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ESPN Dominates Social Media, Here’s How

Gabe Goodwin is the Coordinating Producer of Social Production for ESPN. Gabe leads SocialTV production for multiple shows, including SportsCenter, SportsNation, First Take and Numbers Never Lie as well as specialty shows for NFL, NBA & MLB.  He spoke at the Westchester Digital Summit.  I had the pleasure of chatting with him moments after he stepped off stage. He shared some incredible insights regarding how ESPN has been so successful in social media.

I asked Gabe about how much social media informs the producers about content they’ll put on air. He mentioned that there is some value in pivoting on a story based on what’s breaking in social media, but that the real news comes from the newsmakers – ie, the athletes on the field.

He shared that ESPN leverages Mass Relevance to help his team look at real time marketing and breaking content as the show airs. They use them to review a data point to see if the sentiment is in line with the production run down for that particular day. They may give some more attention to something that will show up on the report. So for example – this story line may resonate more than the lead story line. But he makes it clear that a seasoned producer will never be swayed by social media. They review data points. They add social media to the pie, but it’s only a percentage of the audience. They’re also those who choose to be vocal. Gabe explained that you want to reward clever content, but you don’t want to get away from the host of the show to feature fans on social media.

See the whole Video here:

Purchase a ticket to next year’s Westchester Digital Summit in advance.

Weddings Socialized, Part II: Apps, Registries, and Trends, Oh My!

Daniela Raciti

Daniela Raciti

In March, I wrote about finding my (soon-to-be) husband online and planning my wedding while not taking my eyes off the phone/computer screen. The more wedding planning I do (online, of course), the more websites, apps and information I come across that peak my curiosity.

Is your wedding trending?

Wedding selfies aren’t the only aspect of your wedding that should go viral. Through the end of December 2014, W Hotels in New York is offering a “social media wedding concierge” for the low price of $3k. W Hotels even goes so far as creating you a wedding blog, registry wish list, Pinterest board for your honeymoon, and putting together a Shutterfly book with wedding day highlights from all the social media platforms.

While this may seem a bit excessive (and not just financially), plastering of weddings on social is not something that is uncommon, including couples taking selfies at the altar (… that’s a bit excessive). Let’s think about it for a second. You know your guests are going to take pictures and post them whether you want them to or not, so why not add this one extra ‘vendor’ to your list to aggregate everything for you so you can enjoy the honeymoon instead of looking up your hashtag on the beach to see what people posted?

If you don’t happen to have $3,000 extra in the budget to spend, you can always see if your wedding planner would be willing to add “social media” to her list of services and create a hashtag for your day. (If you don’t have a wedding planner, create the hashtag yourself and be sure to share it with your guests.)

Wedding planning mobile apps

You don’t have to tell me that there are not enough hours in the day to plan a wedding and do everything else you have going on. For us soon-to-be brides who are always on the run and don’t want to lug a wedding binder around (you know how I feel about those), just download an app or two:

The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner: When you’re engaged (well, let’s be realistic, before you get engaged), The Knot is one of the first websites you create an account on to start planning your dream wedding. In October of 2011, they launched their Ultimate Wedding Planner, an “all-inclusive wedding planning application” for iPad and iPhone for $4.99. According to the press release: “Couples can… create and update their wedding to-do list, track wedding budget expenses, browse thousands of wedding dresses and bookmark inspirational photos of cakes, wedding décor and more – all while on the go.” Soon after the launch, they added a few more features to the app including vendor and guest list managers and mobile wedding message boards.

Wedding Wire: Wedding Wire (another site you typically sign up for before/when you are engaged) actually has a family of mobile apps to make wedding planning easier: WeddingWire, WedTeam, WedSocial, and WedStyle. Each app has different functions, so if you’re looking for inspiration and you’re Pinterest-ed out, WedStyle has thousands of photos; If you want to share all the photos your guests took in one place, download WedSocial; If you have no idea where to start with vendors, WedTeam has you covered an easily searchable list by preferences and location; And lastly, if a management tool is all you really need, the WeddingWire app is all you will need to manage budgets, checklists, RSVPS and you can even participate in the forums as if you were on the website.

David Tutera Live – My Dream Wedding: Having David as your wedding planner is every girl’s dream (sorry guys, finding you was second on the list) and unfortunately for most of us, a dream is all it will ever be; But for 99 cents, you can have the next big thing: David’s wedding app! Available for iPhone and iPad, the app has a real time countdown to your wedding and anniversary, a wedding checklist, tips, videos and advice from the man himself, “accessible wedding party contact information” and “ceremony and reception location details”. I’ll take it!

Wedding video and picture apps

The wedding day is over (sad) and you’re looking for a way to combine all the photos and videos from your guests into memories you can look back on forever (if you had a social media concierge, you wouldn’t have to worry about it, but I digress). Here are some great apps that will get the job done, for far less than what your photographer and videographer charged you:

Animoto: “Animoto is a video creation service (online and mobile) that makes it easy and fun for anyone to create and share extraordinary videos using their own pictures, video clips, words and music.” Your completed video will be in HD and ready to be shared on your social media platforms and burned to a DVD.

Eversnap (formerly Wedding Snap): Simply put, “Eversnap app and website help you to collect all your guests’ photos AND videos in one online album.” Once you sign up and create an album, you’ll receive 200 “adorable instruction cards for your guests” that will allow them to upload their photos and videos all in one place. You can use a custom hashtag (ie #danielabilly2014) and the best part is your guests’ photos can be used for a slideshow during your reception! Just make sure your entertainment package includes a screen.

Wedding Party App: Wedding Party is a private app that does everything from the minute you get engaged until after you get married. Share information with your guests, invite loved ones and track RSVPS. Guests can even “share their favorite memories of your relationship and stay connected to the celebrations no matter where they are.” Once the big day is over, feel free to relive the entire journey all over again through the app.

Bridal Registry Apps

My Registry: With this app and website, you can “add gifts from any website onto one universal gift registry”. It doesn’t even have to be for a wedding, it could be a general wish list as well. If you created wedding registries at various stores, you can sync them on this site so your guests can very easily see everything you’ve requested in one place. Once completed, you can download printable announcement cards to include with the bridal shower invites.

Simple Registry: Very similar to My Registry in the sense that you can “put any item from anywhere on one wedding registry”, this app also lets guests suggest items that you may like but didn’t think of requesting with the SimpleAdder tool. Additionally, when it comes time to write thank you notes, the gifts you received were already tracked, so no need to “google” addresses and wonder if Aunt Liz was the one who gave you the Lenox vase. A full checklist with details was already built for you, so just print (if you want) and thank away!

Wedding Scan: Another app that lets you “register any product at any store by scanning a barcode or manually entering the item”, but what makes it stand out amongst the rest is that any and all items that you scann include a geo-location so your family and friends are able to view where you found the item. For instance, if a small boutique store in your town has an incredible local artisan piece that you just have to have, your guests can easily visit or call the store and buy the item for you without spoiling the surprise by asking you where it can be purchased.

Now that you have all the tools you need to pull off an incredible wedding, there is no excuse for your big day to not be trending on social! 

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Social Media Case Study: Target’s Awesome Shop

Target's Awesome Shop

Target has a brand new e-commerce site called the “Awesome Shop”. The standalone site is updated daily and includes social integration by using data driven from Pinterest as well as from Target.

The site has a fantastic layout and easy to read descriptions for each item. Essentially, Target has taken data from Pinterest and combined it with their own to create an easy to read layout. The user can search for items by category (food, beauty, home decor, etc) or by “top pinned” and “highly reviewed” items from the social community. Once you click an item, you see the product rating (Target’s data), the total reviews (Target’s data), and how many times it has been pinned (Pinterest data). The user also has the ability to pin the item directly from the site, and view ‘more details’ which redirects to the Target website where the user can make a direct purchase.

The standalone site with social integration is in its beta form but don’t be surprised if this becomes a permanent fixture, not only for Target, but for other big box retailers. A site with social integration allows brands to look at new data to help identify consumer trends. By using Pinterest, Target is adopting a network that they know their key demographic, 18-29 year old women, is already comfortable with.

The “Awesome Shop” website was developed in a couple of weeks by an internal team called the RAD (Rapid Accelerated Development) group. This is a small agile team that can create and test new projects. The importance of a team like this will surely rise as other companies will want to experiment with other social networks and technologies, so that their consumers will have the best socially powered shopping experience.

The fact that Target chose to integrate Pinterest speaks volumes of how they think social media can directly influence a purchase. When people ask you, “What is the ROI of social media?”, point to this example. If a brand has an engaged community and they provide the right value at the right time, consumers will BUY!

The simplicity of the site and the perfect combination of social data with 3rd party data make this a truly “Awesome Shop”.

Facebook Algorithm Change = Death of Memes?

A few days ago, Facebook made some additional changes to its algorithm. Here are the changes summarized below:

  • Posts to popular articles and other content will show up more than images.
  • Text posts reach a larger audience than image posts do.

We’ve seen the changes affecting the reach of our posts over the last few days:

Silverback Social Facebook Insights

 

Our average reach was ~50, but over the last 3 days, the highest reach for one of our posts was only 22.

What does this mean? Well first, forget trying to get engagement through memes. Facebook is becoming inundated with meme images and it’s clear the social network is looking to shift towards a place to get high-quality content rather than a meme farm.

Second, this change coupled with the recent “story bump” update means content aggregators will be rewarded for posting highly engaging content. This means you’ll probably see a lot more articles from large publications like the New York Times and high-traffic blogs like Mashable.

It seems that, in an effort to compete with other quickly growing social networks like reddit and to get users to stay on the platform, Facebook is trying to become a network that people go to for high-quality news and content. Also, in an effort to become a valuable company in the eyes of shareholders, they are pushing smaller content creators to pay for sponsored posts and ads, since less trafficked blogs don’t tend to get as much engagement as larger publications.

If Facebook is a channel that you use in your marketing plan, consider these changes and test the effect your metrics.  Will the greater reach of text posts help your click-through rate, or will the lack of an image cause people to skim over your post even though it reaches more people?

 

Votopin: A Mobile Social Network Where Your Opinions Matter

I’m a bit of nerd. But I’m a nerd in the sense that I’m passionate about certain, specific things. I don’t just like sports. I love ultimate frisbee, because it’s an awesome hybrid of aspects from other sports, there are typically no referees, and the playful, laid-back culture of ultimate players is unlike that of any other sport I’ve played. I don’t just like music. I love djent (a sub-genre of metal) because it combines really heavy, crushing, staccato guitar breakdowns with intricate time signatures and complicated, melodic riffs. I don’t just love movies. I love psychological thrillers because they keep me asking questions, make me doubt the obvious, and let me try to predict twist endings while being delightfully creeped out and kept on edge.

I have all of these specific interests. These are the things I’m passionate about, and they bring me joy. So how do I find other people with interests like mine? How can I connect with people who have such a particular affinity for certain things?

Well I found the answer: a mobile app called Votopin.

Votopin is a new opinion-sharing app that enables you to express your thoughts on certain topics by creating “Votocards.” These topics can be anything: music, politics, beverages, movies, technology, current events, sports, holidays, and much more. You can choose a topic, create a Votocard about it, and share it with people who are following you on Votopin as well as with your friends on social media. When you create a Votocard, you are asked to answer a few questions about the topic, choose an image of a facial expression (or upload your own!) that describes how you feel about the topic, and provide any additional comments you have about the topic you’re reviewing. The Votopin app’s interface enables you to do this quickly and easily, and once you’ve finished your Votocard you can show it to your friends by email or text message, or by sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s a Votocard I created about Thanksgiving Day:

 

Brian Funicelli Votocard

 

 

You can also see what topics are trending, what the general public mood is on a certain topic, and even gender and age demographics:

 

Votopin stats

 

But wait, there’s more.

What makes Votopin different is that it connects you with other users who have similar interests. It does this by calculating “Likeness” scores between you and those users based on your interests and your reviews. This is extremely valuable because when you read a review of something you like or something you’re curious about on Votopin, you’re reading a review written by someone who’s into the same things you’re into. So, for example, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to see the new Hunger Games movie, you can read some reviews written by people who like what you like, so you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you should go see it.

Like-Minded Votopin

As you make more Votocards, you can discover more people who like the same things you like. This app is a great way to learn about other people’s opinions that are relevant to yours as well as connecting with people who share your interests. So you can find new friends who are as crazy about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book series as you are. Or you can see how people feel about the scandals involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and share your thoughts with them.

One suggestion I have for Votopin is to include a feature that enables users to interact with each other more directly. If I see that someone has created a Votocard about a book I’ve just recently read, and his or her opinion is totally different from mine, I’d like to be able to initiate a conversation with that person to discuss what we both liked and disliked about the book. Instead, I can only follow that person or send them a friend request. Some kind of chat or messaging feature would add a lot of value to the app, in my opinion.

There are a lot of opinions floating around out there in the social world. Votopin organizes them based on your interests and preferences and does a great job of making sense of all the noise. So how will you make your voice heard?

 

Would you use Votopin to share your opinion? What would you share? Tell us in the comments below.

 

 

 

Google+ Part III: If Content is King, on G+ it’s God.

In part II of the Google+ series, we illustrated the effects of certain engagement tactics on our follower and +1 count. More specifically, we:

  • Posted quality content to communities related to social media (~2-3/day).
  • Re-shared posts from other users (3-5/day).
  • Constructed quality comments on discussion topics within communities (~5/day).

We found that using these tactics did, in fact, increase engagement on our content and in addition to overall +1 and follower count.

For this week, we tried taking a couple more tactics suggested by G+ power users and testing their efficacy. Once again, using SumAll to record stats, this was the result:

Google+ Sumall graph

Follower count: 55 -> 68

+1 count: 188 -> 301

The blue line indicates our followers, the purple line indicates our publishing activity which is all the content we share and reshare, and the orange line indicates our advocacy activity which is the +1’s, comments, and shares we get on our content.

The first thing you’ll notice about the graph is that our advocacy activity was consistently higher than our publishing activity on most days.  Basically, this means that we received more engagement (+1, share, comments), while posting less. In the second part of the series, we actually posted more, but received much less engagement (more on this in the conclusion).

The other thing to note here is that our +1 count grew at a much quicker rate than the previous week, and our follower count grew at about the same rate.

How We Did It

We were able to maintain steady growth of our follower and +1 count by employing these additional tactics:

  • Taking all posts and turning them into a longer form post:

 

Google+ post

 

  • Utilized “Ripples” to track spread of content and engage with influencers.

Google+ Ripples

Conclusions & Key Takeaways

  • We received higher engagement per post due to the content we were posting. The post linked above was shared (posted on 2 communities) over 12 times and +1’d 20 times while other posts with significantly less copy and a colorful image got zero shares and +1’sSimply put, quantity does not equal engagement. Some tips on creating engaging content on Google+:
    • Take all posts and turn them into longer format posts. This means actually reading the articles you’re posting and summarizing them or drawing unique conclusions (click here for an example).
    • When creating a post, remember that the first 160 characters are the ones that show after creation. If the reader wants to read on, they must click the “read more” option on the post. So make sure you use a catchy title and tell readers what the post is about in the beginning.
    • Make sure you’re teaching your audience something or showing them something unique. This is how you share less, but get more engagement.
  • The “Ripples” feature found on each individual post’s options is a powerful tool to measure the spread of a piece of content and to find influencers within your field.  We used it to circle those who consistently reshared content and to thank those who reshared. Doing this led to direct “follow-backs.”
  • Communities are places to learn and share content with others in your field. Posting basic tips that everyone already knows will get your post removed, as in the case of this Pinterest tips post: https://plus.google.com/116778956448925804652/posts/2uFDkEE8FYE
  • We are getting a lot more engagement on communities than our actual G+ page. This tells us that communities are where people are spending most of their time, not the “stream” (similar to Facebook’s news feed).

In short, we proved that content is key to increased engagement, and that Google+ operates on a different plane than the other social platforms.  If you follow the tips here and that in Part II, we can guarantee that you’ll see a significant increase in engagement like we have.

In Part IV, we’ll test the effect of using images in our posts. Remember, you can track our progress by following us on Google+!


The Curious Case of Richie Incognito – A Social Spin

There is no doubt the NFL adopts a “Band of Brothers” mentality. It makes perfect sense; only these players understand the physical and emotional stress endured on a weekly basis. This stress helps form a nearly unbreakable bond amongst teammates competing for the same cause.

This is why it was curious to see a news story about NFL player Jonathan Martin leaving his team due to bullying from other players. Certainly rookie hazing happens in the NFL. However, all would agree that it used to be very rare for a story like this to end up in the mainstream media. I say this because bullying and other “behind closed doors” practices are becoming more transparent thanks in part to social and digital media.

Content is king in today’s media and when Sunday came this story quickly made headlines as ESPN, NFL Network and countless blogs used it to help fill 5-10 hours of coverage leading up to the day’s NFL games. What was once a Miami Dolphin internal matter that would likely have resulted in a suspension for Incognito, quickly became a Social firestorm that will more than likely end his career and call for a much deeper investigation of NFL teams and their policies.

Social Spin

Incognito took Twitter by storm Sunday morning to defend himself against accusations made by ESPN, particularly Adam Schefter. Schefter, known for his breaking news, tweeted a link to an ESPN article-mentioning Incognito as the cause of Joseph Martins team departure. Today, Schefter has followed up by sending out 5 separate tweets to his nearly 2.6 million followers detailing the exact content of a voice mail from Incognito to Martin. Part of this voice mail discusses Incognito’s angry reaction to seeing information on Martin’s twitter account.

Adam Schefter is highly regarded as one of, if not the most informed NFL reporter. He consistently uses Twitter as his medium of choice for breaking news. His tweets make waves not just with his followers but also with the tens of millions who see his message retweeted. Incognito on the other hand, did himself no favors with his barrage of angry tweets. He would have been better off simply pointing those curious to the Miami Dolphins team statement, which he ended up doing after he deleted the multiple tweets in his rant. Unfortunately, this was after mainstream media outlets saw the tweets and created content around them.

Take Away

Hazing in the NFL is a common practice, one often shrugged off by casual observers. Richie Incognito had an opportunity to use his digital brand to help diffuse a bad and embarrassing situation. Instead, he ended up fast-forwarding his own free fall by taking an aggressive and defensive stance on the topic. With the spotlight on him, Richie could have used Twitter as a platform for a heartfelt apology or a standard response keeping the matter within control of the Dolphins. While his 40k plus followers pale in comparison to Schefter, the media spotlight would have had his message distributed to all of the right channels. Incognito may have even received more followers for the act. Instead his response to Schefter was ill conceived, curt and came off as more bullying.

Social Media outlets are an extension of your own personal brand. In times of crisis management they can be your biggest asset or an accelerant to your downfall. It is important to be educated on the difference because once your response hits the Internet; there is no turning back.

Google+ Part II: If it’s a ghost town, why is there so much noise?

We’ve all heard it, before: “Don’t bother with Google+, it’s a ghost town,” “No one uses it, why should we spend time on there?” And this is the advice given by so called “social media professionals” and “experts.” It’s sad because given their “expert” and “guru” status, they really don’t know anything about one of the fastest growing social networks.  All they know is that “it’s great for SEO purposes” so they simply repurpose Facebook posts onto Google+ without actually knowing how the SEO benefits actually work.

In an effort to shed some light on how to properly use the platform, we conducted a small experiment to illustrate how busy the social network actually is. As stated in Part I of the Google+ series, engagement is the key to SEO benefits, so we followed the advice of thought leaders like Mark Traphagen, and increased our +1 count from 101 to 188, and our follower count from 38 to 55 in 5 days.

How We Did It

With the use of the free analytics platform SumAll, we kept track of the before and after effects of our efforts. Here is what our engagement looked like before implementing specific engagement tactics:

Google+ before engagement

The blue line indicates our followers, the purple line indicates our publishing activity which is all the content we share and reshare, and the orange line indicates our advocacy activity which is the +1’s, comments, and shares we get on our content.

As you can see, there was little to no activity. Now, look at the graph after implementing specific engagement tactics:

Google+ after engagement

Clearly there is a marked difference between the two graphs. Here’s what we did:

  • Posted quality content to communities related to social media (~2-3/day; this tactic had the most direct effect on overall advocacy).
  • Re-shared posts from other users (3-5/day).
  • Constructed quality comments on discussion topics within communities (~5/day).

 

Conclusions

The large dip that you see in the middle was due to us not engaging at all to see if the relationship between publishing and advocacy activity was more correlative than causative. We came to the conclusion that publishing activity and advocacy activity are indeed causative, thus boosting followers due to higher engagement. BUT! This does not mean you should spam! This simply means that the sole activity of publishing content will drive engagement. Spamming will certainly lose you followers and get you banned from communities.

However, we also noticed that the type of content posted might play a factor in terms of advocacy.  Anytime we posted a piece of content and wrote an explanatory post accompanying it, we seemed to get higher engagement – in other words treating Google+ almost like a “mini-blog.”

To improve engagement, we also found that participation in communities is key because that’s where all the people are conversing. Whenever we just posted content to our page, we didn’t get much engagement, but posting to communities put a lot more eyeballs on our content, leading to shares and +1’s. Just take note that most communities are heavily moderated and you will be punished for ruthless self-promotion and nonsense. Remember, the goal is to share quality content. Engagement is just a consequence of doing so.

We are starting to see that Google+ is truly a content driven platform that’s fueled by the people and their engagement, even more so than Facebook or Twitter.  We will continue to use these tactics while employing others such as mini-blog post style content, and utilizing Ripples.  We predict our follower count to increase exponentially due to the additional engagement tactics we will employ.  Be sure to follow us on Google+ and track our progress!


Instagram Ads: 3 questions + A Fatal Flaw

After Instagram’s initial announcement that ads were coming to it’s social platform a few weeks ago, we didn’t hear anything more.  Just that they were happening “soon”.  Last week, we got our first glimpse into what they would look like.

Instagram Ad

Beyond the initial announcement and the first mockup of the ad, the whole event has been shrouded in secrecy.  There’s been no word on algorithms or how Instagram ads work.  And while I understand the hesitation of over-promising and under-delivering on Instagram’s part, I can’t help but have the following concerns when it comes to what we don’t know about sponsored posts coming to one of our most beloved social media platforms:

Will it dilute the Instagram experience?

It’s scary to think about, but I can see the day where you can’t continue to scroll through your Instagram feed until you stop and watch Levi’s 15 second Instagram video for their #MakeYourMark campaign, a la YouTube.  When that happens, and users are unable to use their newsfeed the way that they want, the experience will be completely diluted.  Really hoping this doesn’t happen (are you listening, Instagram Gods?!), but again, I wouldn’t be surprised…

What’s the difference between a sponsored ad and a regular uploaded ad?

I’m confused as to why Instagram would activate ads in the first place, since each image a brand uploads is already somewhat of an ad for that brand.  Sponsored ads don’t seem to do much more than regular photo uploads (at least in these initial mockups we’re seeing).  So what’s the value of doing them?  Which brings me to my next question…

What’s the point?

How exactly do these ads help a business reach it’s goals via this platform.  Really what I’m asking here is what’s the problem that Instagram ads solve?  Right now, it looks like the only benefit is that brands get the opportunity to reach more users, according to their initial ad announcement (“Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow”).  This is great for getting more eyeballs on your photo and maybe a few new followers.  But after a user follows you on Instagram, that’s pretty much the end of the relationship.  Which brings me to Instagram’s huge missed opportunity and it’s fatal flaw:

The inability to including functioning URLs within an Instagram caption!!!

Why has Instagram not implemented this yet?!  URL’s STILL do not work in Instagram captions which is extremely limiting for all users, from bloggers to brands.  What would have made this ad rollout significantly more valuable is allowing functioning links to be added to captions, so that when Burberry uploads a photo of it’s new winter trench coat, there’s a direct link to buy it (imagine the sharing capabilities here, as well!).  If they had implemented this as a premium feature for brands choosing to advertise with them, companies would have been chomping at the bit to sign up – it would have been the proverbial “game changer” for Instagram.  Instead, they’re charging brands to do exactly the same thing that all users can do, with the only added “benefit” being that they can reach more people.  And while there is value in reaching more users, the purpose of doing so is rendered ineffective because the users can’t take any further action (like learning more about the product or clicking through to view the product) besides simply following the brand on Instagram.  The way I see it, it’s a huge missed opportunity for the platform and seems like an ineffective way to monetize and maximize the ROI of advertising on the platform.

I’m curious to see whether Instagram ads take off or whether they’ll be a bust.  Until then, look for the new ads in your Instagram feed, come back and tell us how you feel about them.

Topsy: Social Media Analytics Done (Almost) Perfectly

As Senior Community Manager of Silverback Social, it’s my job to enhance and monitor the robust social presence we’ve developed for each of our clients. This includes maintaining each client’s social places as well as measuring the results of our social strategies. I’ve recently started using a technology to help me with my day-to-day responsibilities. It’s called Topsy.

Topsy does a beautiful job of providing useful information regarding any Twitter analytics you wish to measure. With Tweet information from all the way back to 2006, Topsy allows you to track Tweets and categorize them based on whether they include links, photos, videos, or just plain text.

Topsy social search Topsy dashboard

Topsy also provides an “Influencers” function, which allows you to identify who has the most social influence for your product or brand. You can even track your competitors’ social influence, giving you a much broader perspective of your product or brand’s impact on the social space. You can track your brand’s Twitter analytics within a specific time period as well as view trends of your brand’s influence within Twitter. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can upgrade to Topsy Pro to get even more statistics regarding your brand’s impact on Twitter.

Topsy Pro provides a myriad of additional features, including the ability to track the geography of users who interact with your content, measure your content’s reach and exposure, and even observe metrics across web domains, including Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Topsy dashboard

Topsy Pro also lets you use operators that can help you narrow down your search even further. For example, by typing “from:@silverbksocial” I can observe every Tweet shared from @silverbksocial and track how many accounts each Tweet has reached. Or, by typing “site:mashable.com” I can view Tweets that contain links within mashable.com.

One limitation Topsy has, in my opinion, is that its free version leaves something to be desired. There is a huge disparity between what the free and pro versions offer, and without the features of Topsy Pro, I don’t find the free version valuable enough to continue using. I think if the free version included a few more functions that are featured in the professional version, I’d be more likely to recommend it.

Having only used this tool for a few weeks, I already feel that Topsy has added incredible value to Silverback Social. Not only can we measure the reach of content we share, but we can also observe trends and track which users are serving as the most significant brand advocates for our clients, based on how often those users are retweeting and responding to our content.  Overall, by using Topsy Pro we have been able to attain a much deeper understanding of our clients’ impact within the Twitter community.

You can test out Topsy Pro with a 14-day free trial by clicking here.

 

Have you used Topsy to measure social analytics? What social media analytics platforms do you use? Tell us in the comments below.