Specifications: Social Strategy 1 is a social/online media monitoring and intelligence service that analyzes key facets of online behavior, such as message penetration, channel activity, lexical and thematic shifts. Analyst reports provide context around the web data, as well as information that allows clients to be prescriptive and proactive in using the data.
Cost: from $2,000 per month to more than $50,000 per month, with project-based fees available. The company bills primarily on services, including the level of data-driven insight required, strategy, or execution, and volume.
Peppercom cofounder and managing partner Steve Cody started using Social Strategy 1 about 15 months ago, after a client introduced him to it.
How do you use it?
Social Strategy 1 helps me keep ahead of the big issues facing clients and prospective clients based on what's being said in chat rooms and by bloggers and other influencers.
I want to know where marketing spend is going and what Social Strategy 1 thinks in terms of trends – back six to 12 months and forward six months.
I give the product a very narrow focus – 12 to 13 touch points – and I get daily reports and a weekly wrap-up. I also specify what I'm not interested in.
The weekly summary includes the same word clouds and a couple of graphs. For example, Social Strategy 1 might tell me that the number one word for the week was “authenticity” and give me the contexts in which it was used. It also tells me what looks to be getting more important on the radar screen.
How does it serve your business needs?
Social Strategy 1 might send me a report that says internal communication is becoming more of an issue in terms of authenticity. We can then set up a meeting with a client we've yet to sell on internal communications to see if we can help based on fresh Social Strategy 1 data about authenticity and internal communications. It gives us quantitative, real-time information that we can take to clients, and then we can present a solution.
It's also really helpful from a budgeting standpoint. For example, if Social Strategy 1 gives me the insight that companies are cutting conference budgets by 20% in 2012, I'm not going to put too much of my budget into events this year.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It's an email that comes directly to my desktop. I share summaries with senior managers.
What are the main benefits?
It's as good an early warning system as I've seen. It's also a confirmation that we're on the right path.
What are the main drawbacks?
Outside of it not being a pure crystal ball, I can't think of anything.
What would you like to see added/improved?
I don't have it on my Blackberry because it's too text-heavy, so maybe an app – I'm a bit tethered to my desktop with it.
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