How do we effectively filter what we see on Twitter?

I really got to thinking about this when I read @OwenGreaves blog post about social media success earlier this week when I had already started my four part series on three companies that are active on Twitter yet not effectively monitoring their brand.

In my particular instance with the three companies I know that all three of them are monitoring their brand. However, two of the three companies only got involved when my tweets were positive in nature. Once those tweets were expressing frustration – nothing. As for the third company – it seems that others have had the same wonderful service from one lone employee.

There are so many tools out there to monitor social media chatter:

  • SocialOomph will send you email digests on a regular schedule
  • Backtweets will send you an email any time someone tweets your URL (even if it’s shortened)
  • SocialMention will also send you emails (though is not always very reliable)
  • Filtrbox will even scan Craigslist ads and blog posts
  • TweetScan
  • Good ‘ole Twitter search (and these results can be captured in an RSS feed)

I’m sure these applications are just a handful of the many out there. In addition to these (all free) there are paid programs as well.

So how is it that so many companies are failing to properly monitor their brand? Is it because they haven’t figured out how to filter the information?

By no means do I have the answer but any ideas you may have? I’d be interested to hear them. Are there companies out here actually doing an effective job of  the delicate balance of monitoring, filter and then providing customer serviced? Who are those companies and how do you feel they are doing a good job?