The social media monitoring space just got more cluttered. Or perhaps not so.

Visible Technologies, originally a search marketing firm that expanded into the social media monitoring realm about three years ago, today launched an expanded suite of monitoring and measurement tools to up the ante in the chase for market lead.

A peek at the truVoice dashboard from Visible Technologies. Click for full size.

A peek at the truVoice dashboard from Visible Technologies. Click for larger view.

VT’s flagship product, TruCast, has been rebranded “truVoice” and is essentially a nice marriage of real-time social media monitoring solution and full blown CRM platform for workflow and issue tracking. A dashboard product with a fair amount of start-up customization and enterprise-level functionality, it’s not cheap, which has prevented Visible Technologies from competing with the Radian6/Techrigy/Scout Labs set.

That obstacle changes today with the launch of truPulse, an on-demand social media listening tool much in the mold of the aforementioned competitors. It offers the dashboard snapshot of what’s going on in online conversations around your brand, industry or competitors, allows you to assign sentiment and tone, make quick tag indications of actions taken to respond and allows you to produce pretty charts and graphs on the fly. It doesn’t offer automated sentiment and tone or full workflow or contact management functionality like truVoice, but is entirely useful. At a starting point of $500 monthly for 20,000 conversation points, it’s competitively priced as well.

Two other products the company has been offering versions of that are now full product offerings are their truInsights and truReputation products. truInsights is essentially the big, thick reports full of insights and analysis the Visible Technologies researchers prepare based on your need. They tell me theirs are full of actual analysis and insights. I sure hope so. The ones I’ve seen from several media research companies leave a lot to be desired.

truReputation is actually a pretty kick-ass add-on. It appears as an additional tab in your dashboard and displays the top 20 search engine results from the 4-5 major engines and illustrates the link’s sentiment and tone relative to your brand. You can’t get the dashboard, however, without also using Visible Technologies for your Search Engine Optimization work, but it’s a nifty feature to visualize what work you have to do there.

A peek at the new truPulse dashboard from Visible Technologies. Click for larger view.

A peek at the new truPulse dashboard from Visible Technologies. Click for larger view.

As you would expect, VT strongly encourages clients to integrate all of these products since the technology behind each compliments the other well. You can start out with the truPulse for the same money you’ll spend on other market-leading monitoring tools, then add-on or step up from there depending upon your need.

Honestly, I’m impressed with the new VT features. They’ve offered up a suite of products that makes them the perfect blend between the dashboard-driven monitoring tools that are driving the market right now and the report-driven research companies that were driving the market 10 years ago. I don’t know that I would put them in the same category as the social media monitoring firms we normally talk about here because they do offer the litany of research and analysis services the “measurement” firms offer. They fall into the Nielsen, Cymfony, Collective Intellect, J.D. Power/Umbria category more appropriately and seem to have an outstanding offering when looking at that set.

I wish their entry-level product was a bit more robust and I think they’ll have a hard time stealing the $500 monthly budget crowd because, frankly, there’s better out there for the money. It is pretty easy to figure out and use, however, unlike some on the market.

But the truVoice platform is absolutely as good as anything on the market and better than most. It’s going to run you about $7,000 per month to start, but with full work flow, customer relationship management and even internal approval features, it’s awfully appealing.

Cheap? Not really. Good? Yes.

And not a bad splash to lower the entry point for prospective clients.

As always, we’re very interested in anyone who has used or is using VT products. The more experienced users will be helpful in assessing the value of their offerings. If you’re a client and have seen the new tools in action, let us know how they perform. If you’re a client and are just getting a crack at them, let us know how you like them now and then in a few weeks when you’ve had more time to play.

And if you’re a competitor. Play nice. Heh. The comments are yours.

By the way – all those “tru….” names are trademarks. In case you need to know.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/bcahill Blake Cahill

    Jason,

    Really appreciate the time to review all that we're up to here at Visible Technologies. Thank you for the comprehensive overview of our truCast suite and the unveiling our new products. I would also add that depending on the user or group trying to glean insight from the social channel some want software/tools/technology to do-it-themselves and others want services and reports. The market continues to evolve and so we play and win with clients who want some or all of those services. I have lined up some clients that who looking forward to speaking with you as well. Talk more soon.

    Best,

    Blake Cahill
    SVP of Marketing
    Visible Technologies

  • john totten

    In your view, how does Brandwatch.net compare with these other companies?

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good question John. I don't know much about Brandwatch but will check
      them out.

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