Radian6 flags issues before they become a problem

Radian6 captures hundreds of millions of conversations daily across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, and online communities, and provides real-time actionable insights.

Specifications: Radian6 captures hundreds of millions of conversations daily across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, and online communities, and provides real-time actionable insights.

Cost: starts at $600 per month based on a one-year term and scales based on customers' engagement needs.

Ownership
Salesforce.com

User
Alex Nicholson, director, Cone Communications has been using Radian6 since 2009. She introduced it to Cone and her previous employer, USA Today.

How do you use it?
We use it for social and traditional media monitoring, to gather campaign results, and to make sure we have all social data integrated into media results.

At Cone, we set up a master grouping of keywords in the topic profile and add sentiment words if it makes sense for the project.

We then create search widgets. I always start with a Topic Analysis search, creating a more specific query, establishing a time period and media types to search. Then I create a river of news, and export content into a CSV file - often also pulling an image file of the widget to insert into a report.

If more detail is needed, I can create a Topic Trend widget to see the story's movement over time, or a Conversation Cloud to see the most common themes in my query. All of this can be exported and added into my reporting.

How does it serve your business needs?
Some clients have dedicated Radian6 accounts outside Cone's agency account. Those tend to be higher-touch accounts we use to identify emerging trends and issues. It's key to flag issues for CSR clients before they become problems.

We also use it to identify digital stakeholders and influencers. We can tell who is waving a red flag that we might want to reach out to, or who is a strong brand advocate.

Additionally, we use it for client competitive insights and brand mentions over time. It helps us explain what their story was a year ago versus today.

And we use it a lot in the new business process to mine data on prospects, their business, and competitive set.

How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It doesn't because it's web based. The only challenge is it needs a high-speed connection to be effective.

What are the main benefits?
There's so much data that you can really go in any direction - and content is very easy to export into spreadsheets.

It allows for a lot of sorting and deeper analysis once data is pulled. We can go back pretty far with our agreement, and that's really useful for historical reports.

It's visually pleasant. The support team is really responsive, and there are loads of training modules.

We can also use it as an engagement tool or a workflow device.

What are the main drawbacks?
It has a learning curve, which can be intimidating to new users, and sometimes you have to dig through too much data to find an insight.

Having too many key words in your topic profile creates issues with sentiment or other insight tools. And you have to be careful when setting up your initial search, because the system can destabilize if there are too many topic profile results.

What would you like to see improved/added?
I'd love a better app interface for iPad or iPhone and would like to see impression, reach, and web traffic numbers added to the available data.

Competitors
Sysomos (Marketwire) – social media analytics products; services include Heartbeat, a real-time monitoring and engagement tool, and MAP, a research and analytics tool.

Crimson Hexagon – provides social media monitoring and analysis software.

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