According to a study market research company eMarketer released yesterday, a whopping 52% of American social network users had become a fan or follower of a company or brand. 46% of users said something positive about a company or brand via social media, while 23% said something negative. About two thirds of marketers used social media in 2009 (up from 20% in 2007), another recent survey says.
But monitoring the sheer amount of activity of potential customers in social media is a big challenge for enterprises. Just a few examples: Nike Shoes has 1.6 million fans on Facebook, Oreo has 2.6 million, Coca Cola even has 3.7 million. Dell’s twitter account is followed by well over one million people, as is Amazon MP3′s. Not to mention the millions of status updates, tweets, videos, pictures and comments people post about a company or brand on a daily basis.
How can companies systematically keep track with what’s being said about them on the web? This is where a social media analytics tool called Press Army comes in. The platform, which has officially launched today, intends to help companies understand the impact they have online. And the early adopters include some big names (Audi, McDonalds, Ikea, Diesel and Dove to name a few).
Press Army trawls sites like Twitter, Youtube, Flickr and the blogosphere, tracking, analyzing and visualizing the buzz a brand, product, event or topic currently has in social media – virtually in real-time. The results can then be viewed on a single page, in email inbox-style (see the screenshot below).
Reports can be broken down into several categories that contain aggregated data. Press Army army can show you how many times you and your competition were mentioned in social media, in which context, which keywords were used or who the key influencers are. Most of these elements are customizable (it’s even possible to distinguish Twitter influencers from influencers writing blog posts). It also shows many people viewed your social media items in any given time frame (“touches”).
One of Press Army’s key selling point is sentiment analysis: The tool helps to capture the current sentiment towards your company on the web by showing you how many times a certain expression appeared (in connection with your brand name) in online conversations. Certain words can be weighted or filtered out in order to boost relevance.
Press Army, the brainchild of Mike Sheetal (who is CEO of Tokyo-based creative agency UltraSuperNew), is currently available in English and Japanese, with more languages to be added in the near future. Enterprises interested in the (paid) service can sign up starting today.