Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Guess what: Today, we aren’t going to talk about our own product. Instead, we are going to introduce you to a few pieces of social media management software we have seen used alongside Tickr in digital mission control centers (and a new one that focuses more on measurement and reporting). We’ll just assume that Tickr is already on your radar since you’re here.

1) Brand Integration: Mass Relevance

First of all, this is Sam Decker’s baby – and Sam is a very smart guy – so the company was on solid ground from the get-go. Second, the company offers a range of different products that work pretty well together and complement more complex suites of social media management products extremely well. Here are some of the things that Mass Relevance has to offer:


Some of Mass Relevance‘s plug-&-play products are pretty sharp in terms not only of data collection and engagement capabilities, but brand integration as well. The platforms are slick. They’re web-ready. In many ways, they knock down the fourth wall of social (is there really glass between us?) and allow brands to create environments in which the communities they interact with can play, discover, share, discuss and contribute.

Mass Relevance‘s stand-alone products are also pretty helpful. We won’t cover every single one, but they fall into three specific categories: amplification products, engagement products, and interaction products.

To give you an idea of how cool they are, they also provide analysis and data visualization products for CNN. Go browse what they have to offer at MassRelevance.com. Tell them we sent you. ;)

2) Social and Mobile Channel Analytics: Webtrends

These guys tend to fly under the radar when it comes to the general public, but in social business management software circles, they are one of the most solid players. We keep bumping into their software pretty much everywhere we go. Their offering is so rich that we could devote a whole week’s worth of posts and product reviews. (No, seriously.)  Even if we only stick to the basics, we can tell you that they have four categories of products to pick from (social, mobile, web and optimization), and that across these four categories, there are 15 sub-categories of solutions to pick from. Here is a sampling of screen shots:

You’ll need an hour or two to get through their entire product lineup, but if you are more focused on the social media management and analysis tools, you’ll be off to a pretty good start. They’re also pretty cool to work with, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them: WebTrends.com

3) Branded Social Sharing Pages: Mass Passion’s Intefy

 The idea behind Intefy is simple, and one that we can relate to: combine a variety of social feeds or discussion topics around a theme, topic, product or brand. It is sort of like one of the things that Intefy does, but lighter, more accessible to small businesses, and with a little more emphasis on peer-to-peer social content. (It even makes sense to use Intefy and Mass Relevance side-by side.) Here is what some Intefy pages look like:

If you noticed that these three examples lend themselves pretty well to events (twitter chats, town-hall events, conferences, summits, press conferences, news programs, Google hangouts and even webinars) you aren’t wrong. You can easily plug in twitter discussion threads (hashtags), videos, photos and live-streaming into a page, all wrapped in your very own branding.

Speaking of branding, the Mass Passion folks come from the brand management and experience design worlds, so their ability to help you make 360°design decisions on the fly is something you should take full advantage of. Here is their overall product development and client service approach:

As with all the other companies featured in this post, the Mass Passion team is pretty friendly and a pleasure to work with. Nothing but thumbs-up as far as we can tell. MassPassion.com

4) Social Activity ROI Measurement: Ohtootay

We’ll keep this last one short and sweet. Ohtootay allows brands to track the impact of their social media activities on actual sales, even if the path from social discovery to purchase is not direct. (In other words, Ohtootay doesn’t fall into the “last-click” attribution trap.) If you can assign a specific investment value to a particular social activity, the software will not only identify the connection between investment and transaction, but calculate ROI for you.

Can you say “game-changer?”

While Ohtootay is still a young product, doesn’t necessarily measure offline transactions (though it probably could be made to) and doesn’t seem to focus on the cost-savings piece of ROI, it does solve a pretty important problem for most social media program managers. With… you know, real math. Business math. Stuff that CEOs and CFOs and Sales executives will be very happy to see.

Check them out at Ohtootay.com.

Okay, that’s it for today. We hope that short list was helpful. Our experience has been that the more educated social media teams are about what tools are available to them, the better. The more platforms you know about, the more likely it is that you won’t only select the best ones for your needs, but the best combination of platforms to best help you manage your social media efforts – from monitoring and day to day management to internal collaboration, measurement and reporting.

And don’t be shy. Engage us in the comments, ask us questions on twitter and FacebookWe’re always here for you. :)

By now, we’ve all heard of second screen, right?

If you haven’t…

Second Screen is a term that refers to an additional electronic device (e.g. tabletsmartphone) that allows a television audience to interact with the content they are consuming, such as TV shows, movies, music, or video games, extra data is displayed on a portable device synchronized with the content being viewed on television. – Wikipedia

By the way, the term second-screen isn’t limited to TV anymore. It really all depends on what your first screen is and what you’re doing with it. Also, for obvious reasons, the notion is being expanded to third, fourth, and even fifth screen experiences. Why? Three major reasons:

1. Because people can. Using multiple screens, devices and apps to build a 360° participatory experience has gotten fairly easy and even fun to both set up and manage. It’s also fairly inexpensive. The technological and even economic barriers of entry for that sort of thing are considerably lower today than they were five years ago.

2. Because there is value there. You can do research on a topic or factoid you just learned about. You can discover new twitter accounts or websites and go check them out right there and then. You can look up a product you’ve just discovered via your first screen. You can join a discussion, monitor conversations or gauge reactions relating to whatever is happening on your first screen. You could also be checking emails, playing games or posting pictures of your cat on instagram. It’s really up to you what you use your second screen/device for: work, fun, both, you decide.

According to Nielsen, back in 2011, 70% of tablet owners and 68% of smartphone owners were already reporting using their devices while watching television. So… is second screen a distraction? Is it an enhanced experience? You decide. It depends on your intent and on what you do on your second device or monitor. It can be a distraction, it can be a mode of digital multitasking, or it can be purposeful. Probably because we can be most helpful to folks looking to get more out of their digital experiences, we sort of prefer the latter.

3. Why not?

All right. Practical application time: Say you are interested in following an event (like a conference) but either can’t attend, or are limited in terms of attending every session. Either way, your boss wants you to write about it or just report back to the executive team on all the most relevant stuff discussed there. What do you do?

Option 1: Take notes, then use a combination of the event’s own website, online searches (like Google and Bing) and Twitter hashtags to find more content about the event, then spend a lot of hours sifting through pages and pages of search results. Depending on when you happen to conduct your searches and how much traffic some channels and websites pull, your results will… well, vary. With a few pots of coffee on the side and a daisy chain of browser tabs, you ought to get it all worked out in a day or two… or three.

Option 2: Fit it all on just 2 screens and make things easier on yourself (and/or your research assistant). To illustrate what we’re talking about, below are two examples involving recent conferences.

Example A: An easy way to follow the 2012 DreamForce event in San Francisco (#DF12).

Screen 1: The DreamForce event’s live-stream ( http://www.youtube.com/dreamforce ). It’s kind of like being there but without… you know, being there.

Screen 2: News and social content from and about the Dreamforce event ( Tickr’s DreamForce page ). Tweets, Facebook updates and conversations, instagram photos, new coverage and blogs all on one screen, with activity graphs to show you shifts in activity volume per channel category.

Sure, there are other ways of doing this, but there aren’t many that make life so easy for you. (You can be up and going in about 30 seconds.)

Example B: An easy way to follow the 2012 Social Good Summit (#SGSglobal)

Screen 1: The Social Good Summit’s live-stream ( http://new.livestream.com/Mashable/SGS ).

Screen 2: News and social content for and about  the Social Good Summit ( the #SGSGlobal Tickr page ). Again, tweets, Facebook updates and conversations, instagram photos, new coverage and blogs all on one screen, with activity graphs to show you shifts in activity volume per channel category along a 48hr timeline.

Whether you’re monitoring an event from the inside or attending remotely, blending live-streamed content and Tickr to aggregate news and social content makes sure you don’t accidentally miss anything important. And the cool thing about using Tickr is that you can go back in time by using the timeline activity graph and revisit content you might have missed – whether it’s an hour ago or two days ago. Cool, huh?

The Social Good Summit is going on through Monday, so try it out for yourselves and let us know how that two-screen model worked for you. (Great event, by the way. Definitely take some time to watch the videos and follow some of the discussions. Really inspiring stuff.)

As always, feel free to check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. (We’re pretty decent about answering questions there.)

Brand managers aren’t the only people using Tickr to monitor news, conversations and social sharing about their worlds. Event management teams, PR professionals and journalists do too. (We will take a closer look at how Tickr can be used as a  journalism tool in the coming week, so don’t stray too far.)

For now, let’s take a look at how you can follow most of the feeds about this year’s Emmy Awards on one screen:

1. Go to Tickr.com

2. Log into your account (or click the green  Try Tickr Now button).

3. Enter Emmy Awards or Emmys in your search box, then name your page. (The hashtag for the Emmy Awards is #Emmys, by the way, so you will probably get better overall results with Emmys.)

Or just click here. We already built a basic page for you.

Tip: Using Tickr to monitor news and social content for an event like the Emmys is a lot easier than trying to juggle multiple sources on top of following the #Emmys hashtag

Note: If you are currently using the free trial version of Tickr, you will only see a sampling of the stories, news and social content available on the web. It’s a nice summary, but the pro and enterprise versions will give you much richer, denser feeds.

By the way, subscribe our feed on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Not only do we share a lot of cool stuff about the worlds of digital monitoring, new tech, social business and market intelligence, we’ll answer your questions there too. ;)

Big, BIG thanks to Jure Klepic for bringing up Tickr as an example of effective data visualization in social monitoring on HuffPo’s Tech blog this week. It’s always nice to hear that we’re on the right track. (You should see how big our grins are right now.)

Here’s a taste of his piece, titled Today’s Visualization Tools Help our Brains Understand Social Monitoring:

My last post, “Taking Multi-Dimensional Marketing to the Next Level,” touched on the amazing capacity of the human brain for learning. Through the process of plasticity, we can interpret more complex messages and make decisions faster than we ever believed was possible. With the amount of input coming at us from all ends of the social universe, tools are being developed that can help our brains quickly sort through this information. Tickr is a visual monitoring tool that helps process information and makes it easy to understand. Similar to a stock ticker that provides information needed to make investment decisions, Tickr provides social media information needed to make marketing decisions.

In its teacher’s guide on the brain, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that plasticity relates to the brain’s ability to change and reorganize in response to some input. Our brains can form new synapses or strengthen old ones if nurtured and engaged, but can also lose brain functioning if not exercised and challenged regularly. Plasticity is the ability of our brains to change with learning. Social media, when used properly, can keep our brains engaged so we continue to grow and develop. The story changes somewhat, however, for those who are trying to monitor social media for the purpose of brand marketing. Currently these companies and agencies have a number of platforms which are constantly providing information and updates. While their brains are learning to sort through this information avalanche, Tickr points out the crucial bits of information they need to make decisions relating to their product, service or brand.

Companies engaged in brand marketing use Tickr to filter social media mentions in real time and display results in sync with their performance metrics. Case studies show that PepsiCo Gatorade uses Tickr to identify key online influences while Global Financial Services uses it to see the impact of real-word news. Banks of computer screens may have information from other platforms, but often the one displaying the Tickr information is the one that receives attention first.

(Read more…)

Thumbs-up.

If you haven’t checked out Tickr (or tried it), click here.

2007 – 2011: Adapting to the new complexities of social business

Five years ago, when businesses – from the enterprise down to small mom & pop retailers – started using social media to enhance their business processes, things were simpler than they are today. You had your blog. You had your Facebook page. Maybe you had your Youtube channel and your Flickr account. If you were really ahead of the curve, you were already using this new thing called Twitter.

Back then, it was already becoming obvious that social media might be a bit of a time-suck. Not only were you supposed to manage your business and take care of customers, now you had to be a multi-platform publisher as well. You had to write stuff. You had to take pictures of stuff. You had to make videos and edit them and put them on the web. If you were really ahead of the curve, you were spending parts of your evenings looking for forums and discussions, watching, listening, taking notes, maybe even participating.

Already, it became clear that managing a social media presence for your business – or rather, managing the digital aspects of your transformation from a traditional business to an increasingly social business – would soon become a full-time job. You can almost trace the early discussions of social media ROI to that point in social business’ early evolution. It wasn’t really the “should I be on social media” question that did it. It was the “should I pay someone to do this instead of what I know will help my business” question, because it quickly became obvious that social business could never be an after-thought or just a part-time thing.

But this isn’t a post about ROI or social business evolution. This is a post about complexity – specifically, social business complexity. Perhaps more to the point, this is a post about managing that complexity. From the very beginning of this shift to social business, one of the biggest problems business owners and department managers have had to deal with (independently of assigning resources to the task) was simply information overload. Over the course of a very short time frame, businesses went from being disconnected from market intelligence and consumer insights to being flooded with both. Where in the past, organizations could expect consulting and market research firms to act as a collection agent, filter and translator of data, they were now confronted with a volume of information they simply were not capable of managing on their own. Social media monitoring seemed like a great idea. It looked great on paper. In reality, it was a very difficult thing to execute on. Too many sources. Too many hours in the day. Too many platforms to track. And even if it was possible to make sense of it all, then what? What did you do with it? It was hard enough to come up with content and respond to comments and tweets. The entire web had to be monitored and managed as well? Operationally, the task seemed gargantuan. Worse yet, it didn’t scale. (No worries. Scale is a topic we will cover soon.)

While some companies dove into the process of figuring out how to do this all on their own, it wasn’t long before a chunk of the market threw up their hands and decided to outsource the process rather than taking care of it themselves. And for a while there, it was rough for everybody. But then, something cool began to happen.

Necessity, after all, is the mother of invention.

2011-2013: the rise of social monitoring ecosystems

After a few years of experimentation with various social media dashboards and monitoring tools, it became clear that managing a social media program was not an either/or equation when it came to hardware and software. The question began to shift from “what’s the best tool for social media management” to “what else should I be using.” It was clear that certain social media tools, when used side by side, could not only increase the overall effectiveness of an entire program, but also amplify the value of each individual tool. If the word popping into your head right now is symbiosis, you’re on the right track.

Symbiosis:

1. Biology A close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member.
2. A relationship of mutual benefit or dependence.

Let’s geek-out a little and get a little more specific, because symbiotic relationships come in three types:

Commensalism: A symbiotic relationship in which one organism derives benefit while causing little or no harm to the other. (Good.)

Parasitism: A symbiotic relationship in which one organism (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) is generally harmed. (Bad.)

Mutualism: A symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefits from their relationship with the other. (Best.)

Needless to say, you don’t want parasitism. At worst, combining several social media management tools together falls into a commensalist symbiosis scenario – one where some of these tools (and associated) functions will benefit from the utility of other tools, while the utility of these stand-alone tools will not be affected. At best, combining several social media management tools together will create a mutualist symbiosis scenario – on in which every one of these tools will see their utility and value enhanced by the others.

Walk into any company’s digital  “mission control” center today, and what you will find is an illustration of one or the other of these two ecosystems – and sometimes a combination of both.

Simplifying Digital Mission Control centers: too little vs. too much

So now that we are talking about digital mission control centers (a topic we will revisit often in the coming months), let’s look at them from the perspective of trying to minimize the complexity of social media management.

Remember how we got here: the shift from traditional business management to social business management drove us to figure out ways of capturing, corralling, funneling and sorting through swells of disjointed information and noise so we could find the precious gold nuggets we refer to as signal. Signal can come in the form of a new business opportunity, like identifying a lead; it can come in the form of customer retention, like a well-executed customer service response; it can come in the form of business development, like discovering a whole new community of hobbyists who could help you alter an existing product to suit their specific needs; it can also come in the form of reputation management, like identifying a potential PR crisis long before it snow-balls into a news item, and responding to it early and effectively. The faster you can sort through oceans of data and information, the faster you can identify these opportunities. And the faster you can identify these opportunities, the faster you can respond to them – which is to say leverage them.

Complicating the process of sorting through that data and information doesn’t speed it up. Simplifying it does. If your choice of hardware and software (and processes – like workflow) isn’t simplifying your organization’s social media monitoring, management, response and reporting functions, you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s a litmus test: If you take a tour of a digital mission control center, and the guide’s explanations make it all sound more complicated than you expected it to be, that isn’t a good sign.  But if during that tour, you understand how each screen serves a specific purpose, and that purpose is to simplify the company’s overall monitoring, management and response process, then you know they’re on the right track.

In any digital and social media monitoring program, there’s a balance to be struck between not enough and too much. Relying on a single “do it all tool” is just as ineffective as using as many as possible. You don’t just want two or three screens any more than you want thirty. The ideal set-up will vary from company to company, but you are looking at no more than 6-8 screens per person. Anything less, and you aren’t covering enough ground. Anything more, and you are overloading your people with data. Likewise, the amount of information you display on each screen has to strike the right balance between too much and too little. What it means, is that in designing (or re-evaluating) your mission control center, you need to make every screen count. The question at this point shifts from “could this tool help me” to “which of these tools would be the most useful to me here.”

Remember that the idea is to simplify. It is never to complicate.

That’s where data aggregation comes in. Any piece of software that aggregates information from relevant sources and organizes it for you simplifies the entire process. If the tool allows you some measure of customization (in terms of sources, organization and specificity of searches), that’s even better.

Engineering the ideal mission control center: specificity, adaptive aggregation, and mutualism

Not all tools do the same things, by the way. Some tools, for instance, are exceptional at helping you scan across an ocean of search terms and menus, then drill down into very specific, granular activity – like Radian 6 and Hootsuite (you might have spotted them in the graphic up there). Others are also amazing when it comes to helping you get under the hood of specific platforms or channels – like Webtrends and Salesforce (also in the graphic). And then some tools – like Tickr – help you see the entire field at a glance, by organizing relevant data so clearly that it brings it all together for you. All of these types of tools used in concert create an ideal balance of breadth and depth that can allow organizations to at once grasp data trends and macro insights, and dig into them as far as they care to. At the core, that’s what adaptive aggregation is.

Every client we work with tells us the same thing: Tickr makes (insert more complicated monitoring tool here) easier to use. We love to hear it, but we doubt that’s what is actually going on. What they probably mean is that we complement the other tools they are using well. Tickr simply offsets the complexity of other, heavier tools by injecting their social media monitoring ecosystem with clarity and simplicity. As we continue to increase the functionality of Tickr and bring our users some really cool, handy new features over the course of the next few months (details soon), our objective will be to stay true to what drove us to create Tickr to begin with: simplifying the monitoring function. That means not only having the simplest, clearest, at-a-glance screen in the room, but having the most instinctive user interface as well. The biggest challenge for us as we keep adding cooler and smarter functionality to Tickr, is that we have to be careful not to make our product more complicated. That’s a hard thing to do, but so far so good. As we start to unveil our upcoming upgrades, you will have to let us know if we’re on the right track.

Tangent. Sorry. Back to the post:

If you are in the process of building a mission control center (or in the process of evaluating a current one), definitely make a deliberate effort to continuously discover new tools, then test them. Stay up-to-date on existing tools’ new releases and updates too. A monitoring tool that was perfect for you a year ago might not be the best one for you today. Likewise, a monitoring dashboard that wasn’t robust enough for you six months ago might have grown into the perfect solution for you since then. That’s the first layer.

The second layer is this: test these tools side by side. Think of them not as stand-alone solutions but as solutions to be used in conjunction with other platforms. That’s where the real gold is. If you can clearly understand how to combine tools like Radian 6, Webtrends, Spiral 16, Alterian, Tickr, Hootsuite and more (there are tons), then you will find yourself a few steps ahead of the vast majority of businesses out there – including most digital agencies – and you will also be on track to simplify your social monitoring and response functions as well, which is no small feat. Caution though: the rate of adaptation in the area of mission control center design is increasing fast. Ever since PepsiCo/Gatorade (client), Dell, Edelman Digital and others have showcased their centers, the demand for similar MCCs has accelerated. A year ago, there were just a few dozen of them around the world. By this time next year, there will be hundreds. The year after that, thousands – if not tens of thousands. The sooner you dive into this, the better. Early adopters of the MCC model won’t keep their first-mover advantage for very much longer. In 8-12 months, the game won’t be whether or not you have your own MCC; it will be whether or not you designed it properly and are making the best possible use of it.

Here’s to efficiency and results.

Cheers.

By the way, if you haven’t tried Tickr for free yet, click here.

One last thing…

If you are already using multiple tools together (either in a formal mission control setting or a more traditional monitoring and management “dashboard” model), we would love to hear what they are and what you like about how they complement each other. Have you found any ideal pairings yet? Have you found any annoying gaps in functionality? Do you have a wish list of functions or specs you would like to give voice to? The comment section is all yours.

So rumor has it that Apple might be coming out with a new phone soon, and there’s even scuttlebutt about an announcement of some kind this week. Unconfirmed rumors, we’re sure, but just in case, we’ve made you a Tickr page. You’ll be able to follow a timeline of all the most up-to-date news, blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates and Instagram photos on just one screen. If you’re into that sort of thing. (You’re welcome.)

To check out the iPhone 5 Tickr page, click here.

(continued from Part 1)

Here is how the question usually comes up:

“We’ve created our blog, our Twitter account(s), and our Facebook page. We have dedicated monitoring and workload management tools. We’re staffed, funded and ready to go. But… no one is talking to us yet, and judging from the Tickr page we built for our brand, not many people are talking about us yet either. Where do we begin?”

Great question. If you’re in that social media program start-up phase and your main objective is to establish yourself in existing communities and grow your own, there are several things you can do to help yourself. Last week, we looked at the first four (check them out here). They were:

1. Start with your analog networks.

2. Hunt for conversations.

3. Read, watch and listen more than you publish.

4. Share other people’s content.

This week, let’s look at the next four:

5. Comment on other people’s content.

This is perhaps one of the most underrated of all the social activities, and ironically one of the easiest ones to manage. Think about the progression of your tactics until now: You’ve hunted for conversations. You’ve read, watched and listened a significant amount of content, and even shared it. Almost every video, blog post, news item or presentation on the web has a comments section now. Why not engage with that content there? Did you like it? Tell the author why. Did you disagree with it or dislike it? Tell the author why. Is there an aspect of the conversation triggered by that piece of content that intrigues you? Jump in and say your piece.

Every comment you leave behind is an opportunity to make a connection. If that connection is positive, human, and touched by some sense of value, it could help open doors further down the road: discovery, collaboration, lead generation, etc. These comments also act as a trail of crumbs that can lead other commenters, visitors and even the content publishers themselves to visit your website and discover you.

“Build it and they will come,” doesn’t work for most fledgling blogs. “Comment and they will come,” however, does. If you aren’t leaving at least 10-20 comments across a variety of channels each and every day during your blog’s first semester, you are doing yourself an enormous disservice.

“How do I find content to comment on,” you ask? Easy. For starters, you can search pretty much every social network for topics and keywords. You can also use search engines to locate news stories and blog posts relating to those topics. If you want to save time though, and you want to search discussions that are relevant now rather than a week, a month or even a year ago, you could use Tickr as a search tool. Try it out and see if it makes things any easier for you. The process is easy. Just log into your Tickr account, enter a keyword or topic, and create a page for it. That’s it. Tickr will then automatically bring up mentions of that search topic for the range of channels it monitors (news, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and you can then drill down into the blogs, tweets, stories and even image updates at will. Pretty handy.

6. Join discussions.

Deliberate, structured discussions are different from typical comment threads in that they tend to be more focused, more concise, and often more constructive right from the onset. One of the best places to find them is on LinkedIn, whose groups engine is essentially fueled by discussions. These can be searched for and joined pretty much any time, so there should be no shortage of opportunities to contribute your two cents to pretty much any topic.

Another place to find healthy discussions is Twitter (in the form of #chats). You will also find them on Facebook, Google+, and branded community portals – in instances where brands create their own digital community hubs.

The point is, find discussions that are of interest to you and join them. Participate in them. Put them on your calendar and make a point to contribute, interact with others, thank the hosts, and so on. Every opportunity to make new connections and drive attention to your company is a function of organic community building, and in many cases simple lead generation as well.

7. Start and host discussions.

Once you have gotten the hang of participating in discussions, you should create one or two yourself. Don’t rush it. Take your time. Wait until it feels right. But when the time comes, do it.

Don’t just duplicate an existing discussion though. There probably isn’t a whole lot of value in redundancy. Find an angle. Make it more or less specific. Find some unique way of approaching it that will bring value to your community. It could be a conceptual discussion on LinkedIn and Facebook, like “What are some of the biggest problems that plague HR today,” or something more specific to your industry like “how do you think mobile commerce will affect candy-makers in the next 2-5 years?” On Twitter, it could be a weekly customer service chat, every Thursday at 8pm Eastern for instance, where your customer service team answers questions from users and would-be customers. It could also be a virtual town hall meeting via Google Hangout with your CEO or key managers inside the company. It doesn’t really matter what the focus of the discussion is. What matters is that you create these events, make them valuable to your community, and establish a leadership position both within the community that you have created and across the communities that you are also a member of.

This is how community leadership begins, by the way.

8. Create compelling content.

Obviously, content matters. By now, you’ve heard the battle-cry of content strategists and content marketers: “Content is king.” Well, we won’t put to fine a point on that notion here, but it’s true that content is absolutely essential to any kind of social marketing program. If you have a blog, you are going to need to fill it with content. Your tweets, Facebook updates and YouTube videos are content as well. And while most of the content that you share, like, retweet and comment on may have been created by someone else, you are going to have to create content of your own pretty regularly.

The rate of publication will vary depending on a number of factors – availability of resources, value to your community, demand for content, etc. Some businesses will find themselves publishing two to three blog posts per day while some will find that two or three blog posts per week will be the ideal frequency. The best you can do is play around and see what your community seems to respond to best. But ultimately, what matters more than frequency is quality. If you want to provide value, each and every blog post or video or bit of content you create must be valuable to someone (ideally, a lot of someones).

We hope that helps. We’ll be back with more. In the meantime, if you have any questions about Tickr, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re also on Facebook, so like us there if you want to find out what’s going on in the world of social media monitoring, big data and brand management. We would also love for you to also follow us on Twitter (our feed there is pretty fly… or so we’re told). We’re pretty good about answering questions there too. @TickrUS. That’s us.

And as always, if you haven’t taken Tickr out for a test drive yet, there’s a trial version just waiting to go out for a spin. Check it out and tell us what you think. It’s free and super easy. Don’t be shy.

Until next time, cheers.

Thanks to so many of you for your kind words about our RNC Tickr page last week (judging by the activity graph, people are still talking about it) and the DNC Tickr page this week. It’s great to see Tickr being used for multi-channel monitoring in this context. Not just for brands but for events as well. Judging from the amazing response, we should create a separate product called Political Tickr! 

If you want to share the DNC Tickr page with friends, here is the link: (Democratic National Convention Tickr page)

And if you have built your own Tickr pages lately, definitely share them with us on Facebook. (Like us here.)

Cheers. :)

PS: if you haven’t created an account yet, it only takes a few seconds and it’s free. (You can always upgrade later.) Start here.