“Social Media”, the name given to all the thoughts and media the public exchanges online, has boomed over the past couple of years, largely unbeknownst to corporations these conversations sometimes concern. Case in point was media pundit and blogger Jeff Jarvis’ lengthy ordeal with Dell’s customer service, to the detriment of Dell’s reputation. Many more lesser known, yet influential, conversations about consumer experiences take place on the web every day. I’ve even had some of my own.
Visible Technologies is a company that helps corporations manage their online reputations by becoming more aware of and responsive to these conversations. Visible Technologies was started in 2003 and took a Series A investment of undisclosed size from U.K.-based advertising giant WPP in July 2006. WPP announced it acquired 25% of the issued share capital of Visible Technologies LLC for $3.5 million with the option to buy 26% in August of that year. Today they’re announcing a $12 million series B led by Ignition Partners with WPP also participating.
Visible Technologies makes two systems for tracking conversation on the web, TruCast and TruView. TruView tracks your corporate reputation by looking at search engine results related to your company and analyzing whether the references are positive or negative.
Their TruCast system is targeted at helping companies “track, analyze and participate” in the conversations taking place across the web. The TruCast system crawls the web for conversations on blogs and forums related to a company. The system then analyzes each topic by subject and sentiment, and allows users to track this information over time using dynamic charts and statistical reports to identify influencers, hot spots, and trends. Conversations found by the system can also be passed on to a PR representative for a response, which hopefully won’t turn into PR trolling.
BuzzLogic is another company helping corporations manage online reputations, but focuses on finding the top influencers around a topic, not every conversation about your company.