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Monitoring & Analyzing Social Media

With over 1.5 billion conversations stored, can you afford not to listen?

Category: Analytics

Jan 28, 2009 0 Comments

Comparing the SM2 Freemium Account and SM2’s paid Professional Accounts

As part of Techrigy’s outreach to the growing social media marketing community we offer a Freemium (free) version of SM2, our best in class social media monitoring and analytics solution. SM2 Freemium is a fully functional version of the Pro paid versions of SM2 with several minor differences:

  • Keywords are limited to five keyword phrases. Pro Accounts have unlimited keywords. Both accounts have unlimited search Profiles.
  • The number of Results (conversations) you can have in your SM2 Freemium Account is limited to 1000 while the Pro Accounts start at 20,000 results. With both types of accounts results can be cleared and new searches run.
  • Freemium Accounts do not support Advanced Boolean search operators. They do support the use of the AND operator and excludes.
  • Freemium Accounts do not have some of the board and review site sources included in the Pro Accounts.

We designed the Freemium SM2 version to provide robust search and analysis capabilities nearly identical to our paid versions. They carry no expiration date and there are no limits on users. Freemium accounts are an excellent way to evaluate SM2 by monitoring small brands and campaigns or for sampling results and analyzing those sample sets.
Freemium users considering an upgrade should contact us for a product demo and a fully featured Pro Test Account at

Jan 26, 2009 0 Comments

AdAge: Survey says few CMOs think they’re effectively tracking social media

This article should be viewed an indicator of an approaching tipping point in social media monitoring and marketing:

“The survey of 400 executives found that 56% said their companies have no programs to track or propagate positive word-of-mouth; 59% don’t compensate any employees based on improvements in customer loyalty or satisfaction; and only 30% rated their companies highly in their ability to handle or resolve customer complaints.”

“One problem for marketing executives is that they’re not clearly in charge now of managing the customer experience, customer loyalty or social media today, given that public-relations, sales, consumer-affairs and research-and-development departments all have a stake in those areas now.

Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, said marketing should take the lead in overseeing the customer experience and satisfaction. And he said addressing deficiencies in tracking and analyzing consumer feedback and buzz may be the key way CMOs can stake a claim to leadership.”

“From our standpoint, if there’s anybody who needs to be accountable for the customer experience, it’s the CMO,” Mr. Neale-May said. “Clearly what marketing needs to do to cover a lot of ground we’ve lost in the organization is more analytics, predictive modeling, and data integration and aggregation.”

That’s exactly what SM2 was designed to do.

(From Advertising Age)

(BTW, AdAge, why do you have a splash page? Don’t you know that it kills traffic by 50%?)

Jan 16, 2009 2 Comments

SlideShare: Techrigy’s CEO Aaron Newman on Social Media Marketing 101

Sm2 Social Media Marketing
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

Jan 12, 2009 0 Comments

SM2 Social Media Monitoring Sources Updated

SM2 is built on a constantly expanding database of all social media conversations that we refer to as our Social Media Warehouse. We started collecting, via a variety of methods, in 2007 and have what we believe is the largest database of social media conversations and associated meta-data (demographics, location, popularity, etc.). The Warehouse currently has over 1 billion records and we are adding millions daily.
The sources (which we are constantly updating and adding to) include:

  • All major and minor blog platforms including WorkPress, Typepad, Live Journal, Blogger, Blogspot, Sphinn8r etc., including comments
  • Any other blogs with RSS feeds, ping servers, etc.
  • Any publicly available social network content including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, Ning, LinkedIn and more
  • Any comments and meta-data associated with user-generated rich content like YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, etc.
  • All public wikis
  • Non-password protected boards, forums and review sites including everything from BoardReader
  • Yelp
  • Microblogs including Twitter, Plurk,
  • Commenting systems: Backtype, Disqus, Intense Debate

As new sources appear they are incorporated into our collection systems.

Dec 14, 2008 1 Comment

Top 3 Metrics for Building a Brand Online

I saw this question on Twitter:

If you’re trying to build a brand online, what are the top 3 metrics you’d use?

It’s a great question. Building brand is an ongoing process & establishing metrics prove that you’re making progress. I’ve been building corporate brands & my own brand since 2006 and it’s easier than ever now. Back in those days I had to do the social media monitoring part manually. Today we have tools like Techrigy SM2 that aggregates my old routine.

There are two key components to building brand: web analytics & social media monitoring.

  • web analytics are important for your brand’s site & blog
  • social media monitoring provides insight into the conversation about your brand on the web at large

The first step is to benchmark:

  • for web analytics
    • number of visitors per day
    • average time per page
    • ratio of comments per post for a blog
  • for social media monitoring
    • number of mentions on average per week or month
    • sentiment
    • percentage of mentions by influentials

The goals can then be established. The rate at which the brand building will happen is dependent on the amount of resources (people & time) invested. The metrics will help drive the process in building brand awareness & provide easy tracking of the progress.

For web analytics there are tools such as Google analytics or Feedburner. They are free & straightforward to use. Building brand is addictive. I tend to be in Feedburner most every day.


For social media monitoring there are many free tools. We have the Freemium version of Techrigy SM2 (as well as a professional version). It monitors a broad range of sources such as blogs, Twitter, forums, etc. And it automatically determines sentiment offering a quick overview of the public’s perception.

SM2 also displays the results based on influence so that you can efficiently reach out to them.


There shouldn’t be any mystery around metrics and building brand. The metrics will motivate those involved because they can easily see their progress! (and as I said earlier, it’s a bit addictive!)

Metrics are the first step. Then the process is the next step but it’s structured by the metrics. I have written a number of posts on building brand. 

What metrics do you use in your brand building efforts?

*we’re having a webinar on Techrigy SM2 on Tuesday - Sign up here

And you’re welcome to browse more resources in our community.

Nov 21, 2008 0 Comments

Keyword Phrase Refinement in SM2: Some Basics

SM2 is a complex piece of software that accesses a large database of social media results. The key to accessing its power lies in the way you set up your keyword phrases. This is why every user of SM2, including the Freemium users, gets offered a live demo after you sign up. No folks, it’s not strictly a sales call! We understand that helping our users become power users is not only good business, it helps you take full advantage of SM2’s extensive analytics capabilities.

When setting up your initial keywords you open a new Profile, name it after a client, brand or campaign and then you are offered a keyword set-up wizard that walks you through the process of choosing your keyword phrases. You can skip the wizard and simply add them yourself which can be quicker for basic searches. Here are some tips to help you get the most relevant results with SM2:

  • Avoid overly broad terms like ‘Google’. You’re going to fill up your account with irrelevant results. Instead use the AND modifier to refine your search like this: “Google” AND “search wiki” (use the quotes, spaces and caps like that). This will only bring back results that include both of those terms.
  • If you are using simple keyword phrases and the AND operator, use the Basic search option. Advanced search gives the ability to use operators like NEAR, OR and combinations like: “Google” AND (”search wiki” OR “knol”).
  • If you put keyword phrases on their own lines rather than using OR, each becomes a category you can use to sort results in the Reports area in SM2. This is useful for comparing trends, separating out results for a single keyword phrase, etc.
  • Keyword phrases are not case sensitive
  • Keywords entered in another language will bring back results in that language, however the application remains in English only at this point. Sentiment Analysis in English-only, however we are adding German and will be adding other language dictionaries in the near future.

We monitor the keywords our users are searching. So you may get an email from us suggesting changes that will bring back better results. We also provide assistance in setting up your keywords as part of the testing process for those evaluating our Professional Accounts. Just send us a note at support at…

Aug 21, 2008 0 Comments

SM2 is not a search engine

We had an interesting conversation here at Techrigy headquarters about our technology with a guest who came by to learn about what we do. And we ran into a common misconception about SM2: That it is some kind of search engine. While it has some search capabilities, search is not its primary function.

Search solves a problem: finding specific answers to queries.

SM2 solves different problems: Finding references to specific terms across social media conversations and content and understanding who is having those conversations, what they’re saying and why. Unlike search, which seeks to supply the best answer(s), SM2 offers up all the possible results and then provides tools for organizing and understanding all of the relevant results.

SM2 has two components. There is a collection system that goes out and collects new social media results on an ongoing basis and stores those results in our Social Media Warehouse. Each result, which might be a blog post, a Tweet, meta data from a YouTube video, etc., is parsed for various data within that result. This data includes public information about the person who created the result such as location, gender, age, etc, any tagging or categorization the user has provided, things like DNS records and IP addresses, URLs, Alexa and Technorati data, etc. Each result can have up to 30 or more data fields in SM2.

The warehouse grows every day. We recently bypassed the 500 million results level and will rapidly hit one billion results as social media participation explodes. Each of those billion results will have multiple data fields which SM2 users can access. Obviously understanding all of this is a challenge. That’s where the second component of SM2 comes in.

The SM2 application front end is a set of tools for discovering conversations and understanding them without having to manually go through them one by one. Set-up gives you the ability to tailor the things you wish to monitor by using keyword phrases, excludes (phrases you do not want to find), whitelists (sources you specifically wish to monitor), etc. Once you run your search, SM2 goes into the warehouse and brings back all the results it finds that match your set-up and analyzes them. After the initial search it continues to bring back results as they are added to the warehouse until you terminate the search.

The analysis tools SM2 provides are extensive, comparable in some ways to web metrics tools like Google Analytics- except that they are very focused on the humans behind the conversations rather than traffic sources and patterns. They look at sentiment, gender, age, location, popularity, trends and themes, categories, etc.

For people who are very used to the search engine model, these differences are a little challenging to grasp. The key lies in understanding how social media differs from the traditional or web 1.0 Internet. Once you grasp that social media is primarily about communication the difference becomes easier to understand.

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Aug 11, 2008 0 Comments

541 million social media search results and counting

Our social media warehouse, the place where we store and index the collective search results brought back from SM2 searches, has reached a milestone: over one half a billion results collected. Not surprisingly blogs are the biggest source with over 400 million blog posts collected. Twitter, though added after our launch late last year, accounts for 43 million results, dwarfing those from any other microblog.

We save the results of user searches and store them in our ‘warehouse’ to create a historical reference in addition to our real time discovery results. Our analysis tools have also indexed all of these for the individual data fields we provide (as many as 35 per result) which include things like demographics, indications of sentiment and location, trends, authority, etc. Any SM2 user can tap into this data.

I suspect we’re going to hit the billion mark very quickly as we continually add Freemium users and as more professional power users enter the system. Anyone who thinks you can ignore the power of social media should take heed: These are just results from very specific brand and reputation-focused searches. As such they represent the tip of the iceberg in social media activity.

Jul 28, 2008 0 Comments

What social media sources do we index?

I’ve been asked several times for a list of what SM2 covers in its social media discovery process. The problem (and it’s not really a problem) is that we are constantly adding new sources. For example we recently added FriendFeed,, Pownce and Plurk.

Here’s a quick overview of what we index:

  • blogs
  • comments
  • wikis
  • forums
  • public content on social networks
  • meta-content on user-generated media like YouTube, Flickr, etc.
  • micro-blogs like Twitter and those mentioned above

Pretty much everything we can hook into in social media. We respect end-user license agreements (EULAs) unlike some of the aggregation sites that appear to monitor social media (I am not referring to any of our legit competitors).

We also provide analysis tools to help sort through the results including:

  • Sentiment- an indicator only but you can drill down to read and mark a result for accuracy
  • Gender
  • Age
  • location
  • trends and trend comparisons by date ranges, keywords and categories
  • author categories- how did a social media participant categorize their conversation?
  • themes- cool charts that show relationships between people, ideas and your brands and reputations
  • Authority Rank
  • results from Top 100 and Top 1000 blog

All of these things can be customized with rules, we offer extensive chart customization capabilities, we do exports with user-configurable fields, offer custom reporting via email and RSS and more.

I’ll be updating this list frequently as we are on a constant improvement path with SM2.

Jul 15, 2008 0 Comments

Reach in Social Media

Reach, influence, authority…what do they mean in social media? Unlike traditional media where reach may be the easiest of the three to quantify (add up subscriptions and pass-alongs), reach in social media is a very tricky thing to measure. We (SM2) rank authority based on existing measurements like Pagerank, Techorati and Alexa, inbound link counts, etc., but authority is different from reach and influence. A blog like Valleywag might have a huge reach but very little real influence (because it’s basically a satirical source not one people go to when making decisions). Influence is built on a strong reputation and track record, things that are built over time and difficult to measure through algorithms.

Reach in social media is a pretty interesting thing because it can change so quickly. Someone inside a company who decides to blow the whistle on some bad activity via Twitter can go from no reach to huge reach in hours- and just as quickly fade when the story becomes old news and is superceded by the next big thing. The rise of a meme, or virally transmitted idea, is a unique characteristic of social media, driven by the one-to-many nature of the communication stream and the network effect. And the speed that a meme can be distributed becomes a very real issue when it comes to brand and reputation management.

If a measurement service claims to offer reach statistics I’d be very wary for the reasons cited above. Unless they have real time access to a social media source’s traffic analytics, which is not the case much of the time, measuring and reporting reach is problematic.

So where does this leave us? You could say that Authority + Reach = Influence. Since reach is variable and tough to measure, influence-ranking is equally hard to do. Cracking the reach measurement challenge will mean a big change in our whole world, however because of privacy issues we may never see it.