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How to build your own social media monitoring service ? DIY guide by Marshall Sponder


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Excellent guide to lebuild your own social media monitoring servicearn how to build your own social media monitoring platform using free and paid tools. A must-read if you're interested in online …

Excellent guide to lebuild your own social media monitoring servicearn how to build your own social media monitoring platform using free and paid tools. A must-read if you're interested in online reputation management, written by Marshall Sponder ( @webmetricsguru )

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  • 1. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring March 31 Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring 2010 Leveraging what you know and how you use it that makes Social Monitoring interesting and insightful. Covers two sessions and more . How to Build Your Own Social Media Monitoring Service Marshall Sponder ( explains how to build your own social media monitoring tool using the many free services available, including Yahoo Pipes, Tattler (a Drupal module) RSS feeds and Netvibes. This is a non- technical session. How to Monitor Sentiment & Benefit from the Insight this offers Marshall Sponder What do people really think about your brand? In this workshop Marshall Sponder explains the value of sentiment detection identifies the limitations of sentiment analysis and provides guidance on how to benefit from sentiment monitoring. @webmetricsguru Special Thanks to Cecilia Pineda Feret for inspiring me to create this eBook, sharing her ideas and focusing mine. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010, 3/31/2010
  • 2. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Contents First Thoughts about Social Monitoring and why it s easy and hard .................................................. 5 What no one tells you .. ................................................................................................................... 7 What this means to me .................................................................................................................... 9 Where we are now Present to near future - Geo location capabilities of Social Media Tools............ 11 THE NOW - Location, Location, Location ............................................................................................ 11 Monitoring Opinion and Rating Sites .............................................................................................. 14 Build Your Own Social Media Monitoring Service ............................................................................... 18 Crowded Landscape of Paid and Free Tools ........................................................................................... 18 However, for those of you that did come here to learn how to build your own dashboard here s some ways you could do it ................................................................................................................. 19 Free vs. Paid Tools ................................................................................................................................. 19 Method 1 - Using Netvibes to build a Social Media Dashboard ....................................................... 20 Method 2 - Using Addictomatic for a Social Media Dashboard ....................................................... 22 Visualizing what you might measure in a Social Media Dashboard you build yourself ..................... 23 Method 3- Tattler Build your own open sourced Social Monitoring Platform............................ 24 Getting your hands dirty with spreadsheets and iGoogle to build your own dashboard .................. 25 Method 4: Using Social Mention for a quick and dirty way to build your own Social Media Monitoring Dashboard SocialMention, FeedRinse, Google Reader, and Postrank ........................... 48 Method 5: RealMon9 yet another free social media monitoring platform, runs on Google s servers ...................................................................................................................................................... 50 Method 6: using Yahoo! Pipes ........................................................................................................ 53 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools ....................................................................................................... 57 Viralheat Social Media Monitoring Review and how it compares with other platforms ...................... 59 Level of Sophistication in Social Media Monitoring ......................................................................... 65 SENTIMENT ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................................ 67 Introduction into How to Analyze Sentiment and Benefit from the Insight it Provides Luke Brynley- Jones ............................................................................................................................................. 67 Examples of Flaky Sentiment Analysis: ........................................................................................... 68 2 Page Flaky Sentiment Analysis - not accurate or useful most of the time ........................................................ 78 Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 3. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Towards a theory of influence ............................................................................................................... 85 Finding Influencers using Social Monitoring ........................................................................................... 88 Influencer Method 1 Comparing Social Media Self serve tools Radian6, Techrigy, Sysomos, BrandWatch and Biz360 on finding influencers .............................................................................. 88 Influencer Method 2: Using Postrank Analytics to find Influential Blogs.......................................... 96 Influencer Method 3: Using FollowerWonk to find Influentials on Twitter ...................................... 96 Influencer Method 4: Using Klout to find Influentials ..................................................................... 98 Influencer Method 5: Using TweepSearch to find Influentials ......................................................... 99 Influencer Method 6: Using TRAACKR to find Influencers ............................................................. 102 Influencer Method 7: ECairn Conversation & Influencer Mining Social CRM platform ................ 104 Note: USE the promo code: Vke4e ............................................................................................... 104 Influencer Method 8: Using Social Radar to Visualize Influencer Lists ........................................... 108 APPENDIX 1 Answers to Specific Questions (will be updated periodically) ......................................... 112 Q3. How to utilise Smartphone apps for B2B? .............................................................................. 115 Q4. How to provide ROI on Social Media investments? ................................................................ 117 Twitter ROI Case Study: Dell Generates $3 Million in Sales Utilizing Twitter ......................... 117 Measuring Social Media ROI: A Case Study (Plus: Tweet to Beat Winners)....................................................................... 117 Q4. How to turn measurement into actionable results ................................................................. 117 How to use Social Media Marketing and Measurement with Smartphone s? ................................ 117 APPENDIX B SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS REVIEWED (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) ............................. 118 ADAPTIVE SEMANTICS - .......... 118 Alterian Techrigy SM2 - 120 BrandTology - .................................... 122 Compete Pro ....................................................................................................................................... 128 First thoughts on s Category Profiles ..................................................................... 130 Using to find unusual sources of Traffic ................................................................. 131 Google Wave ............................................................................................................................... 132 Google Social Media Monitoring - I ve been saying this is coming ............................................. 134 Big brother and Google s entrance into social media monitoring ......................................................... 134 Social Radar ................................................................................................................................. 140 3 Page Social Radar Comment ................................................................................................................. 144 Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 4. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Crimson Hexagon ......................................................................................................................... 144 ECairn .......................................................................................................................................... 145 FollowerWonk ............................................................................................................................. 145 FourSquare .................................................................................................................................. 146 Google Local Business Center ....................................................................................................... 146 Synthesio ..................................................................................................................................... 150 Identify influencers at post level .................................................................................................. 151 Viralheat ...................................................................................................................................... 152 Radian6........................................................................................................................................ 152 Using Sysomos for keyword research ........................................................................................... 156 Keyword Research deep dive using Sysomos MAP ..................................................................... 161 Facebook Web Analytics Tracking ................................................................................................ 164 APPENDIX C CASE STUDIES ................................................................................................................ 166 Havana Central Case Study opportunity to use Geo Location to build Social Media ROI ............. 166 4 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 5. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring First Thoughts about Social Monitoring and why it s easy and hard Imagine this situation: A drug is denied approval from the FDA and your PR firm represents a multinational drug conglomerate needing immediate response and insight required even as news breaks all over the world the drug manufactures board meets the next day and requires your reports for insight on what people are saying and thinking now and guidance on what the next steps should be based on that information. I face situations like that often enough and my first thoughts are How can anyone expect the us to make sense of a rapidly unfolding event when no one else seems to be able to? (MSM news, other social commentary often comes up short or stereotyped, and if all we are asked to do is tally it all up even that is hard) The second thought I have is how can we come up with anything insightful under this kind of pressure and in just a few hours before the next cycle of news brakes? What if our analysis is wrong? Typical message stream (for example, a River of News from Radian6) Source: River of News Widget Radian6 5 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 6. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Information is coming from us from the internet much as light is reflected from a crystal in water with thousands of reflections playing off one another but fundamentally we re looking at a glass of water is often lost in the shimmer of crystalline reflections which we often refer to as noise . We get so much news now it s not easy to figure out what the story is in this case what do people believe after the drug delay announcement? Attempts to summarize news range from Google s Living Stories (a discontinued experiment with the New York Times), Nielsen s BlogPulse Key Phrases (Bursty Phases a listing of all the most used phases of previous days with the stories and websites associated with the phases). Blogpulse Key Phrases March 17th, 2010 407 blog posts were assigned to Happy St. Patrick s Day which assigned those stories a label something that most Social Media Platforms fail to do well today. You could tell your boss that this is the chatter about that story and give it a name. Deriving meaning becomes very challenging if you re looking beyond reporting and into insight. Some platforms, like Crimson Hexagon, allow you to apply your own labeling to a bunch of stories once sufficiently trained, Crimson s algorithm attempts go to and find similar stories. But the analyst that builds the question and categories is the ultimate determiner of the meaning of what is applies meaning the analyst provides the true meaning the platform is just a focusing method. For example, Barack Obama s speech to Congress last fall on Health Care was analyzed by Crimson Hexagon (see below); having used the Opinion Monitor for my work at Porter Novelli I see it s possibilities to summarize information but it still takes Art to figure out the right questions and the 6 right categories along with writing a query that pulls the right data in and then training the algorithm Page to properly sort information (just like you train anything). Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 7. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Source: Crimson Hexagon Opinion Monitor What no one tells you .. There is a learning curve to mastering what Social Listening tools provide and translating collected information (or signals) into insights for yourself and your customers - this process reminds me of what I used to do when painting pictures outdoors - Often I have tried to capture the impressions of what I saw with my eyes and my mind using oil pastels or oil paints often I mixed different colors of blue and green on paper and blending them I had learnt over the years what colors I needed to mix and the pressure/touch/stroke to get just exactly the right color I saw on canvas or paper. But if took too long the sky in front of me changed and I would have to change my colors to match the new sky colors and if I took too long it became dusk. We might end up being like a cat chasing its own tail, something that could happen with Listening data as well. 7 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 8. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Marshall Sponder Oil Pastel on paper 2007 Window View. Learning how to take the online monitoring tools and craft them into a message or statement requires a bit of skill and intuition that is often not recognized (more akin to art but with a bit of science mixed in but not Rocket Science). In fact, I think Social Monitoring is like that landscape that has so much information that you need to understand the story you want to tell (or the painting you want to paint) as you gaze. My favorite artist, Paul Cezanne often said Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensations. "I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing." 8 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 9. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring What this means to me Today s business person or client requires more precision and useable data instead of a report. 1. Need to see what you re up against before you commit to how long it s going to take - a couple of hours to play with the data and see what we are able to pull up - level of difficulty involved - tuning a query just to see what we're up against then we should be able to tell clients how long it will take. I think there is a real distinction between administrative type tasks and what we re dealing with in Social Media, where many of the questions require non- standard answers. In a related subject of moving from Web Analytics Reporting into real Analysis with a division between those who is a practitioner vs. those who are pushed into reporting (listen to the podcast). Many times there s no distinction between what is a report from a traffic or conversation aspect and digging deeper into the data. This distinction in Web Analytics reporting vs. analysis isn t much different for Social Media Monitoring and the insight derived from it. Gary Angel points out that being aggressive at getting to Analysis will yield a great deal more insight. Analysis takes some of pretty detailed and focused time you can t do an analysis in one or two hours. Gary thinks the reason why reporting gets stressed over analysis - too often organizations don t give their analysts time to do analysis and the analyst gets bogged down on reporting requests. If you want those deeper questions to be answered you need to recognize people within your organization that are capable of doing deeper analysis and support them. According to Gary from my perspective, nobody will ever get analysis unless they demand it. It is just often easier to do reporting. The other thing is I see a lot of peoples time get chewed up in Cycles where they have no time to do anything but reporting. One of the things about analysis is it takes some pretty detailed, focused time where you can sit in front of a computer and really work with the tool and work with the data. You can t do an analysis in an hour or two hours and fit it in between various meetings. I think for a lot of people out there doing web analytics (as well as Social Media - Conversation Analysis Sentiment Analysis) one of the things that really bedevils them is the organization never gives them space to do analysis. It s always get me this report and get me that report and it s 9 really important that organizations recognize that if they do that to their Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 10. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring analysts they will really they will really keep their analysts from being productive on a deeper level . You have to figure out within your organization that can do analysis and you have to give them the space to do analysis if you want those deeper questions to get answered. Social Listening Analytics is a similar, but very different beast from Web Analytics in that the data is even messier (fuzzier) and more non-standard than it is in Web Analytics. What is common to both - if everything is exactly the same and you have built up a reporting and routines - quick turnaround is much more likely - but most of the times, a lot more work need to go into producing and in PR, time often is not your friend. 2. Another issue lack of accepted methods to produce analysis and reporting in PR and Advertising firms. As the results of a query in SM tools depends on the Query itself, the tools getting "accurate" data report is open to interpretation - it's impossible to reach that level of precision without a lot of investment in tools and methodology - investments that many firms are as yet unwilling or unable to make. I predict by year s end, this will no longer be the case as the ROI of Social Media will be much more obvious than it is now. 10 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 11. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Where we are now Present to near future - Geo location capabilities of Social Media Tools Take the case of Foursquare here s a post I wrote recently about how quickly the game is changing. THE NOW - Location, Location, Location The pace of social media monitoring maturation is accelerating and I ll even go so far as saying that many people who don t use Social Media now, will have incentives to because of .the geo-location, real time nature of the platforms I predict by year end a lot more people who never were interested in Social Media will get into it possibly for coupon or some other real time discount they could not get any other way. Take the announcement yesterday of Foursquare and Starbucks Team Up to Offer Customer Rewards as that is a big deal (I like the NYT post Starbucks Fans Can Become Baristas on Foursquare as a good source for more information). Beginning Thursday, latte addicts who visit Starbucks outlets can get more than just a caffeine fix. They will also be rewarded on Foursquare with a barista badge. Foursquare - The Barista badge on Foursquare. Location-based mobile services like Foursquare are at the cutting edge of a transformation in the way offline businesses and their customers interact, by breaking down the barriers between the physical and the virtual. Starbucks has been very active on Facebook, Twitter and other Web sites. In the past, Starbucks customers could write about Starbucks on these sites, but they were essentially anonymous when they were in the store. Starbucks will be rewarding those check-ins though the rewards haven t been fully worked out 11 yet I bet they will include free coffee, free drinks, free breakfast, etc they will infact , get a lot of people who don t mind sharing their location to get rewarded for that, in real time, Page and that s a game changer. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 12. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Never mind that Starbucks will be able to track all those check ins now with Foursquare New Tools for Businesses (NYT article has case studies impressive) or that Facebook Facebook Will Allow Users to Share Location For analytics this is pretty interesting stuff to be collecting and yes, you will be able to get Social Media ROI out of it if you adopt those systems and promote using Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc it won t be limited to just a few (for example Hot Potato Tosses A New Site, API, And iPhone App With Foursquare Integration At You), but a lot of the action will be on the main hubs your application can do whatever but it will need to tie in to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare to be the most useful (the list doesn t end there ie: With Its New Release, Gowalla Expands The Check-In Game (Video) and even Google is adding location when you do searches both in the mobile version and I even saw it on my desktop/laptop. So by year end a whole lot more people are going to be doing what we call Social Media things are accelerating faster than predicted and these development are more like the inflection point of social media and monitoring and online commerce where now, things are going to speed up far more rapidly than anyone expected that s my 2 cents worth. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Also consider that Foursquare is providing platform for business owners platforms that your clients will need to give you access to. I think Social Media will become easy to track by year s end. This is also the year of Social CRM - tracking and enablement is coming to us. It s only mid-March and it s already clear. First Foursquare is planning to Offer Up User Data with Check-in Analytics is already testing it - any business that wants to will be able to offer coupons to those who check in. I m doing an analytics project for a restaurant chain and this offering of Foursquare is big news for this kind of business. Here s more information from Fast Company: . A new staff page feature also allows venue staffers to see who is currently visiting and communicate with customers. Notice a regular hasn t been in your store in a while? Tweet them about a cool new shirt that just came in to entice them back. 12 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 13. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring And this is just the beginning, according to the company. Tristan Walker, director of foursquare business development, tells Mashable that big innovations like weather tracking could allows business owners to offer specials based on real-time events. Imagine It s snowing, so come into Joe s for a free small coffee with purchase! popping up on your iphone when you re outside freezing and just a block or two away. Hello Joe. By contacting someone who hasn t been in your store for a while and offering them something in real time is very powerful I saw that last week when I posted on Social Media ROI for Restaurants and the NY Restaurant Show Tweetup and meeting @paulbarron. Here s that interaction again: . set up alerts that email me every hour (now it s every 10 minutes as of tonight) when the restaurant is named in any way. As I was in the restaurant I got and alert from a customer who was saying she was in the restaurant via Twitter. As the alert took place in real time the customer and her friend were given free drinks and discounts in other words we used Social Media and Social Media Monitoring (via Radian6) to reward a customer who was having a great time and we made that time better. And you know what THAT gesture was worth it in my opinion look what the customer tweeted after the evening was over .. TWEET FROM: KIMBERLY819 Name: KIMBERLY819 Posted on: Mar 1, 2010 1:07 AM 13 Followers: 66 Following: 87 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 14. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring What a GREAT night at Havana Central!!!! My new favorite spot!! Link You want Social Media ROI you got ROI a customer for life. What Foursquare is about to do will make that event happen over and over again in fact, life could get very interesting for people who are actively using Social Media. I expect Twitter to follow suit so we won t just have to depend on using FourSquare (even though FourSquare is great) to be able to take action in real time. It could be that many applications will end up becoming real time in this way specifically. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Monitoring Opinion and Rating Sites Another Trend that s important to track Online Rating and Opinion sites such as Yelp, CitySearch, Trip Advisor to name a few most monitoring platforms do not crawl these sites at all or in a consistent manner. A quick question to one vendor about this gap provided an interesting reply .. We don t consider rating and opinion sites to be social media But if you re running a restaurant - most of the monitoring services I covered in this guide don t do a good job covering sites like Yelp, and that is definitely something that needs to change. A few Boutique services have emerged to fill the gap Social Monitoring platforms have left open including ReputationRanger. Almost every problem we have, had or ever will have - has already been solved by someone, somewhere who had the same or a similar problem and we just don t always know it. Fast forward to the present I had a problem collecting restaurant reviews and a feeling answers to the problem I have/ had, already existed somewhere else. It s like that with restaurants based on the restaurant I m working with reviewing Yelp, CitySearch, OpenTable, SeamlessWeb, to name a few of restaurant review sites into one place, and adding additional social media monitoring with semantic analysis this reporting appeared last year with Boorah reputation reports for restaurants. 14 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 15. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Note: I suspect Boorah was bought by Intuit as not all the links work on Boorah and there is a link to the updated reputation monitoring on Intuit. One of the reasons to have reputation management automated is to save community managers who work with social media the task of manually going to rating services and noting reviews for a weekly or monthly report; this seems like it s a prime example of a common task that ought to be automated whereas, people are much better focused on engagement and customer loyalty and if you can find a solution that avoids having to manually compile all the ratings from Yelp, Citysearch, OpenTable, SeamlessWeb, etc into a spreadsheet, so much the better. Another reason to have reputation management for restaurants automated most owners and managers of restaurants don t know how to work with social media yet, nor do they have the time or inclination by default. As a result, the task of monitoring the online reputation of a restaurant or any business has barely been touched upon by most people. Besides, I noticed that all the Social Media Monitoring platforms I have looked at do not track Yelp, or CitySearch, or OpenTable (reservations manager) even Radian6 does not track Yelp and adding Yelp/OpenTable as sources of traffic doesn t help (Radian6 allows you to add sources you wish to monitor that are not tracked by default). So, even if you wanted to use Radian6 to track your restaurant reviews you d be out of luck, today. The rest of the platforms also fail here no one got it right, yet. Though Boorah doesn t appear to work that well anymore at $99.00 per month, a service called Reputation Ranger might be the best answer. Here s a description from Reputation Ranger s site: 15 Reputation Ranger for Restaurants and Bars tracks review activity on over 40 foods and drink review websites. We filter out the chatter and deliver all the meaningful and important customer comments to Page you in one, easy to understand, reputation report. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 16. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Another solution to reputation management of restaurants is Google Places see Google Looks Beyond Review Sites: Now Aggregates Posts from Local Blogs on Place Pages - The Google Places review acts as a hub providing links to all the other online review sites and a summary (excerpt) of what some people have said about the restaurant in each place but Google s service is not designed to be a monitoring solution . 16 However, by creating these review aggregation pages, Google magnified a reputation monitoring Page problem most restaurants have. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 17. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring For users, this means that Google s meta-analysis of customer reviews is now able to look at a broader base of reviews. For businesses, however, this means that they now have to pay more attention to reviews on blogs. For local bloggers, as Blumenthal rightly points out, this means that their reach and influence could increase exponentially once Google includes their blogs on these pages. And that gets back to reputation monitoring of restaurant sites I suspect Social Media Monitoring platforms will catch up and capture the data from CitySearch, Yelp, etc but for now you might want to try reporting that focuses just on that like Reputation Ranger. But since I haven t tried Reputation Ranger I can t tell you how good it is but I would welcome the opportunity to try it. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 17 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 18. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Build Your Own Social Media Monitoring Service I am providing instructions on how to build your own monitoring platform I don t personally think it s worth the effort in most cases. But I wanted to reach out to those who thought there was nothing out there to help them with their specific needs Working with a colleague Cecilia Pineda Feret from Havana Central and through the work we ve done with - we both concluded there are ample free, freenium and low cost paid social monitoring tools for most purposes. While I will show you how to create your own monitoring dashboard I question if it s worth the effort except for individual cases where the free and low cost tools don t provide enough coverage. However, let s explore what exists today while acknowledging the field is changing even as we speak. Crowded Landscape of Paid and Free Tools Crowded landscape of paid and free Social Media monitoring tools; many platforms have overlapping functionality but seldom agree on sentiment analysis, volume and geo-location. The Forrester Wave : Social Media Listening Platforms released a study early last year measuring market presence, platform offerings and platform shortcomings, but little else. 18 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 19. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring In order to be considered for Forrester s study vendors were required to have over $10 million per year in corporate revenue and a substantial base of enterprise sized clients. Most that we would be talking about for Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp that are excluded from the study. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution However, for those of you that did come here to learn how to build your own dashboard here s some ways you could do it. Free vs. Paid Tools 19 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 20. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Method 1 - Using Netvibes to build a Social Media Dashboard If you want to use NetVibes you can here s a good post on how to use NetVibes for your Social Media Dashboard - According to Michael Leis From Google blog search, to SocialMention to Twitter search to backtype; if you re trying to monitor your brand mentions in the social space with or without the aide of professional tools, you re quickly buried under a tabvalanche. Tabvalanche (tab va lanche) n. Being buried under so many open tabs that it slows your Web browser and computer to a crawl. To avoid the Tabvalanche, I recommend Netvibes as a way to make your own social media dashboard. Netvibes is one of a handful of customizable Web-based start pages that use widgets. In a space with Pageflakes, iGoogle, and My Yahoo, I find Netvibes the easiest to use. Here s how you do it: 1. Sign up for a Netvibes account 2. Click the big green Add content button in the upper left of the screen 3. In the sub navigation click Essential widgets. 4. On the lower right-hand side of boxes that appear, you ll see a button called Web page. 5. Enter your search page results URL in the text-entry box that appears (not the original URL, so instead of you paste ) Many results pages, like the example above, also offer the RSS version of the search results. In this case, you ll want to substitute clicking the Add a feed button for step two. Then rinse and repeat for all the services available to search out your brand mentions. Your computer and productivity will thank you. I have to say, this isn t an original idea by me. Sadly, I can t remember where I read this technique originally to attribute it, but it s quite useful. 20 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 21. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring This is the kind of dashboard you could build with Netvibes within an hour if you so desire this is a Dashboard created by Duct Tape Marketing. I quickly set something up on Netvibes (you could do this in iGoogle, MyYahoo, Pageflakes too) that would allow me to track various Google Alerts, twitter searches, Boardtracker searches and backtype searches along with my own Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn activity. There are lots of pre-build widget for things like twitter, but pretty much anything with an RSS feed can be added to the page. Netvibes is easy to work with and this might be a nice way to keep it all front and center. This kind of Dashboard works for an individual or small brand it s free and fast to set up. Note there are no alerts here but this is easy enough to set up in Google Alerts if needed. 21 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 22. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Method 2 - Using Addictomatic for a Social Media Dashboard Addictomatic replaces NetVibes it s actually a one step NetVibes without the work of picking feeds Addictomatic does it for you and you can view your custom Addictomatic page whenever you want but it s not private page so whatever your seeing someone else can, too. According to Thomas Trumble Addictomatic is a nice little tool that I found out about the other day. It s a social media search aggregator that produces a custom webpage of the results and is great for a quick review of mentions of a term that you input across a variety of social media site. For example, I did a vanity search for myself and turned up my name on Twitter, Friendfeed, YouTube, Bloglines and Wordpress. Addictomatic is not a social media account finder like Spokeo, so it doesn t turn up all of the media that I am producing and posting. Addictomatic aggregates mentions of your query across social media sites, in this case my name, not the footprint of my profiles across social media sites. For a quick review of social media buzz, this is a great tool, but it doesn t provide enough depth to make it a tool for much more than that. Use it for snapshots, but look to other more robust tools for real social media listening and measurement. 22 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 23. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Notice that Thomas mentions Addictomatic lacks depth you get what you pay for this is a nice tool for a simple monitoring solution a small business or individual might want to perform but is not useful more much else (but there is a place for this free social media aggregation in small organizations and non-profits that cannot afford much else). Visualizing what you might measure in a Social Media Dashboard you build yourself If you want to get a handle on to monitor take a look at this diagram above. Whatever you build via NetVibes or other methods, keep in mind you have a vast and ever changing landscape to monitor. 23 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 24. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Method 3- Tattler Build your own open sourced Social Monitoring Platform I investigated Tattler Tattler main screen We found Tattler so difficult and un-user friendly that it would take a true enthusiast of this tool to get anything useful out of it but once you get used to it it s possible Tattler could, on the face of it, replace Radian6, Alterian or other such Self Serve platform. However, since Tattler is open sourced meaning that the developer communities self develops a platform, no one is paid to do this, it s all volunteer work it s not clear how often or well Tattler is, could or will be maintained and who would you go to when you have a problem with the platform? Also, the bar is constantly being raised in Social Media last year monitoring conversations in Social Media was no so common and people weren t sure what was good monitoring vs. not so good monitoring self serve and high end Social Media tools are evolving past simply monitoring conversations to acting on them. As a result, much cheaper platforms such as have evolved that are on par or superior to Tattler at little or no cost making 24 the effort of supporting your own Drupal installation of Tattler not really worth the effort for Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 25. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring most people. In this case, there is too much complexities with what is essentially become a commodity monitoring online data. Tattler is probably more work than anything you would it get out of it (all Drupal patches need to be updated and you must run Tattler on your own server) but it s possible that some organizations could leverage a tool like Tattler but we think Tattler is more suitable for a different audience, I think, than the people here. Getting your hands dirty with spreadsheets and iGoogle to build your own dashboard Let s say that you do want to build something custom using iGoogle you re somewhat technical you could try an approach such as Marty Weintraub s Reputation Monitoring Dashboard (see Note: I have included Marty Weintrub s post in this document I have not personally set this up but I think it s doable by most people attending this conference if they are willing to spend a few hours working though the instructions. This is what the end result will look like, a tabbed iGoogle dashboard, graphically customizable and suitable for professional monitoring. While there are industry standard paid reputation monitoring tools sporting cool features, any person or business will made more powerful having someone in the shop able to wire this free puppy up. After constructing the dashboard outlined in this tutorial, use whatever feed reader you like. Again it s 25 the ethic of comprehensive monitoring by feed that matters here. Let s get started: Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 26. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Create a Google account if you don t already have one. Open an Excel document and create tabs, segmented by the following reputation monitoring categories: Brand, Product, Personnel, Competition, Industry Phrases & Intent Words. We re going to make theBig List of keywords to monitor. Paste correct (the way you say it) brand name permutations into the Brand tab. This is the easiest step of all. 26 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 27. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Open a web browser and navigate to MSN Keyword Mutation Detection Tool. Set a bookmark, you ll be visiting this tool again. Type in or paste the first brand name keyword on your list. Go 27 Page The returns common iterations of a keyword. Copy them. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 28. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Paste them into the brand tab on the Big List. Run the MSN Keyword Mutation Detection Tool again on the next correct brand word. Run them all. Paste them into the Big List. Trellian Keyword Discovery a paid service has my favorite misspellings engine, which we sometimes use at this point. However you can totally get by without paid tools. Finding hacks of your brand keywords is pretty obvious business. Try stream of consciousness brainstorming and 28 don t be afraid of being silly. I can nearly always duplicate KW discovery misspellings by just free-forming. Add these brand name keyword permutations to the Big List. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 29. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Another great place to find insight regarding brand permutations is the organic analytics from your site. Here we drill into ever-ubiquitous Google Analytics. (Of course you actually have to have been running analytics on the site prior) Click on Traffic Sources. 29 Click Keywords Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 30. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring View traffic from paid and non paid brand search keywords. Select non-paid for organic. [Please note: PPC data on phrase or broad match keywords often yields useful permutations as well.] Grab any heretofore undiscovered permutations by copying. 30 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 31. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Paste in any brand keywords noted from analytics to the Big List. Now it s safe to say that we have most brand permutations. When done with brand keywords, repeat this process for every product to populate the Products Tab of the Excel Big List. Sure it s time consuming, but take the time and it will be well worth the effort. Do the products tab of the Big List now 31 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 32. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Update on Progress! There are 4 tabs on our big list remaining, Competition, Personnel, Industry & Intent. Personnel Tab of Big List Personnel refers to C-Level executives, public spokespeople or anyone else we d like to monitor. Often times this includes competitors primaries. There s no need to go crazy with misspellings unless someone s name is complicated. Just be sure to call Russ Russell and other extremely obvious nicknames. In our experience, overdoing scan-width does not equal finding much more dirt. Competition Tab of Big List Monitoring your competition is useful for defending your own brands and products. We keep an eye on competitive brands by the same segments by which we monitor our own: Brand, Product, Personnel, etc y Discover competitors promotional efforts as soon as possible y Find their weaknesses, liabilities and advise your marketing efforts to best exploit the information. y Learn about new important products and product categories. 32 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 33. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Finding Industry phrases are by classic keyword research process. Fire up the External Google Keyword Tool. We ll this Google PPC inventory tool to find keywords SO commonly searched for, that they can be considered an industry category word. Short Short Short Tail = Industry Finding Category Words Type in as many categories as you know about in regards to your business. When in doubt, use a thesaurus (for stemming). Make sure to check the Use Synonyms box, which will add Google s stemming insight to the results. 33 Get Keyword Ideas after confirming that you re human. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 34. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Click on Sort by average volume. Add the top 3-5 to the keyword bucket. They re your industry category words for the Big List. 34 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 35. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Export to spread a .CSV file. Copy From Exported Spread Sheet and Add To Big List Under the Industry Tab. The final tab for this dashboard build is for Intent phrases. Think about different ways customers say you re great, you suck or ask for information with longer phrases. There s no need to go crazy with variations on the same keywords (singular, plural, etc ). Intent phrases are very long tail in themselves. 35 Page Building the Dashboard Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 36. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Now leave the Big List aside. Open your igoogle dashboard. (Make sure you re logged into Google and go to If you already use iGoogle, you ll see your iGoogle homepage. Don t worry, you won t lose it. This is as simple as adding new tabs in iGoogle, corresponding to the Big List tabs in the Excel doc. Add a New iGoogle Tab Name the Tab Brand. 36 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 37. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Create New iGoogle Tabs to Match the Big List Excel Tabs Now it s time to set up our keyword feed subscriptions. Set Up First Google Alert. Go to Google Alerts and click New Alert. 37 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 38. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Type or paste in you first word. Sorry you have to set these up 1 at a time for EVERY word on all tabs. 1 Word at a time, starting with you brand keywords, create alerts. Choose comprehensive meaning all Google channels. Choose the feed and as it happens options. Right click and copy the link location of the of orange RSS button 38 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 39. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring To get around a Google bug in some browsers, clean the URL you just copied by opening new FireFox tab. Paste in URL copied from RSS button and hit return. (This cleaning step is only needed, for some odd reason, when using Google.) Subscribe to this feed using using Google as feed reader. Check Always use Google to subscribe to feeds and click Subscribe Now. Select Add to Google homepage. Google Homepage is another word for iGoogle. 39 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 40. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Congratulations, you ve created your first iGoogle reputation monitoring gadget. You ll see the new gadget added to the iGoogle dashboard on whatever tab you have selected. Cool! Create Alert for next word on the Big List. We ll review. Let s go through the steps again to add a Google Alert to iGoogle for your second brand word. Click New Alert. 40 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 41. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Paste your next word into Google Alerts. Note: Two or more words require quotations. You know the drill! The options are: Comprehensive, Feed, as it Happens, then click Create Alert. Copy address of orange RSS button with right click 41 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 42. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Don t forget that pesky Google Bug! Clean the URL, open new FireFox tab and paste the URL. Paste in URL copied from RSS button. Hit return on your computer s keyboard. Add to Google homepage. 42 Page New reputation monitoring gadget in iGoogle Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 43. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring FYI, There are cool gadget settings, available by clicking on any gadget s little down facing triangle. Edit your settings. Increase the number of feed Alerts displayed. 43 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 44. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring One by one, add all the words on the Big List to the appropriate iGoogle tab. Other search services (other than Google) offer keyword level subscriptions. Twitter is quickly becoming an essential channel to monitor. Navigate to It s really easy to subscribe to twitter search feeds using iGoogle. While there s standalone API applications like TweetDeck to watch feeds real-time. Many business folks want Twitter chatter included in their dashboard next to Google alerts. Search for your keyword in Twitter Search. No need to clean, just click on Feed for this query Add to Google homepage (iGoogle) 44 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 45. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring The gadgets are beginning to add up. Technorati is another blog search service, where posts are indexed that sometimes Google does not pick up. Not every blog is in Google blog search. Technorati offers keyword level subscriptions by RSS. Subscribe to the entire Big List in Technorati. What you can t see can hurt you. Hidden behind user names and passwords, some forums and message board communities don t allow Google to index them. Some push to opt-in to board aggregation services making these walled Garden sites chatter searchable and, you guessed it, subscribed by feed. BoardReader is a useful search utility, forums opt in to that picks up keyword mentions that Google does not see. Search BoardReader for a keyword. 45 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 46. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Once results are returned, sort SERPs by Freshness. Click on RSS button 46 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 47. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring The board reader results are on the iGoogle dashboard not too. There you have it, your sweet reputation management dashboard is beginning to fill out. Interpretation tips: y Skim the dashboard at pre-defined intervals. y Don t click on every link. y Hover over to get text abstract, follow if relevant, use your brain and check it out! y Ignore spam as much as possible. y Set up mission critical keywords as email alerts for archiving and fast notification. Subscribe to any keyword twice, once by feed and once by Google Email Alert. Not every channel provides email alerts. Third party tools make it possible in some channels like TweetBeep does for Twitter. y Each search channel has a somewhat unique method to generate feed subscription links for keywords, including 3rd party tools to create RSS feeds for keyword level searches. Just figure out how to add new channels. y Remember, iGoogle is just one feed reader. Use the reader of your choice if you already have a comfort level. y iGoogle can be customized graphically with Artist Themes and Developers Tools. It s actually pretty amazing to have tools like this totally for free. This long method of setting up your own reputation dashboard is but one way to do it. 47 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 48. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Method 4: Using Social Mention for a quick and dirty way to build your own Social Media Monitoring Dashboard SocialMention, FeedRinse, Google Reader, and Postrank Another way to approach building your own dashboard is to use several free services: SocialMention, FeedRinse, Google Reader, and AideRSS. Refer to A caveat mentioned is that we don t know how complete or even good the data we re pulling is though we can rank it via PostRank (AideRSS was bought by PostRank a while back). 48 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 49. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Overall, the results of using SocialMention and Google Reader were pretty good especially when I used Geo-location (i.e.: Havana Central + new +York+city). With a bit of work and upkeep it s possible to also Top Users (for Influencers, Sentiment, Keywords and Twitter Hashtags for further processing). However, crucial information about users is missing that would make it more useful, and with all the issues around sentiment analysis, in general, the sentiment of Social Mention is probably not good enough to go to the bank with. Once you get your data into Google Reader or iGoogle or NetVibes, etc , the results aren t tagged (so you d have to do that yourself) and there s not ability to graph the charts but if all you need is reputation monitoring and you don t have queries that change and you don t need alerts and you don t want to spend any money this solution works. 49 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 50. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Method 5: RealMon9 yet another free social media monitoring platform, runs on Google s servers web2express/ If you just wait long enough Google will enter the Social Media Monitoring space but in a way, they already have, indirectly, though their developers using Google s servers and application frameworks. Recently I mentioned Google s entrance into Social Media Monitoring (refer to my long post with Cecilia Pinada Feret on I ve been saying this is coming Big Brother & Google s Entrance into Social Media Monitoring from but in a way, they have already entered into this space - or, at least, their infrastructure and code has, via Google Apps, t hanks to a tip from Luke at who is also producing Monitoring Social Media BootCamp on March 31st 2010 that I ll be speaking at (hope you come if your nearby at the time). thought you might be interested in this: It s a Google App for monitoring (only in test mode) but cool huh! Cool indeed! Mind you, there s a big difference between a Google Apps Developer getting into Social Communications Monitoring and Google the 900 pound gorilla doing it but I bet Google is watching . waiting and listening .. The real question isn t about what to build to monitor conversations that s over; it s about what to choose choice and value. The information itself is free and potentially valueless (not to say it has no value but the only meaning it actually has is in how it s delivered). 50 Think of tubes of paint in the Art Store before anything is produced looking and even smelling the art Page supplies that s marvelous but once you open up the tubes of paint and apply color to canvas - its Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 51. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring what you do with the information that is meaningful and it s part of the factor of weather the Art is appreciated can collected, or not. Social Information is like that tube of paint you so want to use but means nothing without the right context. So Social Monitoring is a commodity when you have Viralheat and Andy Beal s Trackur in the room, doing good stuff for free or for a few bucks a month just collecting data is a given it s what you do with that information that now counts, and what I ll cover in depth in London next month. Now that we have someone building Social Media Monitoring formally on Google s Infrastructure can Google, itself, be far behind? Does anyone still doubt that Google will dip their foot in our pond? I don t because they already are it s just a matter of degree, now. Let s take a closer hood at Web2express provides the following custom services for social media monitoring: First, Web2Expres s is powered by and is free. 51 All the great stuff that Radian6 did with and WebTrends last year is likely going to be Page free, free, free this year the advantage will come from how the data is packaged. In fact, the only Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 52. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring thing we re going to end up having to pay for is Time the time it takes to create meaning from this data. As a use case study the makes of Web2Express are monitoring the monitors themselves, Radian6, Sysomos, Scout Labs, etc just take a look (need to login using your Google Account). I don t mean to make an ant into a molehill here but we can not but look at this as the attempt of someone who wants to enter the monitoring space with a free service that others are paying for. How is that going to play out later this year and into next? I don t see any sentiment analysis but I do see market segmentation even though I cannot really do with this information yet. 52 Read more: Page Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 53. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Method 6: using Yahoo! Pipes I m not a fan of using Yahoo! Pipes for a Social Media dashboard but thought to include an example of Yahoo! Pipes for Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp. Example: As you can see you get what you pay for the Yahoo! Pipes Social Media Firehouse is entertaining, for sure, but it s questionable if such a tool can be trusted (judging from above). Rather than build any pipes which run slow (but they do create RSS feeds and/or SMS messages there is an excellent collection of Monitoring Pipes available already - 53 Page Here s the post my Ann Smarty that outlines the 5 most popular Yahoo! Pipes for Social Monitoring Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 54. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring After Yahoo! SiteExplorer and Flickr, Yahoo! Pipes is the third reason why I love Yahoo! so much. Surprisingly, I come across too many people who have no idea how to use Yahoo! Pipes and what one can do with them. This post is meant remind us of some huge possibilities behind the tool: here are 5 great Yahoo! Pipes that can be used for brand monitoring for competitive research and reputation management: Pipe URL Aggregated sites Best feature, Search for,, multiple terms Social Media,, at a time Firehose, (comma separated) News sites [Google, Yahoo, Live]; Blogs [Google Blog Search, Conventional & Bloglines, Wordpress blog search, Set the Social Media Technorati]; Social media [Twitter, timeframe Tracker Friendfeed, Youtube, Digg, Metafilter, Wired] Domain Social Site backlinks from Submission Digg, Reddit social media Watch Dog sites Filters out Content Digg, Technorati, Yahoo News, identical Keyword RSS PRWeb, and Google News content, Findory, Flickr, Google Meta Search Blog Search, Google News, Google Filters out Alerts Search, Icerocket, Live Search, duplicate URLs 54 Technorati, Yahoo News, Yahoo Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 55. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Search Social Media Firehose is a social media search for tracking brand or product mentions on a number of social media sites, including flickr, twitter, friendfeed, digg etc. It allows to filter your search by location and to block any domain or phrases from search. Conventional & Social Media Tracker combs through multiple blog and social media search engines and also allows you to filter results based on dates published. Social Site Submission Watch Dog keeps track of your domain submissions to Digg and Reddit. 55 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 56. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Content Keyword RSS aggregates news sources from multiple sites such as Digg, Technorati, Yahoo News, PRWeb, and Google News, compares content, removing same stories and outputting a unique RSS feed and also allowing you to set how many entries the feed can contain. Meta Search Alerts aggregates search results from a number of sources and ensures all the URLs are unique. 56 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 57. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Free Social Media Monitoring Tools There are a number of free tools that provide a partial solution to Social Media Monitoring these are all tools that you had to pay for as recently as a few months ago. Every day there new stuff happening take today Andy Beal announced Trackur Free Version Of Its formally paid only Social Media Monitoring Tool you can use it free, as long as all your doing is a single search that is one smart offer and he s going to get a lot of people to sign up and I just did. Having said that Trackur s functionality is so basic, just one or two cuts above Google Alerts I find it hard to imagine myself using it but for someone that is not technical and just wants some basic information I think the price is right (free). Maybe I m missing something I m not even seeing email alerts (which is what Google Alerts does) so to say Trackur is Google Alerts on steroids seems to be missing the point that doesn t alert me about anything. Would I pay for it if it wasn t free (for one search) maybe but then again, with Viralheat just coming into the picture you can get so much more from Viralheat than you can get from Tracker if I really only had a few dollars to spend a month I d rather spend it with Viral Heat than going over to Trackur but that s just my opinion. At least I could do some kind of analysis with Viralheat not sure if Trackur lends it self to a measurement perspective at least, not today. But you can drill down and get more information on each item in your feed that your monitoring and you can t do that with Google Alerts granted. 57 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 58. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring I like the share this article link on each item that s a good idea and Trackur calculates an influence score, again, which Google Alerts does not do. I have a problem with the way influence is calculated the TrackurRank seems bogus built on metrics that don t really add up to influence, like a bunch of links and blog mentions at best, both are extremely shaky proxies for influence. But but . Trackur is free at least, for one search and if your needs are really basic and I mean, really basic I think this is a good basic package a very, very basic package. I m almost tempted to say that if you are going to use Trackur you could have easily just used Google Alerts but that is just me. Also, I heard about a new tool called SocialWebAnalyzer that just examines your social media presence and I put in my own website (this blog). There s a lot of link statistics and I m not sure how much I ll use this tool but thought my readers might want to know about both developments. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 58 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 59. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Viralheat Social Media Monitoring Review and how it compares with other platforms Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution I m currently evaluating ViralHeat and trying to make up my mind on how it fits into the Social Media Monitoring space, I had an free account for close to a week and was made aware of ViralHeat s relaunch by Jason Falls who I saw two weeks ago at Event Camp here in NYC. Jason wrote a post last week on Viralheat Plants Stake As Affordable Social Media Monitoring Solution. Note to myself: This week I was thinking a lot about what it takes to effectively work with and use a social media monitoring platform and decided it takes a bit of time and working out on practical applications to get a real sense of how useful it would be to own it or what the full limitations are. To be fair I had that opportunity withRadian6 and Sysomos and not so much with Viralheat. However, Raj and Vishal who started have given me another month to evaluate their platform and I will put it through it s paces, but also talk about what I actually see and think of it. Given Viralheat is a lot less expensive than any of the other Social Media Monitoring platforms I ve reviewed- almost anything they come up with makes them a better value for the money than the others if price were the main issue but it s not as simple as that, not a black or white situation. For example, Google Alerts is free, and essentially provides the same functionality as ViralHeat (minus the dashboards, historical data once the profile is running and community sharing) but replicating the dashboard feature manually with Google Alerts would be lot of work and time is money. Still, if it were all about 29.00 per month for 20 profiles/keyword searches vs. several hundred per month for one topic profile per month (Radian6/Alterian/BrandWatch, etc) no one would buy anything since it s all free and there is a lot of added value the platforms I just listed. And then there s Google, the eight hundred pound Gorilla and big Pink Elephant in the room I bet you anything some smart programmer at Google is creating the PR Dashboard of the future in a Mountain View office right now, using their 20% free time, plugging in using Google Alerts with a nice charting application and it s all ready to drop into public view just as soon as Google Corporate decides to release it - and it will be totally free and will have alerts, have charting have Google Analytics, forecasting and trending and draw upon Google s Industry Segmentation information (in Google Analytics now) and be better than many of the platforms on the market now. I said as much in the article I cowrote with Cecilia Pinada Feret at a few weeks ago and republished on my blog I ve been saying this is coming Big Brother & Google s Entrance into Social Media Monitoring from So, my first impression is that Viralheat looks really good at this moment but remember as information becomes a commodity it can quickly evolve to the point when no one will want to pay for anything, much as Google Analytics is priced today (free) and supported by advertisers and publishers indirectly. Still, what does Viralheat offer and why is it a bargin and the low prices it s being offered at? I created a few profiles and noted the data did not update immediately that threw me off at first, since I m used to getting information back from Radian6 immediately and from Techrigy within an hour or so, though can take up to a day, and so with Viralheat, nothing comes back right away at least, not for the profiles I set up but within 24 hours, data was being collected and displayed regularly. 59 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 60. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring On the face of it, this dashboard looks good. Digging in deeper I examined the details of the profile I set up (yes, it s a Cuban restaurant) I didn t see anything on the Facebook page for the restaurant (Radian6 would have shown me this) and I could add the Facebook page as a source, which I can t do in Viralheat. A quick question to ViralHeat s Customer Service, Raj Kadam, CEO of Viralheat replied within 30 minutes of my request told me what I needed to know: Hi, Can you give us the link to the Facebook page? By the way, why are you not using Facebook Insights for your metrics? The sole purpose of Facebook Pages in Viralheat is for you to discover new pages or posts where you can engage audiences and give you a general lay of the land. For example, if you are running a Cuban restaurant, you can put Cuban food and then discovery influential places on facebook where people hang out talking about Cuban food. That gives you a chance to engage those audiences and drive more business. Let me know your thoughts? Regards, Raj Kadam CEO, Viralheat Inc. Viralheat is not going to try to replicate Sysomos which can get at the Facebook Fan pages you administer (via Sysomos Heartbeat) or Radian6, which can get the public postings off the same page they assumed if you care about your Facebook metrics, and it s your page you have access to Facebook Insights and can get the data for yourself. Rather Viralheat is focused on helping you uncover content where you as the content creator, can reach out to and grow your brand presence online. But then, Viralheat doesn t offer you any CRM, Workflow administration and tracking that a more expensive system might offer but since this is a very low priced, inexpensive platform perhaps having workflow and CRM modules is not as important to the audience who would use it. And, you can still share a social media mention with a friend via email and contact the author of a social mention in Twitter or Blog, etc but that s not Social CRM (still, it s pretty darn good for the money). 60 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 61. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring And in that sense, Viralheat is a good deal it s cheap and it does what it was designed to do it s just not the same exact thing that some of the more expensive platforms do but that s maybe that s ok if your getting started and don t have the budget for more. I found one area ViralHeat is superior to the other platforms they freely open their API to anyone who wants to pull data from it - ViralHeat is much like in the sharing of it s data with several application vendors and this feature has proven to be very popular and drive api calls to and links back from the services using it (I know used for stats a while back, but several others have since). In fact, I ll go on record - should approach Viralheat and ask them if they can use the API to pull in Social Media data to complement I know Compete is owned by TNS which could have done the same thing for Compete except, by doing so they d be undercutting their paid intelligence whereas using ViralHeat, they would not have that same problem. I ve discussed this idea of merging a buzz monitoring platform with Compete before with them (but with a different vendor in mind) but I have no idea if they plan to implement it but it would be great if they did. Viralheat is also monitoring Google Buzz, as is Radian6 and several others here s a video of the features of Viralheat: There are Influencer lists, which it strikes me is really the same thing as what Radian6 River of News and collecting the follower/following count and other statistic (from, ironically) where you can rank influence -and in the Influencer Widget that Radian6 provides. Also, there is sentiment analysis but upon closer examination it has the same problems most of the other 61 platforms I ve looked at have and Viralheat is careful to phase negative sentiment as potentially negative sentiment they won t come out and declare it since they know they will be wrong a good deal of the time and Page so it is look at the results below for negative sentiment and Cuban food how many of them are really negative Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 62. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring about Cuban food? I can t really say any of the tweets above are negative in fact, most of them are just the reverse- maybe what we should be measuring (since we can t do sentiment well on these platforms) is intensity of emotion - that kinda can be done -and at least you can decide to look at intense opinions and decide what you want to do with them, if your so inclined. Noticed you can also get details on what the system considers to be influencers. The Viralheat influencer list is probably not any better than what anyone else can come with but again, if cost is your main consideration than it s good enough. And at the lower price of 29 dollars per month I can see my data on a weekly basis only I have to upgrade to get a monthly view. I also noticed I could add other public profiles to my own and the data is updated quickly and I m noting again how much more of a community platform this is than, say Radian6, Sysomos or Biz360 (though BrandWatch does appear to have a community aspect built in as most of the queries are public). But then again, there is no definitions or standards around what Viralheat is publishing as metrics and this could 62 be a problem. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 63. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring For example, what is the weekly impact ? How is it calculated is this the total amount of content that Viralheat monitored over a week s time with my keywords in it? If so, how does that help me what can I do with that information? Jason Falls weighs in: The sexy metric I noticed that isn t as easy to find, though is probably available in other services, is the Total Impact which seems to essentially be an eyeball count. While that metric alone is flawed and not something you should focus on, the C-level folks like telling their chums over lobster bisque, Our Tweeter presence reached 14.5 million people last month. (Which is what Dell s impact was according to the charts I saw during my demo.) But then, Viralheat would be playing into the the problems we re trying to escape from of viewing Social Media as a broadcast medium and counting impressions and eyeballs they re offering you this flawed metric in case you want it. Since I can t compare my brand with someone elses in this platform unless I export my brand and my competitors into Excel and spend a few hours mashing up all the comparisons myself (you get what you pay for, essentially) - how would i benefit by knowing how much of the total mentions of my keywords are from me - esp if I m a small business that can t afford to spend more than 29 bucks a month, or a little more for the deluxe version? And because small businesses that would buy a Viralheat probably aren t into spending a lot of time messaging the data the good stuff it could provide probably won t be accessed since anyone that buy this platform will probably not be willing to hire an analyst to get insight from it the same thing that happened with Google Analytics, by the way. When we get to the point where a platform costs next to 0 dollars, with data as a commodity, there is no incentive to drive deep analysis from it no desire to staff up for it no investment in the process essentially Google fueled that trend by making all it s tools appear to be free. By we know, as my friend Avinash Kaushik pointed out many times before, that it s the analyst that creates value and meaning in the data but what kind of value and meaning will anyone want to put on cheap data that costs nothing but which you must put a lot of work into to get much meaningful in the context of your business? Nothing that s right 0. If you buy Viralheat, you don t care about investment you just want charts and alerts for next to nothing intelligence . well . maybe in version 2. Unique authors might be more helpful except I m getting all the authors about Cuban food, though I suppose I 63 could have written my query to include the brand name (in fact, I did, but it s still updating the data I m thinking it might take a day to reflect the changes). Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 64. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring And while Viralheat says they are covering Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Videos, in practice, I m not seeing all that data coming in yet and my profile for the Cuban restaurant was running for almost a week and with alerts too (which I can setup). Mind you, my query was quite simple and should have picked up something the other platforms did I have a similar one running on Radian6 for the last year. So at the end of the day how useful is a platform like Viralheat? I think, today, I would not use this platform if I cared about the accuracy of the results or the dependability or getting all the information out there it s a good first attempt at reaching out into the territory of the other platforms I reviewed, but it needs another 6 months to a year to mature. Also, I don t want to close without talking about Geo-location. In my profile I can select the nearness to a certain location I want to see results on. First, I don t know how well this works and second changing the radius doesn t update the results in real time .. again, I got what I paid for. In other words, I can t do any serious analysis on the data and qet questions answered in real time because I m paying for el cheapo package which hampers my analytics what if skills and abilities. 64 So this platform isn t really for me it s too basic, too rigid in it s ability to recast the data in any kind of real time Page so I can work through some ideas and unsuitable, at this time, for serious analysis work. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 65. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring But, if you don t need to do alot of analysis maybe this platform is OK. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Level of Sophistication in Social Media Monitoring Just read Jeremiah Owyang s Social Technology Buyers Matrix: Broad vs. Specialized vs. Do It Yourself where he mentions another way to look at purchasing web technology such as listening systems (I ve been spending a lot of time looking at listening systems such as Radian6, Sysomos, Techrigy, BrandWatch,Biz360, Viralheat, Scout Labs, etc, etc, etc). Didn t occur to me to look at Radian6, for example, and say this platform is the way it is because it s aimed at a broad market (it has a lot of features and reports maybe the one you want, maybe not but it can fit in a lot of organizations) vs. something more specialized that is better at a few things but not really for everyone such as INgage (which I have no experience with or a solution like, which is mostly for hotels and automotive businesses). I think it s worth categorizing the solutions I ve talked about so far that way, as well as in the more technical comparisons between their features. Here s the grid that was presented in Jeremiah Owyang s post. Social Technology Buyers Matrix: Self Serve vs. Broad vs. Specialized vs. Do It Yourself What it is Examples Benefits Downsides Get platform Radian6, Self Serve and provide Alterian/Techrigy, Flexibility Lack of intelligence & Free own analysis Sysomos, etc. Configuration and Buzzmetrics, Radian specialization for 6, Visible Technologies, your particular Cymfony offer a range of Technology or Wide deployment ensures market may services that can be use service that the scope can spread require setup costs with any variety of vendors that to a large set of sites to and configuration industries. On the Broad serve a variety crawl. In most cases, these efforts. While community platform of industries companies can scale, and features may go side, Jive, Telligent, without a have a broad base of wide not all will Mzinga, Awareness, specific focus, clients to learn from. be needed for your Liveworld* can meet the 65 specific customer needs of many socialgraphic enterprises. Page behaviors and Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 66. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring industry usage. In the brand monitoring space, Revinate offers Vendors may not Technology or specific brand monitoring be able to go service for the hospitality Faster deployment and broader, feature vendors that industry, and Kickapps*, features and deployments set may become offer vertical Pluck, and Cisco EOS*, are pre-customized for limited when it Specialized (or industry) offer solutions for the deployment. Experienced comes to scaling. specific skills, media vertical and teams that truly get the Sometimes honed in on a recently rebranded INgage nuances of your particular specialization unique market networks has long history industry. increases costs of need. of serving Government goods and services. although they are moving to the broad category. Constant Rather than rejiggering of A variety of brands have rely on features as the bolted on social features Reduced up front cost and vendors, many outside technology to their corporate website custom tailored companies space innovates using BBS systems, integration with existing prefer to build quickly. Often the Wordpress, or Drupal like systems. A controlled Do It their own soft costs and platforms with extensive environment not Yourself social media internal customization. Or, dependent on the product (DIY) tools and maintenance isn t developers that build roadmaps of processes and always accounted custom installations on other SaaS companies and integrate with for up front, and .net, jsp, php, and other increased security legacy CMS innovating new software languages and measures. and WMS features are often frameworks. systems. not native to corporations. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 66 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 67. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring SENTIMENT ANALYSIS Introduction into How to Analyze Sentiment and Benefit from the Insight it Provides Luke Brynley-Jones With just two weeks until Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp, we thought we d give you a taste of the event with a series of posts about the workshops we ll be having. First up is Marshall Sponder s session called How to Monitor Sentiment and Benefit from the Insight this provides . Marshall has spent much of the last ten years trying out various social media monitoring solutions and sentiment is one of his favorite topics. In this workshop he aims to explain, in layman s terms, how best to use the sentiment analysis features of social media monitoring tools, how to make sense of the results they produce and how to create value from this knowledge. First off, Marshall will analyse the different approaches to sentiment from some of the leading monitoring solutions on the market, including Brandwatch, Scoutlabs, Radian6, Sysomos, Crimson Hexagon and Alterian (SM2). He will also demonstrate the differences in sentiment analysis results that these solutions can produce from essentially the same data. Scary stuff if you re paying good money for comprehensive results! One of the other key questions Marshall will be addressing in this session is: when is sentiment analysis useful and when isn t it? He will explore which aspects of social media are best analysed numerically and 67 identify those where sentiment can offer genuine insight and value, citing examples of how right now businesses are benefiting from each approach. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 68. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Marshall will also look at the accuracy of sentiment analysis. In other words, are the results produced related to the topics we re interested in? And to what extent can results be improved by filtering out noise? He will demonstrate how to remove non-relevant search results and how, using your social media monitoring tools, you can construct queries that produce accurate results. One of the hottest issues in sentiment analysis is always the human or machine intervention question. Should we employ humans to analyze results and rate the sentiment, or should we develop sophisticated reading technology to rate sentiment for us? Marshall will offer his view on which works best (in various case studies) and suggest which option is best for what situations and how accurate you can expect the data from either option to be. Finally, Marshall will prophesize what we should expect for sentiment analysis over the coming few years. As one of the worlds most experienced social media monitoring analysts I would expect his opinion to be around 89% accurate ;) Examples of Flaky Sentiment Analysis: 1. Most Sentiment Analysis is incapable of connecting what you re monitoring (the subject for which you want to know about) and the social mentions the platform picks up and rates for sentiment. One example was a monitor I set up using a monitoring platform (Crimson Hexagon Buzz Monitor) for employees of a well known PR firm that went on TV to talk about the economy. The person said the Economy was going through a rough patch and the sentiment analysis was ranked as negative but what we were monitoring is not the economy, but reputation of the PR firm in that context the remark was neutral (certainly not negative). 2. In a somewhat related way voice translation software has the same problems as sentiment analysis software in fact Google Voice especially in a noisy environment is as bad at understanding what you re saying and transcribing it as Sentiment Analysis that is often used in Social Media monitoring is bad at understanding what people feel. In my mind, I connected both things and it made sense that translation software is looking at and having the same issues, I think, that Sentiment Analysis has, especially around 68 Read more: Page Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 69. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring 3. Because there are no standards set in Sentiment Analysis each platform may process the same exact information and come up with different sentiment scores the quantum nature of Sentiment Analysis today make it too unreliable to depend on without human review. Recently I wrote about how the development of Social Media Standards for Sentiment Analysis might have a silver lining for profitability much as the IAB s VAST standards have enabled profitability for Online Videos a. Development of standards for Social Media Measurement. As I mentioned in slide 11 of my presentation on the Future of Social Media Monitoring where Social Media does not have a standard set of definitions for measurement of conversations, sentiment, or share of voice to guide vendors in implementation, hampers interoperability of social monitoring platforms with each other, even though they are monitoring the same conversations online. Furthermore, implementing standards leads to more profit for vendors. One example is the IAB s VAST Video Advertising Standard which further monetized third party Video Ad Platforms such as BrightRoll. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 4. Lexagraphics provides the Sentiment Analysis engine used in many Social Monitoring platforms logic would suggest using the same engine should produce similar results but just the reverse happens and I wrote about it recently in a post platforms-on-sentiment-analysis-about-social-media-week-nyc-10/ and I came up with the suggestion that Sentiment Analysis buyer beware for the time being, if you re going to have large amounts of data you need to score with automated sentiment analysis I think you ll be best off with Sysomos or BrandWatch, all things being equal. I m open to discussion and reexamining my results (I don t know a lot of what goes on behind the interface)- clearly a lot more deep dives into the data of all the platforms are needed but that s precisely what most Social Media Monitoring Platform make it hard to do and yes, a couple of analysts types have looked at these platforms, including Forrester and Nathan Gilliatt who will be at Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp with me in London in two months and a sample of his ebook is encouraging (and the new book he s working on is going to be even better). Read more: platforms-on-sentiment-analysis-about-social-media-week-nyc-10/#ixzz0jQGqitpN Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 5. Social Media, in particular, is dominated by people who have often express complex emotions such as sarcasm, especially in Tweets and often in blog posts people like Hugh McCloud of 69 GapingVoid are known for their wit but how could sentiment analysis handle someone like Hugh McCloud? Think about it Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 70. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring I tried Sysomos Map - one of the best platforms out there to analyze the pages where Hugh McCloud s best work is housed, on his blog and guess what? 70 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 71. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring In this case, what is being expressed as negative (and bear in mind Sysomos is better at sentiment than most of the platforms I have worked with) isn t really negative and any human could tell that but it is currently beyond machine learning to tell. Take Twitter- Raaphorst: RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out 4 hours and 32 mins ago kenji_rikitake (Kenji Rikitake): Tried to buy a @gapingvoid book on Kindle - very VERY easy. No wonder why Kindle is going to replace paper books. 6 hours ago erdina (Ferdi Zebua): From @gapingvoid: Brands don't need Agencies 7 hours ago WhtMttrsNow (K h): gapingvoid - no point stressing out 26 Mar 2010 18:03:26 EDT JRWilner (Joe Wilner): RT @gapingvoid people matter. objects don t. | Gapingvoid 71 26 Mar 2010 18:03:21 EDT Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 72. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring IanSanders (IanSanders): @gapingvoid that's cool. i'm waiting for sight of the front cover of my first book 'Leap!' in Turkish.... 26 Mar 2010 15:10:16 EDT Rrrrohini (Rohini Pandey): ROFL RT @gapingvoid: Hollywood: Why people don't watch your films any more: 26 Mar 2010 15:02:55 EDT CatMonahan (Cath Monahan Clink!): RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out: 26 Mar 2010 14:43:54 EDT jakedavidrohde: Also arriving is @gapingvoid book - Ignore Everyone. Been looking forward to this one for a while now... #HughCrew 26 Mar 2010 14:38:21 EDT intersection1 (Mark Smiciklas): No point stressing out | gapingvoid 26 Mar 2010 13:45:02 EDT 72 vincekamp: @gapingvoid #HughCrew er....well, I'm still waiting for delivery of my first piece 'intoxicated', I guess you need at least 2 pieces, huh. Page 26 Mar 2010 12:15:46 EDT Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 73. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring luigipalooza: It's pink. It's nasty. It's pink n' nasty! /via @gapingvoid // My feelings exactly? 26 Mar 2010 11:19:55 EDT theMentalMob: @gapingvoid I'll's pink...but like I posted on the pic...nasty...unless it's vanity plates on a '71 suspect. 26 Mar 2010 10:57:12 EDT deannie (Deanna McNeil): gapingvoid cartoon #49 'Poisoned' March 26, 2010 Does the world expect us to conform or do we do that to ourselves? 26 Mar 2010 10:01:11 EDT shelisrael: "Poisoned" by @gapingvoid 26 Mar 2010 09:58:19 EDT vincemcgrail (Vince McGrail): RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out 25 Mar 2010 19:40:18 EDT Soulsailor (Ant Clay): Laughing at: "no point stressing out | gapingvoid"( ) 73 25 Mar 2010 18:58:49 EDT Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 74. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring simonebernhard: Who's that drawing that nasty cube? GAPINGVOID.....RT @gapingvoid: pink 002: 25 Mar 2010 18:28:40 EDT chrisrat: gapingvoid daily cartoon March 4, 2010. /cc @feedly <---mediocrity 25 Mar 2010 17:14:10 EDT davidebowman (davidebowman): Have you read Ignore Everybody by @gapingvoid It is freaking amazing! 25 Mar 2010 16:25:05 EDT lyrois (The Alexander Becker): Exactly. F**k burnout! RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out: 25 Mar 2010 15:38:46 EDT NewfieGirlplus4 (Catt): RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out 25 Mar 2010 15:37:41 EDT 74 rtrentthompson: RT @gapingvoid: no point stressing out: Page 25 Mar 2010 15:34:46 EDT Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 75. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Nospheratt: RT @gapingvoid: no point stressing out: // Indeed. 25 Mar 2010 15:26:23 EDT dinotarantino (McPuffin): RT @daveschappell: no point stressing out. one day you'll be dead and none of this will matter... (RT @gapingvoid) 25 Mar 2010 15:26:18 EDT daveschappell (Dave Schappell): no point stressing out. one day you'll be dead and none of this will matter... (RT @gapingvoid) 25 Mar 2010 15:24:53 EDT botanicalgarden (Carlo Balistrieri): Here's one for all the taxonomists of the world: RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out: 25 Mar 2010 15:23:32 EDT LorenSan: RT @DavidGibbons: RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out: [exactly, in fact none of it will matter long b4 we're dead] 25 Mar 2010 15:22:09 EDT 75 bronwynsf (Bronwyn Saglimbeni): RT @gapingvoid no point stressing out Page 25 Mar 2010 15:21:58 EDT Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 76. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Sysomos has scored all of the tweets (the top 4 only are shown above) as negative but does anyone see anything truly negative in any one of those tweets? Sarcasm, yes, wit, humor yes, but those are not negatives. Top keywords around Gapingvoid s negative rated tweets may be considered negative, in some cases, but out of context they mean nothing. And details around Gapingvoid as depicted excellently by Sysomos MAP show a man full of humor and sarcasm 76 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 77. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring 6. Search Engines have not had much success understanding what people mean when they search (even Google, with all its scientists is often showing poor results and people have to search over and over again to find what they are looking for). Google faces the familiar human problem humans don t often say exactly what they mean (and don t know what they mean half the time) and the search engine is guessing what they really mean. If Google can t serve the content people are looking for in many cases (because they are unable or unwilling to articulate it) then we might end up with a situation of a dog chasing its tail we re doing Sentiment Analysis on content that doesn t even represent what it s authors really feel and then with the noise created by the inaccurate machine interpretation it s almost as if there is a total disconnect between what a person says, what they express, and what a social media monitoring platform interprets it to be. SENTIMENT ANALYSIS Image care of Rick Osborn - What about foreign languages if it s hard to understand emotion in English how much harder it must be in Japanese, Chinese and other languages where symbols are used instead of letters. While it may be possible someday to process human language with a high degree of accuracy for Sentiment Analysis using Quantum Computing (to simulate the complexity of the human mind), 77 those advances are still 20 years away, according to the Singularity Summit speakers I talked with last year. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 78. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Flaky Sentiment Analysis - not accurate or useful most of the time Did two posts this year on on Comparing Social Media Monitoring Platforms for coverage of Social Media Week NYC and Comparing Social Media Monitoring Platforms on content about Social Media Week NYC 10 examined volume and media types captured by each platform with very different results in each case. What about Sentiment? Radian6 81% Positive and 19% Negative Sentiment I used Widget Keywords which is to say, I told Radian6 to use anything that had social media week in it for sentiment analysis. I could have used Topic Profile keywords which would have broken down the results differently, similar to what Techrigy does with Tone . Alterian/SM2/Techrigy 91% Positive and 9% negative sentiment 78 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 79. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Considering the number of posts each platform considered, the results for sentiment, on the face of it between Radian6 and Techrigy are not as far off as I d thought they would be. Sysomos had 76% Positive and 1% Negative with 23% neutral - again, not as far off as I thought they d be. But BrandWatch was really far off from the rest with only 1% positive and 1% negative and the rest of the data was neutral . It s clear BrandWatch is more strict with assigning sentiment Biz360 had 16% Positive and 4% Negative with 81% Neutral - quite a difference from the rest. 79 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 80. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Of course, we need to look at what each platform considers to be negative vs. positive. More to the point would the same content be found in each platform to be negative or might a negative post or comment in one platform be considered to be positive by another? Whew ..that is a hot !!! How far off can these platforms be? Remember same exact query (Social Media Week New York City) same time period. Radian6 none of the 22 tweets that were flagged negative - were actually negative when I read then visually. Look Radian6, to their credit added Sentiment Analysis by keywords just last month. I want to say it s 80 not the platform s fault that people (me) don t know how to configure or use it might be intended. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 81. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring On the other hand, I put in Social Media Week as the keyword to do sentiment around on a topic profile about Social Media Week NYC so . You figure it out. Let me put it another way if you really care about the accuracy of your results around sentiment best to look at them by hand and reclassify them to what you think they are Radian6 may not be smart enough to tell sentiment. There- I tried to be nice. Alterian/SM2/Techrigy total wash out - most of the results don t make sense only one or two actually have any connection with Social Media Week New York City and they re not negative at least, not negative about Social Media Week - Sentiment Permalink Negative opinion Positive opinion, Negative opinion Negative opinion Negative opinion thing-about-detroits-problems.html Positive opinion, gets-4-points-halak-posts-shutout-in-canadiens-6-0-win-over- Negative opinion rangers-68489 Positive opinion, Negative opinion Negative opinion Negative opinion Reconnect-Yourself-6965071 Positive opinion, Negative opinion Mind-Games-6944987 Negative opinion 53-non-seniors-apply-for-nfl-draft-67110 I realize the Sentiment Analysis part of Techrigy is going to be updated on February 1st, and it will be interesting to look at these results then. People I know at Techrigy have been very nice to me and bend backwards to please and I really appreciate their support for me over the last two years - on the other hand, as an analyst, a blogger whose opinion people respect in this area, for this query the results Techrigy returned were less than useless they actually are a detractor. I m glad there s an update in a few days Sentiment Analysis needs an update, badly. 81 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 82. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring BrandWatch 2 negative results both were negative Yes, let s call a spade a spade - these two tweets do have a negative tone. Congratulations Giles Palmer you and your team won this challenge - maybe the English got this one right sentiment analysis - at least in this case the results make sense. Sysomos - the sentiment results were generally good - I did not find any negative blog posts according to Sysomos, so I looked at the positive and neutral posts and I found them to be reasonable in their classification of Social Media Week Content many of the Mashable posts about Social Media Week were listed and it s fair to read that as positive since they support and give attention to Social Media Week. Unlike BrandWatch, Sysomos didn t find any negative tweets and classified them all as neutral - perhaps that is not far from the truth I would rather have a result be classified as neutral than have it 82 be flagged as positive or negative by the system when it s clearly not, having looked at it visually. Sysomos treated news stories in mainstream media as either neutral or positive again, Sysomos Page assignment of sentiment was reasonable so maybe it s a tie between BrandWatch and Sysomos. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 83. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring What about Biz360? the negative sentiment selections were pretty poor and looked like the same things that Sysomos flagged as positive, Biz360 flagged as negative. It s really hard to imagine most of what was picked up by Biz360 could be negative just look at the titles of the content it selected. I do like that Biz360 qualifies the reach of a piece of content while the other platforms that are being looked at here do not offer that feature, today. Taking this all in I need to say that I seriously question a marketer who builds a Social Media Monitoring platform is going to come up with a satisfactory solution for many of the things that are really important to measure and to accurately gauge. Radian6 is getting better but the problem is, as far as sentiment goes there s too much that has to be done on a configuration level to get sentiment right I know they will continue to improve but they also come from a marketing background and the Flash Interface, that makes their product look better than the others, is also, at time, frustrating to work with. Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 well . they know Sentiment isn t their strong point they have a good technology and have improved alot over the years yet they too, are built from a marketing perspective and that can be a problem, because marketers aren t that good at technology that s the same issue as Biz360, in my opinion but look I could be wrong hell, I hope I am. BrandWatch I don t know what their origins are but I have met and spoken to Giles Palmer who founded BrandWatch several years ago and they consider themselves to be the #1 platform in Europe their sentiment analysis seems to be better than most, based on my experience with it so far and 83 from what Giles tells me they do a lot of work to make it and keep it that way. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 84. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Sysomos, the more I work with it, the more I like Sysomos was built by a programmer and a university- the University of Toronto and their backend is able to splice and dice data very well Sysomos is more like a programming think tank that grew into marketing yes, their interface could improve but the sentiment analysis and noise suppression are excellent. So, there you have it Sentiment Analysis buyer beware for the time being, if your going to have large amounts of data you need to score with automated sentiment analysis I think you ll be best off with Sysomos or BrandWatch, all things being equal. What I found is the results of Sentiment from various platforms examined here usually didn t agree (the collection and processing methods vary from vendor to vendor) which highlights the "quantum" nature of Sentiment Analysis in various social media monitoring platforms today. What are some examples (from the audience) of Sentiment Analysis you d like to know about? And look, I m open to discussion and reexamining my results (I don t know a lot of what goes on behind the interface)- clearly a lot more deep dives into the data of all the platforms are needed but that s precisely what most Social Media Monitoring Platform make it hard to do and yes, a couple of analysts types have looked at these platforms, including Forrester and Nathan Gilliatt who will be at Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp with me in London in two months and a sample of his eBook is encouraging (and the new book he s working on is going to be even better). Nathan s approach, as far as I can tell is to look at these platforms more as a buyers guide similar to what Phil Kemelor does with Web Analytics platforms for CMSWatch. My approach is hands on how well does these platforms work for what we use them for? I don t think anyone else in the field actually does that - and this post alone shows that. Read more: platforms-on-sentiment-analysis-about-social-media-week-nyc-10/#ixzz0hYaIGExO Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 84 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 85. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Towards a theory of influence This is going to be a long post and the ideas have been building up in my mind and everything I m saying now came me as a result of drafting my Monitoring Bootcamp presentations in London late this month and taking a long walk (like J.J. Rousseau, many of my ideas come to be while I m walking sometimes, I have all I can do to jot the ideas down before I lose them). Measuring Influence Online Influence is a very deep subject and I m sure I am missing parts of the puzzle I m hoping readers weigh in. Influence has a number of components which can be calculated independently and often with entirely free tools; scores can be weighted and an overall influencer rating can be assigned based on what is found. First, I hold individuals are influential on select subjects, mainly, and determining online influence requires the ability to categorize websites and backlinks by subjects. By extension, we can categorize individuals through the content they author and who links to that content and websites can be categorized by the following factors, at least: 1. Web Directories (Yahoo! Directory, Google Directory, to name 2 of the main directories) 2. Analytics Platforms (Such as Compete, Quantcast,Microsoft AdLabs, Comscore, Nielsen, Hitwise) 3. Blog Directories (such as Technorati) 4. Twitter Analytics (Tweetlevel, TweepSearch, FollowerWonk, Klout, to name a few) 5. Frequency of Keyword Usage 6. Categorization of Keyword phases into categories/segments 7. Twitter Lists 85 First Deduction: Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 86. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Registering for a web directory is a good thing to do now. Why? While Yahoo Web Directory sucked and does not drive traffic it is still used by search engines to categorize your site and can also be used to categorize conversations and backlinks therefore .. it s a good thing to be signed up to Google Directory and Yahoo! Directory again, but more for categorization purposes than anything else. As web directories are often categorized by human beings it s going to be more accurate then automated analysis to segment sites into categories. I suspect, however, that if your perceived to be an expert in to many categories it degrades your overall influence. Here s what I m considered to be an expert in (and this can probably be confirmed by the amount of times I mention those topics in my online content and the backlinks coming to my site) Note My readers ( consider me to be an expert on Web Analytics and Social Media while readers of my might consider me to be an expert on Art. But what if I had 10 areas of specialist instead of two or three would the extra levels water down the overall importance of any category? I reason that it would - just like the case of having 300 links on a web page they all pass pagerank but it s diluted by the number of links on the page (think back of pagerank sculpting that some have talked about in SEO circles though I think Matt Cutts came out against doing Pagerank Sculpting). Also, those who design algorithms to detect influence make them in their own image the human mind may not be normally (with a few instances) be able to hold into short term memory more than, say, 8 numbers it s not that people can t have longer phone numbers, for example, but most people could not remember them if they were, say, 15 digits instead of, say, 7 digits (again, with some notable exceptions such as idiot servants). I believe that we, as human beings, try to make search engines, influence mapping based on how our own minds work even though we, as individuals, are far richer we may not, at our present state of evolution, be able to contain more than a few things at one time. So as we function as people I think online reputation mapping tools are based on the same limitations we as people function on even though the algorithms technically don t need to be limited 86 that way. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 87. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring It seems to me unless there is some other way to do it that I m not aware of identifying Influencers must, by definition, include Categorization that is done on a vast level. And, if we have something like this weighting schema we might be able to test out and see if we can just get our own influencer list even out of Google, or Trackur, or any number of free tools that s every bit as good as anything we can get somewhere else (providing we take the time to vet the list). There s more factors to be sure but I don t want to make this first post too long and this at the idea level right now I ll show you examples soon enough. Do want to say something before closing I picked a Six Month rolling average rather than 1 year or 1 month or 2 weeks, etc. A lot of Twitter Influence calculations (i.e.: is too much based, I feel, on what you re doing now in the last day, week, two weeks ,etc because that s what Twitter is all about the moment and that s fine. But . real influence is built over time and Klout s approach is too much based in the moment. Take one example I go to museums alot including Modern Museums like MoMA there s all kinds of stuff in MoMA that is interesting but it hasn t been tested much over time and the whole point of Art in MoMA and other modern museums is to interact with it today what s in Museums might be considered Influential by someone who curates a show. On the other hand, I walk into the Metropolitan, see Art where there is a general consensus over time from many curators, alive and dead, and many communities, that value what s hanging on the walls that to me, is more valuable than a bunch of curators who think something is valuable or influential today (because it may not be, tomorrow, or next year, or 10 years ago). Someone may do a lot of posting on a subject for a few days or weeks then be silent I think a 6 month rolling period is good enough anything less might not do it anything more (a year, might diffuse activity too much). Yes, this is all very general and hazy but you need a framework first before you build concrete examples. Reader Comments: Considering twitter bias is a good point. Twitter can be tweaked easier than blog posts/backlinks/attendances, using RTs, automatic following, etc. Writing two or three blog 87 posts to a special topic isn t such a big thing but building a blog and reputation over several months is a good deal of work. So keep going in that direction Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 88. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Finding Influencers using Social Monitoring Influencer Method 1 Comparing Social Media Self serve tools Radian6, Techrigy, Sysomos, BrandWatch and Biz360 on finding influencers I did post about Finding Influencers based on the idea that being influential is function of . being connected to others who have short chains to many other people with high betweenness. Or, looked at differently, betweenness is a measure of how many social circles, or social scenes, a person is connected to. What kind of influencer list can we get from the tools I have access to? Radian6 has an influencer widget that provides a list of sources that are considered influential for the keywords provided in a Topic Profile (or a collection of Topic Profiles). However the Influencer ranking is somewhat dependent on how sliders are set up in the Influencer EQ dashboard in the Topic Profile configuration (see below). 88 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 89. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Rather than explain what each of these slider bars means but on the face of it the influencer list provided by Radian6 in this case, looks good. You can also drill down to the social profile of the blog/website owner (if Radian6 has information) (see below) and get various stats like website traffic on the far right (if you purchase site data). The Social Profile information is a best guess, I ve found, it s often sketchy and inaccurate but it s better than nothing. On the other hand, you ll almost always have to go to the website and get the contact information anyway so having some information from Radian6 doesn t hurt. Unfortunately, the Social Profile isn t exportable, even though the Influencer list, itself, is a feature I wish Radian6 would add. I ve tried to get a blogger list out of the Influencer widget, but found of the 250 sites provided I had to throw out about 95% of them upon close inspection. The list has often been way too noisy to be useful in building lists and I concluded the Influencer Widget, despite the name, was never intended to be a blogger relations list and had Radian6 wanted to implement such a feature, it could have the 89 Influencer Widget is more like a Prizm that reflects all the influential sources (or light) that it found and ranks them by Influence (which you define, partly, by the Influencer EQ settings). Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 90. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring According to this Influencer list, Mashable and were the most influential sites and while there are many good measures here, defining betweenness (Influence) is a measure of how many social circles, or social scenes, a person is connected to is missing because 1. The Influencer Widget measures the influence of websites, not the individuals who write them which is the information most people actually wanted. Also, you need to drill down to the actual posts that are influential to find out why that site is considered influential, and the author of the the posts in question would be considered the influencer . 2. The information about who wrote the post that is considered influential is buried deep in the Influencer Widget, making pulling out any kind of useful list of Influencers very time consuming and the vast majority of sites usually have to be thrown out in my experience of using this widget. If you have a good clean topic profile, expect to spend 4-10 hours of hard work to get about 10 20 names of influencers out of it. Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 does have an Influencer Report of sorts and it does identify individuals rather than websites, and is immediately more useful, in this sense, than Radian6 s Influencer Widget however, Radian6 was never designed to create a influencer list so i see that just as an oversight that could easily be corrected in a future release. 90 According to Alterian/Techrigy, I m considered the 6th most Influential author and I intend to use the Techrigy Top Authors report more often. However, a closer look at this report shows it s flaw, Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 91. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Influence is a function of how many posts an author has done, which is a misleading metric, in my opinion. Never the less, you can get the top authors my media type and by sentiment. For example, if you wanted to get the top authors by negative sentiment you can do that with Techrigy (see below) But when you drill down (as I did with Mike Moran, who wrote 1 tweet that Techrigy said was negative it turned out to be, not negative at all). So . Techrigy problem, to me, it s good features are riddled with the same problems all the vendors are having - the technology is immature and there is a lack of standards that are not yet in place for vendors around influence and sentiment, etc. But Techrigy Top Authors report could be useful as an Influencer list for a subject if the noise is filtered out of a profile and you re willing to accept volume (posts or tweets) as the measure of influence. Sysomos Map Top Influencers (based on authority + recent posts) looks right on to me and the first blog on the list is the same as for Radian6, but the rest are mostly different. Being familiar with many of the blogs and individuals who write them I think Sysomos Influencer lists are right 91 on. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 92. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Authority (which I equate with Influence, according to Sysomos) is determined by the following features, depending on the type of website being looked at: Blogs y The number of unique in links to the blog over the last year y The number of bookmarks at social sites such as Delicious y Readership information if publicly available y Posting frequency y Number of follow-up comments Twitter y Followers and Following data y Number of tweets y Number of re-tweets Forums y Reach y In link count y Posting frequency Traditional Media y Inlink count y Reach (if available) 92 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 93. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Clear enough and not bad, since Sysomos does a very good job with noise suppression but it s also not a measure of Influence that I defined at the beginning of this post as a measure of a measure of how many social circles, or social scenes, a person is connected to. First of all, like Radian6, sites are the unit of measurement, not individuals. Also, there is no real attempt at Social Mapping, much as Google is doing with Social Search (see the Social Profile, below). My sense it that influence could develop the kind of mapping that Google has just released the first version of, but hasn t yet figured out if and why it should. Perhaps Google s entry into the Social Monitoring Space(read plus read my long article about Google and Social Media Monitoring (Read more: ) will galvanize vendors in this space to try harder to reinvent themselves - Sysomos should follow Google s lead and start building social profiles with its vast collection of data. BrandWatch has a Top Sites report that is the closest thing I can find to an Influencer List esp. if the sites are filtered by high credibility. Honestly, this list isn t bad and most of the sites make sense without too much trouble you can get the names of the authors and their contact information. The problem here is this report is just a proxy for Influence, and it s really designed to be a list you can use to find influentials connected to a profile also, there is no social mapping, as I described above. 93 I would not use BrandWatch to find Influencers as it clearly wasn t designed for it neither was Techrigy but at least Techrigy does have a top authors report, which does do influence based on number of Page posts where as BrandWatch doesn t appear to do influential lists, at all. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 94. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Biz360 does have a Top Authors report/widget as well, but not a influencer report but the Top Author report is decent, as far as it goes (see below). And I can t argue with many of the names on the list above, except 2 John Q. Public and Admin. In fact, by clicking on any author you get a drill down of all their posts for a specific time period: 94 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 95. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Sentiment is also broken down by author 95 But it s not clear if content is being rated by the number of postings or some other factor and mapping individuals is missing from this package. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 96. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Influencer Method 2: Using Postrank Analytics to find Influential Blogs But one other approach to finding influencers is using PostRank Analytics a free report can be generated and if the subject is defined (on their lists) you can get good stuff but if most of the subjects I m interested in knowing about there is no category for. Still, the list for Web Analytics was / is impressive (see below). Social Media Week NYC did not exist as a list of blogs I could get, so I tried Web Analytics, and found my blog up near the top. But for those subjects that do exist, Postrank provides the wisdom of the crowds with a change on engagement with a post by the audience. Still, Postrank and the other platforms examined lacked the ability to map interconnections and therefore, are immature. also has an influencer list or Topic List which is very useful. However, many words aren t in any list for example, Klout knew nothing about Social Media Week but does know a lot about Web Analytics. Influencer Method 3: Using FollowerWonk to find Influentials on Twitter You can enter a search that has both subject, Geolocation and a range of followers or friends I was thinking about helping come up with a list of people to reach out to for #msmbc10 (Monitoring Social Media Boot Camp) on March 31st (hope you can join me if your nearby). In fact, I supplied Luke with a 96 list that was close to a thousand names (his was in the middle) in about an hour and most looked pretty good. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 97. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring One reason I like FollowerWonk better than TweepSearch it s much easier to export the list into a spreadsheet. TweepSearch has great search functionality but isn t designed to create a nice report or list you can give to someone else and yes, if I was a programmer that would not be a problem to me as I could use the TweepSearch API but I m not a programmer and it makes a big difference using FollowerWonk because it cut out 90% of the work I did have to do with manually formatting the TweepSearch data in Excel. Here s what the results look like and just in time to send to my friends in London. I saved the entire list in Excel here it is . Social Media Contacts for London- and it took me about 30 minutes to do the whole thing and to be honest the information looks pretty darn good. Why? Paradoxically, many people use Twitter for business and so many people are getting on it and filling out their profiles dutifully and truthfully, that Twitter is a far better and easier place 97 to draw up a list of Influentials than any other platform I ve seen. Also, try going to a party that s packed and trying to figure out the occupation of everyone in the Page room by listening to what each person is saying you d be wrong 9 times out of 10. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 98. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Listening Systems are like listening to people s chatter at the party there s too much mis- information the platform can t decide about. Therefore, it is much more direct, efficient and simple to believe people describing themselves, including what they do for a living. Even if a person is misrepresenting themselves you ll still have a lot better information this way than by using one or more of the Listening Systems. There are other aspects of FollowerWonk that I won t explore (such as Comparisons between any two or three Twitter accounts) Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Influencer Method 4: Using Klout to find Influentials is another way you can find Influentials on Twitter I am not sure how Klout calculates the Influencers. Also wrote about Traackr last month and it does a good job at identifying influencers. 98 Page But Stowe Boyd is right none of these tools maps Influencers as well as it could. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 99. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring By the way, here s the Influencers for Social Media Week NYC Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Influencer Method 5: Using TweepSearch to find Influentials Around Christmas time in 2009, I gave a gift to my readers. Finding influentials isn t that hard if you use Twitter and the right approach and since it s Christmas .. here s an example of how to find Influential Social Media Analytics individuals but of course, it ll work only to the extend a individuals twitter profile has that information in it (and if we get to point where Semantic Analysis will fill that information in, even if it s not entered anywhere in the profile but it s accurate we ll have something even better)! go to and enter Social Media Analyst Use Excel Web Query to pull the entire page into Excel (will work with 2003 or 2007 versions) 99 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 100. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Notice that I checked the entire page in the upper right pull in everything.- Press Import . The entire page is imported minus any pictures. You can guess the rest. You can collect all 14 pages of data, paste it on the same page then do some formatting magic, which I won t go into here, and the collect the data into a nice, neat table. Let s step back and talk about why I found influentials this way. Why didn t I use Radian6 or Sysomos or Alterian/Techrigy/SM2? I have access to all of them and I use them a lot and I tried Sysomos Map, and got some good stuff but what I pulled from TweepSearch was actually better than anything I could get from any of the platforms above. Here s why my holiday gift. What people say when they speak, or when they write, isn t often an accurate description of who they are . Radian6, Sysomos, Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 and almost all the platforms for Social Media Monitoring work by canvassing the stream of conversations but that doesn t tell us who they are and we know so we can decide if we want to contact them, or not. What a person puts in their Twitter Profile, may or may not be accurate, but at least, it s a self identified deceleration of what they say they do, what they say the believe and it s much easier to work with that than work with the overall conversations . It also makes me think I should update my own Twitter Profile to better reflect what I really do 100 and maybe, you should too. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 101. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Hey, it s Christmas, and I might not be able to give in every way I should and . Maybe, in my own way, I came to the awareness, a long time ago, that the more we give, the more we receive and the supply of knowledge is limitless. So if you can t share money, share knowledge give some ideas away, because there s always more the supply of knowledge is inexhaustible. Happy Holidays - Here s a painting I did last year, at this time. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 101 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 102. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Influencer Method 6: Using TRAACKR to find Influencers Note: TRAACKR is a paid service that is high end influencer datamining application Porter Novelli has a partnership with TRAACKR and Crimson Hexagon. Note: Crimson Hexagon uses TRAACKR for Influencer identification. The service is boutique and not inexpensive, but I found it difficult if not impossible to replicate the list of influentials with any of the tools I have access to though I think many of the names TRAACKR comes up appear to be individuals I might come up with in a conventional search, on Google, or using a Social Media Monitoring tool, like Radian6 or Sysomos both which have reports that attempt to identify influencers. The list above is one that TRAACKR shared with me it s part of the top 25 Authorities, according to TRAACKR, that influenced Public Relations . and guess what the names seem to be people that I know, all of them in fact, I know almost everyone on the list. The Aggregated information for the Influencer List takes a few days for TRAACKR to collect and there is some human intervention that s needed about 70% is automated, and 30% comprises of a person double checking the information collected and filling in the blanks, when necessary. I thought the lists could be replicated, and I tried one using Radian6 against a Health Care Influencer List that TRAACKR provided me; after a few hours of looking at the data, I concluded Radian6 was never designed to produce a report like this, and the amount of work needed to produce an influence list as clear as this one would be more expensive and exhausting, than just paying TRAACKR to produce one for 102 you. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 103. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring However, the real value of TRAACKR is to produce an Influencer List for areas you know nothing about also it would be nice if TRAACKR could produce a geo-targeted Influence List but maybe that s asking for too much. According to the marketing notes on the TRAACKR website - they do a lot of heavy lifting to come up with the Influencer List. TRAACKR says it calculates influencers score based on proprietary algorithms to help marketers and PR professionals decide who they need to contact and how to reach these influencers. Methodology Search Iterative keyword crawling of social media platforms search for most active users Identify Aggregation of user accounts across multiple platforms to build their profiles Qualify Scoring algorithms using performance data to calculate reach, buzz and relevance. Report Presentation of the data to marketers ranking top influencers and suggesting course of action Relevance Ability to cover specific topic/market Metrics Reach - Ability to generate views. Resonance - Ability to spark conversations. You can see the list of keywords being used in each list, so you can try replicating the results using other platforms, but honestly, I doubt you could -though, as I said, you can often come up with many of the same names in other ways but not all of them. According to TRAACKR their Online Authority List is a list of individuals steering online conversations about a specific market or topic. Traackr s scans the social web to identify the most influential and most relevant people online and dynamically generates your Authority List. 103 Here s some facts about TRAACKR my point being yes, you can get something useful from generating your own influencer lists in whatever platform you choose but it s actually more cost effective to use TRAACKR if your an agency. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 104. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Personally, I d like to test TRAACKR using a subject I do know about, like Web Analytics test it nationally, and test it locally, in, say, NYC see what it comes up with would be very interested in trying that. y types of media tracked: blogs, micro blogs, photos, videos, reviews, music, social bookmarks, social networks y key parameters to qualify influencers: reach, buzz, relevance, quality, network y average number of sites where Traackr s influencers and opinion leaders publish regularly average number of posts by influencer are tracked using Traackr s proprietary technology Read more: social-media/#ixzz0irX1rrgM Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Influencer Method 7: ECairn Conversation & Influencer Mining Social CRM platform Note: USE the promo code: Vke4e for a 10% discount if you sign up Note: I am an affiliate partner for ECairn because I like what I see in their platform if your thinking of taking ECairn for a romp use the code VKe4e when you sign up to get a 10% discount which is a great deal. When Dominique Lahaix reached out to me about his new platform, ECairn Conversation I wasn t too sure what his platform was till I saw it and now I m playing around with it in a Demo account that was created for me. With a thick French accent Dominique hailed from San Francisco and told me what ECairn could do (I had a little problem at first understanding parts of what he was saying) but once he showed me the platform it began to make a lot of sense and got me thinking how much Public Relations, in particular, needs platforms like his. You can see the main points of ECairn Conversation in the YouTube video below: pretty good results using Sysomos Map to determine for Influentials and am pretty happy with it s Geo-location capabilities- I ve found it better than other platforms for this but getting a list of bloggers for any topic is just part of the work. The list still needs to be vetted contact information needs to be added to each record a social profile of how each influencer can be reached on each social network they are on needs to be compiled. A contact manager is needed to track outreach to the blogger or influencer and a way of tagging and categorizing the contact needs to exist plus a way of sharing a list or series of lists and having parts of your team work on it is needed. 104 I have found most Social Monitoring platforms don t have those capabilities but ECairn does. It s also true that Radian6 s new Engagement Console will offer some of those capabilities and so there is an overlap and a good play by Radian6 to stay on top of Social CRM but ECairn is really for list building Page and it appears to be better in that, than anything else I ve seen. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 105. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring What s more, ECairn is much less expensive than other options I ve seen for building lists and the lists you build are reusable and can be shared across your organization. In fact, this method of building a list makes a lot of sense over what I heard last summer from Chris Abraham and the blogger lists his PR firm built which I describe in detail here. Radian6 would not have been suitable but now may be (using the Engagement Console). I took a romp around ECairn tonight and liked what I saw so far since I m using the demo account I can t add anyone else, but I could add a list of urls that I pulled on NY Food Bloggers using Sysomos Map and in that way I see the use of multiple tools necessary for me as ECairn doesn t have geo-location capabilities yet. Adding the list was easy enough I also saw how to put in contact information for each blog 105 You add this information but when you do so you have it forever it s part of your Social CRM. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 106. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring There s also trending lists and I think a whole lot more. You can find new conversations from within ECairn and you can build your list directly there no need to import anything if you don t want to. I saw more features than the demo allows me to look at ECairn already has categorized many blogs into segments you can build your own segments from lists you create or use theirs and I find that very useful. Also, once you build segments you can analyze the conversations from within those segments and the more comprehensive your lists are- the better. In fact, a system like ECairn would be a perfect acquisition, believe it or not, for Comscore. Why do it say that and maybe I m wrong on this but Comscore has built this big dictionary of 106 websites that it categorizes the list would be perfect to import into ECairn as a starter or seed list but what if you could also build the contact information as well what if Comscore did that? and then offered it as an add on product? Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 107. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring At any rate if your need to build a blogger or influence list this is probably what I d use to actually create the list. Sure would still use Sysomos to find the influencers but ECairn is where you want to store the data. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 107 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 108. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Influencer Method 8: Using Social Radar to Visualize Influencer Lists Recently I spoke with Dave Reed of Social Radar and we had an interesting conversation about using Social Radar to visualize influencers. I decided to replicate what we discussed using food bloggers in New York City. First, I used Sysomos Map to find blogs in NY, NJ and CT to find food influencers for Havana Central. After eliminating duplicates and any blogs that weren t pretty close to NYC I had about 150 urls to work with. While Social Radar excels in a certain type of visualization most have strengths the others don t and it s often neccessary to have access to multiple monitoring platforms for those things each does better that works out ok for an agency not so well for individuals lucky for me that I have access to almost any platform I want to look at. I have found combining them often works better. Often I m curious to see how some of the ideas that pop into my head actually will look like when I try them out - that s the case here. Armed with my geo-located food blog/blogger urls I fired up Social Radar and created a Watch list for the url list. Social Radar took the urls and was successfully able to add most of them to my Watch list. 108 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 109. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring There is a lot of power to the visualization part of Social Radar that really is what makes it stand out and I figured I could use it to see what kind of insight could come out of the visualizations of network influence and interconnection of my list. The first question I have is who should I first contact? The answer is . Eater, Midtown Lunch and Serious Eats blogs What I wish for is a way to make a list out of what Social Radar visualizes I find the tool interesting but it s quite manual to really hone in on influencers in this way still there are some nifty and useful diagrams and visuals Social Radar produces I haven t seen anywhere else. For example here s a visualization of all the blogs and how they interconnect with each other 109 In fact, Social Radar has a unique strength in that you can set up queries that can be answered visually such as the interconnected blogs that feature the exact content I m looking for in my query I m Page assuming red means they don t have the content, green means they do. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 110. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring It would be nice if there was a legend that says that that means I guess there is a lot that Social Radar can still to improve their visualization engine even more. The downside as I mentioned -the visualizations are wonderful but the process of isolating information is very hands on and manual it s good for analysis but maybe not so great when I have several blogs I want to investigate individually say 150 of them. I suppose you could argue that the visual aspects of Social Radar makes it possible to just hone in on the most important blogs but in my mind, the entire list is important so I m not sure that just because a few globes are brighter and have more of the right color halo around them that they ll end up being more useful to me than others that don t have those things. Nor does clicking on the globes serve as a hyperlink to the sites so while you have the actual sites in your watch list drawn out in an atomic diagram you can t really see what your looking at without going to the site yourself. Getting back to the list I still don t have any contact information against the blogs and they haven t been fully vetted but let s say I could get the heavy lifting done without manually having to go to each one it s not so much the time involved it s the tediousness of it and there is a partial solution one that I bet is used more often than not using a Web Extractor to pull the information off of the blogs when a bot can find it a program like Visual Web Ripper, for example which has the following capabilities - y Very user friendly visual project designer. 110 y Extract complete data structures, such as product catalogues. y Repeatedly submit forms for all possible input values. Extract data from highly dynamic web sites including AJAX web sites. Page y y Data extraction scheduler with email notifications and logging. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 111. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring y Custom post-processing and comprehensive API. To be honest with you, while Social Radar is an interest platform to use it s visualizations didn t actually make what I was trying to do easier at best, it added dimension to what I was doing but it didn t simplify it, yet, Social Radar is not the only way to skin this cat there is another ECairn and I will be exploring ECairn in another post, shortly. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 111 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 112. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring APPENDIX 1 Answers to Specific Questions (will be updated periodically) Q1. How to best utilise and promote blogs? A1. The best way to treat blogs is as influencers - I wrote a post mentioning from-them/ how Abraham Harrison PR builds and treats blogger lists and how they are used in PR. I met Chris Abraham, for the first time (see E.Factor Presents DO IT YOURSELF PR w/ Chris Abraham) I ve known of Chris Abraham through his internet writings and the work he s done with the Fresh Air Fund and, would you know it, SM2/Techrigy. Chris Abraham, President and COO of Abraham Harrison Chris Abraham, President and COO of Abraham Harrison, is a leading expert in online public relations with a focus on blogger outreach, blogger engagement, and Internet reputation management. A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and advisor to the industries leading firms. He specializes in web2.0 technologies, including content syndication, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media. Prior to starting Abraham Harrison, Chris was a member of the Interactive Team at Edelman Public Affairs in Washington, DC, consulting clients such as Wal-Mart, Shell, and GE on blogger and social media strategy. Before Edelman, Chris was Technology Strategist for New Media Strategies, a pioneer in online brand promotion and protection with clients including Sci-Fi Channel, Buena Vista, TomTom, Paramount Pictures, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Disney, Reebok, EA, RCA, and NBC. The presentation was supposed to be about do it yourself PR we ended up having a one hour presentation, mostly in the dark, disco club like atmosphere, about the secrets to Blogger PR. A Social Media campaign, as Chris Abraham s company evolved to do it comprises mainly of Blogger Outreach and here are the basic steps, as I understand them from what he explained tonight: 1. In order to run a Social Media Campaign, you must first build a list of Bloggers to outreach to - this list should be in the several thousand. His list now has 40,000 blogs and is growing, exists in several languages and localities. Note: Chris Abraham suggests using Google to find the bloggers and using search queries such as best Cuban restaurant blogs or best photo blogs and manually reviewing the results using hired offshore 112 workers digging deep into the search results, building up a contact list. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 113. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Chris off shored this work to India and Russia, saying that automated platforms like Radian6 or SM2/Techrigy, or an in-house developed tool, are more expensive and less useful than human labor. 2. During a campaign, develop an idea and send it out to 2,000 4,000 bloggers on the list (he has several lists, developed based on subject/topic/locality) and observe results at this point, if bloggers reject the message the messaging is immediately changed and tried again till it works. Chris goes backwards to make sure the bloggers are happy and always offers the bloggers an incentive for blogging about his campaign. In most cases, the outreach to bloggers is accompanied by an offer - like a discount on a product and a widget to place on the blog that allows a discount to be passed on to the blog readership. My guess, is the discounts and widget usage are measured and recorded as metrics to be delivered in a dashboard of some sort to the client Chris didn t talk about that part but it seems logical to extend his idea out if he s going to go though that much trouble to offer incentives he s got to be tracking the results of the usage of those incentives. If he s not, it s clearly a missed opportunity. I expected to hear that Chris Abraham and Company, use an automated database contact manager of some sort, turns out it s mostly done manually and if a blogger on the list doesn t respond back he contacts them the next week, and the next, till they respond and if they respond negatively, he engages them, transparently. I m sure it makes sense to have this kind of work done manually I m not an expert in PR like he is but I think we should automate this task in the future the sooner, the better. 3. the metrics, from a public relations point of view, would be Media Mentions along a time- line. I m sure Chris has a lot of other metrics he uses, but the main one, for this kind of outreach is how many times bloggers have written about the campaign he s pitching. Using a time-line of roughly, 90 days, from campaign start to finish he shows the client, in a dashboard, just how many times, and when, blog posts and articles resulting from the campaign, occurred. In any case, short emails are sent out, with brief pitch and a link to a Social Media Press Release where all the details are contained but little else, so they can pass by spam filters on one hand, and, make come on easy, to begin with, on the other hand. Chris feels that when people ask for too much, provide too much detail in the first meeting, it turns them off. Better let the conversation evolve gradually, than to use it all up in the first email. I agree here and it was refreshing that Chris found a way to email bloggers in a non-invasive way. 113 Chris Abraham was clear to point out that his firm works with all levels of bloggers he believes that focusing on A List Bloggers on sites like TechCrunch and Read/Write Web (my examples) would be ignoring the much larger number of legitimate bloggers who can add value and media mentions and Page who are less jaded than, what he believes, the A-List bloggers may be. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 114. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring My take is that if you run a Social Media Campaign, and focused only on A-List Bloggers you d have an very hard time showing a client that many results- you could either get the A-List bloggers, or not and if you failed, he d have nothing to show at all. In a way, this reminds me of Search Engine Optimization by companies that promise results. In SEO, it s known that you can get results on a longer phrase, very easily. For example, if a client s business was debt consolidation getting a first page listing on debt consolidation would be next to impossible there s so much competition. But you could get the client a first page search result on debt consolidation counseling services . True, hardly anyone is using the phrase debt consolidation counseling services , so the traffic benefit of having a top listing, is almost meaningless but the SEO firm delivered (something that was easy for them to deliver). I think the same argument could be made here you go after low hanging fruit of bloggers that just want content to write about and don t worry about their readership much then you can deliver 4,000 bloggers, many of them who ll write about your client or pitch. At the end of the evening, and meeting many new people, I thought about how much SM2/Techrigy and Radian6 should, even now, be able to provide the Blogger list and how Chris would rather hire people to use Google, which I question. Social Profile of an Influencer That s enough for one post one of my longer rants but hopefully, with insights valuable to the community of my readers. 114 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 115. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Since I wrote that post last summer, I realized that most Social Media platforms would not supply all the information needed to build a list and certainly they can t house it since most are not built to be Social CRM platforms (yet). Sysomos Map is my choice for finding influencers but to build and maintain a blogger list I d also use ECairn (see conversation-influencer-mining-social-crm-platform/ ) Q2. How to create and maintain B2B Social Media relationships? A2. Social CRM works for B2B and B2C in B2B you re looking for other key businesses and influentials you can partner with, collaborate with and sell to. I wrote a post about paper-plus-a-gap/ Social CRM recently. I also think that Entrepreneur type organizations like The Hatchery, Ultra Light Startups, various business meetups and presence at key conferences in your industry are the best way to create and maintain B2B relationships. In the same way, memberships in professional organizations such as the Audience Research Foundation (ARF) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) as other ways to create and maintain B2B relationships. Finally, partnerships and strategic alliances are sometimes forged between businesses that help them support one another. The local Chamber of Commerce is another way businesses are marketed to prospective customers with the customer being a consumer or it can be another business. Social Monitoring can aid in both the identification of businesses an opportunities for Businesses to collaborate and Q3. How to utilise Smartphone apps for B2B? Refer to for the entire post as I don t focus as much on B2B in my writings I needed to find authorities that do such as 1. Location-Based Integration with All Mobile Applications Integrating location-based 115 functionality into B2B mobile applications in 2010 will begin to set a trend that will become standard in years to follow. I will be writing a more in depth post solely about Page the implications of location-based applications soon. Meanwhile, in the B2B space we Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 116. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring continue to hear about consumer location-based applications like Foursquare and Brightkite. While these applications clearly add a valuable layer of experience to social networking, the true power of location-based applications sits with B2B.Social media connects people online, but adding location-based applications to mobile devices helps to foster online relationships offline. On this blog we have talked a lot about the power of relationships for B2B. If your organization values relationships, then location-based is a logical step in cultivating digital customer relationships. 2. Location-based functionality will become common place in CRM applications, B2B social networks and other applications. I don t think wide adoption will occur in 2010 but it will certainly be the start. 3. Multifaceted Customer Service Applications For years now B2B customer service, a critical customer retention and acquisition tool has been relegated to a 1-800 number and an e-mail address. Recently things like real-time chat and user groups have surfaced as an extension of customer service. In 2010 B2B customer service will begin to go mobile in a significant way. Not only will customer service begin to go mobile, but it will also create new customer touch points in the form of mobile applications, text messaging, mobile chat and more. In the coming year it will not be uncommon to have a distributor use a mobile application, not just to check on the status of his order from the manufacturer, but to get push notifications about shipping or production delays, to ask a customer service rep a question via mobile chat, or see the top questions about a product in a user-forum. 4. Integrating Mobile Into Tradeshows - Industry tradeshows are not going away anytime soon in the B2B space. They are a staple cost in most annual budgets for B2B organizations. However, what has already started to change is the increased focused on maximizing cost of event sponsorships and employee travel, while at tradeshow events. Mobile is a major catalyst in helping to boot this ROI. In 2010 B2B organizations will begin to use mobile communications tools, like text messaging to spread word-of-mouth about tradeshow parties and events while building new opt-in databases for mobile marketing. 116 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 117. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Q4. How to provide ROI on Social Media investments? Generally speaking a lot of businesses should start with a broad attempt across all social media channels and find the ones that work the best focus on those and build out. In every business there are strengths that are often taken for granted but this is the place where it s best to start. Here s a case study about DELL and it s Social Media ROI utilizing-twitter/ Twitter ROI Case Study: Dell Generates $3 Million in Sales Utilizing Twitter Tim Ferris who wrote the 4 Hour Workweek has another post on how he generated 29,585.00 using Twitter at Measuring Social Media ROI: A Case Study (Plus: Tweet to Beat Winners) Here s another set of 3 Social Media ROI case studies from ViralHousingFix - The ROI of social media marketing: 3 case studies Q4. How to turn measurement into actionable results Suggestions for getting started / choosing the right tool: Present a comprehensive guide of the social media monitoring tools so that we can easily compare their benefits. I'd like to go away from the camp with a clear winner of which monitoring tool to choose. Suggestions for Sentiment / How to build: Are we wasting our time with the sentiment debate? Suggestions for Influence: Comparison with off line media world - eg how much is a journalist worth versus someone on Twitter with 1000 followers? I think it's quite clear on how to spot the influencers, but what's not so clear is how to engage with them to ensure they pass on your content 117 What criteria would you use to define an influencer? How to use Social Media Marketing and Measurement with Smartphone s? Page Check out Stomper Mobile - Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 118. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring APPENDIX B SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS REVIEWED (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER) ADAPTIVE SEMANTICS - Note: I was invited over to the Huffington Post and seen Adaptive Semantics platform in action at the Huffington Post last month but haven t yet written about what I saw, which goes a bit beyond the original post. Adaptive Semantics would be an example of a online datamining application that can increase business productivity. I ve known Elena Haliczer for a few years, first at one of my co-chairs of the Social Media Committee, based in the Midwest, and the Web Analytics Association (2007-09) when I was a Board Director. However, since then Elena and her business partner, Jeff Revesz (a brilliant programmer) started a new company called Adaptive Semantics, and have landed some very impressive clients, including the Huffington Post, which is now a part owner of the Adaptive Semantics Platform (see a demo here). The story of Adaptive Semantics is covered in detail at SemanticWeb magazine in an article titled Huffington Post Invests in Slice of Semantics and I ve been honored to have seen how this company is growing and providing my input and feedback, from time to time. Elena has told me what they re doing with the Huffington Post and how much money Adaptive Semantics is saving it s cutting down on the number of editors by half this year (now, I m not out to see jobs eliminated, that is the last thing I want, but I do believe work moves up the food chain and with all the user generate content being created, the human resources to moderate it can t keep up, not if you have to put those editors on a payroll). Here s more from the SemanticWeb article: .. The online publisher has a minority investment in a company called Adaptive Semantics, Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry recently told One of the problems content providers have to deal with is effectively moderating postings to their site, which sometimes can cross the line in terms of the kind of language used or in the expression of extremely offensive sentiments. In fact, the co-founders of Adaptive Semantics heard Huffington Post co-founder and editor in chief Arianna Huffington give an interview in which she asked the technical community if they couldn t come up with a way of solving that problem. At the time they had been working on problems around movie review sites, to automatically parse what was being said about films. I read the New York Times OP-ED articles, particularly Paul Krugman, but I notice that not all of the time are comments enabled for his articles . there is a limit to what editors can monitor and there are many instances of great content where a newspaper like the NYT doesn t have the resources to moderate the conversation. Enter Adaptive Semantics. 118 . Editors also have to generally create a whole list of keywords they consider illegal on their sites, including some that are in and of themselves inoffensive. For instance, they may need to add the president s last name to the list, because comments related to political personalities could be abusive and so require a human to take a look before they go live. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 119. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring The linguistics algorithms inherent to Adaptive Semantics technology get around these issues. Jeff Revesz, also a co-founder of the company, notes that what makes Adaptive Semantics work is that it learns by example. When someone comes up with a creative way of getting around filters, the algorithm sees it and learns the vocabulary they use, he notes. It is an arms race between the algorithm and the commenter s, and the algorithm wins because it learns the commenter s tactics. Online content providers must train the system, called JuLiA. The Huffington Post, for example, supplied historical data in the form of comments that were deleted from the site by editors and those that were published, acting on the assumption that both sets were trustworthy. Its staff went through the set and according to the publisher s own standards tagged those that included objectionable content. Following a spot check to ensure the tagged ones are really the abusive ones, it feeds the information to the algorithm, which then creates a model, or classifier, that based on that data can look at new comments coming in and determine which are publishable and which are abusive. Of course, this can be tuned based on the publisher s feedback. Elena described the process of training JUliA to me it s not easy and it s very time consuming and customized to each client but once it s done, that engine (with some monthly upkeep) is able to flag malicious content automatically with a high degree of accuracy. .. The models Adaptive Semantics uses usually have databases of about 250,000 features, single words and keyword combinations it pulls from the text submitted to it. Publishers can choose all the trust thresholds when JuLia looks at a comment it gives a percent abusive score. At 80 percent abusive we trust JuLiA to auto delete and at 80 percent clean we trust her to publish, says Haliczer. Everything in between may go to a set of human moderators, which is where the editorial process keeps going. As JuLiA gets more trustworthy and as editors have more faith in the system, they can adjust trust levels so that at 50 percent abusiveness JuLiA auto-deletes a comment and at 40 percent automatically publishes it. So that lessens the number of comments human moderators have to go through and makes sure the ones that do go to them are the ones they can legitimately argue about what the real decision there should be. At my last meeting with Elena and Paul, about 6 weeks ago, I was told 50% of the content could be moderated right now this way, with JuLiA, in reality, about 25% is being handled by JUliA now more likely, by year s end, half of the content will be moderated by JuLiA: . Currently the system is performing about 25 percent of the total moderation for the Huffington Post, she says the equivalent of a job done by three or four moderators, and Haliczer expects that to go up in time as the algorithm is continually retrained and refined for the publisher s purposes. It s been implemented there for just about two months, starting at about 10 or 12 percent of moderation to where it is now. In our meeting several weeks back were talking about taking this model of JuLiA to Product Review sites like Trip Advisor and then, possibly Search Analytics / SEO and SEM and perhaps, Social Media. Revesz says they are working on ways to apply it to identify product reviews to judge whether they are legit or not. Sites such as Trip Advisor have problems with planted reviews by hospitality companies, for example. . The semantics of a fake review vs. a real one are discernable, he says. If you stop to think about it with the migration to Social Media and the large amounts of participatory data that is being generated the need for intelligent systems for determing the quaility and intent of content is growing rapidly. 119 Actually, I wanted to work Adaptive Semantics in on of my articles for Entrepreneur Magazine still looking for the right approach for Small Business it s likely to be that when your growing a business Page you want to concentrate of creating great content and interacting with real people and a company like Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 120. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Adaptive Semantics is creating a means to do that, and that even applies to small business owners and Entrepreneurs via the WordPress Plugin for JuLiA. There s an Adaptive Semantics Blog where you can also read about the newest developments of JuLiA. I m looking forward to seeing where Adaptive Semantics is going but bet, it s going to go far. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Alterian Techrigy SM2 - This is more of an idea, at this point, finding the Sophisticated or Intelligent customer using Alterian/Techrigy/SM2; the SM2 platform, unfortunately, doesn t make it easy to export data necessary to do this simply but it s doable. Is it accurate? I don t know it s never been tried before, to my knowledge. Here s the situation you re a business that caters to a level of sophistication but how do you isolate that? Proxies for sophistication might be education level , income level etc (you can get that from Quantcast if you really want it). Another measure of sophistication might be emotions specifically, emotions surrounding a specific profile that is focused on a business or of an event nature (for PR purposes). Most Social Listening platforms will break down sentiment to positive or negative with about a 60%- 70% accuracy level (last I heard) and a few will do Tone (i.e.: strongly positive, strongly negative, etc) and one of them, I know of, attempts to do emotions - Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 the problem is we don t know what emotions correspond to the customers we might want to reach. 120 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 121. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring In this case, I examined people who might be interested in a certain type of restaurant experience and if I looked at some of the results and identified sophistication , for example, maybe I could take all the results and sort them for customers who expressed a certain combination of emotions, and then segment those results and call it sophistication . This would be trial and error, though the main problem Alterian doesn t export results on Content Emotions (there is a work around in Excel using Web Queries, but its ugly and very time consuming to pull the data this way) nor does their comprehensive reporting include the emotion breakdown and it should. If Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 could export the Emotions report in this format you could select buzz you liked and see if there was a pattern by just browsing results then I could sort my emotions table, above, and get combinations. What I want to see in short say I defined, by looking a series of results that listening package picked up that my ideal customer has the following profile: I sort my results to get anyone who fits in with these settings keep on testing and refining the master table or lookup key till I ve defined setting that consistently give me decent results. I m not claiming this kind of emotion report is accurate though I suspect a lot of the quality of this kind of reporting will depend on a few factors: 1. Tightness of the profile how specific you ve set up a profile so you get only relevant results in the first place. 2. Nature of the query I found food and consumption easier to gauge in terms of emotion than, say, complex situations, like an election, or health care, or energy, etc. The more grounded the query, the more likely that emotions will equate to feeling we have, say, in our gut . 3. Accuracy of the emotion algorithm it s been noted by me, and others, that positive/negative and emotion detection in content is pretty tricky to gauge well my guess is that people don t normally say what they mean, anyway, and often emotions are conflicted so we d assume that what we ll see is a number of emotions that are present we just want to get the right ratios. 4. Traffic of the source url right now, Alterian uses Alexa whileRadian6 uses Compete, which is probably a better source but neither can deal with individual urls say a blog post or tweet they can only deal with website traffic, and that s an estimation usually not the real traffic numbers. 121 Read more: Page Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 122. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring BrandTology - I spoke with members of the Brandtology team over the last week they are a one of the largest Social Media Monitoring / Online Intelligence service providers in the world (so they claim but what is large in this field?) with well over a hundred employees who focus on serving global organizations across the world. Until recently, had no idea Brandtology existed or who they were. In fact, if I had been looking more closely would have noticed Brandtology was nominated for the Always On fourth annual OnMedia Top 100 Private Companies competition under the Web and Media Analytics category. Also mentioned Brandtology a few months ago, without really focusing on them in a post about Edelman s Tweet Level tool see Tweet Level my post also got picked up by Social Media Today because of the Brand Digital Index work they are doing with Edelman. Finally, Brandtology is attending Re:think 2010, The ARF 56th Annual Convention + Expo in NYC in a few weeks as they are a member of the ARF I may meet with them when they are in town. Brandtology is among the high end platforms (also, one with an odd name, just like Synthesio which I wrote about the other day). My guess is that Brandtology and Synthesio would not see themselves as similar and maybe they are not both are high end platforms for large companies - who require precision and structure not obtainable with self serve platforms like Radian6, Alterian, Sysomos and BrandWatch, to name a few. Nothing against the self serve platforms it s more that once you get past the exploratory stage a company might need to have data that is organized in a very specific way. For example, many large corporations use custom metatags to drive automation and high end features of their sites I know does this because I worked on aspects of it when I was part of IBM s Web Effectiveness team a few years back. I noticed in Brandtology, aspects of their reporting that could support and work within that customization. Also, Line of Business reputation monitoring by country and language not that easy to do in self serve platform it seems to me that when you need reporting on that level your going to have a platform like Brandtology. Of course, everything come with a price to get really meaningful reports with highly accurate sentiment analysis that is focused just around your Brand is going to be more costly. 122 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 123. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring The Brandtology experience is much more structured than you might be used to - keyword analysis being done up front (they have use of a Workbench tool for research that is used internally to do ad- hoc analysis that support configuration and set up of accounts) and a ticketing system that is probably more elaborate than your average vendor but the main thing they offer that structured data where every bit of it is verified and fully vetted before the client sees it. As a client logs in, here s an example of what they first see As Brandtology strives to organize reputation monitoring to mirror the clients web presence, internationally, they are able to mirror it with a greater degree of insight see below: 123 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 124. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring This doesn t look much different, on the face of it, than Radian6 a self serve tool but there is an important difference Radian6 doesn t attempt to mirror your actual website in it s selections Brandtology, to my understanding does. Now, if this walk-through seems a little vague it is - Brandtology is very protective of it s client list and did not want to go into too much detail - they showed me what their platform can do but I can t evaluate their claims since I can t set up their system and test it myself (though I could get them to let me use Workbench their internal ad-hoc query tool, but I didn t do that) it just doesn t work like that similar deal with Synthesio. You, the client, can drill down very atomically into the data with confidence a few people have already touched the data and make sure it s relevant to your company and brand obviously, Brandtology 124 works closely with your Brand (hence the name) so they know what you want that s the high end model they use and apparently, it must work well as they had a lot of multinational corporations based on the list I saw; they are big enough, infact, to want to be intentionally, under the Page radar and that s basically, where they are. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 125. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Drilling down to the item level again, doesn t look that different than any of the platforms I looked at previously there is work-flow management to some of the other platforms like Radian6, Sysomos Heartbeat, Scout Labs now has work-flow management, Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 has it what they lack is the human vetting all of this data checked and re-checked when the Brand sees it it s as clean as it can be. You can also drill down but what they term as a channel and see viral growth of the messaging around your brand (hopefully, your message is growing) and you can also drill down on that growth. By the way based on Brandtology s categorization a blog is a channel and in the case of review sites they can be broken down to the sub channel level again here s where the human interaction with the data makes the results more immediately useful to the Brand. 125 Talking about metrics Brandtology has a visualization of data that is very close to the Digital Footprint Index model I wrote about last year (see A Social Media Scorecard based on Digital Footprint Index) in fact, when I tried to create my own DFI Scorecard with data I collected from a non-profit and then chart Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 126. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring it in 3 dimensions I was stumped - I didn t know how to represent changes in height/width/depth in a meaningful way based on the data I collected but Brandtology has such a visualization (see below): I bet Ryan Rasmussen of the Zócalo Group would be interested in this diagram above it s how Brandtology represented the changes in three dimensions over time the main thing that s missing here is an animation of the data which I brought up to Brandtology as a nice to have feature they ought to develop. I asked Brandtology to show me an Influencer List and here s what they presented (below): The influencer list doesn t appear much different, on the face of it, as any of the other platforms I reviewed - I pointed out that most people, when looking for Influencers want a list of people, not blogs along with contact information. Similar to channel growth but different is voices growth and this chart shows how your 126 messaging is growing by counting a source of data (such as a blog) only once -you can say that voices chart is similar to counting unique visitors in Web Analytics. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 127. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring I suppose, you can get from Brandtology an influencer list if you wanted it just by drilling down on the voices chart (below): To summarize this long post I can t tell you how well this platform works I can t really compare it to anything else I have used as I cannot load it with my own query and compare the results. At some point to sell a platform like this there is probably a bit of a coordinated sales and marketing along with recommendations that are important when going after larger clients. In their own words .. We are one of the largest Business and Brand Online Intelligence service providers that combines technology, processes and trained professionals to deliver accurate and relevant intelligence to global organizations. We have more than 100 Social Media Specialists in 10 locations around the world who are able to verify and enhance our automated machine analysis in more than 9 different languages. This ensures very high accuracy and relevancy of the analysis reports provided to our clients who do not have to waste a moment sieving through irrelevant data. Brandtology has what it takes to get the job done - but in this case Nathan Gilliatt is in a better position to evaluate Brandtology than I am (Nathan Gilliatt wrote the Guide to Social Media Analysis, the worldwide buyer s guide to tools and services for listening to social media) and I ll be presenting with 127 Nathan at Monitoring Bootcamp later this month in London and at the Sentiment Analysis Symposium in New York on April 13th. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 128. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Compete Pro note: I have been an advisor to for at least two years and am credited with supplying them ideas which they have at times used to develop their platform. A new release is coming on May 15th 2010 with an idea I supplied them with that becomes a new feature of stay tuned. has had a great platform for some time, and they ve been very supportive to the blogger community and open to ideas I ve floated to Compete over the last 3 years so I want to round off this year and decade with a thankful post, to and some of the newer features they provided (and in February 10, there will be more, I suspect, some which I ve influenced). Paid Search Traffic reporting only available in Compete PRO allows the comparison of paid search referrals between one or two websites as far back as two years and I find it very useful, and fairly accurate, based on my own experience of using it on sites whose analytics I had access to, including Paid Search traffic. comparison of paid search traffic between Met Museum and MoMA Lately, as part of a Social Media Audit of a client sites and their competitors Organic Search rankings 128 AND Paid Search traffic have become relevant additions to the Audit but getting the Paid Search Traffic has been difficult using tools like SpyFu, it was possible to estimate campaigns, to some extent but Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 129. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Compete s PRO Paid Search solution is the best overall offering especially as this shows the spending habits, overall and down to the keyword level using Compete s intelligent filters (see below). I picked the Metropolitan Museum and MOMA because they are not clients of mine one can never be too careful about writing about sites where there is a paid connection best to avoid it even when the information is positive and useful as it s not always taken that way, er nuff said. Getting the amount of Social Media Traffic is made easy by Competes filter for it though they do not, as yet, allow us to compare traffic between two sites specifically on Social Media it s easy enough to get the same information and that s useful to chart progress in Social Media campaigns an additional improvement would be to include trending lines going back 2 years, like they do for Web Traffic and Paid Search traffic, etc. While the traffic information you get from Compete PRO isn t as accurate as what you could get from site analytics, when it s properly set up, the ability to get readings on competitors, more than makes up for it. Another part of Compete that comes in handy, at times, is the Industry Profiles I have access to some of them and, when dealing with client sites, for example, as part of PR, Social Media or Search Audit, it can be very useful to see how a site compares with it s own industry (when a site is categorized which, in many cases, it still not). Here s a Industry Profile of the Dating Social Network segment up through November 09. 129 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 130. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring You can see the individual rankings of the 269 sites currently categorized in this category by Compete (note: you cannot, currently, categorize sites, yourself but you can request that a particular site that is currently not in any category, be added to a specific category). Overall, there s a lot to like about s search and referral offerings and I m looking forward to the next update, soon, as the platform keeps getting better and better. First thoughts on s Category Profiles Recently , released it s Industry and Behavioral Category Profiles I looked at the Web Analytics Industry Profile first: What the chart tells me is that traffic (Unique Visitors) is going significantly Y2Y (+31%) and, in the performance tab, you get average stay, average visits and average pageviews per visit for the entire category. What s valuable to me, first off, is that you can compare any company on the list in a category, to the average, for that category, which is helpful in finding deficiencies and strengths. 130 You can also look at keywords used most by the Industry Category (see below) Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 131. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Using to find unusual sources of Traffic I looked at Keyword Destination Tool for some keywords and found thinks that really surprised me. For example, when I searched on my own name, I found the only destination showed was one I d never, in a million years, have found, using my site referral logs: Further investigation found this photo of me at the Roger Smith Hotel for a Charity Event I went to recently. You would have thought that would have picked up the main traffic on my name as going to one of my blogs but it gave me this, instead. Hmm. I also found it interesting that, according to, the singular and plural form of a word like entrepreneur has different results in terms of where traffic ends up at probably a function of how Search Engines work take a look Entrepreneur 131 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 132. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Entrepreneurs Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 132 Google Wave why it s not ready yet - While in Montreal recently, coming in from the cold, warming up from icy temperatures outside, I Page found myself intently reading Howard Greenstein s post on Google Wave s Massive Potential for Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 133. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Business Users and found it masterful (especially, tying the ideas of Daniel Levy on Group Dynamics of teams). Howard made me want to run back to my hotel room and play with Google Wave (which I ve been neglectful doing over the last two months I ve had a Wave account), perhaps finding a way to tie Google Wave to Social Media and Web Analytics, but as I logged in to Wave, noticed quickly that there was no compelling reason to use it (yet). Plus, using Wave in Firefox, crashed it (but a lot of applications crash Firefox). Still, I myself thinking about critical mass and inflection points, that not enough people are using Google Wave, yet, but as more people use Wave it will become a dominant platform for communication and collaboration and transform our lives. I think it makes a lot of sense that Google Wave has the capability to unify every part of a project, and all it s modes of communications, under one grouping or unit (which can also be broken down in several ways with out losing it s cohesiveness); and, I m wondering if Google Wave could be part of a larger answer, tying together strategy and Social Media return on investment. So how would Google Wave do anything for Analytics? For one thing there s so much duplicated communication in email now often so many virtual team members working on a project over different time zones, containing all of that work in one unit, called a Wave is a marvelous thing and if we have some kind of tracking mechanism we might be able to optimize Google Wave perhaps Google Wave will have plug ins to tell us what the optimal resources for any Wave project based on the activity taking place within that Wave; that might, in turn lead to staffing changes. Another possibility for Analytics is tying different silos in companies together using Google Wave, in a new way and Wave clearly isn t there yet but if we have data and sales information in different formats all over the enterprise and it s difficult to assemble it now, it s possible within a few years Google Wave will become the glue that makes it much easier to pull all that disparate data into one 133 view and up to an executive level scorecard (see my post on Influencer Scorecard, The Chief Influencer Officer & the transmutation of Social Media and PR). Page What about Social Media? Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 134. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring As there are often many efforts underway by a Brand at any moment tying blogger relations, campaign management, online video management, event planning, marketing, etc, together could be done within Google Wave. Perhaps the Social Media ROI debate that is likely to begin gelling in 2010 will take place with Google Waves. That s one Google Wave, I want to surf. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Google Social Media Monitoring - I ve been saying this is coming ± Big Brother & Google¶s Entrance into Social Media Monitoring ± from This post is an enhanced adaption of an article that just appeared at that I wrote with an associate, Cecilia Pineda Feret. While the text is identical, I added images in my post that do not appear at as I was concerned this article was already very long (but I m not as worried about it here at I asked for permission from Neil Davey who publishes, a Sift Media Property based in Bristol UK, a to publish my article here. The text is identical and to view the original go to and sign up. Big brother and Google s entrance into social media monitoring 134 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 135. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring As a web and social media analyst I am predisposed toward any service that merges customer data with site analytics information and online conversations which leads me to the following bold, as some say, prediction. At the Monitoring Social Media 09 conference last November, my presentation included the statement: Google will enter the Social Media Monitoring space within the next 2 years. (For more information see Slide 15 of my presentation on the Future of Social Media Monitoring). Google, the largely Orwellian company that claims to Do No Evil, takes web site traffic data and correlate it to news, search trends, purchasing activity, search activity and browsing activity throughout the entire web. As I will be discussing Social Media Monitoring as part of my one-day conference in London on March 31st, 2010 at Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp, I have further developed my thoughts from last November. Based on my own assessment by looking at the available platforms today, there are no Social Media Analytics vendors or Online Reputation Management Services capable of matching Google yet. I think Google s entrance into this area would be mostly helpful to some of the current entrants, many of them could end up going out of business or being swallowed up by others. For a recently updated list of Social Media Monitoring Vendors see Data that could be used for Social Media Monitoring is collected from our search history, websites and web presence. Google collects 18 months of Web History (down from 24 months of a few years ago) and can view and search from the full text of the pages you, or anyone else who has ever logged into Google. Once it acquired DoubleClick, Google integrated DoubleClick s browsing pattern tracking with Google s web history tracking to have a full spectrum of access to our web experience at its fingertips, including what sites we ultimately visited after leaving Google s site, and what products we purchased subsequently. 135 Note: Google added Twitter updates on some queries in early December 09 as shown in the above screenshot (blue box appearing on the right). Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 136. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring A natural fit? By logging into my own Google Dashboard, I can see all the information Google collects about me including the number of Google Analytics accounts I have access to, my Google Calendar data (so they know where I have been and where I m going), my purchasing history via Google Checkout, if I use that for online purchases, all the people I know via my Google Contacts/Address Book plus the information in my Google Documents, the textual analytics around my Gmail correspondences, my Google Reader habits and what I liked and shared on it, whom I m following on Google Reader and who follows me. In addition to information it collects about us via our Google Accounts and websites, Google Search now displays real time data from Twitter and Facebook highlighting relevant search results. Above: logging into my Google Dashboard offers a vast array of Information Google has on me or anyone else with an Google Account, yet they are still not showing everything they have. Google also knows my age, zipcode and activity (ClickStream) giving them a 360-degree visualization of me and anyone else like me who spends a lot time interacting with the world via the web. Magnify the data Google collects on me by the number of Google Accounts (unknown at this time) and you end up with an unparalleled collection of information what John Battelle calls The Database of Intentions as he describes in his book, The Search. In addition, Google s real time information about us has been improving exponentially, especially for business activity. Google knows our location in physical space via Google Mobile (and our movements, 136 where we were, are and where we went next), our advertising activity and our profit or costs on Google AdWords. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 137. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring According to an analysis of 4 million websites done late last year by Factual, 28% of all websites are being monitored by Google Analytics. As of 2007, 108,810,358 websites existed the way things are going, the number has probably more than doubled by 2010. Using 2007 numbers, Google Analytics was likely to track about 29 million websites then, and tracks probably closer to 60 million sites by now assuming the rate of growth has at least remained consistent. In all likelihood, it is much more than my conservative estimate. Keeping in mind all the information Google collects on us, why shouldn t it enter the Social Media Monitoring space with their own suite of solutions? After all, they already have entered many other areas where they are considered one of the top or THE top application for that area: Advertising, content, health, commerce, mobile phone, power monitoring, news, and web analytics tracking. It would be a natural fit for Google to enter Social Media Monitoring. A vision of the future? While Google has yet to formally compete with Comscore, Quantcast, and Nielsen in audience monitoring on web platforms, they can easily draw upon the categorization of services, create their own categorizations, and, to some extent, already have within Google Analytics Benchmarking and with Google AdWords. Any website owner can compare their own traffic with other websites in the same category the data is anonymous, but highly indicative and useful. Note: Google s Benchmarking is available when you share your data autonomously within Google Analytics. What might a Google Social Media Monitoring platform look like and what features might it have? 137 Free, easy to use, and accessible to anyone who has a Google Account. Any website monitored by Google Analytics would also be monitored for mentions against specific pages of the site, much as WebTrends reports referral logs to Radian6, but, in this case, it will be Google Search feeding Google Analytics seamlessly Page much as Yahoo! Search feeds Yahoo! Pipes. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 138. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Google Alerts, which have already been built into Google Analytics, via its Intelligence features, could list any mention or event that surpasses a preset threshold. Google Analytics already does this for site events such as more page views, visits or time spent on a page than normal based on trending algorithms that Google has employed and maintains for each Google Analytics account. Google s entry in Reputation Management could also take the form of a coordinated response to online mentions using a version of Gmail, with preset templates already set up for the site owner to respond to negative or positive buzz. Specific solutions might be offered using an advertising campaign with AdWords, including on YouTube where links would be provided in response to a specific action or mention, so that the site owner or business could take immediate follow-up action and have the information appear in Google s properties counterbalancing or supporting mentions as the case may warrant. Google could or would charge the User for running advertising against the responses, but the User, for the most part, could or would use Google s Reputation Monitoring service for free. Google could create and maintain a PR/Management Dashboard for individuals and entities. Reputation Management could also be added to Google via Google Webmaster Tools. Now a site owner can monitor how often their websites are crawled by Google, any problem encountered, and is able to use a response form to communicate directly with Google when there is a problem with their site. Google can find information on the web relating to each page of the site and place it in Webmaster tools for response by the owner while still passing the data to Google Analytics for analysis, trending and alerts. Note: Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard could be enhanced to handle Reputation Management on a page and site level. Paid Advertising via Google AdWords (or AdSense, if you re a publisher) could be integrated with brand mentions in Social Media that appear in Google Search and tied to landing pages monitored by Google Analytics. ROI could be calculated, perhaps for the first time, for Social Media efforts across most or all of your marketing channels. As Google has almost all the pieces in place to do a better job of social media monitoring than anyone else, why hasn t it formally entered this space yet? Simply put, until now, the Social Media Monitoring space wasn t big or important enough for Google to get involved, it was still a niche market in its infancy, according to Forrester. So far, much of the online marketing budget for Businesses has been focused on Search (Paid and Organic) and not Social Media. In addition, Google may be hesitating until the market grew big enough. Meanwhile it has been increasingly viewed as Big Brother; where Google s entrance into monitoring is likely to amplify fears that Google knows everything about us and will use that information for its own best interests at own expense. But, in 2009 the tide began to turn in favor of Google dipping its foot into Social Media Monitoring 138 as conversations began to be viewed as markets with a whole class of technologies emerging to help companies keep track of the online conversations. Last October two key events happened which helps Google justify enter the Social Media Monitoring space. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 139. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring y First, In-Q-Tell, the investment arm of the U.S. government that also serves the C.I.A bought a stake in Visible Technologies, one of the largest Social Media Monitoring vendors. This action sent a signal to Google and the business investment community that Social Media Monitoring was on the verge of becoming a big business (one that Google may want to be part of). y Second, the FTC released its Blogger rules defining the scope and penalties around monitoring blogger payola and Social Media endorsements. As more and more businesses and individuals seek to monitor online reputation the market for Social Media Monitoring is becoming much more crowded with bigger profits for the main players such as Visible Technologies, Radian6, Buzzmetrics, et al. I suspect Google has considered entering Social Media Monitoring for some time now and has been quietly working on its own offerings, poised to enter the market at any moment and dominate it, as Google has proven over and over. Often Google acquires companies to enter a space such as the recent purchase of AdMob to enter the Mobile Advertising space. The Google acquisition I am most familiar with is Google acquiring Urchin in 2005 and making it a free product to anyone who opened a Google Account. However, I do not believe Google needs to acquire a Social Media Monitoring Platform as their own products are at least as good as anything they could acquire and they have everything they need to launch their own solution and tie it to their existing products. How would Google s entry in the Social Media Monitoring be good for the existing players in this space? y Google s entry into any business area raises the visibility of that sector and further legitimizes the business model of that sector. y Google s entrance into Social Media Monitoring will force monitoring vendors to cooperate with each other and improve their offerings, just as Google s entrance into Web Analytics encouraged vendors to differentiate themselves from Google Analytics, focusing on features such as event correlation, segmentation and rich media tracking, features Google Analytics did not initially offer, but does now. y Development of standards for Social Media Measurement. As I mentioned in slide 11 of my presentation on the Future of Social Media Monitoring Social Media does not have a standard set of definitions for measurement of conversations, sentiment, or share of voice to guide vendors in implementation, which hampers interoperability of social monitoring platforms with each other, even though they are monitoring the same conversations online. Furthermore, implementing standards leads to more profit for vendors. One example is the IAB s VAST Video Advertising Standard which further monetized third party Video Ad Platforms such as BrightRoll. y Most vendors prefer not to share information with each other, however, with Google s presence 139 in this space, they will have more reason to do so. These are just some of the reasons for Google to formally enter the Social Media Monitoring space. Of Page course, the usual suspicions regarding Google s intentions as they enter any business are likely to Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 140. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring surface again. Accusations of being BIG BROTHER haven t stopped Google before, and it probably won t stop them now. Marshall Sponder is the founder of, an industry blog about Web Analytics, Social Media and Search Marketing. He also writes a monthly column on helping businesses to leverage online marketing technologies successfully in a challenging economy. Marshall maintains his own Analytics Consultancy, Now-Seo, working with small to large marketing agencies. He is also producing NY DataStories , events offering networking and analysis of business metrics. Follow him on Twitter: @webmetricsguru Marshall will be presenting at the Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp in London on 31 March. A one- day master class hosted by Our Social Times, readers can receive a 10% discount by quoting the discount code mycustomer on registration. For more details on the Bootcamp click here. Cecilia Pineda Feret is an Online Marketing and Community Strategist at Accent Resources Online Presence Development where she provides online and social media strategy and creates content and engagement for entities such as Havana Central and She also chairs the Social Media Committee for Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York as well as co-producing NY DataStories. Find her blog: and follow her on Twitter: @cecipf Read more: coming/#ixzz0jOMMeWMe Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Reputation Ranger already covered in this eBook - here s the original post Social Radar already covered in this eBook here s the original post Social Radar - also see romp-around-first-impressions/ Here are my first impressions of Social Radar a Social Media Monitoring platform that I ve heard good things about but had yet tried. I noticed that many of the monitoring platforms (Radian6, Biz360, BrandWatch and now, Social Radar) have tried to improve the interface where a customer interacts most often, the platform hasn t really changed much but interface (user experience) is improved. That was certainly the case with Radian6 s recent Widget Update and that s also the case with Social Radar s update this weekend. 140 When you first open up Social Radar there is a variety of things you can do. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 141. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring I picked Health Care Reform as it s a pretty safe query for me to use plus everyone knows what is going on with it, for the most part. I first noticed the Query Builder which reminds me of Sysomos and BrandWatch both have nice interfaces and tools to build and store queries. It was easy enough to build a trend chart around Health Care Reform and that chart can be absolute (number of unique posts) or Normalized (this is a seldom seen feature of monitoring tools in fact this is the first time I ve seen that functionality in any SM tool not sure why it s needed though, maybe someone from Social Radar can explain why they offer it and how it can best be used). 141 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 142. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Running Analysis I notices some very nice features that expand on the basic functionality of Word Clouds but it s the visualization tool that is the most engaging aspect of Social Radar. I have a healthy distrust of flashy diagrams and visualizations but it seemed like Social Radar did a pretty good job tracking Health Influencers to be honest I recognized a few names in the diagram as well. There s a custom report builder that lets you pretty much create your own report the way you want it I haven t seen any equivalent in another Social Media monitoring platform and the closest analogy for it would be Google Analytics Custom Reports. You can search for RSS feeds and get the details of any feed you find but this functionality is hardly 142 unique Radian6 does the same thing, more or less the thing that makes Social Radar interesting. to me, is the interface. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 143. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring There are some other nice features that I ll write about in a few days I liked what I saw so far, yet nothing that I saw was that different from what other platforms provide- but the interface might be nicer. Read more: first-impressions/#ixzz0jOPBUnCO Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 143 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 144. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Social Radar Comment Brooks Morgan 03/10/10 @ 1:37 am Thanks for the informative post Marshall. To answer your question about the normalized post result - We normalize posts as a percentage of overall conversations collected each day. We do this because we use our own proprietary crawler to collect data rather than APIs (this allows for better data consistency & reduced duplicate posts/spam among other things). Our crawler started collecting content from a mere few thousand sources in January of 2007 and has crawled from link to link to find new sources ever since. We are now pulling data from millions of sources all around the world. When you are taking a look at short time ranges (a few months or less) the differences between normalized and absolute post counts are difficult to distinguish, but when looking at long time ranges (the tool allows 3 years on any topic) you see an overall increase in post counts for any and all topics because of the increase in the number of sources we are tracking. Hence the option for normalized post counts. Thanks again Marshall! Looking forward to the rest of the series Best, Brooks VP, Biz Dev Infegy Inc. brooks[at] Read more: romp-around-first-impressions/#ixzz0jOPnSn9Y Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Crimson Hexagon Note: I work at Porter Novelli at the time of this writing and Crimson Hexagon is a 144 strategic partner of Porter Novelli I use the Opinion Monitor frequently, as well as the Buzz Monitor in my work for Porter Novelli. My opinions about Crimson Hexagon are my own and do not represent Page Porter Novelli in any way (since I m working for them I have to say that). Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 145. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Note: this is a segment of a post done last year - london-part-2-%e2%80%93-november-17th/ So far, Crimson Hexagon seems to have gone the farthest, of all the entrants in this Social Media Monitoring arena, with the potential implications and applications of merging qualitative with quantitative data, but they have yet to carry it out nearly as far as they could, or should, in my opinion. It would be nice is someone from Crimson Hexagon was in the audience or even, on a panel, but I don t think they re going be there they should be. Developing the idea of merging what if Crimson Hexagon s analysis of Obama s HealthCare Speech last month to Congress, using Twitter accounts only, captured not only the opinions about how people felt (qualitative data on sentiment and opinions- see below) But what if Crimson Hexagon also collected the Twitter accounts of each opinion along with the opinion mapping? Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution ECairn already covered in pages of this eBook but here s the original post FollowerWonk already covered in pages of this eBook but here s the original post tweepsearch-yes/ 145 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 146. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring FourSquare already covered in this eBook but here s the original post - Google Local Business Center with associated social media analytics - perhaps-the-missing-link-needed-for-social-media-measurement/ When I read a MobiAds post stating Google Puts QR Codes On 100,000 Stores, I got an intuitive flash QR Codes could be the missing link to social media monitoring attribution, the one we ve been looking for. QR Code for - note: the second QR code is a special gift to readers. We know 2010 is said to be the year of Mobile according to EMarketer, or was it 2009, with a statement that .. The fusion of mobile and social and the appetite for apps (among both consumers and brands) will continue unabated. In fact, location- and social-aware apps and utilities will be a key avenue for brands looking to engage consumers on the go. Cheaper Smartphone s and smarter feature phones will help marketers bridge the gap with consumers, but the onus is still on marketers to provide consumers with a measure (and measurable degree) of utility, relevance and entertainment. Enter Google s Local Business Center which every business ought to sign up for AND an interesting factoid that is not generally known . .In a move to link online content to real world locations, Google has launched a new QR-code based Favorite Places on Google program. Google has identified the top 100,000 most searched stores in the US, and has sent them a window decal that includes a unique QR code. When consumers scan the code with their phone, they go directly to a Google mobile web Place Page about the business. . After a company is registered in the LBC, Google identifies the most popular by keeping track of how often consumers search 146 for that business, how often they ask for directions, etc. Periodically Google will send out an additional wave of window decals to a new set of most popular businesses. There is no way for a company to request such a decal, it has to be earned though consumer interaction. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 147. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Consumers can then interact with the Place Page in various ways. For example, they can read reviews to see what other users think about the business, they can find any coupons that the business may be offering, or they can leave their own review of the business. This program, which is currently running only in the US, is based around Google s Local Business Center. Companies that have registered and added their information to the LBC are eligible. When I read that immediately, I saw it s potential to link back to the Social Media ROI, the part everyone wants to have using that QR code. I ve maintained for years that technology isn t really an issue, the means exist to track just about anything you want, now, in full Technicolor details, including cross channel conversions, and even, engagement. If it s possible to track Social Media ROI, why haven t we? It s hard. You have to agree with what you want to measure and set up your tracking for every possible circumstance ahead of time and who is willing to do that? Most people aren t aware of all the things it s possible to track, much less how to track them using Analytics. With the QR codes linked into the Local Business Center where you can also add a lot of your business information and list coupons, you now have a way of tracking Social Media, if you want to think strategically. I also think Google should let every business listed generate it s own QR code and link it into Google Analytics, as it appears to be doing for the 100,000 businesses it has already generated codes and decals for. The issue isn t really reading the QR Codes as most mobile phones are capable, with the right software, of doing so. Since Mobile Phone adoption is so widespread, it seems likely that Social Media ROI will be plugged into Mobile Phone and Mobile Application growth meaning that the two will converge and have been with applications like FourSquare. According to MobiAds One current barrier to adoption is that a consumer has to have a barcode reader installed in their phone in order to scan the code. However, with the proliferation of App stores and free barcode reading apps, this should not be a problem at least for owners of Smartphone s. 147 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 148. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring So how would it work? How could you take a brick and mortar business, say a local restaurant chain, and turn it on to Social Media ROI using Google s Local Business Center and QR codes? A local restaurant (as shown in the introduction video) can list menu items, hours and coupons (all which are tracked by built in Google Analytics, based on what I m seeing in the video). Since Google is now including Twitter s real time feed into Google s Search Results AND is trying to do the same 148 with Facebook (to the extent that privacy settings allow for updates to be published) the analytics in Google s Local Business Center should be able to co-relate community advocacy with social media activity driven by it. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 149. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring When the customer prints out a coupon from Google Local Business Center OR shows up as the restaurant for a meal and uses the QR Scanner on say, the menu items, or a special offer they will be tied in directly the promotional efforts and ROI from the Social Media activities will be established. All we needed, then, was a way of working, of conceptualizing how to tie Social Media and the enabling technology to tie in the actual act of taking part in Social Media of being influenced to show up at try a meal all of that, I think, can be tracked using the QR codes. Now, that doesn t mean most businesses are doing that now they aren t but they could. The answer is not technology by itself, but strategic thinking AND technology together. Now what we need are some use cases and I will work on producing one or two this year one that can be shared with online community. Right now, we need to go and try it let s see what happens when we think up of a program we want to track and get the pieces in place. While Google doesn t generate the QR codes for 99.9% of the businesses that need them, you can still generate QR codes easily on your own with QR Generators such as QR Stuff. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Note a reader left this comment Tom Miller 01/11/10 @ 11:59 am QR is an open standard. You can find QR code generators online. For example: This one from Kaywa. Marshall, I worked on a campaign for CES that used QR codes and developing tracking for them isn t always a simple exercise. The code gets more complex (higher data resolution) with the amount of data within it, so longer URL s (such as those that have been tagged for analytics) produce QR codes that are more difficult to machine read. Also, you can t use URL shorteners because of differing support for redirects within mobile browsers. Also, you (obviously) need to account for mobile browsers in your landing pages. Read more: 149 local-business-center-perhaps-the-missing-link-needed-for-social-media- measurement/#comments#ixzz0jOJZqhq3 Page Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 150. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Synthesio here s the original post Had not planned on writing a review of Synthesio tonight but after talking with and seeing Michelle Chmielewski, Synthesio s Community Manager, on the Agency Video for Synthesio, figured now was a good time to write some brief but nice things. There are so many platforms that are in this space, evolving quickly and until recently I was not aware of Synthesio or what they had to offer. In the last two weeks I have had meetings with Synthesio (virtual, viaSkype), Brandtology (skype) and HotGrinds (in person, with Claude Vogel and Mark Dingle) and my mind is almost exploding with all the information that is coming in and I like it that way, but sometimes, it is overpowering but again, I like that way. Still, one thing all three platforms have in common Synthesio, Brandtology and HotGrinds besides their odd names (for example, I have a real problem pronouncing Synthesio ) is they all provide flashy dashboards that are customized for each client and they all rely on human vetting of the data a customer sees. Another thing they seem to have in common is large Multinational Corporations among their clients who are willing to pay for data that is cleaned up and categorized by humans. Prime Research has much the same thing perhaps even more so. I haven t written about Brandtology yet awaiting on their permission to use images from our meeting and on HotGrinds I may have an update and post on then soon. It seems there really is a low end, middle ground and high end in Social Media Monitoring - and Jeremiah Owyang may have said much the same thing in his post recently on Social Technology Buyers Matrix: Broad vs Specialized vs Do It Yourself. From my point of view the low end is the free tools that anyone can use, some are more sophisticated than others but can do some amazing monitoring if you don t need a high degree of precision. In the low end are some tools that are power but are inexpensive enough, and simple enough, that any one can use them or afford them like Viral Heat. Someone who chooses the low end tools may just want a quick answer or maybe they are not sure what they want and are just searching around and are willing to take the insights such tools can offer as they come. The middle ground is filled with do it yourself type platforms for analysis such as Techrigy, Radian6, Scout Labs, BrandWatch, Biz360, Sysomos, etc. The middle ground platforms let you explore social media monitoring on your own but are generally much more enabled than the free stuff you can get a hold of. But the middle ground is full of platforms that don t agree with each other in even the most fundamental measures of amplitude of messaging and sentiment of messaging and they are often not easy to customize to the particular needs of anyone s organization but can do well in a number of settings, as long as you don t mind putting in extra work and time to set them up with specific requirements. 150 Then there is the high end tools the ones that humans help to filter like Synthesio and Brandtology they are for organizations that want data structured very cleanly and in just such a way as it will be Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 151. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring useful to them plus the companies that use it are willing to pay $$$$$$ to get a custom dashboard with data following in that they can immediately act on. So what does Synthesio offer that makes them special? There s a Flash Demo that shows you want the product might be like for a client once it s live I compared Honda, Audi and Toyota in Italy I wasn t offered the US as an option for this demo but I did see Synthesio is offering US data once you sign up. I can t really say that much about the demo except it s beautiful but that s not neccessary an endorsement from me because I can t do much with the demo but type in some names. In other words I don t have any experience actually using Synthesio, so I can t say how it would work for me. On the other hand, since a Synthesio dashboard is created for a client it s unlikely that anyone who hasn t actually signed on as a client will be able to talk about the platform in depth. Synthesio has a Dashboard wizard that sets up the request form with details of what you want to track and mails it to headquarters where someone will reach out to you shortly. Synthesio also has some large clients - most are in Europe and Asia. At this point what else does Synthesio offer and have? Their community manager is very warm Michelle Chmielewski and Synthesio is a sponsor of Monitoring Social Media BootCamp in London next month and I ll be meeting most of the Synthesio team in London for the conference. But I do want to say that platforms like Synthesio because they must be set up for a client, and do require a bit of human monitoring on the backend while they often provide superior insight, are not as easy to compare as the platforms like Radian6 and Sysomos that I can fully configure myself. As a result i can t put Synthesio through it s paces because I don t have a working version that I control perhaps, when I meet Michelle and the rest of the team in London, they will show me more about what Synthesio does on the backend, and a live dashboard of a real client. Finally, I was mentioned on the Synthesio blog yesterday in a post on 3 ways to identify influencers in social media and I found my ideas described in a different way than perhaps, I would have expressed them, so I actually read the post carefully to see what Michelle said that she said, I said/wrote: Identify influencers at post level While the site on which information is published online affects how influential the information may become, an article (blog post, forum thread, tweet, etc.) itself can become more or less influential over time depending on how many times it has been shared, where, with whom, etc. Marshall Sponder pointed out that it is the influence of an author that may weigh more heavily than that of the actual site (and will be speaking about it in London in March) ; why not go to the post itself ? Here s how I would say it much of the traffic that comes to a blog comes from a small number of blog posts I have written, and most of the rest is long tail traffic from the thousands of other posts I ve 151 written over the last 4 years since I began writing at I said as much, years ago. But I also said that when using a Social Media Monitoring platform to identify influencers what we want is not a list of blogs but a list of bloggers or the influential themselves and some contact Page information the more the better actually something closer to a list of journalists you d get out of Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 152. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Cision Point or something like that. Hardly anyone thinks that way they don t think in terms of the end user what they want. I think that s what I meant. Michelle also mentioned (and might have referred to my posts) TweepSearch (I m liking FollowerWonk even more now) as an easy way to identify influencers on Twitter. Have to admit, Michelle s description of what I said might be better than what I actually said or wrote I m OK with that. As far as what Synthesio actually offers my feeling is the best place to go is the Synthesio blog as features and case studies are being shared on the blog. And if you re in London on March 31st I ll be there, and so will Synthesio Join Us at Monitoring Social Media Bootcamp March 31st, 2010 in London Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Viralheat ± already covered in the eBook ± here¶s the original link - (note ± a new ³influencer´ report has been released since I last reviewed Radian6 I ve published numerous posts on Radian6 here s one of the latest posts and a link to my blog where you can find out more - Also note Radian6 is coming out with the Engagement Console in April 2010 which is a complete re-write of Radian6 to facilitate Social CRM Radian6 announced new features including Quick Start (which was actually present for a few weeks I think) according to their newsletter. New Features in Radian6: Quick start, Widget Gallery and Influencer Enhancements Radian6 has rolled out some key new features, available in the dashboard, to make it easier to dive into the data: 1. The Quick Start feature lets users create Topic Profiles quickly and easily, allowing them to get started with their monitoring faster and easier than ever before. 2. 44 Pre-configured Widgets allow you to pull insights crucial to your business without having to learn to configure each widget. 3. Influencer Widget Enhancements allow you to do deeper analysis of the entire influencer landscape around your business, and help you see both the high level snapshot of who might be important to you, and the drill down into details on metrics and specific results. Radian6 s Social Media Monitoring Platform Now Tracks Google Buzz Google Buzz allows users to generate unique updates both from the web and mobile Buzz applications. Now our customers can continue to receive a complete view of the discussions about their brands since we have expanded our social media coverage to 152 include Google Buzz. We knew about Google Buzz tracking but I had not explored Quick Start yet so here s a Quick Start of Page Quick Start. Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 153. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring 1. Create a new profile 2. Enter your brand 3. Enter your competitor (optional) 4. Track your Industry (optional) 5. You get a Topic Profile Summary very nice 153 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 154. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Now you get to see a bunch of widgets (45 in total) that Radian6 configured for you incase you want to use them I think this is the kinda of stuff Chris Newton was speaking to me about last year when I had a talk with the Radian6 CTO on the phone. Very nice! 154 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 155. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Here s an example of the Social Media Metrics Widget Collection which has 12 preconfigured/prebuilt widgets you can plug in taking a closer look, many of these widgets aren t hard to build, and many cases are the same widgets but with a different color scheme. The Widget Collection is probably more for a beginner to help them see what they can do with the platform that much faster. For me, the Influencer Widget improvements are more meaningful The Influecers are broken down by media type where they were not, before. You can also drill down on each influener in more detail most of that functionality was available before but this is much easier to look at and work with. 155 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 156. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Finally, you can also view the Influencer results as a tag cloud this is entirely new not yet sure how that helps me or not but I think I ll need to play with Radian6 s new features. My gut feeling, based on what I ve seen, is this upgrade is directed to improve the interface I need to look at the actual results and ease of use but that will be for another post. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Sysomos Map - Sysomos MAP is the platform I use the most lately found it overall one of the best tools a marketer can have and it s useful for a lot of things besides Social Media Monitoring such as Keyword Research for SEO/SEM. Using Sysomos for keyword research - sysomos-to-find-keywords-for-your-seo-and-sem/ I noticed features of Radian6 and Sysomos that are goldmines if used in a certain way, and this post is about something I noticed in Sysomos Social Media monitoring that absolutely blew me away. Take, for example, the Social Media Week NYC work I m writing about this week how could I use Sysomos to get keywords to build pages around, to advertise around? I have been saying for a few years that Social Media doesn t have Keyword Tools the way that SEO and SEM has, but Sysomos has done something that is somewhat similar but it s hidden away in it s Text Analytics for Blogs, Twitter, Message Boards and News data sources. The exact selection is Entities which is a collection of persons, places or things that Sysomos Map was able to isolate from all the web pages it scanned for a profile. While the extracted Entities (see below) are somewhat useful and can be drilled down for more detail 156 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 157. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring it s the Popular Phrases that were pulled out of all the Social Media content that Sysomos crawled that got me very excited (see below) If we compared this to the kind of garbage stuff that Google AdWords Keyword Tools and WordTracker give us you d see sheer difference in SEO/SEM keywords you can get by pulling phases from pages that exist based on your interested and engaged communities, instead of Google s desire to have you spend money of AdWords and AdSense which is what you get when you use their tools. 157 And you can drill down on a Phrase, like Social Media Mastermind Conference and find the pages that phase came from (see below) as you might need to know the context from which a phrase arises so you Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 158. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring can determine if and how you want to use it in your own copy. By the way, here s all the keyword phases Sysomos extracted from Social Media Week NYC. So if your tired and stuck using the typical keyword tools we ve all had to live with, try something new. So far, I haven t seen any other platform offer this particular capability and it s hidden, under the hood, so to speak. Social Media Week advances Social Media Business Council SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK PRESENTS Social Media Club gatherings Social Media Week Registration Weekly Social Media Event Guide International Social Media Week conference New Social Media Mixer event Social Media Week play Social Media Week Story Best social media programs Annual Social Media Week conference Social Media Business Summit Own social media strategy Social Media World Forum Social Media Week Berlin Social Media week Toronto Social Media Week NYC Global Social Media Week Social Media Week schedule 158 Social Media Mastermind Conference Worst Social Media Campaigns Special Social Media Week celebration Page Live Social Media Experts Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 159. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Top 10 Social Media Social Media Week website Social Media Week differentiates Social Media Week brand Social Media Week London Upcoming Social Media Week Media Week New York Social Media Week Registration Social Media Week Event Tweetmeme Social Media Week NYC Media workshop Jewish Week Media Week NYC Registration New voice Social Media Week extravaganza New York Future Journalist Digital Media Rich media Media practices Media consultant Canadian Film Centre Media Social Media Week NEW Media Week Toronto Media editor Shirley Brady Media journalist Media accounts Media Group Business Week social media editor Media communications agency Media experts Media community Media Week program New social engagement program Media partner Inaugural Social Media Annual Social Media Media sponsors Media Week NEW YORK Global media News media Media Week events Creative Media Film Centre Media Lab Media users Traditional media Media outlets 159 Compare this to what Google gives you Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 160. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring How totally useless Google s AdWords data tool for Social Media cause all Google ever wanted you to do with this tool is use it to craft advertising they re suggesting if you are interested in Social Media Week NYC you also might be interested in nyc bars and nyc nightclubs and it s true, a lot of the parties for Social Media Week NYC are happening in nightclubs and bars but that s not what it s really all about. 160 For maybe Social Media Optimization Sysomos is a good platform, esp. if you re interested in keyword planning. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 161. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Keyword Research deep dive using Sysomos MAP research-for-social-media/ Read about how Google is ranking Twitter feeds (see Want Your Tweets on Google? Get More (Better) Followers in Marketing Pilgrim) and thinking about equivalencies that Google equated Twitter Followers to website backlinks and, as in Pagerank, the more people who follow you, that you don t follow back, the better Google will rank you (just like web pages are ranked). Imagine then, what would be the equivalent of keyword research in Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Marketing . for Social Media? Somehow, my mind must have been inclined to think this way today as I suddenly realized that researching conversations or conversations research is the direct equivalent of researching keywords for Social Media. How would that work? To test the idea out, I m using Sysomos Map, one of my favorite Social Media Monitoring platforms and one of the best for filtering out noise and focusing on essentials. I suppose you can say, in this context Sysomos is the equivalent to WordTracker , but that would not be doing justice to Social Media Monitoring which does a lot more than WordTracker and similar platforms were created to do. Take the query Social Media AND ROI lots of people are talking Social Media ROI these days and searching on Google AdWords Keyword Tool, WordTracker, WordStream s free Keyword Tool, Google Insights for Search, etc, will give you one type of view, while Conversation Search or Conversation Mining as my friends at Converseon call their platform, will give you something entirely different, and perhaps, more useful. 161 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 162. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring What I m looking for are keywords in conversations that could be included in our own conversations about Social Media ROI much as you would have done for SEO, but with a 2 dimensional keyword tool like WordTracker. On first pass, words such as analytic , market , measurable , etc occur most frequently, and so are they part of your communication or marketing material . if you talk Social Media ROI, if not, maybe they can be . if you want to increase the changes your conversation will be picked up by more listeners. Taking a second pass, by including all the words in the right column I get the following chart, that looks different than my first. Now, I get integrated , investment and that integrated investment is connected with facebook you might want to creatively add those phases to what your writing that is, if there is a legitimate reason to do so otherwise your just keyword stuffing , and I don t recommend anyone do that. Only use the phrases that fit , that you mean to use my point being you probably aren t aware of all the phrases you could use in your conversations . 162 Going one more level we get Successful Companies Value , etc Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 163. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring You can also get information about each word and how it appeared in all content that Sysomos MAP crawled; take the word tactic for example: The practical implementation of this strategy which I ve just shared with you will take time I ll need to play with it some more. Maybe you will, too, and share with me some of your insights. I like to say, the more we give, the more we get back. We should never be afraid of sharing ideas, as more ideas come to replenish the ideas and I believe, there is no limit. Even if you took this idea way beyond what I ve done, or will do with it, that s 163 fine. I ll get 10 more, no, 100 more ideas for every one I give to you so I m very happy with that arrangement. Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 164. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring I will leave you with one more thing from Sysomos Influencer Search it s pretty decent I was able to use it on obscure subjects and in about an hour come up with the names and contact information for 20 influencers (out of three times as many). For Social Media ROI the 5 most authoritative blogs are no surprise (specific posts that were most influential were linked to in every case). 1. TechCrunch 2. Mashable 3. Read/WriteWeb 4. BusinessInsider (this is a blog I don t read maybe I should) 5. Chris Brogan However, while those blogs are the most authoritative that came up in the search for Social Media ROI, they might not be the most relevant for it. Sysomos has another filter that includes frequency to mentions to authority and that gives a list of 5 very different blogs probably the one s you should read if you want to know more about Social Media ROI: 1. OnlineMarketingConnect (with a post on Social Media Snake Oil, no less) 2. Jatinmahindra (never heard of this blog maybe I should take a look at it) 3. Jacob Morgan one of the smartest people I ve read he s right on the mark on every post. 4. Mashable (ok, they re still in the list) 5. Blogfully So, to finish this long post the ideas I share with you need to be developed do you have a campaign that is not getting talked about much, that maybe, ought to be and while you also need to put in the strategy work (aka Jacob Morgan) and then do the outreach might you not also be needing to do your basic Conversation Research not just what people are talking about but the other things surrounding it that maybe you ought to be including in your conversation. So, let s test this idea let s mine conversations and see what we come up with and if you don t have Sysomos, there are other tools to do it with even Google Insights for Search could be a proxy (but not as good) maybe a Free account with Alterian/Techrigy/SM2 will work (they give you a limited # of searches though but it will be enough for a test run). Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Facebook Web Analytics Tracking - feb-22-26-facebook-analytics-tracking-social-crm-theme/ Recently there has also been two separate implementations of Facebook tracking within a Web Analytics platform the first way of tracking Facebook is using Google Analytics by including Google Analytics as an image instead of setting the standard JavaScript. This method tracks every visitor to the custom facebook 164 pages from within Google Analytics. You do need to download some code and place it on your web server but it s not that big a deal. Here s the information on what to download, etc: Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 165. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Facebook Google Analytics Version 1.1 (Updated 21st Feb, 2010). For advanced method Download this code to use on your server. If you don t have a Facebook fan page yet, visit our tutorial for code and help on creating customized Facebook fan pages. The other implementation of Facebook tracking is from WebTrends, as reported by Mashable. WebTrends . has rolled out new measurement capabilities for Facebook, including the ability to view Facebook data alongside data for other channels. Tools like this are useful because Facebook s own platform for this, Facebook Insights, runs three days behind, doesn t measure custom tabs or apps, and doesn t integrate with analytics for other digital marketing channels. The tools work inside Facebook to provide detailed analytics data about applications, custom tabs, brand pages, contests and advertisements, among other things. This wasn t easy to achieve because most of Facebook (Fan Pages included) doesn t allow JavaScript, but WebTrends developed a custom API to get around that. Third-party applications built on the Facebook platform are easier because JavaScript is permitted. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution 165 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 166. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring APPENDIX C CASE STUDIES Havana Central Case Study opportunity to use Geo Location to build Social Media ROI Havana Central is a Cuban Cuisine restaurant chain located in Manhattan The potential for Geo Location fulfillment and fan building is great and an often overlooked tactic for restaurants that takes advantage of a circumstance that happens all the time, anyway entering the venue. Using Radian6 Topic Analysis widget I was able to ascertain the number of twitter followers that would be able to be reached via Geo-Location pretty much anyone that comes into one of the 3 Manhattan locations and tweets or foursquare check in from there. 166 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 167. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring In this case, all geo located queries show a total follower count of 21,431 over the last 60 days not as large as we d like it to be yet significant enough to pay attention to. However, the of the entire universe of people who tweet about Havana Central their total followers rank more than 10 times as much or 233,000 a much larger audience. 167 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 168. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring There were 4 Tweetups over the last 60 days with an estimated OTS (opportunity to see) of 13219 followers downstream. To recall what happened recently when we gave a lady a drink who was tweeting in one of the restaurants soon after she tweeted I set up Radian6 alerts set up on Havana Central that sends email status every 10 minutes when anyone tweets or mentions the restaurant chain in any way. Got and alert from a customer who was saying she was in the restaurant via Twitter. When I read my email alert from Radian6 I immediately realized the customer was in the restaurant at the very same moment we are. The alert took place in real time the customer and her friend were given free drinks and discounts we used Social Media and Social Media Monitoring (via Radian6) to reward a customer who was having a great time and we made that time better. TWEET FROM: KIMBERLY819 Source:, Posted on: Mar 01, 2010 9:36 PM by KIMBERLY819 Chillin with my girl Yesenia in the city!! Great restaurant Havana Central!! Great Live salsa band!! Oooooooowwwww!!!! Following: 86 | Followers: 65 | Updates: 270 | Sentiment: Positive TWEET FROM: KIMBERLY819 Name: KIMBERLY819 Posted on: Mar 1, 2010 1:07 AM Followers: 66 Following: 87 What a GREAT night at Havana Central!!!! My new favorite spot!! 168 Link Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 169. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring We gave Kimberly and her friend a free drink immediately thanks to Radian6 -that sends us alerts frequently (with a picture of the tweeter when it s available from a profile) we had no trouble finding her she was right around the corner from the receptionists table as you enter the 46th Street Havana Central entrance. THAT gesture was worth it in my opinion look what the customer tweeted after the evening was over .. You want Social Media ROI you got ROI a new loyal customer perhaps a loyal customer for life and you know what that is worth a lot of money. Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution At least 250 times a month a customer tweeted they were in one of Havana Central s locations. And FourSquare new Venue Dashboard will make it much easier to act on customers who check in -. 169 Page Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 170. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring The above chart shows the Topic Trend of people who are actually tweeting or foursquare checking in at a Havana Central Location over the last 60 days I produced this chart by isolating certain phases that indicate the person is at the restaurant. About 50% of all the content about Havana Central is coming from someone who is actually in the restaurant!!!!!! 170 Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,
  • 171. Social Influence Monitoring On a Shoestring Total Number of Posts (mentions) about Havana Central over the last 2 months. As mentioned earlier in this EBook we are able to detect immediately when someone says they are in one of the restaurants (within 10 minutes) but we may not be able to immediately act on it. However if we did according to calculations we came up with that estimated each loyal customer can be worth between $400.00 - $1200.00 per year of additional business and an average of 8 customers a day who say they are at Havana Central we can make a calculation that will estimate Social Media ROI on fulfillment. Average Yearly Value per customer * (number of geo located customers) Or $800 * 2920 = $2.34 Million Dollars per year Of course, that is a widely optimistic number and if we only actualized 1/3 of that we d still have 800K of profit just out of taking care of customers on the spot and creating loyalty. 171 See more details about the e v e n t that lead up to this realization here Page Copyright© Marshall Sponder - 2010,