ForSight monitors social conversations in real time

Crimson Hexagon's ForSight Platform monitors and analyzes social media conversations and online content (in real time and back to 2008), including the full stream of Twitter data, public Facebook posts, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, forums, online news sites, and more.

Specifications
Crimson Hexagon's ForSight Platform monitors and analyzes social media conversations and online content (in real time and back to 2008), including the full stream of Twitter data, public Facebook posts, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, forums, online news sites, and more. Capabilities include analysis of sentiment themes and drivers, key influencer identification and scoring, and global geotagging.
 
Link
www.crimsonhexagon.com
 
Cost
Starts at $50,000 annually.
 
Ownership
Crimson Hexagon is privately held.
 
User
Cheryl Corbin, senior manager, social media marketing analytics at Bing, has been using ForSight for about three years.  
 
How do you use it?
You log on and set up monitors for specific things. Our monitors are based on hashtags and/or keywords. For example, we have a monitor about our brand that includes all associated keywords and current campaigns.
 
When you build a new monitor you need to make sure you're pulling relevant information, and that requires Boolean type language. Bing is a somewhat generic type name so monitoring the term Bing without filters will deliver irrelevant information. We work closely with Crimson Hexagon to make sure those filters are as accurate as possible.
 
Once we have monitors set up, we look at and assess what topics of conversations have come up around various campaigns, subjects, or the brand overall. On a daily basis we look at what tweets are getting retweeted, who's retweeting, and the themes conversations are revealing.
 
The Basic Buzz Monitor is simplest type of monitor. It automatically classifies positive, negative, or neutral sentiment. It may not be completely accurate if you have double entendre, slang, and more.
 
We use the Opinion Monitor for more accurate sentiment results. You can train the algorithm by classifying what it pulls in as positive, neutral, or negative. Crimson Hexagon recommends that you go through at least 20 in each bucket for the algorithm to be able to classify the various conversations as you want it to. 
 
If the monitor doesn't appear to be pulling or we can't get into it, we reach out to our support team. Typically we'll send them the URL. They usually get back to us within an hour. 

How does it serve your business needs?
We use it in two ways. One is for social monitoring of our campaign activities. This is more of a look back in that it focuses on the activity we pushed out. We look at things such as the volume of tweets, which ones were retweeted, conversations generated by those tweets, who was involved in those conversations and how influential they are, and theme of the tweets. 
 
I've been evolving the team toward a social listening intelligence strategy. This is about focusing more on the inferred message and the pull, and it's driven by what customers or target audiences are saying. It allows us to more deeply understand what our target audiences are talking about, and it's not necessarily tied to campaigns or hashtags. This is more forward looking because it helps us identify insights that can drive content, messaging, and product development.
 
For example, we've been using ForSight to understand major themes in conversations in the social media space related to new product launches. We want to look at what people were talking about in anticipation of a product launch and determine if the conversations, topics, and/or themes change after the launch. We also use it to understand product feature interaction, such as application usage, reactions, and feedback on features. 
 
The output of this type of listening can help our marketing team understand what's being talked about in terms of the brand, a product, or a campaign and how they can amplify and engage in topics already being talked about organically.
 
Social listening intelligence also helps inform primary marketing research studies. For example, we'll use social listening around the topic of a planned survey to help built out the questionnaire. Then we use it to determine if conversations happening in the social media space validate what we're hearing in qualitative and focus group feedback.
 
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It's Web-based.  
 
What are the main benefits?
Being able to get the feedback on how people are talking about our brand helps us understand what's resonating. 
 
It's a very cost efficient way to help the marketing team identify content and areas where we should be engaging. In the past you had to use primary research to talk with customers, and that can be expensive. With this tool you can get some of that feedback in what is close to real time without a lot of costs associated with primary research. 
 
What are the main drawbacks?
This isn't really a drawback of the tool per se, but you need to have dedicated time to set up query sets to ensure the monitor is as accurate as possible.
 
What would you like to see improved / added?
Now that real-time data is available, I don't have any other wish list items at the moment.
 
Competitors

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: provides comprehensive suite of tools for social marketing that includes monitoring, content creation and management, engagement, advertising, automation and analytics. 
 
NetBase's Insight Composer: allows customers to monitor and analyze social media conversations and other online content (from 165 million global sources), engage in real time, and extract sentiment analysis and targeted customer insights in customizable dashboards. 
 
Sysomos' MAP: social media monitoring and analytics software that provides access to billions of historical and real-time social media conversations, automated sentiment and key influencer identification, and geo-demographic intelligence. 

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