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#Social2011: New Features coming to Radian6

April 13, 2011

During the opening keynote, Marcel LeBrun demoed three new features that will be rolling out in Radian6 over the next few months. These three new features aim to give the users quick, actionable information by cutting down time spent digging through data.

Radian6 Insights
Radian6 Insights is an integrated platform that uses 75 insight factors from four insight vendors (Klout, Open Amplify, Reuters Open Calais, PeekYou) to bring a deeper understanding to Radian6 information and results. Thanks to these new partnerships, the Radian6 Insight tool will help people interpret and digest information faster than before. Instead of having to manually sort through query results to get the big picture, Radian6 automatically draws conclusions based on search results. Say you’re wondering who was the most popular band, film, or keynote speaker at SXSW. No need to shuffle through conversation result to come to a conclusion because Radian6 Insights is set to do this for you.

Summary Dashboard
Radian6’s new Summary Dashboard provides an easy to read, high level snapshot of conversation volume, sentiment, trending themes and topics, key demographics, top influencers and competitors in real-time. This tool is perfect for brand and community managers who want a quick overview of details in real time. The Summary Dashboard is integrated with Raidan6 Insights and allows information widgets to be exported and embedded across the Web.

Radian6 Mobile App
For brands who require social media monitoring outside of the hours of 9-to-5, a mobile solution has arrived. With the Radian6 Mobile App (iPhone only at the moment, no word on Android or Blackberry version), users can open a “Summary Stack” to keep an eye on overall conversation volume and trends, sentiment, share of voice, share of conversation and top five countries. Borrowing features from the Radian6 Engagement Console, users have the ability to engage and respond to conversations while on the go. While the application isn’t as extensive as it’s Web version, Radian6 has created a product that customers have been asking about for sometime. A mobile application that keeps users connected to conversations about their brand just makes sense.

All in all, if these new features live up to their promise and hype, they will provide Radian6 users with more immediate insights to guide them in their interactions with online communities.

I’m waiting eagerly their debut.

#Social2011: Is “The Now Revolution” here?

April 12, 2011

After the opening keynote, I attended my first break out session, “The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social” led by Amber Naslund (who also happens to work at Radian 6). She and Jay Baer wrote a book with the same title and she was here to talk about how companies can equip their employees to respond and interact with consumers in real-time.

She started off by reminding the audience that sometimes organizations and brands create social media messes for themselves and that thanks to technology, we’ve adapted to the speed of business (telephone to fax machine, to email, etc.), but we haven’t adopted our businesses to the speed of social. Herein lies our problem.

To fix this, Amber suggests that companies must start from within. This means decentralizing communication and empowering all members to represent the organization online. Engaging all members ensures that consumers are taken care of in-real time and as Amber stated, “A committee meeting cannot be held every time the organization needs to respond to a consumer’s tweet.”

To alleviate apprehension that leaders may feel about decentralizing communication, set and determine guidelines and hire trustworthy people. Amber stressed that there was room for all members of an organization to be involved at some level, with varying responsibilities. Like a baseball team, the organization’s members must act together to accomplish the task (or win the game). This can’t be left to one person to do single-handily.

Towards the end of her presentation, Amber said something that made a lot of people around me nod in agreement. Social Media is just a role right now, but sooner or later, it wont just be a job, it’ll be a skill. We don’t have a manager of “the email” or of “the phone.” Those are just skills. I understand her point, and agree for the most part but I think that there will always need to be someone overseeing the social charge, even if the rest of the organization has mastered the social media skills.

In a few years, Amber predicts that every company will be social because consumers are demanding it. This isn’t a threat, rather it’s a huge opportunity to be highly in-tuned and engaged with consumers. To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to implement social listening programs throughout the whole organization because one day (thanks to social), all employees will become unofficial members of the marketing team.

Is the “The Now Revolution” here? I don’t think so, but it’s on its way.

#Social2011 Opening Keynote: A new + better way

April 7, 2011

#social2011 @Lebrun on stage keynoting #radian6 Thanking the community (photo via @rwang0)

I was a few minutes late to this morning’s opening keynote (silly registration lines), but when I entered the Pacific Grand Ballroom, I was met with a packed crowd. After some shimmying in the dark, I found a seat and settled in to hear Marcel LeBrun (CEO, Radian6) welcome those of us who’ve come to learn more about social listening and how Radian6 is making it easier and more accurate to do.

Jumping right in, LeBrun brought up some great fundamental thoughts about to social listening.

First, social listening allows us to engage with our consumers and audience when they’re at a point of need, rather than interrupting them when they don’t need or want to hear from us. This allows for and creates real-time, meaningful experiences and it changes the way we (should) drive sales.

Next, LeBrun advocated that brands move away from “what’s always been done” to “taking actions and being where our consumers are.” He used P&G as a great example. P&G invented the soap opera and for the past 77 years, they’ve been a leading sponsor for the daytime shows. Within the last year however, the decided to stop sponsoring the very entity that they created. Their consumer base has moved away from TV and they could better engage with them if they invested money and resources into social media.

Finally, he talked about the relationship between social media and trust. Whether we as marketers like it or not, consumers don’t automatically trust brands. They’re skeptical and understand that at the end of the day, brands are trying to sell them something.  Who they do trust however are their friends and those who they’re connected to via their social networks. A brand’s message is able to last longer on the web when it is propagated through a network of trust. So, when my friend sends me a cool video, my first thought isn’t, “They’re trying to get me to buy something.” Rather, I think, “They know me, understand my likes and interests and think that this is something I will enjoy.”

For brands to find success here, they should listen to and understand what their consumers are talking about online and take steps to create content tailored to their likes and interests.

Overall, LeBrun’s keynote highlighted a very important thing: this space is more than just social listening. It’s listening combined with effective action and engagement.

I couldn’t agree more.

(photo via @rwang0)

#Social2011: Radian 6’s User Conference

April 7, 2011

It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m finally settled into my hotel here in Boston. Today and Friday I will be attending Radian 6’s User Conference, Social 2011.

For those of you who don’t know, Radian 6 is an online listening tool that allows Community Managers like myself to get a glimpse into what is being said about their client’s brand online. Additionally, it’s one of many tools that helps users gather research and insight into what people are saying about a particular topic online. At JWT we’re already doing this type of work with Randian 6 and other listening tools, but there is always room to grow and I’m hoping that this conference provides just that.

Prior to getting to Boston late this evening, I was feeling frazzled and rushed as I left New York. I literally booked my ticket just a few hours before leaving and I hadn’t had much time to organize which break out and training sessions I wanted to attend. As I sat on the train, I started searching Twitter for the conference’s hashtag, #Social2011. Not surprisingly, I saw that lots of people were already in Boston meeting up before the conference even started. A tiny bit of FOMO washed over me- I was missing out on all the fun and the pre-conference festivities.

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Focusing on the Small(er) Screen

April 1, 2011

The use of social media combined with TV is becoming increasingly more prevalent. A new survey by Harris Interactive shows that US adults are turning to social media more than ever to discuss and comment about programs they’ve recently watched. The survey also shows that 31% of adults interact using social media while watching a program, and we can expect this trend to continue as TV viewers increasingly engage in big-screen TV viewing with a small screen in hand (tablet, smartphone, netbook…)

TV networks have begun taking a more proactive approach in combining social media with traditional television as well. CBS plans to launch “Tweet Week” beginning April 3rd which will have its stars Tweet and take questions during their respective shows. Besides scripted programs it will also be used by NCAA tournament commentators to interact with viewers.
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LinkedIn Knows It’s The Little Things

March 25, 2011

I wouldn’t put “receiving blast e-mails from social networking platforms” atop my list of stuff that I like.

But I just received an unusually thoughtful one “from” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s co-founder, calling me out for being one of LinkedIn’s first million members:

I wouldn’t say I’ve previously had a tremendously strong emotional connection to LinkedIn, but small gestures like this are a great first step.  They’ve even thrown in some info about locating a little easter egg within LinkedIn (i.e. how to identify your member number)!

More companies should follow this line of thinking.  Sweat the small details.  They’re the things people remember.

In Defense of Brand Journalism (and Bob Garfield’s Involvement)

March 21, 2011

Bob Garfield did a great job moderating our SXSW panel last week: “Brand Journalism: The Rise of Non-Fiction Advertising.” He got called out in Twitter, in blog posts, and in private conversations as one of the better moderators of the whole SXSW show, and I completely agree with the assessment.

We knew when we submitted the panel idea last summer that we would need to explain and perhaps even defend brand journalism—it’s not a practice that many are familiar with, even though we at JWT have done it with huge clients like Microsoft and Ford. And we knew that brand journalism, and branded content in general, would be a hot-button issue at SXSW this year.

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