Social media monitoring tools: A snapshot comparison

As you know, we’re in social media mania right now, so it seems an opportune time to review tools- with the limited fuzzy knowledge I have!
There are so many reporting tools/companies out there, so it’s hard to narrow it down. I’ve looked at the following tools for these reasons:
1.    Reporting interface– is it easy to understand from a non tech perspective?
2.    Clarity of data– what is being measured by who? Is it customisable?
3.    Implementation and integration– does it work via browser or do we need extra infrastructure to use it on an enterprise level?
4.    Cost- what’s it cost/is there any information about it?
5.    Exposure– who is using it, what are they saying, does anyone know them?
Another less obvious comparison I keep hearing is the “Google Dashboard comparison”- so I’ve done a visual check and these ones meet the grade for flashy graphics and nice pie charts!
Attached is my “snapshot” summary of the top 3 I’ve found out there. Also attached is a report on some of the top performing tools as researched by Fresh Networks ranking coverage, sentiment, location, volume and data-latency.   
They include a wide range of tools which are not covered here, however their method of reviewing was really thorough so it’s something to learn from.
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Real time social media engagement, analytics and reporting run online or via self install API broken into clear streams of “Content” and “Engagement”
*Benefits: Price is based on consumption of services not keywords, highly customisable reporting and distribution via a page rank wiki. Is used by Mashable, Rep institute, SynCapse
**Pitfalls: Will need some dev knowledge to set up API,
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End to end collaborative software that plugs into Sharepoint, SAP etc and guides the social media strategy from reporting through to collaboration. Cost- $$? Don’t know, need to request demo
*Benefits: Leader in the market, acquiring all the other smaller online reporting companies, and launching social apps too. Looks well thought out and is bigger than just reporting. It’s a solution.
**Pitfalls: Website only gives nice fluffy stories and testimonials. I can’t access a real-demo without signing my life away. Leaves a nasty taste even if it’s awesome!
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Cheap on the fly analysis with sentiment ranking also for USD $89 a month.
*Benefits– runs online and some big brands are using it eg: Nokia, Coca cola, Sun, Microsoft. Developed by Omniture to cut through Enterprise costing.
*Pitfalls-  for customisable profiles you probably need the API which is a bit more costly.
Has a pre-set list of where data is sourced from, so not necessarily all results show.
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Other notables are: (both Australian based)
and
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Published by Claire Spencer

Senior social media specialist combining mindfulness with content to build a better world.

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