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DataSift focuses on social media monitoring and analysis. This company doesn't just ask questions and seek answers; it considers what questions to ask first. As such, it supplies other social media monitoring software services with the data they can also pass directly to you. Because it focuses on monitoring, it lacks social media engagement tools, but it is nonetheless an excellent choice for businesses needing in-depth social analytics of their companies, products, online presence or potential markets.

This company monitors over 1.5 billion interactions a day across dozens of social media platforms, as well as news sites, forums, blogs and more. It not only notes when a link is posted, but examines that link in relation to the post to see if it applies to your research. If it's on the internet and public, DataSift's social media monitoring system can look at it. It also looks at non-public sources like Facebook, mining it for demographic information as well as posts.

It archives around 2TB of data daily, so it maintains a huge historical database, giving you a vast field of past and present information to search. In addition to spam filtering to remove useless data, this software employs 300 standard search fields such as language and demographics. Of course, you can add your own filters through keywords to refine your search. Your filters can work across historical as well as present data, and you can even teach the software to find the information you want.

Sentiment analysis is a key element of social media monitoring, as people are eager to share how they feel about an issue, company or product by posting on social media networks. DataSift uses a number of techniques to determine if sentiment toward your brand is positive, negative or neutral.

Because of DataSift's focus, you won't find reporting or social media management tools to let you create reports or send response posts right from the platform. However, it offers several programming interfaces that allow you to integrate the data with other sources:

VEDO can tag topics in interactions, such as to identify product mentions, attach emotion or flag purchase intent, and extract metadata to better classify content.
PYLON helps you use social media to create content campaigns, analyze your audience and determine sentiment.
STREAM analyzes posts from 19 sources, including Facebook and blogs, filtering and classifying so you can use the data for analysis.

DataSift boasts a huge virtual ear tuned into conversations on the internet and the ability to sort through all the noise to get you the information you need. It doesn't build reports or let you post to social networks, but it integrates with other programs that do. Therefore, it's excellent social media monitoring software for midsize and large companies looking for in-depth, comprehensive research.