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Social networking might have started at many companies as a grassroots initiative, but the application and value of social media efforts have risen quickly--and so, too, have the stakes and risks.
SocialVolt, an enterprise social media management provider, has announced the addition of Channels, a brand monitoring tool that adds listening, publishing, moderation, and risk management features to its platform.
SocialVolt is designed to fit into complex social media environments, with many different people, accounts, types of users, and geographic diversity, said Scott Oppliger, founder and CEO of SocialVolt. With Channels, SocialVolt has enhanced the platform's monitoring capabilities, enabling organizations to monitor conversations across social networks to gain critical visibility. "Companies are interested in tracking their own brands, but they are also interesting in tracking their competitors' brands, trends, and hot topics that might pertain to their industry," said Oppliger.
Channels monitors Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs for brand conversations and mentions. Users of the tool can create listening agents through the use of tags that enable them to follow conversations about brands and competitors, and then engage as appropriate using intuitive moderation and publishing features, according to the company.
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Oppliger said Channels includes a built-in sentiment analysis engine. Based on a series of algorithms, posts are classified as positive, negative, or neutral. However, he added, users can override the system's classifications. For example, if a user notes that a brand mention tagged as neutral was actually positive, he or she can manually classify it as such. The system will learn from the change and apply that knowledge when rating future messages.
Channels also will help companies minimize the risk associated with social media engagement, said Oppliger. As more people in a company become involved in publically facing social media initiatives, the risk of an employee posting something unwanted or embarrassing rises. "The more people in any company that are managing social on behalf of your company, the greater the risk becomes," he said. "It gets blown up exponentially. There is a lot of room for companies to make potentially embarrassing or even legal mistakes."
In a survey of global corporate social media program managers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees, research firm Altimeter found that companies have an average of 178 social media accounts. Factor in the multiple employees who might have the credentials for any one account, and the risk grows.
SocialVolt Channels might be especially appealing to organizations in regulated industries due to the system's audit features. "We can audit everything in the system," said Oppliger. "We have a number of financial clients who find that to be an indispensible feature. We keep a minimum of seven years history on all of our clients, so if an examiner wanted to come in and say, 'Hey, can you show me all of the tweets that Susan posted back on March 2 of 2010 between noon and 2 p.m.,' we've got a research feature that allows you to research that audit trail."
SocialVolt is available in Team, Business, Professional and Enterprise editions. A 14-day free trial is available.
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