Twitter has become a powerful tool for brands to get messaging to consumers, but also to monitor conversation. Omniture today plans to introduce a tool to monitor conversations related to a brand or particular topic on the micro-blogging platform.
Through its API, Omniture is making it possible for customers to measure brand activity on Twitter through SiteCatalyst, its main platform. The program counts the number of times a brand is mentioned and presents it in a bar graph that can be sorted by day. The tool classifies Twitter users into segments, such as customers, vendors, employees, and other categories.
"These tweets are nothing more than text comments that we could incorporate in our suite platform," said Adam Greco, director of solution architecture in the Omniture Consulting group.
Greco himself uses Twitter. "After using Twitter a lot I realized it takes an enormous amount of time to monitor your brand," he said.
One way users can add value to the service is to set alerts. If the number of times a customer's brand is mentioned in an hour hits a threshold, the system can send notification by e-mail or text message. "If there's a spike of people talking about your brand on Twitter and you don't have a system that's automatically looking for that spike, you may never know about it," Greco said.
Alternately SiteCatalyst clients can schedule reports pairing brand names with other keywords. A product manager doesn't have to "waste their time every morning monitoring Twitter," Greco explained. "They know if their brand is mentioned [in a certain context] the report is delivered without having to lift a finger."
Customers receive reports with the full tweets (which always consist of up to 140 characters), along with the Twitter account name, and related account names. Omniture also provides the geographical location of the tweeter. When negative tweets are identified, Greco recommends Omniture's customers "Twitter back with the person, respond to the Twitter user, turn someone who is a detractor into an advocate."
Omniture isn't the first to market to measure Twitter. Competitive products include Trendrr, which tracks brands, topics, and engagement. Customers can blend in Trendrr data from Quantcast, Hitwise, and other data services, and schedule alerts if a brand or topic reaches a certain level of chatter.
Additional standalone Twitter metrics sources include Twitstat, TweetVolume, TweetScan, and Twitter's own analytics offering. Omniture sees its advantage being its integration with SiteCatalyst and its other products. In the future, offerings could include suggested search keywords based on words associated with tweets regarding brands. Greco said additional analysis through its segmentation tool is also being explored; however it's still early to determine the potential. "We're digging into that right now."
The new product was discussed in a workshop at Omniture's annual customer summit held last month, however the service was not yet ready for introduction. It was presented to a room of about 200 attendees. Speaking to the emerging influence of the micro-blogging platform, Greco said people twittered the session prompting many to ask for a repeat presentation at the event's closing four hours later.
"If it wasn't for [the popularity of] Twitter itself, we would probably be releasing this and talking about it a few months from now," said Greco.
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