sociauxanswers

Empowering the end user and those considering a career in digital media

Posts Tagged ‘digital

Taking the social media high road

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Who owns social media? exploring where I think responsibility for social media management should lie within the marcomms mix. For those who took the time to read it, you will know I strongly believe it should sit within a digital specific division of a PR company.

There is a secondary consideration which all agencies need to take into account, whether digital specific, marketing wide or PR – the DIY amateurs that believe they own the company social media profile. You may have come across the internal die hards who do not want to relinquish what they have build themselves. It’s tempting to be condescending but by not getting them on board, you could be missing a trick.

Rather than competing with the vigilante for control, they could become an alie nestled within the organisation. Building these kind of allegiances with like-minded individuals on the client side can be the key to keeping the business.

Their initial toe dips in to the pool of social media can also serve as a testing pot when you’re developing your more holistic social media campaign.

Operate in the spirit of collaboration and you will be rewarded – it will at least make your life a lot easier.

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February 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

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Social Media Monitoring: Meltwater Buzz vs Radian6

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Ask anyone with experience trying to build a brand’s social media presence and they will tell you, the key to success is measurement and evaluation. There are free tools on the market that can help you with this but increasingly, none quite cut the mustard compared to the paid for offerings.

The most well known three are Radian6, Meltwater Buzz and Brandwatch. As far as I can see, Brandwatch (which I’m also currently trialling) seems to present a slightly differing offering so, in this post, I’ll be comparing Radian6 to Meltwater Buzz – based on testing from an end user perspective.

Meltwater Buzz describes itself as a social media monitoring tool that ‘allows our clients to monitor blogs, social networks, Twitter, forums and other social media sites to get a complete picture of what is being said about your organization, your products, and your competitors.’

Where as Radian6, ‘gives you a complete platform to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social web.’

Hmm… so far, so similar.

To ensure I understood each of the product offerings properly, I set up a telephone testing session with both companies.

Both responded swiftly through email, Twitter AND telephone. From a customer services perspective they are both superb – perhaps even a little overzealous.

On the initial calls, both answered some of my more testing questions in detail and with honesty. Neither claimed to offer a solution to the machine’s inability to distinguish between the positive and negative sentiment of all posts. Both attempted to solve a trying new business issue I’ve been battling, searching for particularly obscure references to a particularly niche company.

Once I started looking at each off the options, it was initially hard to distinguish between the two. Both allow you to monitor your client’s social media presence in depth, tracking by key words, creating reports and responding to individuals. Both allow you to rate posts in order of importance and track your responses over time. Both look cool and are blue. Both offer the core monitoring tools you would expect, plus some more thrown in for good measure.

I wont go in to the nitty gritty of the individual features here – both companies will happily schedule an hours demonstration – so you would be far better to see for yourself.

But, what are the key differences?

For me, it depends on the size of the client you’re working with. Meltwater Buzz focuses on beautiful graphs, making sense of trends and counting the big numbers. Where as Radian6 seems to be more about the individual responses – tracking individuals in the social media sphere and ensuring influencers are acknowledged and responded to.

If your client is a household name, Meltwater Buzz may be for you. It does what it says on the tin and gives a great view of buzz across the web. However, if you’re working with a smaller brand where every individual counts, Radian6 could help weed out the supporters AND cynics to ensure your message gets where it needs to go.

All going to plan, I’ll be putting both to the test monitoring actual campaigns over the coming months.

It would be great to get feedback from longstanding users who might have a view on my first impressions.

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January 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Collaboration will help us through the winter

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In a week when both Facebook and iPhone have been infiltrated by yet another viral worm, one would think we would all be on a bit of a downer. In actuality, these bugs and hickups seem to draw us digital geeks closer together.

When the Internet entered out homes, it was a scary world, full of spam, hackers and new online threats. Today, it has become a world of collaboration, sharing and a vehicle for conversations to take place.

What always astounds me is others willingness to offer help and support in the digital world. Ask a question on Twitter and you will be overwhelmed with answers, ask for advice on LinkedIn and you will be inundated with support, ask what your friends are having for lunch on Facebook and you will find out about the best restaurants in your area.

The digital sphere is no longer associated with fear but with collabaration and honesty.

If you’ve been infected by one of the latest attacks, tell us about it. You’ll find a community at your fingertips ready to help you tweet your sorrows away.

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November 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

How real is ‘real time’?

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When Twitter revolutionised the digital world with its launch in 2006, claims of real time communication became one of its core USPs. The ability to watch a stream of incoming thoughts, opinions and interactions from across the world was impressive.

My problem is the inferior technology that surrounds me. Our aging desktop at home is only slightly more advanced than our toaster and the clunky server at work offers no escape. This creates a good five second delay when monitoring the flow from Twitterville.

The refresh button has become my nemesis and I expect I’m not the only one.

Should a telephone conversation be held in this way, we would be attacking out handsets with the nearest blunt implement – any kind of delay means it’s not in real time.

Google Wave and Twingly Channels – which I wrote about last week – seem to be a little more accurate with their claims. You can actually see updates as users type, like a real conversation, in real time.

It’s undoubtedly impressive and sure to transform the way we use social media. Let’s hope the average user’s decaying hunk of buttons and ram are fit enough to ride the wave.

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October 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

We’ve got the tips, let’s see the action

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It’s a confusing time in the digital age, especially when working in PR. Although we’re absorbed in an environment flowing with creativity, we like our boundaries too. Evaluation and return on investment also float our boats and that makes social media a little bit scary.

This has created a new breed of professional – the digital preacher. Anyone who is knowledgeable enough to set up a blog seems to have opinions on how things should be done – generally neatly packaged into ten top tips.

So, what is the right advice to give? Well, as far as I can tell, there isn’t any ‘right advice’.

I want to hear from those who are experimenting and are immersed in the digital world – not those trying to position themselves as a leader in order to extort revenue from the rest of us at a later date.

You do not need to be a professional to start a conversation. As long as you’re transparent, open and honest, you won’t be getting any advice from me.

Authors note: All of the above does not apply to those who I manage. You will conform to my ideals or face the consequences.

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October 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

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