This entry in our ongoing exploration of social media measurement firms focuses on Collective Intellect of Boulder, Colo. The firm, which began by providing monitoring and intelligence to financial firms, has evolved into a player in the marketplace of social media intelligence gathering. Using a combination of self-serve dashboard facilitation and human analysis and insight recommendation, Collective Intellect (CI) offers a robust monitoring and measurement tool well suited for mid- to large-size corporations.
Like many of the larger measurement firms, CI offers reporting that offers number of posts or conversations, activity levels, share of voice, competitor analysis and influencer ratings. Their user dashboard is fairly intuitive and features real-time graphics of sentiment, activity and themes (via a tag cloud). There is also a unique feature allowing you to sort posting by type of source, toggling between blogs, online media/news sources, forum and message boards and the like.
Collective Intellect had the first individualized report based on Facebook groups I’ve seen from a measurement firm to date, which included a demographic breakdown of participants in those groups. The insight into social networking activity based around a client’s profile is a nice addition to the arsenal of information firms can provide.
Another unique feature CI brought to the table during a recent visit with them was actually utilizing the information gleaned from their measurement as an output rather than just an input. The theme/tag cloud and latest conversations gathered can easily be turned into widgets to pump real-time resources from around the web to your company’s home page. While RSS manipulation and social bookmarking tools can be used to accomplish the same thing, neither of those offer the level of human analysis and cleansing a qualified social media measurement firm offers. Very cool add-on, indeed.
The hard copy reports were more well done than most I’ve seen, though it’s hard to know what each firm’s deliverable is going to be on what matters most to their customers: actionable insights. When you’re paying for human analysis, you want to know exactly what to take to your brand teams to make impacts on your efforts in the social media space. CI seems to have a tool powerful enough to provide the kind of self-determined insights you need out of a dashboard interface. My bet would be their monthly, quarterly or annual reports include some strong data and recommendations as well.
Overall, I was impressed with what Collective Intellect has to offer. Depending up on the depth of information or analysis you require, they can be costly, but any social media measurement firm offering human analysis can and price is relative.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t report the story of how I discovered Collective Intellect in the first place. Director of Marketing Robin Seidner was apparently following me on Twitter back in October when I mentioned I was analyzing measurement firms. Since I was (not intentionally, but still) not following her she couldn’t send me a direct message there. So, she searched and found me on Facebook, dropped me a note saying, “I don’t think you’ve looked at us yet.” She was right and I was impressed at her determination so I asked her to send me information. Four months later, Collective Intellect was in the mix for measurement services for a client.
The lesson: monitoring conversations on Twitter and utilizing social networks can ultimately lead to business opportunities.
Of course, you can find me on Twitter as well.
Previous Posts In Our Exploring Social Media Measurement Firms:
Coming Next Week: Cymfony
[tags]social media measurement, Collective Intellect, buzz measurement, buzz monitoring, measurement, metrics[/tags]