Thursday, July 05, 2012

Thursday Tools: Trending Online

Twitter tools seem to be a dime a dozen; everywhere you look there's a new one popping up or alternately closing down. During the Marketing Debate: Is Twitter as a Social Network Dead? I came across another: TweetCharts, a tool that allows you to generate a report of custom data for anything you can search Twitter for (hashtags, words, phrases, usernames, or URLs).

For a given search in TweetCharts, you can see how popular it is (number of tweets, frequency of tweets or tweets per hour, the unique users talking about it) as well as who's talking about it (sources and most mentioned users). You can also see what type of content is being tweeted: Are people asking questions? Providing Links? Or, sharing photos and/or video (media)? Also available is sentiment - are people speaking positively or negatively about the topic. (Note that sentiment measures are imprecise at best. See Avinash Kaushik's Twitter: Quantitative & Qualitative Metrics write up for a detailed analysis.)
A better tool for your monitoring arsenal is Social Mention. I first wrote about it over two years ago when cubes and I were planning our wedding and managing our online persona. It's changed little in that time. One metric that's now missing is PostRank (a platform for tracking where and how users engage and what they pay attention to in real time that was acquired by Google on June 3, 2011 and shutdown on May 1, 2012 as Google builds its own online influence metric).

Social Mention is similar to TweetCharts in that you can see what's popular now. Unlike TweetCharts, Social Mention scans multiple social media channels to give you deeper insight into what's trending. You can also see how people view your online persona/brand and determine its reach. Social Mention shows:
  • Strength: the likelihood that a topic or your brand is being discussed in social media
  • Sentiment: the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative (unlike TweetCharts you also see the total number of Positive, Neutral, and Negative mentions)
  • Passion: likelihood that individuals talk about your brand (small group of passionate advocates higher score)
  • Reach: a measure of the range of influence, the number of unique authors referencing your brand divided by total number of mentions.

Social Mention gives the numbers behind the charts that TweetCharts shows and provides more insight into sentiment, giving the total number of tweets broken down into positive, neutral, and negative. By providing the counts along with the bar charts, you can see how important a given source or keyword is based on the total number of tweets.
Two additional features that marketers should take advantage of with Social Mention are: Advanced Search (for example, you can exclude items with unwanted words and results from certain users) and Social Alerts (think Google Alerts but for social media channels).
How do you keep on top of what's trending?
Happy Monitoring!
Credits: All images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.