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Monitoring & Analyzing Social Media

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

Category: Social Media Monitoring

Aug 7, 2009 4 Comments

Social Media Monitoring: Why You Must & Its Value

You don’t really need to be active in social media.

Twitter? No. Blog? No. Facebook Page? No. Social bookmarking? Nyah. Second Life? Forget about it.

Social media — like any other tool for marketing — should be researched and evaluated based on how best to reach and communicate with your audience.

But (you can tell it’s a big BUT), you do need to be monitoring and listening in to social media.

Do you have comment cards available for customers and prospects?

Do you have a suggestion box in your location(s)?

Do your sales people listen to customers?

Do you have a customer service department or person?

Do you have your company name in Google News Alerts or have a paid clipping service for news releases and such?

Have you ever conducted a focus group or other similar market research?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you need to monitor social media.

I’ve been involved in SM monitoring almost since I first became active in social media in 2005. There are a lot of monitoring tools available, both free and paid. (For reference, see a previous post on my own blog about online tools, and my Delicious bookmarks tagged social-media-monitoring.)

How and why you should monitor social media? Let’s look at four key ways to use social media monitoring:

Monitor your company and product names, as well as any other trademarked, marketing and related terms about you. This is a no-brainer. People are talking about you whether you are listening or not — so you might as well listen. You also can track competitors.

  • During your monitoring see what negative, neutral and positive things are being said. Before jumping in to respond to negative streams, gauge if the content is emotion- or fact-based — it’s tough to sooth a debate filled with emotion, so be cautious. Also determine if the author receives a lot of traffic or seems to have a lot of influence. If either are low, consider your timing if you should respond at all. (This point requires another post to really discuss.)

Gauge how effective your marketing messages are. I’m talking more than just negative or positive reactions. Those do not necessarily come from your branding efforts. Review the results for your company and related names used above and see what’s being said and what main points are associated with your terms. (See AuthorTags image from a SM2 term I’m tracking.)  Then, adjust as you see appropriate. You also can track your efforts over time and compare to sales data to determine what impact social marketing has on sales.

See what terms & topics others associate with your term. This example is for a metroparks system.

See what terms & topics others associate with your term. This example is for a metroparks system.

Market research: Don’t look for your company-related names; look for trends and issues associated with your industry and your marketplace. You may have conducted surveys and other research in the past — with social media you can do the same in real-time (or at least pretty recent time).

If you are planning an outreach, use social media monitoring to smooth the process: For the subject or topic you plan to use for SM outreach, search for it first. See who’s already blogging, tweeting and discussing it. Then, see if those people are ones you want to engage: Gauge their level of influence, their comments on your topic, etc. — all the while learning more about them. That will help you better connect with them if you do contact them.

For the image, I use Techrigy’s SM2 service. However, other services also have graphing and analytical tools. Even with free services, you can take the data and develop your own charts.

One more point: No matter if you use a free service or a paid service, there’s still an investment. Both require an investment in time to fully analyze the data. The trade off is in the amount of money you pay for a comprehensive service that will compile the data and start to analyze it, compared to the amount of time you need to gather and compile the results and then analyze using the free tools.

-Mike Driehorst

Mike Driehorst

president of Diamond Communications, is a proven public relations professional with 15 years experience in strategic planning, public relations and other modes of marketing communications. Based in Toledo, Ohio, he has been active in social media marketing since early 2005 and blogs at www.MikesPoints.com. If you’re on Twitter, look him up @MikeDriehorst.
mikedriehorst1

May 3, 2009 1 Comment

Are all Social Media Monitoring Tools created equal

I see some great questions on Twitter. Rob’s question is something that many wonder about because there are so many options.

image

There are a staggering 100 plus social media monitoring platforms out there. That means that your research could be a daunting task. Nathan Gilliatt has a list, but more have launched since then. Do you have specific reasons for monitoring social media? That answer will narrow down the options a lot.

I recommend that you consider these five things:

  1. Purpose & Features
  2. Sources & Depth of Information
  3. Interface & Workflow
  4. Analytical Options
  5. Price point

1. The tools range greatly in purpose and features. Here’s a quick list that’s nowhere near comprehensive:

  • do it yourself tool versus a service
  • focus on a specific area such as public relations, marketing or advertising
  • a reseller or collaboration with an existing tool
  • some have automatic sentiment & tone & some don’t

2. The tools also vary greatly in the types of sources being collected from and amount of information gathered in regard to each ‘conversation’.

  • mainstream media
  • social media – blogs, social networks, wikis, video, photosharing, etc
  • amount of information gathered related to each piece of conversation
  • is historical data available & how far back

3. The interface is important because you’ll be using the tool on a regular basis.

  • setting up searches – how flexible is it
  • viewing & using the data – are you able to drill for what you need at a granular level
  • is there a workflow that allows for multiple people to access and act on the search results

4. Ultimately the strength of the ability to measure & analyze the conversations is the most important piece. Listening & engagement is one thing, but metrics are becoming more important. It’s all about the bottom line & how it’s moving the needle.

5. There is a huge range in price across these tools ranging from free to thousands of dollars a month. A budget will help you focus on the ones that are in your range.

I should maybe add customer service to the list. These are web 2.0 companies so you maybe would assume that they are all listening & participating, but that’s not necessarily the case. But I’ll leave that one for you to test yourself.

What other aspects are important? If you’ve recently chosen a social media monitoring platform what factors affected your decision?

Feb 6, 2009 0 Comments

Getting Techcrunched: “Like Google Alerts with dual-overhead cams”

It’s been a pretty crazy day today at Techrigy world headquarters. I was greeted this morning by 1400 emails in my inbox, about ten times the usual. Turns out that that Jeff Widman over at Techcrunch had given us a nice present in the form of an extremely generous review.

Having been through this before with another company I knew what to expect but my expectations have been surpassed- thousands of new SM2 Freemium signups and inquiries from some impressive potential customers.

The downside is a temporary slow-down in the Freemium searches due to the very high traffic we’re experiencing. We expect this to be back to normal in the next 24 hours. If you just joined us thanks for your patience!

Feb 4, 2009 0 Comments

Techrigy News: SM2 from Techrigy now offers Real Time Alerts in your inbox

First in a Series of SM2 Advanced Workflow Solutions Offer Users the Ability To Engage in Social Media Conversations in Real Time

February 4, 2009 Rochester, NY Techrigy is pleased to announce that SM2, our best in class social media monitoring solution, has been enhanced with the addition of SM2 Alerts. With Alerts you can set up a keyword search in SM2, enter email address(s) for those you want to receive the Alerts and start getting new social media results in real time.

“Alerts are critical to developing a powerful engagement strategy in social media,” says Techrigy founder Aaron Newman. “With SM2 Alerts you can develop lead generation models, manage risk and reputation, track mentions of competitors, products and more- all in real time. Alerts come into your email inbox as they are posted in social media applications like Twitter. This gives you the ability to respond quickly with relevant answers and input.”

SM2 Alerts are the first in a series of product enhancements that focus on managing Workflow for social media engagement with SM2. SM2 already provides the ability to search very large data sets of historical social media conversations, to analyze those results in great detail and  directly engage with people discussing your brands and product online. Our Advanced WorkFlow Solutions now give your team the ability to manage the engagement process within SM2.

About Techrigy, Inc.
Founded in 2006 by Aaron Newman and Jay Mari, Techrigy ’s SM2 is the premier social media monitoring and analysis tool for public relations and marketing professionals. Designed to provide visibility into social media for anyone managing brands and reputations online, SM2 combines a massive database of online conversations with state of the art search and analysis tools.

More information at www.techrigy.com
Freemium Version of SM2 at http://sm2.techrigy
Techrigy Blog at http://blog.techrigy.com
Follow us on Twitter @techrigysm2
585-586-0160
Martin Edic, Director of Marketing

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 sales@techrigy.com.

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 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 19, 2009 0 Comments

Why do I get duplicate results in SM2?

This is a common question and a legitimate concern- however it is inevitable that you’ll get some duplicates in your SM2 searches. Here’s why:

If you enter multiple keyword phrases in SM2 and a source like a blog post or Tweet has more than one keyword in it then SM2 will pick the source up multiple times, once for each keyword it contains. So if I’m tracking ‘Techrigy’ and ’social media monitoring’ as separate keyword phrases and a Twitter Tweet contains both, I’ll see that Tweet twice.

Reblogging and ReTweeting can also generate what look like duplicate results, however if you look at the permalink URLs in View Results you’ll see that they are different. The content is repeated, however the source is not the same. It can be useful to see these because they give you an idea how rapidly and widely a conversation is being disseminated.

Jan 16, 2009 0 Comments

SM2 from Techrigy Gets Emotional: Sentiment, Tone and Emotion in Social Media

SM2 has always had a sentiment analysis tool designed to help users track positive/negative opinion on brands across conversations in social media. This week we took the sentiment analysis to an entirely new level by adding tools that measure tone and emotion.

Tone measures the overall tone of a social media conversation on a scale from very positive to somewhat positive to neutral to somewhat negative to very negative. With this tool you can now view results sorted by these criteria and combine them with other metrics like Popularity. If you are doing reputation management, for example, you might want to focus on high Popularity sources that are very negative for your initial engagement efforts.

tone-chart

Emotional Tone is a different kind of look. We offer the ability to view results that show strong emotional and even physical responses:

emotionchart

The emotive states we cover include:

Anger, Sadness, Social, Family, Friend, Anxiety, Bio, Body, Sexual, Ingest, Achieve, Home, Money, Religious, Death and Leisure-related. For example, Ingest-related would include references to eating, drinking, dieting, etc. The chart above is from a search on Obama’s Renew America campaign done with the AD Council so it accurately has emphasis on Social and Achieve-related emotional tone. The initiative is a volunteer service so those talking about it in social media are generally very positive and interested in the social and achievement aspects of the campaign.

As we continue to add additional features we’re always interested in feedback, ideas and examples of how you are using SM2 and what would be useful to you. Just shoot a note to support at techrigy dot com.

Jan 12, 2009 0 Comments

US Airforce Flow Chart: Rules of Blogger Engagement

Thanks to StrivePR

Our tax dollars at work and they get it right (and this flow is not for blog engagement only, any user-generated content):

air_force_web_posting_response_assessment