Blueclaw is constantly finding new and innovative ways to monitor our social media efforts and nothing is worse than not being able to tell if all your hardwork (building blogs, profiles, engaging in conversation etc ) is paying off or not.
Personally, I’ve used and experimented with free online tools like Social Mention, Backtype and How Sociable?, all 3 are useful to a certain extent, Social Mention’s cleaner and less cluttered interface, accuracy and search return volume means I like it more than the other two.
These sites are great for very basic reporting though.
At the moment, I have been introduced to Radian6 (if you’ve never heard of Radian6 or need some getting used to with some terms used then I strongly suggest you give those 3 sites I mentioned earlier a try first). It’s definitely not free (and not cheap) but the abundance of useful information this neat thing can extract is endless that its almost overwhelming to the untrained eye.
All criticisms aside, Radian6 is a seriously powerful tool to measure the credibility and worth of the brand or client you’re working on. You can practically monitor brand presence and awareness in real-time, listen in on the conversations (River of News) that are taking place that you’d never have known.
I like the widgetized dashboard interface as it makes for better organization. Using the Conversation Cloud widget (tag cloud) after customizing your client’s profile, you are able to, at a glance, see what words are being mentioned by people when they’re talking about your client.
I’m just going to quickly talk about the other basic functions in this tool right now:
Ok so, they have the Topic Trends widget, which is one of my favorite widgets in this thing because you can check out how often people talk about your brand, when and what they’re talking about. Sorting the results according to Sentiment allows you to check out the overall opinion of your brand: Positive, Neutral or Negative and if you zoom in on Negative, you’ll be able to check out what is making people have a negative view of your brand. Pretty awesome, huh? It’s almost like you’re immediately led to the answer source without having to lift a finger or do much research.
But do bare in mind, Sentiment is by no means 100% accurate. Factors like sarcasm, irony and humour are not taken into account so if people are saying something like, “I hate Nike….NOT!” – the widget’s gonna take it as Negative. Also, if for example the brand you’re working on is called something like “Bad Design Rewind”, then everything that is being mentioned is most likely going to be counted as Negative on the basis of the word “Bad”.
Sorting your results according to Media Type allows you to see what mediums people are using to spread the word about your brand: through blogs? or forums? or tweets? or individual websites? If people are usually dissing your brand in forums then perhaps you should join these forums and provide a different view. If bloggers are the ones who are normally giving glowing reviews for your brand’s products than perhaps these are the people you should focus your online marketing efforts on.
Sorting results by Region allows you to see where in the world your brand is strongest. For example, French companies looking to raise their presence in the UK can use this widget to see how effective their strategy has been.
This thing also has a Socio-CRM included in it, which means you can delegate certain links, blogs, people, to your team-members to crack on and start building relationhips. The wealth of possible link-building oppurtunities is also endless. I found a couple of websites that I have never imagined I could use in my campaign.
Once you start using Radian6 you will realise that the whole gameplay changes: your strategy will be more focused, the reporting more detailed and intense. Everybody from your article writers, link builders to web designers will be able to see the effects of their work and adapt accordingly. For example, traditionally, most article writers post articles into article sites and directories that real, normal people probably do not even read. So isn’t it better to post these articles to the blogs, forums that people DO visit?
Have any of you guys tried Radian6 yet? What do you think? Let me know. =)