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Monitoring & Analyzing Social Media

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

Category: micro-blogging

Jan 27, 2009 2 Comments

Twitter lead generation workflow with SM2 Alerts

I thought I’d write about how we use Twitter in conjunction with SM2’s Alerts function to generate interest, book demos and communicate with people in the social media marketing community, in other words, for lead generation.

First, we only focus our attention on Twitterers who have shown an interest in our specific business sector, social media monitoring, analysis and engagement. We don’t pitch people who haven’t identified themselves as having that interest. We did this by setting up an SM2 Profile with a set of keywords that target mentions of our business, our competitors and keywords associated with social media like ‘Brand Monitoring’, ’social media measurement’, etc. The search runs constantly. We then set up SM2 Alerts in the application. These Alerts are sent to the in-boxes of our team members as keywords are mentioned in real time. With Twitter these mentions are captured as they occur with very little lag.

When I get an Alert it often contains many duplicate results because multiple keywords are mentioned in the same Tweet, however even without dupes we get a lot of Alerts throughout the day. I go through the Alerts as do our sales team, our CEO Aaron Newman and our Community Strategist Connie Benson. We respond to questions, offer demos, etc., generally trying to add value as we respond.

Is this effective? In a word, extremely effective. We are booking many meetings daily via Twitter. It is so effective that I believe that this is the future of marketing and will replace many outdated models of lead generation including spamming email lists, broadcasting ads that have no context, cold calling etc. Pay Per Click (PPC), SEO and SEM and social media engagement are the marketing communication and sales tools of the future- and we have them today.

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.

Dec 3, 2008 0 Comments

Nobodies are the new Somebodies: Guy Kawasaki on how to use Twitter

Guy’s post on how he uses Twitter is priceless: a brief but complete manual on using the service as a promotion tool.

Here’s my favorite part:

“Forget the “influentials.” You must buy into the theory that products and services reach critical mass because mere mortals spread the word for you. This defies the common wisdom that a handful of “influentials” shape what the rest of us try and what we adopt. In the online world, these influentials include Mike “I can go a week without Twitter” Arrington, Robert Scoble, Seth Godin, and to some extent me.

Reliance on influentials is flawed because the Internet has flattened and democratized information. Influentials don’t have as much special access, special knowledge, and distribution as you might think because of the growth of websites, blogs, and, of course, Twitter.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about influentials—if nothing else they can help you get to what some consider “nobodies.” But mark my words: (a) Nobodies are the new somebodies, and (b) it’s better to have army of committed nobodies and than a few drive-by somebodies. The most somebodies can usually do for you is a one day bump in traffic.

One more point: if enough nobodies like what you do, the somebodies will have no choice but to write about you. In this way, the buzz of nobodies begets the attention of somebodies and not vice versa.

Take that Scoble.

Dec 1, 2008 0 Comments

O’Reilly on Twitter (he really, really likes it and so do I)

Like Tim O’Reilly I was an early joiner on Twitter who initially found it useless but now find it indispensable. He pretty much covers the territory in this post.

I’d add that Twitter may become the primary B-B marketing platform in social media. As he notes, its simplicity actually makes it more powerful that feature-laden sources like LinkedIn (which I also use more and more frequently as my social network of choice).

You can follow me on Twitter @martinedic

And connect on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/martinedic

Nov 17, 2008 2 Comments

Are Comments the Next Social Layer?

The nature of commenting in social media is itself changing the way our conversations are interconnected. This change came about as comment aggregation services made it possible to build a reputation via commenting on a wide variety of blogs. First there were the plug-in aggregators like Disqus and IntenseDebate. These systems require the blog owner to add them to their platform and the commenter to register with the aggregator. Once registered any comments made on blogs using these systems would be aggregated on the source site. You can see other comments by a person you find interesting, regardless of whether you’d ever been to the actual blog post they reference.

The next iteration is BackType which does not require the blog owner to participate via a plugin. Their unique and IMHO, brilliant approach, is to track the URL that the commenter uses as an identifier when they post a comment. Commenters need to register at BackType but once registered virtually all of their comments are captured on the Backtype site. Participants offer a Profile and can be followed a la Twitter.

The reason this interests me is that it creates an entire new social layer that connects heretofore unconnected social sources. The commenters themselves become something you follow across a variety of places. What I’ve found interesting is how this builds personal reputation and has for me at least, somewhat replaced blogging as a way of expressing my opinion. Unlike Twitter, commenting has a threaded context (the post that started the conversation) and no limits on length. It includes the discourse elements of Twitter but goes further.

As an example, when forums were the primary conversations on the early web, certain participants became notorious on the forums where they were useful, disruptive and/or annoying presences. The commenting systems take this model and move it out of a narrow forum and into the entire social media eco-system.

Sep 15, 2008 0 Comments

The fluid nature of Social Media

Alisa has an insightful post on how conversations in social media are streams rather than locations. This ilustrates a fundemental reason why a monitoring service like SM2 is very different from an indexing service like Google. In essence we are collecting all the information that people are assembling into streams and enabling users to follow streams as they develop- streams that include their brands and reputations. Ordinarily you could only follow a few select users or groups because of time and resource constraints. With SM2 you have a tool that helps track all the streams and analyzes their content, sources and impact in real time.

We also hold our collection effectively forever (that’s the plan) in its original instance. If you Tweet then delete that Tweet, we still have it and if you reference a keyword that one of our users is seeking we will serve up that piece of conversational history along with any available public meta-data you’ve volunteered, any associated data connected with your Tweet by others and we offer up a results page that tells our user quite a bit about you.

Social media is fluid, however SM2 is effectively taking constant snapshots of that flow and and making it possible to return to any given moment.

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Aug 20, 2008 0 Comments

The essential introduction to why Twitter matters and how to dive in

Shel Israel has the best description of why Twitter is important and how to use it. Twitter is gaining credibility as a communication tool now that it is finally moving beyond the ‘my favorite doughnuts are fried cakes’ model.

For example Alisamleo at Socialized has been attending a Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference in San Jose and Twittering about their overwhelming misunderstandings regarding social media.

Aug 14, 2008 0 Comments

It’s not Big Brother, It’s public and recorded

When I tell people we monitor conversations in social media the more idealistic ones scrunch up their face and give me the big brother look as in ‘Big Brother Is Watching’. The implication is that there is something unsavory about peering into people’s private thoughts…wait a minute. Social media that is not password protected is not private.

Let me repeat that:

Social media that is not password protected is not private.

When you post, Tweet, comment, write on a wall, etc. you are essentially standing on that proverbial soapbox in the park and shouting to a crowd with one big difference:

What you are saying is being recorded, preserved and, presumably, indexed for future reference.

This is a big differentiator from private correspondence like email or phone calls that require a warrant to be monitored and/or recorded (though this administration apparently thinks otherwise for those conversations too- another subject for another place).

Social media is social and, as such, not private. So if you’re saying something you don’t want to be reminded of forever don’t say it here and cry later.

There are no take-backs in social media.

Aug 14, 2008 2 Comments

Twitter backfire

I’m not a big Twitter user nor do I follow a lot of people. However I’m noticing that those who are out there Twittering like crazy might want to rethink things a bit. Just as Googling a person became a requirement for HR people vetting resumes a few years ago, following a prospect on Twitter is surely the next reference source.

There’s a lot of Twittering going on- as I mentioned recently we collected over 45 million Tweets in the last few months and those were only Tweets with keyword phrases our SM2 users were searching on. I think that having a record of constant and often mindless Twittering could be something that could come back to haunt one in the future.

The important consideration are frequency (if he has time to do this all day, is he unemployed or wasting his employer’s time?) and subject matter (if he is doing this all day is he actually doing something productive or simply killing time?). Either negative would be a red flag for me if I was considering a candidate.

Before we had monitoring and search tools tools like our SM2 and Twitter’s own Summize, you could Tweet along all day without considering these real world consequences. Now, as micro-blogs start to have real world impact and attract analytical scrutiny, we need to consider the long term affects of telling the world that it’s Tuesday afternoon and you’re throwing them back in the neighborhood watering hole…

Social media is a public conversation that is being recorded. More on that in my next post…