to filter through data and determine more accurate insight by a real-time monitor of human opinion via proprietary Harvard technology. They “monitor key themes, their relative size, and how they change over time.” Cool story behind their name as well – a plus in an industry where companies struggle to appear and be distinctive.

Clients – Hanes, CNN, Microsoft, Rubbermaid

18. Custom Scoop –

Twitter – @customscoop

New Hampshire-based Custom Scoop builds on existing social media monitoring and media intelligence, but in addition also monitors traditional news media. Built initially by public affairs professionals more than a decade ago, it combines the two old media and new media areas so they are able to create a more encompassing analysis of what is being talked about.

Clients: n/a

19. Cyveillance –

Twitter: Cyveillance

Virginia-based Cyveillance specializes in brand security and protection. They keep the bad guys at bay,  specifically monitoring social media platforms for phishing scams, privacy issues and brand misuse. They “provides social media policy enforcement, brand and identity protection, and cyber safety awareness education” to companies who regularly work in these subject areas.

Clients: Half of the Fortune 50, unidentified

20. Cymfony –

Twitter: CymfonyInc

Acquired by TNS/WPP, Massachusetts-based Cymfony provides enterprises with real time access to social and traditional media. Using a grammar-based approach, irrelevant content is eliminated enabling a more intelligent return over simply keyword searching. Their Maestro platform synthesize and  integrate traditional media, social media and proprietary data; Dashboard and Strategic Analysis support and provide advanced data visualization and recommendations. Their Echo Video platform get brownie points for providing leading video analytics and monitoring.

Clients: 50 countries, 22,000 customers, although no observable list

Stay tuned for our next 4 posts on the measurement leaders and chime in Tuesday, April 5th 3-4:30pm EST for our first Wikibrands’  Twitter chat themed on “Social Analytics”. The fun begins at 3pm hosted by Wikibrands author Sean Moffitt and the hashtag is #wikichat. We’ll try and tackle the  30 questions that govern our measurement of the oftentimes messy social web (and perhaps answer some others nagging queries too).

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