To those of you who labeled social media a fad, I offer my most sincere apologies. Now that everyone from grade school kids to grandmothers are posting Tweets and writing on each other's wall, the next rising wave is commercial entities infiltrating the social media space.
Brands both big and small see the millions of eyeballs and engaged users on sites like Twitter and Facebook everyday. These brands want to get their products in front of you, but like the old saying goes: "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it".
This is where a company like Visible Technologies comes in. Visible, a Seattle based company founded in 2003, offers a suite of on-demand enterprise-level social media monitoring tools. Thanks to Chris Pirillo, you can hear David Burcham -- EVP of Products and Services for Visible -- give an introduction to the company (runtime 11:38).
New Logo, New Products, New Names for Existing Products
Although Visible is not new to the social media arena, the aforementioned rise of social media usage has lead the company to re-invent itself (sort of). The truCAST platform now consists of the following products:
- truVOICE: Formerly known as TruCast, the flagship product provides advanced data collection, workflow, approvals and tracking of social media conversations.
- truPULSE: An on-demand listening tool for monitoring and analysis of online dialogue to provide organizations a way to identify topics for further exploration.
- truSEARCH: A data repository used for investigating what is important, with key-phrase drilldown, topic discovery and conceptual search functionality.
- truINSIGHT: A set of professional services and reports that help companies track and measure social conversations.
- truREPUTATION: A full suite of reputation management services that provide individuals and corporations with an effective way to manage their reputation in search engine results.
Is Visible Walking a Fine Line?
Social media monitoring is a definite need and Visible boasts an impressive product suite. But there are concerns that Visible, and companies that offer similar services, may have the ability to do more than just listen to the conversations going on across social networks.
People like Lee LeFever at CommonCraft and Sean O'Driscoll at Ant's Eye View are concerned that online reputation management could lead to manipulation and coercion.
Companies want to know what people are saying about their brands. Users want better customer service. Visible can help both sides of this equation, as long as we trust them and their customers to do the right thing with the mountains of data being generated everyday.
What do you think? Red herring or valid concern? Let us know in the comments.