Back in October of last year we commented on Omniture’s efforts to get their SiteCatalyst solution for Web analytics a bit more attention. At the time, a widget seemed appropriate.

But things move fast in the Web world and today Social Media is the talk of the town. Accordingly, Omniture proposed the integration of Social Media mega star Twitter for monitoring and measuring information.

Why Twitter?

As if you really have to ask. Originally designed for micro-blogging, the service has grown to take on a life of its own. Today Forrester Research estimates nearly 5 million people use Twitter for multiple purposes.

So far it’s been an excellent traffic boosting tool. The list of consumer brands that currently use Twitter includes Starbucks, who launched an account last summer that links to its online community. Dell also operates dozens of different Twitter accounts, including one that publicizes online deals—some exclusive to Twitter users. Most recently, Skittles took Twitter to an extreme level and redirected their website entirely to a Twitter search of their brand name. 

With its level of popularity and unpredicted flexibility, it seems everyone is asking the same question: What else can we do with it?

Use it to Track Actionable Data, That’s What

Debuted at Omniture Summit, Omniture’s proposed solution allows Twitter data to be pumped into SiteCatalyst using the Omniture Data Insertion API (used to send data to SiteCatalyst when a JavaScript tag is not an option). With it, the company hopes to answer the following questions for marketers:

How often the company in question is mentioned and if there is ever a spike in brand-related terms

By combining SiteCatalyst Data Insertion API with the API, Omniture can set a SiteCatalyst Success Event for every “Brand Tweet” by filtering in the results of a company Twitter search. This enables the formation of a visual metric chart of  “Brand Twitter Comments” that can be tracked by month, week, day or hour.

Additionally, SiteCatalyst has a built-in Alert feature that allows a user to be notified via e-mail or mobile device when a Success Event metric hits a threshold or changes more than a specified percentage.

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Brand Twitter Comments Report

Who are the people most often mentioning the company and who are they communicating with the most?

Using the API, it is possible to extract the Twitter user name associated with every tweet.
In Omniture’s trial run they had more success with matching the author to the comment than they did matching it with the receiver, however (sometimes there is no specified recipient).

Still, breaking down “Brand Tweet Comments” by author allows a user to see who is twittering about their brand the most. Adam Greco, a Director within the consulting team for Omniture, puts it like this: “I imagine that this could be useful to see what types of people have formed virtual communities and some companies might consider contacting the key members of this virtual community to gather product feedback/suggestions or to leverage them for brand promotion.”

When are people mentioning key company product/service features that Product Managers should know about?

With Twitter, millions of opportunities to read what customers are saying about any given company or product are whizzing by all the live long day, but the problem lies in that volume. Who wants to scan through all of those tweets?

SiteCatalyst can isolate the tweets that include defined keywords and form reports that could then be bookmarked and scheduled to be e-mailed to Product Managers at any time interval. This way, no one at an organization would ever have to use or even look at Twitter; the information would be sent automatically.

“This solution is another step in our ongoing commitment at Omniture to expand the functionality and capability of the Online Marketing Suite,” said Gail Ennis, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Omniture. “Online marketers recognize the importance of brand reputation management in the social media environment. This service offering will leverage the Omniture open API platform to help our customers bring actionable Twitter data into their SiteCatalyst dashboard and help drive important decisions about their brand.”

Just One in a Bunch

Omniture isn't the first to measure Twitter data. Competitive products include Trendrr, Twitstat, TweetVolume, TweetScan and Twitter’s own analytics offering. Instead of relying on innovation, Omniture sees its advantage being its integration with SiteCatalyst. Greco said additional analysis through its segmentation tool is also being explored; however, it's still early to determine the potential.

Since the Omniture Summit, there’s been a fair amount of buzz surrounding the integration, including a blog post from Ben Gaines, a Technical Writer on the Client Services team at Omniture, offering clarification on the how-to of the solution.

As always, for additional information, check out Omniture’s website.