10 social media tools for enterprises

If you wantto get enterprise-strength grip on social media in your organization, these aggregation,management and analytics tools can help.

1) SAS Social Media Analytics

Businessanalytics giant SAS Institute Inc. introduced its Social Media Analytics (SMA)solution this spring. SMA integrates with CRM and marketing systems,understands and classifies conversations across 13 languages and archives fouryears of online conversation history. This hosted solution offers advanced datamining and prediction, sentiment analysis at granular levels and identifies topinfluencers and trends. A robust system for large enterprises, SMA also createscustom taxonomies and topics, correlates online public data with privateinternal data and includes a smart sentiment engine that improves over time.

“We havethe framework in place, which allows us to bring an enterprise approach to theproblem. We can collect and analyze large quantities of data, both structuredand unstructured, from internal and external courses. And we can capture andanalyze online conversations going back years,” said Mark Chaves, director ofmedia intelligence solutions for SAS, in a Q&A with sascom Magazine. “Looking at trends over time, we help companiesnot just explain what happened, but to also predict what’s going to happen, orcreate ‘what-if’ scenarios,” he said.

The“untapped gold” of social media is in the analytics and “not just analyzingcontent and usage but the analytics around the networks,” said Tim Hickernell,lead research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group Ltd. There aren’t a lot oftools that can do large network analysis yet, he said, outside of the biganalytics vendors like Cary, N. Car.-based SAS.

2) SocialTalk from Syncapse

Amanagement platform for medium and large enterprises, SocialTalk aggregatesdata; provides dashboards at global, regional and local levels; managespublishing, workflow and approvals; and provides metrics for measuring results.SocialTalk is the flagship product from Toronto-based Syncapse Corp., one ofFacebook’s preferred developer consultants. The company’s second product,SocialSync, connects data behind social media destinations. Both solutions areSaaS-based.

Info-TechResearch Group lists SocialTalk in a recently released report, “LeveragingSocial Media for Customer Interaction.” SocialTalk can play generically acrossthe market and suitable for B-to-C or G-to-C organizations looking to manageacross platforms, said Hickernell. One of SocialTalk’s strengths is its abilityto incorporate specific campaign tags into the metrics, he said.

SyncapseCEO Michael Scissons said SocialTalk is “just the tip of the iceberg” andhinted towards an upcoming model that will change the way metrics are used tointerpret measures of success. Syncapse has “a very aggressive roadmap over thenext several years on how we are going to evolve the product,” he said. Thecompany also offers professional services for enterprises.

3) Sysomos

Toronto-basedSysomos, recently acquired by Marketwire Inc., offers two products. Heartbeatis a monitoring tool and integrates with Salesforce.com. MAP provides monitoring,analytics and reports and targets advertising, marketing and PR agencies.Sysomos also offers multiple APIs for integrating monitoring and analytics intoapplications. 

Sysomos’differentiator in the market is a proprietary database of over three billionsocial media conversations, geo-demographics, automated sentiment and theability to identify key influencers and opinion leaders, said director ofcommunications Mark Evans.

IDC Canadasenior analyst Krista Nappier said Sysomos is an interesting example of socialCRM – tools that integrate with CRM systems that a company is using to delivergreater value. “This is a very new and emerging space, but we will likely hearand see more moving forward,” she said.

4) dna13

ThisWeb-based application from Ottawa-based dna13 Inc., a subsidiary of CNW GroupLtd., targets PR and marketing professionals with real-time media monitoring,communication management and reports. dna13 monitors TV, print, online andsocial media, consolidates data to generate clips and reports, supportspublishing in PDF, Word or XML, and offers unlimited as well as private search.The feature list is extensive and includes monitoring phone calls and e-mailactivity. dna13 is compatible with Microsoft Outlook and includes access to amedia database and directory. This enterprise-class, scalable solution isanother option Canadian enterprises may want to look into, according to Nappier.

5) Socialware

Based in Austin, Tex.,Socialware Inc. bills itself as “the industry’s first social middlewareplatform.” Socialware Sync is a scalable, SaaS-based Web application thatarchives social networking activities – such as posts, comments and friends –across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

SocialwareCompass helps enterprises implement and manage corporate social media policies.This SaaS-based Web app manages employee access to social networking sites,scans and captures posts the violate company policy, analyzes social networkingusage, archives employee activities and includes searching capabilities.

Info-TechResearch Group considers Socialware an exemplary vendor in the category. SocialWare “is focusing heavily on the management aspect to give administrators acentral point to configure privacy settings,” said Hickernell. The focus onreporting and archiving, which provides an auditable trail of activities, is importantin a compliance-oriented market, he said.

6) InsideView

SanFrancisco, Calif.-based InsideView Inc. is one example of a third party socialchannel aggregator and/or manager that specializes, which may be more usefulfor the B2B market than generic tools, according to Hickernell. “They do themanagement and aggregation, but it’s all from a CRM or sales perspective,” hesaid. The company, listed in Info-Tech’s report, targets sales and accountsmanagers. Its flagship product, SalesView, is an on-demand Sales intelligenceapplication.

7) Visible Technologies

Also listedin Info-Tech’s report, Visible Technologies Inc. offers three products that runon the company’s proprietary truCast platform: the truPulse on-demand Webmonitoring application; truVoice for enterprise monitoring, analysis andparticipation; and truInsight, a set of professional services and reports fortracking and measuring. Based in Bellevue,Wash., Visible Technologies hasreceived a “Gartner Cool Vendor” award.

8) Radian6

Fredericton-basedRadian6 Technologies Inc. integrates with Salesforce.com and offers twoproducts: the Radian6 Dashboard and Radian6 Engagement Console. The company’starget market ranges from small startups to large enterprises. According to thecompany’s FAQs, some differentiators are its scope of coverage, ease of use,comprehensive analytics that offers multiple ways to drill down into data,workflow capabilities and good customer support.

The Radian6Dashboard is a Web-based monitoring and engagement platform that aggregates andanalyzes public data from over 100 million sources. It offers metrics, datafiltering and workflow management. The Radian6 Engagement Console, whichintegrates with the Dashboard, is designed to help enterprises coordinate andscale their social media engagement activities internally across theorganization.

Users canroute, assign and tag posts, generate reports, schedule alerts and respond toposts within the console to keep track of who is posting what, where and towhom. The console also keeps a record of activities and conversations relatedto specific posts. Users can publish content from within the platform, whichintegrates with Twitter and Facebook.

Nappierrecommends Radian6 as an option for enterprises and pointed out the company’sinterest in calculating ROI. “Actually putting a dollar figure (ROI) on socialmedia engagement and investments is another area that these companies aretrying to help their customers with since they want to understand the return oftheir investment in social media,” she said.


SWIX, ananalytics application from Ottawa-based SWIX Inc., monitors multiple socialmedia accounts from over 20 services, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.Features include a customizable dashboard, campaign tracking and customizedreports. Nappier recommends SWIX as one Canadian company doing some “interestingthings” in the space.

10) HootSuite

The HootSuiteapplication can also be utilized by enterprises, as it allows multiple peopleto manage a central company presence across multiple channels, said Hickernell.This aggregator from Vancouver-based HootSuite Media Inc. supports Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress. Some features include pre-scheduling Tweets,uploading files into messages, customizing URLs for tracking, assigning tasks,creating reports, monitoring by keyword and gathering statistics.

The freebie: NutshellMail

A freee-mail based tool from Nutshell Mail Inc., NutshellMail gathers information onall the activities and messages taking place through your various socialnetworking accounts and delivers it to you in a single e-mail. You can alsoengage in activities – such as posting a comment on Facebook or sending a DM onTwitter –through the e-mail itself. NutshellMail allows you to select what typeof information you want included in the report, how many times a day you wantto receive it and what time of day you want it delivered to your inbox. Theservice currently supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace.

For furtherreading on what social media aggregation and management tools can — and can’t — do for enterprises, check out: How to tame the social media tiger

Follow me on Twitter @jenniferkavur 

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