— blending the mix

You’re only as good as the monitoring tool you use

So you’re a social media specialist/strategist/expert/….well you’re nothing more than a bullsh*tter if you’re not making your recommendations using a monitoring system. 

I read Jeremiah’s post the other day with mixed emotions – I didn’t like the sense of pleasure he seemed to get from social media “gurus” losing their jobs for taking an unmeasurable approach. I’ve been out of work twice and Jeremiah, let me tell you – nice it is not, definitely not something from which to take pleasure, nor wish upon anyone.

BUT, I totally agree with what he was saying about the recession forcing the bullsh*tters to be accountable. I’m not sure if any business needs metrics MORE than social media. As the monitoring industry has matured, there are now clear differences between how and what the systems measure.

I have been using Live Buzz for a couple of years and swear by it, but was introduced to Radian6 last year and spent a bit of time evaluating it. I have to say, I’m not at all convinced about how genuinely insightful it is, especially given the UK/.co.uk problem (the only way you can monitor UK-specific commentary is to tell the system to monitor .co.uk domains) but it does a fantastic job in introducing clients to the concept of measurement over and abover Google Alerts – and the graphs look good too!

But, my opinion is changing. Since seeing the video below, Radian6 looks like it is evolving with some interesting new features – ones which could actually make a big difference to your strategy offering.

I won’t go any further as the video is actually a work of genius:

18 comments
  1. Jeremiah Owyang says: February 27, 20092:55 pm

    Thanks for this, but where did I say that I take pleasure or even indicate that anyone be unemployed? Being out of work sucks, I’m compassionate to that.

    The big message is (which you clearly get) is that it’s time to be accountable, so even those bullsh*tters that aren’t measuring will need to mature.

    I’m not in the business of taking pleasure over someone’s pain, my job as an industry analyst is to say what I see happening, and I did just that.

  2. Jeremiah Owyang says: February 27, 20099:55 am

    Thanks for this, but where did I say that I take pleasure or even indicate that anyone be unemployed? Being out of work sucks, I’m compassionate to that.

    The big message is (which you clearly get) is that it’s time to be accountable, so even those bullsh*tters that aren’t measuring will need to mature.

    I’m not in the business of taking pleasure over someone’s pain, my job as an industry analyst is to say what I see happening, and I did just that.

  3. Anonymous says: February 27, 20093:07 pm

    Hey Jeremiah, I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    It was your very first comment that surprised me “Thank god for the recession, as now the social media gurus are on the way out.” It just struck me as a bit odd!

    I’m really glad you brought up the whole topic though as I think it is important that the industry begins to demonstrate credibility through accountability – or else disappear in a cloud of virtual hot air, along with any marketing budgets that may have been set aside.

  4. paul.fabretti says: February 27, 200910:07 am

    Hey Jeremiah, I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    It was your very first comment that surprised me “Thank god for the recession, as now the social media gurus are on the way out.” It just struck me as a bit odd!

    I’m really glad you brought up the whole topic though as I think it is important that the industry begins to demonstrate credibility through accountability – or else disappear in a cloud of virtual hot air, along with any marketing budgets that may have been set aside.

  5. Matthew Brazil says: February 27, 20095:13 pm

    Just a note on region filtering.

    As a consumer I will be influenced by the commentary I view. If I search for a product and read reviews on it my buying decision may or may not be altered by what I read. I will NOT care if the comment was made in the US, UK, Europe or other.

    Agree that the Johnny Cache video by D.Alston is a work of genius.

  6. Matthew Brazil says: February 27, 200912:13 pm

    Just a note on region filtering.

    As a consumer I will be influenced by the commentary I view. If I search for a product and read reviews on it my buying decision may or may not be altered by what I read. I will NOT care if the comment was made in the US, UK, Europe or other.

    Agree that the Johnny Cache video by D.Alston is a work of genius.

  7. Anonymous says: February 27, 20095:39 pm

    Matthew, likewise, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    I take your point about the the comment about the product itself is more important than the location of the comment itself, but the problem still remains that the focus seems to be so much on US content that smaller UK brands just do not appear on the radar.

    That said, I am signing up to you guys again, now I have moved on, so it isn’t all bad!!

  8. paul.fabretti says: February 27, 200912:39 pm

    Matthew, likewise, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    I take your point about the the comment about the product itself is more important than the location of the comment itself, but the problem still remains that the focus seems to be so much on US content that smaller UK brands just do not appear on the radar.

    That said, I am signing up to you guys again, now I have moved on, so it isn’t all bad!!

  9. David Alston says: February 27, 20099:30 pm

    Hey there Paul, glad we got things all figured out for you today. And hey thanks for the kudos on the vid. It was a hoot to make. :)

    Cheers. David

  10. David Alston says: February 27, 20094:30 pm

    Hey there Paul, glad we got things all figured out for you today. And hey thanks for the kudos on the vid. It was a hoot to make. :)

    Cheers. David

  11. David Alston says: February 27, 200910:01 pm

    Oh, I forgot to on the UK content point you made in the post. We do cover all of the UK content comprehensively but when using regional filtering it’s unfortunately not a perfect science (as you touched on) so often sources can get classified in the US bucket. There are a few ways to help this out with the addition of UK site source filters. The gang is around to go deeper on this anytime.

    Cheers. David

  12. David Alston says: February 27, 20095:01 pm

    Oh, I forgot to on the UK content point you made in the post. We do cover all of the UK content comprehensively but when using regional filtering it’s unfortunately not a perfect science (as you touched on) so often sources can get classified in the US bucket. There are a few ways to help this out with the addition of UK site source filters. The gang is around to go deeper on this anytime.

    Cheers. David

  13. Peter Young says: February 28, 20099:27 am

    Good post, certainly seems to have provoked some debate.

    Think its worth bearing in mind with regards to many of these monitoring systems (ie Radian 6, Market Sentinel, Brandwatch etc), that many of them are ‘new’ (in the grand scheme of things – and I do use the word new very loosely there) and having to deal with a constantly changing environment.

    Certainly some of the systems evaluated over the course of the last six months or so have come along way, however there is still a long way to go imo, particularly in terms of deeper level monitoring and analysis.

  14. Peter Young says: February 28, 20094:27 am

    Good post, certainly seems to have provoked some debate.

    Think its worth bearing in mind with regards to many of these monitoring systems (ie Radian 6, Market Sentinel, Brandwatch etc), that many of them are ‘new’ (in the grand scheme of things – and I do use the word new very loosely there) and having to deal with a constantly changing environment.

    Certainly some of the systems evaluated over the course of the last six months or so have come along way, however there is still a long way to go imo, particularly in terms of deeper level monitoring and analysis.

  15. links for 2009-03-01 « Sarah Hartley says: March 1, 20092:03 pm

    […] You’re only as good as the monitoring tool you use "So you’re a social media specialist/strategist/expert/….well you’re nothing more than a bullsh*tter if you’re not making your recommendations using a monitoring system" says Paul Fabretti. (tags: blogging blogs blog bloggers community social metrics measure socialmedia) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)links for 2009-02-19WOSU Digital Day, Saturday, August 16: Calling Bloggers!4 Ways How I Keister Come Acquirement Lucre Blogging OnlineRosie O’Donnell stops blogging (Breaking News?) […]

  16. […] Your Only as Good as the Monitoring Tool You Use: Blending  the Mix: The importance of metrics and evaluating your Social media real time […]

  17. Anonymous says: March 2, 200912:55 pm

    @Matthew, thanks for stopping by. Got sorted on Friday thanks to the guys back at base so would look forward to seeing what we can do going forward.

    @David thanks for your help setting this all up too. very useful.

    @Pete agreed, there has to be the flexibility in these tools to allow them to evolve, but I think that’s inherent with any software.

    I think the main issue facing the monitoring market is the people buying the services themselves.

    I know first hand that one of the biggest problems any buyer of these services faces is not knowing how each tool works or how each tool finds the content. They want to know what makes each tool different and why they cost different amounts? And why are they not free like other tools on the web that seem to pull in relevant conversations?

    Then they are faced with the issue of what to do with the content when it all arrives.

    As the industry goes through it’s typical “land-grab” for market dominance, the company who can explain what it does, how it does it but more importantly, advises the client on what to do with the information at the end has every chance of being as successful as the company with the leading technology.

  18. paul.fabretti says: March 2, 20097:55 am

    @Matthew, thanks for stopping by. Got sorted on Friday thanks to the guys back at base so would look forward to seeing what we can do going forward.

    @David thanks for your help setting this all up too. very useful.

    @Pete agreed, there has to be the flexibility in these tools to allow them to evolve, but I think that’s inherent with any software.

    I think the main issue facing the monitoring market is the people buying the services themselves.

    I know first hand that one of the biggest problems any buyer of these services faces is not knowing how each tool works or how each tool finds the content. They want to know what makes each tool different and why they cost different amounts? And why are they not free like other tools on the web that seem to pull in relevant conversations?

    Then they are faced with the issue of what to do with the content when it all arrives.

    As the industry goes through it’s typical “land-grab” for market dominance, the company who can explain what it does, how it does it but more importantly, advises the client on what to do with the information at the end has every chance of being as successful as the company with the leading technology.

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