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Monitoring & Analyzing Social Media

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

Category: The Business of Social Media

Feb 3, 2009 0 Comments

Social media is the new marketing nexus

Joe Marchese of socialvibe has a great Mediapost column on why social media agencies will become the new Agencies of Record for brands.

I take his prediction a bit further in my comment to his post:

Social is becoming the central hub that connects marketing, customer support, product development and reputation management. This is a primary change in the way companies interconnect with markets and customers and the new agency of record has to be prepared to wade into all of these business divisions and unite them. My guess is we’re going to see an entirely new agency model emerge that is not hampered by the silos you describe. Among our customers we’re seeing the early adoption and growing understanding of this new nexus- and interestingly most are either PR or ‘digital’ agencies. Very little uptake with the media-focused agencies so far. As with PPC/SEM/SEO adoption, they tend to lag a bit in adopting new models. This time around lagging could prove disastrous because the move into social media is happening very quickly

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 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 9, 2009 0 Comments

Social Media Marketing Models: Mischief Marketing

A couple of the lads here at Techrigy engaged in a little mischief marketing today, throwing out a teaser video that was cryptic enough that it had me wondering what it all meant. This past week Burger King put a campaign on Facebook offering a Whopper coupon in exchange for deleting ten of your friends, who would then get a note informing them that you’d dropped them for a free hamburger. Ouch!

Viral or WOM, argue the distinctions if you will, are often predicated on having a little fun. Done well they work because they provide a little respite from the daily drone. With the amazing explosion of Twitter and Facebook activity, these campaigns now have  platforms designed for generating viral exchanges, places where you don’t have to email a joke to dozens of friends (thank God that stopped), instead you can put it out there and people can decide for themselves whether they want to click. This mischief marketing is a tricky balancing act that requires total willingness to fail, or perhaps worse, to sink without a ripple. But it is also fun to do and say something about the companies behind it. Sense of humor anyone?

Jan 8, 2009 0 Comments

Facebook adds 20 million new users since December 10th

I thought it was my imagination- A lot of my friends have joined Facebook recently and most of us are tailend babyboomers but is this a trend? Now AllyInsider confirms my suspicions: FB is blowing away the other social networks.

Their stats:

  • The site just crossed 150 million monthly active users.
  • That’s more people than there are living in Japan, Russia and Nigeria.
  • 50 million of those users are new since the summer.
  • 20 million are new since December 10.
  • 75 million use the site every single day.

These are astounding figures. What they mean is that Facebook, along with Twitter, has become a de facto global communication platform. From a marketing perspective this is fascinating, however Facebook is very closed (as it should be, IMHO) so it cannot be viewed as a media source.

SM2 collects both Twitter and Facebook, however because we only collect publicly accessible data, our ability to capture Facebook is limited to those conversations that are public. With Twitter we collect public Tweets but not Direct Messages.

One of the differentiation points for SM2 is our Social Media Warehouse. This is our grandiose database of everything social going back to 2007. We don’t just collect conversations based on our users’ searches, we collect everything. Yes, everything (I know from demos that I am required to repeat this at least three times before it sinks in ;-)). That means that if we keep this up we’re going to have an historical record, with meta data, of a huge amount of global communications going forward. The warehouse currently has over 1 billion (with a B) conversations with up to 40 fields of meta data (demographics, location, popularity, reach, URLs, etc.) for each.

If you or your clients are still on the fence about social media please look at the numbers above again. The world has changed.

Dec 22, 2008 0 Comments

ReBlog: 42 social media pundit predictions for 2009

Here’s a nice round up of the various blog pundits’ predictions for Social Media in 2009.

Thanks to Joe Pulizzi of Junta 42 for putting this together.

Dec 10, 2008 0 Comments

Social media is not a ‘tactic’

Everyday I read through a fairly large number of blogs, some general, some tech, some marketing and some social media pundits. I get alerts for various keywords mentioned on Twitter and I get my daily SM2 reports. I’ll respond if someone connects with me on LinkedIn or Facebook but I’m definitely not a power-user. One of the things I see people grappling with in these places is an ongoing conversation about how to market in social media. One recent column repeatedly referred to social media as a ‘tactic’ like PR or advertising or guerrilla marketing. Social media is not a tactic, it is a medium. A very unique medium.

A medium is defined as (from Random House Unabridged via Dictionary.com):

1. a middle state or condition; mean.
2. something intermediate in nature or degree.
3. an intervening substance, as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced.
4. the element that is the natural habitat of an organism.
5. surrounding objects, conditions, or influences; environment.
6. an intervening agency, means, or instrument by which something is conveyed or accomplished: Words are a medium of expression.
7. one of the means or channels of general communication, information, or entertainment in society, as newspapers, radio, or television.
8. Biology. the substance in which specimens are displayed or preserved.
9. Also called culture medium. Bacteriology. a liquid or solidified nutrient material suitable for the cultivation of microorganisms.
10. a person through whom the spirits of the dead are alleged to be able to contact the living.
11. Fine Arts.

a. Painting. a liquid with which pigments are mixed.
b. the material or technique with which an artist works: the medium of watercolor.
12. a size of printing paper, 18 1/2 × 23 1/2 in. (47 × 60 cm) in England, 18 × 23 to 19 × 25 in. (46 × 58 to 48 × 64 cm) in America.
13. Chiefly British. a size of drawing or writing paper, 17 1/2 × 22 in. (44 × 56 cm).
14. Also called medium strip. Midland U.S. median strip.
15. in medium, Movies, Television. with the principal actors in the middle distance: The scene was shot in medium.

–adjective

16. about halfway between extremes, as of degree, amount, quality, position, or size: Cook over medium heat. He is of medium height.

Origin:
1575–85; < L: the middle, n. use of neut. of medius middle.

Let’s look at #6:

-an intervening agency, means, or instrument by which something is conveyed or accomplished: Words are a medium of expression.

An Intervening agency. I like this a lot. It is a layer that enables communication that is global, public and free. If you buy this then the idea of marketing to a medium is a conundrum. You can market to people, you can’t market to a tool. What social media is, from a marketing perspective, is a strategy. Your social media strategy answers the following question: How do I leverage the power of this new medium?

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

Accelerate your social activity during a recession

Perhaps the worst thing a business or agency can do during a severe downturn is to pull back on marketing activity, even if writing the checks is exceptionally painful. The reason is something known as the ’sales cycle’. Salespeople know what this is: the average time it takes to close a sale from prospecting to a check in the mailbox. For a lot of products and services this can be quite a long process and it lengthens as money gets tight.

However, as money gets more accessible, sales cycles get shorter because there is pent-up need. This brings us to the marketing quandary. If you stop or curtail marketing activity, you cripple your ability to bounce back when the economy gets better. Your customers don’t stop thinking about buying, they just hold off until they can afford it. If you stop marketing and participating in the conversation you won’t be on their radar when they’re ready. Your sales cycle starts with marketing.

So what does this have to do with social media? Everything. Social media participation is extremely cost effective, especially if you target intent, in other words, those conversations that are fine-tuned to your product or service. Any number of keyword tracking services, including ours, can help you find that intent.

There is another compelling reason to dive headfirst into social media: Timing. We are at that proverbial tipping point where a group of ideas, tools and smart people converge and the world changes. Waiting until the economy turns upwards to embrace social media means you’ll be far behind the curve. We saw it with the belated advertising agency reaction to search marketing. They didn’t embrace this new model and a whole new style of marketing agencies took the business out from under them. This, in my view, is taking place right now with social media.

Are you on the brand-owner side but not successfully selling social media participation to upper management? It’s time to go guerilla. Start monitoring with free services like ours, tracking Twitter keywords, blogging product mentions, etc. Become a power-user and you’ll eventually get your chance to make your case. Chances are that when the realization sets in among those managers that your brand is being discussed, there will be a ‘why aren’t we doing this moment?’ And you can say, ‘actually we have been’.

It’s not just the listening side. Start building knowledge around platforms for social media interaction. Things like Ning, Yammer, WordPress. They’re free and you can learn them quickly. Again, when times get better you’ll have a jump on your competition.