May 06, 2010

SocialPing Elegantly Monitors Brands and Terms on Twitter

There are a ton of social media monitoring tools out there, from the enterprise class tools, including Radian 6, Alterian and Scoutlabs to consumer-focused apps, including one I'd long relied on, TweetBeep, which would send me alerts by e-mail when keywords flowed through Twitter. But TweetBeep first became unreliable, and then practically disappeared, as e-mails from the service unexpectedly came to a stop about six weeks ago. In its place, I've turned to a newer product, in beta, called SocialPing, which sends me daily summaries of tracked terms, graphs them over time, and can even alert me in near real-time if I request it.

SocialPing bills itself as "serious Twitter monitoring, for serious people and serious companies", and it does a very good job, providing both real-time reports or nightly summaries by e-mail that populate my in box around midnight.

One Nightly E-mail from SocialPing

If you have gained access to SocialPing, you can start by telling the service what keywords to follow. This is done through tags. Tell it to watch for specific term or phrase, and whether you want to be notified instantly by e-mail, in a daily digest, or by Twitter DM or SMS. The product promises to soon track keywords on a destination URL, to track links to a specific Web site, or even tracking a specific URL. Essentially, if it's in text and it's on Twitter, SocialPing can find it.

A SocialPing Graph of Twitter Activity for One Tracked Term

Once you're set with a keyword or several, the data will begin to populate your dashboard. The dashboard shows the number of tweets that matched your keyword in the last 24 hours, and how many potential followers they may have reached. You can see spikes and lows corresponding with the time of those tweets, and can dive deep into the graph to see what the specific tweets said.

SocialPing Tracks Tweets vs. Retweets

Since turning on SocialPing on April 1st, the product has kept all historical data, meaning I now have 5 weeks worth of graphs to see if words I am tracking are rising or falling, and can see if the mentions are primarily new tweets or retweets, and if that percentage is changing over time.

SocialPing also summarizes the activity to show the top users who have mentioned your keyword, sorted by follower count or by the total number of mentions. These reports are consistent both on the Web site and in the nightly e-mails.

With TweetBeep fading away for me, SocialPing has more than picked up the slack. It may not run deep queries or gauge sentiment analysis, as enterprise class systems do, but it is very solid. I recommend getting into their private beta and setting up a few queries yourself if you think that would be useful. Unsurprisingly, you can track them down at or at @socialping on Twitter. No sign of the company focusing on additional networks any time soon, and it's unclear when they'll open for business from all, so get in early if you want access.

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