How Audible Uses Social Intelligence Powered By Sysomos

By Jason Harris - May 27th, 2015

Audible needs no introduction. The company is one of the pioneers on the web, having brought audiobooks to the connected, tech-savvy consumer. The service has a loyal fanbase of customers ranging from the very young to those who’d classify their age as ‘mature’. :)

Audible is a global brand, stretching across North America, Europe and all the way to Australia.

The social team at Audible is a small group that has a large impact. In order to help service the various departments at Audible, the team uses Sysomos to make smart decisions based on social intelligence.

Helping product marketing decide upon priorities

As Audible customers ourselves, we realize that the best audiobooks are a combination of a fantastic book and of course, a stellar narrator. In fact, when you find a narrator you like, you often seek out books brought to life by those immense talents.

It turns out we’re not alone and Audible realizes this. Using Sysomos Heartbeat, the marketing team tracks top narrators based on conversations occurring on the social web. Then, using MAP queries to dig deeper, product marketing is made aware of top narrators and given context of the voice talent is one who’s sought after.

In the same manner of Heartbeat monitoring and ad hoc MAP queries, the social team reports on authors, narrators, plot lines and other social data to help formulate a predictive formula for a top seller in the Audible store.

Informing Customer Care and Community Management

In our interview with Audible’s marketing team, community management and customer care were recurring themes that make use of Sysomos technologies. As a team that’s spread across geographies, Sysomos Heartbeats and MAP searches unify efforts and leads to time efficiencies that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Instead of just monitoring direct mentions, we have Heartbeats that help us monitor all aspects of customer satisfaction,” says Monica Vaccari, community manager at Audible.  “From identifying issues with books, to pinpointing potential bugs in our mobile apps, Sysomos helps puts hours back in our day.”

To communicate what categories of questions and issues the Audible social team replies to, they’ve employed tags in Sysomos Heartbeat. After a response is issued to the customer via Sysomos Heartbeat, they use the tagging system to tag each contact with a relevant category.

Social Care Responses

In their rock-star efforts to ensure customer happiness, Audible makes use of Sysomos Heartbeat, MAP and publishing tools.

“Through Sysomos, we can find buried conversations that we wouldn’t be able to find on our own.”

Using Sysomos Text Analytics, the social care team reports on what words and phrases are being used and responded through on social media. This helps the team illustrate that time period’s conversation topics in relation to Audible’s key words.

Text Analytics

Applied example: going above and beyond for the community

Recently, the Audible social care team noticed a notable influx of inbound messages surrounding the a popular podcast and Audible. At first glance, the team thought it was a crisis of some kind, but upon further investigation, the podcast creators, in their show, urged listeners to Tweet at Audible in an effort to get an audiobook recorded.

The social team went in to action and helped the show’s producer through the audiobook production process and in a short period of time, Audible had the audiobook up for sale.

This process is a successful example of community managers identifying a want, helping the customer through an otherwise involved process and delivering a finished product to the marketplace.

What a great way to honor a content request and enable these content producers find a market for their creations!

Influencer engagement

One marketing outreach area that Audible is seeing a boost in is YouTube personalities. Through affiliate marketing, YouTubers are driving links and sign-ups at Audible.com and through the Sysomos lens, Audible knows which YouTube creators are the most valuable to their brand.

In a similar vein, if you’re a podcast fan, then you’ve likely heard your favorite podcast host mention Audible.com as a sponsor.

Audible learned early on when podcasting started as a medium that listeners of top podcasts were the perfect candidates to trial Audible and convert to customer. Similar to finding YouTuber influencers, Audible uses Sysomos to recruit and track podcasters in their affiliate marketing programs.

Merchandising using social intelligence

For any retail business, knowing what goods and products to highlight is an art that is sometimes informed by science. This is where social intelligence comes in to play. By using social insights, Audible merchandising teams can listen, experiment and feature titles at will.

On a regular basis, the community management team sends reports and observations to the Content team at Audible (the group who acquires new titles). From data on new prospective authors, narrators and even potential titles, the Community team has 6 MAP reports that went over Comic books, podcasts and other new types of content.

As a result, Audible acquired the rights to those titles and they’ll be in the store this summer.

Applied example: One Direction

In 2014, the wildly popular group One Direction released a memoir of their lives as artists.  As an added bonus, the band members each narrated their parts within the audiobook. Noticing a spike in conversation on social, the Community team at Audible was the first to pick up on Audible customers’ interest in this title. The team was astonished at how focused and passionate One Directions’ fans were and notified the Audible product team.

Audible was able to put the book up for pre-order and with their learnings, the social team informed those in charge of paid social advertising. Those ads drove new member acquisition and the One Direction narrated book even made the Audible.com home page based off the interest first spotted on social media.

Launching a dedicated social care channel

In order to better serve their customers, Audible is launching a Twitter account dedicated to customer care. To help coordinate between the main Audible account and Audible social care channels, the teams will use assigned tweets inside Sysomos to coordinate responses and set assignments.

Also, with an added team member, Sysomos makes it possible to orchestrate efforts regardless of a person’s office location.

Audible.com has sister sites in Australia, Germany, France and the UK, the community team has adheres to a unified social approach through regular meeting and weekly email coordination with the social care teams.

Being able to have social care reporting will be an added benefit to launching an Audible Social Care Twitter handle. Social Care and Audible Customer Care both align in one mission: “Exceed Expectations.” As Audible matures along the social care timeline, they seek to keep exceeding expectations.

In the graph below, the Social Care Team reports on the favorable sentiment of the contacts social care responds to.

Social Care Sentiment

Social Intelligence’s place in your community management practice

How do you integrate intelligence as a community manager? Which any of the lessons learned form the Audible team resonate with you?

Is your reporting different and better? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

The Voice Season Finale: Winners Are Not Always Social Media Fan Favorites

By Sheldon Levine - May 22nd, 2015

Sawyer Fredericks Wins Season 8 of The VoiceSeason 8 of The Voice has just come to a close and Sawyer Fredericks has officially been crowned the winner, or, the man with “The Voice” if you will.

After 13 weeks of gruelling competition, it all came down to four finalists battling it out during this week’s finale that spread itself over Monday and Tuesday night. Millions tuned in to both nights to cheer on their favourite singer and see which one would actually win. Not only did they tune in with their TV’s though, but they tuned in through social media as well.

The Voice has a large contingent of loyal fans that not only watch the show, but interact with it through various social channels, including Twitter which lends itself very nicely to the real-time feeling that people can have in sharing the experience together no matter where in the world they may be. We thought it would be interesting to leverage MAP, our social media intelligence engine, to see what happened over The Voice’s finale through social media.

We started simple and just looked at mentions of The Voice over May 18 and 19, the date of the two finale episodes. Our search included the show name, it’s hashtag that it used throughout the season (#TheVoice) and their special #VoiceFinale hashtag that they were promoting for these two episodes. Over Monday and Tuesday we found that The Voice was mentioned in almost 250,000 social conversations. It appeared in 1,343 blog posts, 6,069 online news articles, 2,109 forum postings and 235,807 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Social Media Activity Summary Around The Voice's Finale

Most of the activity around the show came from Twitter, which makes sense for the reason given above, so we dug a little deeper into the channel. Here we found that Tuesday’s show, when the actual winner of The Voice was crowned garnered much more attention than Monday night’s broadcast. We also found that women are much more inclined to tweet about the show as they made up 72% of all of The Voice related tweets, while men only accounted for 28% of them.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary Around The Voice's Finale

But the overall show hashtags aren’t the only hashtags that The Voice promotes. During the season, every artist that performs gets their own hashtag so fans can show their support for their favourite. These hashtags are usually along the lines of #TeamWhoever, but occasionally a performer gets something unique that the fans come up with on their own. We took a look at these hashtags over the two night finale as well. In this case, Koryn Hawthorne and Sawyer Fredericks went with just #TeamKoryn and #TeamSawyer, respectively. The other two contestants, Meghan Linsey and Joshua Davis, had additional hashtags; #MegaFans for Meghan and #DavisNation for Joshua.

We looked at how those hashtags got used through the two night finale of The Voice and found that Fredericks hashtag was used the most, which should come as no surprise as he won the whole contest. However, it appears that despite him winning, he may not have actually been the fan favorite. As it turns out, over the two nights, Sawyer’s hashtag only got used in two more mentions than Joshua’s. That’s a pretty close race. See the final tally for the singer’s hashtags below:

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions of The Voice's Finale Contestants

When we looked at the use of their hashtags from the previous week through the finale shows we noticed that Sawyer may not have been the fan favourite to win at all. A look back to the second last episode shows that there was a huge amount of popularity around Koryn which seemed to fizzle out as the week went on and through the finale. As well, Joshua seemed to be getting more hashtag love during the previous week’s episode and all through the week right through the Monday night finale episode, but was then overtaken by Sawyer on the Tuesday night… but just barely.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Comparison of The Voice's Finale Contestants Over Time

If we look at that same time period in terms of share of voice between the singers, it looks like the fan favorite would have been Joshua who’s hashtags had over 5,000 more mentions than Sawyer who came in with the second most.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of The Voice's Finale Contestants' Hashtags Over the Final Week

But the singers aren’t the only ones that vie for the publics love. The coaches, who are all famous artists already, also try to get the fans of The Voice to help support them and their team throughout the season. This season the coaches included Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell. Only three of these coaches had someone from their team competing in the finale though, as Pharrell had two people from his team, but Christina had none.

So, which coaches team got the most love during the finale? When we analyzed the use of the coaches Twitter handles and team hashtags over the two night finale we found that it was a super close competition. Pharrell, who had Sawyer and Koryn representing his team, saw 27,302 mentions. In a very close second place though was Blake Shelton, who was Meghan’s coach, with 27,263 mentions over the finale.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions of The Voice's Coaches Over the Finale

Interestingly though, when we ran the same search around the coaches over the course of the entire season of The Voice, it turned out that Pharrell may have been the list popular coach. When we looked at the numbers for each coach across the season we found that Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera were the coaches that were talked about the most. Adam Levine had the most amount of mentions with 655,945 across the entire season, while Christina Aguilera was a close second with 647,383. Pharrell came in last in terms of mentions with only 542,529. Although, a look at how each week played out, it seems that each coach had weeks when their team excelled.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity of The Voice's Coaches Over the Season

Sysomos MAP - Share Of Voice of The Voice's Coaches Over the Season

On top of all these people that appear on the show, Nissan actually plays a big part in the show as it’s main sponsor who powers the show and it’s companion app. So, how did they fair? We searched for mentions of Nissan along side The Voice and then their two hashtags they were pushing through the show, #VoiceTailgate and #RedThumb (for their campaign to not text and drive). As it turns out, Nissan actually saw large bumps in mentions of them whenever The voice was on, especially towards the end of the season.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity of Nissan with The Voice Over the Season

Nissan saw a big bump in conversations for the finale as well, but it turns out that their largest spike in conversation came the week before Mother’s Day when they ran this ad for their #RedThumb campaign:

Overall, it seems that The Voice’s two day finale was a huge success. We’ll end off our analysis by showing you the overall sentiment around the finally, which came in with an 88% favorable rating.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment of The Voice Finale

@POTUS; The President Of The United States Gets His Own Twitter Account

By Sheldon Levine - May 20th, 2015

It’s barely been 48 hours since the @POTUS handle appeared on Twitter, but it’s already been able to amass quite a following.

@POTUS, short form for President Of The United States, belongs to none other than Barack Obama… for now anyways. The Twitter account came into being on Monday May 18, 2015 and the President sent this as his first tweet:

While the account @BarackObama has been around since Obama’s first run for presidency in 2008, it has mainly been run by the President’s staff, with the odd tweet from the man himself which were marked with a “-bo.” This new account will actually belong to the president and allow him to tweet his presidential views all on his own.

It’s no surprise that when the account surfaced, many people and news organizations flocked to follow and try to interact with the President. Just over 24 hours since the @POTUS account sent it’s first tweet it has managed to amass about 2.2 million followers. At the time of writing this, the actual number of followers is 2,181,335 and still growing. We got curious about just how the account spread like wildfire and managed to attract so much attention in just a short period of time, so we did some analysis using MAP, our social intelligence software.

We started by looking at how the President’s first tweet from the @POTUS account spread using our Tweet Life analysis. This function looks at a random sample of 4,000 retweets of the original tweet in question and shows how it travels through the Twitterverse and shows us who helps to amplify the message. In the case of this tweet though, many users were pointed towards it from the press who were giddy to see the new Presidential account. Many people flocked to follow the new @POTUS account and then retweeted his first ever tweet spreading the news to their own networks. The 4,000 tweets we analyzed played out like this: Sysomos MAP - Tweet Life Spread of @POTUS's First Tweet We only analyze 4,000 retweets to get an accurate sample of how the spread played out, but the tweet actually received over 250,000 retweets. The full amount of retweets likely played out very similarly as news about the account spread. We found that the half-life for this specific tweet, the time it took to get from the original tweet being posted to it’s 2,000th RT, came in only 3 hours and 31 minutes. What this tells us is that the reaction to the President joining Twitter moved swiftly and gained momentum very quickly. Part of the reason that this account gained such momentum was due to the fact that every news organization and popular Twitter account wanted to be one of the firsts to welcome @POTUS to Twitter.

After we analyzed how the President’s first tweet spread we looked at how the communities of influence were interacting over the news using our Influencer Communities tool. It’s very interesting to see how the Twitter communities interacting with the new @POTUS handle became divided. The first community we can see is represented by blue. In this community we can see the actual @POTUS handle and it’s surrounded by other insanely popular Twitter accounts like @BarackObama, @TheEllenShow, @MTVNews and even @MileyCyrus saying hello and welcome to Twitter. The second community, represented in green, is news organizations and news makers, such as @TIME, @NYTimes and even @JimmyFallon who were all making note to their followers that the account now exists. The orange community is more made up of official government and government focused accounts who were tweeting about @POTUS. Finally, and possibly most interestingly, is that the red community seems to be mostly made up of right leaning Twitter accounts, like @JebBush and @FOXNews, who all had a negative tone towards the new @POTUS account. Sysomos MAP - Influencer Communities around @POTUS Knowing that this new account has already racked up over 1.8 million Twitter followers, we were curious as to who exactly was following @POTUS, as in the 24 hours since the account came into existence it already managed to earn itself a Sysomos Authority Score of 10/10.

Sysomos MAP - Bio Info for @POTUS

While the Twitter handle belongs to the current leader of the United States, we first noticed that people all over the world are interested in following him. Only 38.3% of the accounts followers identify as being in the United States themselves. The second largest contingent comes from the UK making up 6.6% of @POTUS’s following, followed by Canada at 3.1%.

Sysomos MAP - Followers by Country of @POTUS

We also found that more men seem to be interested in what @POTUS has to say than women. 65% of @POTUS’s followers are male while the remaining 35% is females. Sysomos MAP - Followers by Gender of @POTUS We then looked at the Sysomos Authority Score of @POTUS’s followers. Because of the wide appeal of following the leader of the free world we found that the majority of accounts that started to follow fell in the range of middle to low authority scores. These are people that use Twitter, but wouldn’t be considered “power users.” These are lickely the people who use Twitter to keep up with celebrities, news and other interests, but may not be very active on the platform themselves. Which would make sense that they would add @POTUS to their lists of accounts to follow. There are still accounts with high Authority following @POTUS, but it seems that the majority of followers fall into the general population.

Sysomos MAP - Authority Score of @POTUS follwers

This is even more evident when we pulled up a word cloud of @POTUS’s follower’s bios. Here we can see that these followers identify with a wide variety of topics and backgrounds. See for yourself: Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud of @POTUS's Follower's Bios So, it seems that a lot of interest has been generated by this new @POTUS account. Just over 24 hours old and the number of followers waiting to see what Barack Obama has to say continues to grow, even as we write this. And why wouldn’t they be, as you can already see Obama’s humour shining through the account with this little exchange he had with former President Bill Clinton yesterday:

3 Ways To Use Social Intelligence To Grow Your Community

By Sheldon Levine - May 15th, 2015

Grow Your CommunityYou’ve spent a lot time and effort growing your online community to get where you’re at today. You have a great group of people who are interested in interacting and championing your brand, but it’s not quite enough.

The great thing about online communities is that they’re living organisms. They’re always changing and, maybe more importantly, always have the chance to grow.

But how do you help your community grow even more than you already have? You feel like you’ve already done your monitoring to find out where your audience was and then started to engage with them there and they responded. Well, there’s a good chance that since the last time you did your research the landscape has changed yet again and there are a ton of new opportunities out there for you to grow your community even more.

Here’s a few tips that will help you use social intelligence to further grow your community:

Find where people are talking (again)

In today’s online world there are always new places and sites where people are going to learn and have conversations about your brand or topics that relate heavily to your brand. Using a social intelligence tool, like Sysomos, can can help you to identify what networks to start looking at. Start by entering a search for your brand name or some key industry terms and then look at where these conversations are happening most. Are there a lot of blog posts that come up in your search? Maybe there’s a ton of Twitter conversations. Heck, maybe people are sharing a lot of pictures related to your brand on Instagram. Find where the action is and then you can dive in deeper to get a better look at you can fit in there with them.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Activity Chart

Determine the real hotspots of activity for your community

You’ve found some of the networks and channels that you think could have a great potential for bringing people into your community. Now it’s time to get more granular to find the best new places and people to focus your efforts on.

While everyone in your community should be treated as an equal, there may be some people and sites that deserve a little extra attention to help bring more people into your community. A social intelligence tool can help you to identify these sites and people. For example, using Sysomos’s Most Authoritative tool can help you determine the blogs or people with the highest authority score that are talking about your brand or your search terms. Are these people or places you frequently interact with? If they’re not, they should be. These are the people and sites that are generally leading conversations and have people listening to them when they do so. Interacting with these people can help them to become more aware of you and your great community. The more you interact with them the more they’re likely to want to get involved with you and likely bring others with them. It’s important to keep seeking these people out on a regular basis as this list is going to constantly change as new voices enter the picture and older ones fade out.

Sysomos MAP - Most Authoritative Twitter Accounts That Tweet About Running Clubs

But people and sites with high authority aren’t the only people that you should focus your attention on. There are plenty of people out there that may be super fans of your brand or highly interested in your space and talking about it that aren’t necessarily your typical “influencer”. That’s why our Sysomos tools also have features to help you identify the people and places that are talking most about your brand or other key terms regardless of their authority. Looking for people and places with the most mentions of your interest can be helpful because while they may not have the reach of some of those people with a higher authority score than them, they’re still talking to people who are interested in the same subjects as them. These are the people that are truly interested and can easily be brought into your community and help to champion it to their own communities.

Sysomos MAP - Top Sources That Tweet Most About Cooking

Learn what your community values and give them lots of it

As a community manager myself for the past 5 years, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that communities thrive when they find value coming from within that community. Saying that you’ve created a community is very different than having an actual community. People get the feeling of actually being part of a community when they’re able to both give and take in a valuable way. So how do you learn what your community actually values (besides your brand, of course)?

Start by learning more about them and their interests. For example, below is a word cloud made up of the bio’s of Sysomos’s Twitter followers. Twitter bios are a great place to start because people volunteer information about themselves including what they do and what they like. As you can see in the word cloud we obviously have a large group of folks following us that are marketers, communicators and people that are into the digital world. But if we look closer we can also see that these people identify as being fans of sports, music and more regardless of what they do for their day job. This let us know that our current community members have interests beyond social media, so we find ways to insert these other topics into what we do around social media. That’s why on our blog you’ll occasionally see posts where we talk about how social media played a role during other pop culture related events, like The Grammys or The Super Bowl, because we know that our audience likes these things and we’re able to find a way to show them something of value that also relates back to our brand and what we do.

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud of  @Sysomos' s Twitter Followers' bios

But people also reveal a lot about what they value through what they talk about. So, find out what they talk about most and see if your brand can fit in to some of those things as well. Start looking at what some of your most active community members are interested in and try to figure out ways that you can help them or add value to these things. One step further would be to create a media set inside of Sysomos of your most active community members and then look at text analytics around what they all talk about and see what surfaces. Seeing what a large group talks about in common will give you a great idea of what your larger community is interested in. You can then create content that fits with your brand around those topics and even interact directly with your community members around them.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph of Social Media Influencers' Conversations

If you start making your community feel like they’re really getting something from you, they will also start to share those valuable pieces of content and others will be brought into the community by seeing the value they can get from it.

The ideas above are just a few ways that can get you started on using social intelligence to keep your community growing. Remember that communities are going to constantly keep growing, so keep going back and doing these things time and time again to help your community grow.

We’re also curious to know how you’re using social intelligence to grow your communities. Let us know in the comments below.

Do you need social intelligence to grow your community? Give us a shout to find out how we can help you with it.

Social Tools Summit 2015 Wrap-Up and Learnings

By Jason Harris - May 13th, 2015

On Tuesday, May 12 in Boston, 150 practitioners and vendors came together to discuss social media marketing and specifically the tools we all use in our day-to-day work lives.

Social Tools Summit

Companies such as Schneider Electric, AT&T Mobility and agencies discussed frustrations of today’s social marketing realities and swapped stories and tools to enable us all to do our jobs better.

The one-day event was hosted by Neal Schaffer, a friend of Sysomos and a known social media consultant and influencer. The day was a fantastic balance of keynotes, informative panels and smaller group discussions.

Here are three things we learned while attending the Summit:

Too many companies aren’t measuring and re-evaluating their efforts enough

A recurring theme throughout the day is that there’s not enough re-thinking and fresh thought in social activations, both in person and online. Sure we have measurement tools and ways to quantify whether our efforts are paying off, but it’s apparent that many marketing departments are simply re-using the same methods and not critically asking questions to reshape and refine social-led projects and efforts.

The main reason is that marketing folks aren’t talking to one another enough. To me this shows that more conferences and summits such as Social Tools Summit are needed. It’s fantastic to have face to face time with other marketing executives and leaders to swap stories, share learnings and help one another perfect our crafts.

Practical advice is just as important as overarching theories

The organizers of Social Tools Summit had the presenting table set up in an innovative way. At the center was the moderator or key speaker and to his/her left was a panel of VP and C-level executives presenting ideas. To the right of the speaker was a panel of 4 “Trenders”, these were younger practitioners who are on the front lines of social media projects and efforts.

It was refreshing to be able to hear a theory from a senior level person followed by a practical example or tale from the front line. This presentation style was refreshing and very informative.

Measurement is one thing – intelligence is another

At the end of most campaigns, social metrics are gathered along with talking points and other learnings from the project. But too often, social intelligence isn’t applied. As social leaders and communicators, we need to apply a “would we do this again” question to each project to evaluate future efforts. Let’s stop reporting numbers and paint our reports with added context and relevancy back to our core missions. If we’re not doing this, we’re missing the whole point!

Thank you

To Neal and the entire team who put on Social Tools Summit, thank you. It was announced that a second Summit would take place this coming Fall in San Francisco. So if you missed out on the Boston event, be sure to catch it on the West Coast this autumn

Mentions Gets a Makeover In The New Sysomos Heartbeat

By Sheldon Levine - May 7th, 2015

This March we proudly debuted the brand new look that we gave Sysomos Heartbeat to the world. The response to the updated look and feel has been overwhelming and we were glad to hear all the positive feedback that people have been sending us. We were also more than happy to hear how people thought that we could make Heartbeat even better.

We’ve been listening to all of the feedback and are pleased today to introduce an update to the Mentions tab in Sysomos Heartbeat that we think you’re really going to love.

A whole new look and feel

As of today, you’ll notice that we’ve given the Mentions tab in the new Heartbeat a complete makeover that will make viewing all of your social media mentions more appealing to your eye, easier to navigate and even easier to use.

The first thing you’ll notice when you look at the new Mentions tab is that it looks completely different. We’ve made mentions even easier to look through and not lose your place by giving it a “mailbox” feel. This new look will allow you to scroll through all of your mentions in a single column on the left hand side, while getting more information about single posts on the right-hand side.

The Beautiful New Look For Mentions in Sysomos Hearbeat

The left-hand column shows you what social channel a post has originated from, such as Twitter, blogs, Instagram and others by way of a corresponding icon. You can also get top-level data about that particular post in this column such as what the article headline is, what the Tweet says and the sentiment around it.

We’ve also added quick use functions in this list column so that you can perform quick tasks like manually changing the sentiment on a post, star a post or reply to a Tweet with ease.

See more, do more

Clicking on a post in the left-hand column will reveal more detail in the Mention’s right-hand column without taking you away from all of the mentions. For example, clicking on a blog post or online news article will reveal the full article. Or clicking on a Tweet will show what the Tweet actually looks like on a beautiful Twitter card.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Mentions From Different Sources

Once you’ve expanded the detail of a social media post, you’ll notice along the top of this column a row of quick actions that you can take perform on the post. These include starring the post, manually changing the sentiment, assigning the post to someone, engaging with the post (currently only for Twitter and Facebook), manually adding a tag to the post, overriding the demographic information and deleting the post. These functions allow you to get more done in less time while looking through all of your mentions.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Quick Actions in the New Mentions Tab

Right below the row of quick actions we’ve also added a quick view of the source details around the post, including their Sysomos Authority Score. But not to worry, if you want more details, they’re just below.

When you first expand the details of a post you’ll be given the full view of that particular post. But you’ll also notice that there is a row of tabs to help you see and do more. Clicking on the Source Details tab will reveal more details about where the post in question originated from, such as traffic details for blogs and online news sites, or bio and follower count information for Twitter.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Source Details for Mentions

The next tab along that row is Workflow which will allow teams to see details on posts about if it’s been assigned to someone and what actions have been taken. And finally, the last tab, Translate will allow you to instantly translate a post on the fly that is not in your native tongue to one of 20 languages so you can read the post without ever leaving the Mentions tab.

Bulk actions

One big feature that we were asked to include in this latest iteration was for users to perform bulk actions on several posts at a time. We’re happy to say that this feature is now part of the new Mentions tab as well. By selecting multiple posts in the left-hand column, or even all posts in the column, users can star, change sentiment, assign to team mates, manually add a tag or delete multiple posts in bulk which will save you the time of having to do this post by post.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Take Bulk Actions With Mentions

The best part of Sysomos Heartbeat’s all new Mentions tab is that you can also use it in conjunction with all of your tags and filters just like you’ve always been able to. So, if you just want to see forum posts associated with a specific tag, that’s all you’ll see.

We hope you enjoy Heartbeat’s new look and actions that you can do with Mentions. If you’re already using Sysomos Heartbeat, reach out to your dedicated account person to learn more or find our documentation and video about it in the support portal.

And if you’re not already a Sysomos Heartbeat user, contact us and we’ll be happy to show you the new Mentions section and more.

4 Ways Your Product Team Can Benefit from Social Intelligence

By Sheldon Levine - May 6th, 2015

How often have you heard the phrase “social media is the world’s largest focus group?”

You may have heard this phrase too many times to count, but how serious have you taken it? Maybe it’s about time that you did.

Social intelligence can help companies discover what people are saying about them and their products currently, but it can also help to shape where you should be going with your products in the future.

Social intelligence is all about making sure the right people in your company are getting the right information from your social data to make better business decisions. While the folks on your product teams may not be the most social (no offence product people) that doesn’t mean that they can’t benefit from social intelligence.

Make sure they see all of the right information

Social Intelligence For Your Product Team

Product people likely spend most of their day with their heads down trying to constantly tweak and improve your products. They may not have time to sift through your company’s social media to see what people are actually saying about the products they work on. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be seeing all of these conversations.

If your company has someone on the front lines for social media, you can have them collect all of the conversations happening around your product and send them over to your product team as they come in or in a daily or weekly report. If you’re a Sysomos Heartbeat client you can even set up email alerts based around product related keywords to be sent over to your product team automatically on one of the reporting schedules just mentioned. This way the product team can still focus on their work on the actual product, but receive consistent updates on what your customers think of the product and where they think it could benefit from an upgrade.

Discover what to work on easily

It’s one thing to start handing over all of the social conversations that are related to your product over to your product team so that they can see what people are saying. But how can they know what is most important to focus on? Determining which improvements are most important to your customers will help to know where to start your focus.

Text analytics can be a quick and easy way to surface which developments will make your customers happy and either keep them using your product or wanting to buy your next and better product. Running all of the social conversations that have been collected around your product though a word cloud or buzzgraph can help to surface the words that are being used the most when people are talking about your product.

Sysomos Buzzgraph of people talking about features on Android phones

You could even look at these text analytics through different lenses to help steer you. Looking at just the negative sentiment mentions can help determine what people are having the most issues with in your product. But if you look at the positive mentions the same way, you might also discover what people love the most about your product and you may want to put some time into making that part of the product even better.

Learn from your competitors

The great thing about the processes mentioned above is that you just don’t have to get the social intelligence you need to make better products from what people are saying about you specifically. Chances are that you have some form of competition with a similar offering to yours. Well, there’s also a great chance that their audience is talking about what they like and dislike about their products too.

You can recreate the process of collecting what people are saying about your competitors products in the social media space as well. From there, you can also use text analytics to surface what people like the best about their offering, or what they really hate about it. Again, your product team can use these learnings to find new ideas to try on your own product by taking what the competition’s fans hate about their product and making it better in your own or adding something that people love that you don’t offer yet.

Better yet, if you’re a Sysomos user you can even set up tags so that you can always keep an eye on what people are saying about your competitors in real time. For example, let’s you’re Green Mountain Coffee and your main competition is Starbucks. You might want to keep a constant eye on people who don’t like Starbucks’s coffee to find out why so you can improve yours and win new customers. All you need to do is set your tags and filters so that you can monitor for mentions of “Starbucks” and coffee with negative sentiment. You can even save the filter set so that it’s easy for you to come back to time and time again.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Monitoring for negative mentions of Starbucks coffee

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Once the product team has decided on what they want to focus on, they can go back through all of those collected social posts and find out who was talking about what feature. You can then start asking questions to get deeper into what the customers would like to see, or how they would improve on something they don’t like.

I’ll never forget when a product I use religiously everyday made a big change and forced all their users into this new upgrade. For me, it just wasn’t the same product anymore and I took to Twitter to let the world know. To my surprise, the next day their lead developer contacted me and asked me what I didn’t like about the update. We then went back and forth on Twitter for about an hour as he asked my questions and I told him my opinions. The best part was that in their next update I could see that he had actually taken some of my suggestions and built them into (or returned some of them) to the product. This not only made me like the product again, but also kept me loyal to them as I knew they cared about what I said.

There’s a lot that your product team can learn from social intelligence to make your products better regardless of if they’re active social media participants or not. The information is all there, you just need to know how to access it all.

Want to know more about how to get the right social intelligenece to the right people in your organization? Contact us and we can help.

Our 3 Pillars of Customer Success

By Sheldon Levine - April 29th, 2015

Totango's Customer Success Summit 2015Recently, our very own Jeff Cann, Sr. Director Client Experience, had the distinct honour of speaking at Totango‘s Customer Success Summit.

In his talk, Jeff spoke about 3 things that we focus on here at Sysomos to keep all of our customers happy. The best part is that these 3 things can be applied by almost any company, so we thought we’d share them with you today.

1. Driving Customer Success through Employee Success

Keeping your customers happy starts with keeping your employees happy. If your employees are happy, then that happiness gets passed along in every interaction they have with clients. Keeping your employees happy can in many different forms and can include things like pay, bonuses, recognition and your overall company culture. It’s also important to have regular talks with your employees to see what’s going on with them and if they’re having issues, see how you can help them get past these issues. The happier your employees are the more they’ll radiate that happiness out to their clients. We actively make sure that all of our employees are happy and enjoying their job here at Sysomos, not just those that interact with clients, and the happiness spreads around our offices.

2. High Touch Through The Customer Lifecycle (with tech)

Here at Sysomos, every customer gets their own dedicated support. This means that they can constantly talk to someone who knows them and their business rather than just the first person to pick up the phone or answer a help ticket. As the customer starts to grow, both in their business and the use of our tools, our support teams will understand your growth and be able to help and guide their clients specifically. On top of that, we use use automated communication throughout their life cycle to keep customers informed and engaged. These are things like emails or in app messaging to help customers and are customized to what we see them doing in our tools. If you can keep customers happy and engaged, you can keep more customers.

3. The Magic Number For Customer Health

Josh James, the former CEO of Omniture, introduced the world in 2008 to his “magic number” for health of a SaaS company. This magic number is a ratio of monthly reoccurring revenue to marketing and sales spend. This is an iterative process where we look at lost customers and retained customers and determine what the key indicators are in each group that can help us to identify the health of a customer. We’re always looking at these things and making sure that our entire customer facing team is aware of the health of all our clients. By constantly watching for these indicators we can always make sure that we try to improve the health of relationships that seem to be slipping.

For more details and deeper explanation on these 3 pillars, see Jeff’s full talk in the video below:

How Social Intelligence Benefits Your Sales Team

By Sheldon Levine - April 28th, 2015

Social SellingYou’ve heard the term ”social selling” before. But is your sales force truly embracing it?

Sales is one the best departments to benefit from social intelligence, yet they often aren’t using it. Some in sales may think that social media isn’t for them or that they’re too busy to start tweeting on top of what they already have to do… help bring in sales. But in truth, social intelligence can actually help make the sales process even easier.

Now, we don’t want to polarize an entire group of people by saying that all salespeople stay away from social. Instead, we want to show those that aren’t how they can use social intelligence and those that already are, how they can use it better.

When salespeople hear the term “social selling” a lot of them start by actively searching through social media for conversations about people looking to purchase their product or a product like theirs and then jump in to seize the opportunity. But here’s the thing…

Social media isn’t the place for a hard sell

Social media is a place for starting and maintaining relationships though, and isn’t sales really all about relationships? Sales people can start by looking for those purchase intent posts in social media, but that should just be a jumping off point. It’s perfectly fine to reach out to someone in social media that says they’re in the market to buy and introduce yourself and your product. But that’s just where the sales cycle starts.

 

Follow what potential clients are doing to understand them better

The world of social media allows you to follow what your potential customers are up to and stay in touch. This is a great way to keep your relationship going without having to pick up the phone or email someone every few days to stay top of mind. The best part is, on social media, not all of your interactions have to be about selling your product. You might find that keeping up with your potential customers might reveal that you some common interests. You can talk to them about these things as well, which only help you to strengthen the relationship even further.

Use social intelligence to anticipate what your buyers need

When it does come time for salespeople to talk about what they’re selling, social intelligence can help them be prepared for that talk. If they kept an eye on what their potential customers have been talking about they should have an understanding about what the customer is looking to accomplish and what their pain points are.

Setting up lists, or MediaSets in our Sysomos software, will allow you to always know what’s happening with your potential customers. Seeing what their business is doing will give salespeople insight into what direction the potential buyer is heading in and what they’re trying to accomplish. Then, when the sales person reaches out, they can speak specifically to how their product can help achieve those goals.

Create a media set in Sysomos to follow clients and prospects

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s how our own Christina Meguerian says she does it:

“I created lists that I follow through Sysomos for both prospects and clients and each morning I scan through the feeds to see if there are any interesting posts to reach out to them about. Find a timely topic that your prospect is working on by researching recent posts on their social channels. Think of a catchy email subject or tweet based on the information you found – anything relevant to them will give you a much better chance of getting a reply. Understanding a prospects needs before they even answer the phone will definitely give you a leg up. And you may not be right on point based off the info you found on Twitter but if you ask the right questions, you will get the prospect engaged and put them at ease, willing to discuss their needs -which is the first step! And remember, it’s not over once the prospect becomes a client! Clients want to know you care and one of the best ways to do this is by listening to their needs and anytime you come across a fitting blog post or use case, tweet it to them. Not only will they appreciate this but another client that’s following you may also value this post. After all, sharing is caring, especially on social!”

By following the individual people from that company you’re trying to sell to, you can get an understanding of what pains them at work. Knowing what people do well and what they struggle with again will help to shape how salespeople can approach them with ways that their product can help them be even better at what they’re good at or help to solve the problems that they struggle with.

If salespeople can use social intelligence to understand their buyers better and form real relationships with them, the entire sales process can go a lot smoother and likely, a lot more in their favour. Social selling could be your best foot in the door.

Beefing Up Agency Margins Through Social Intelligence

By Mitch Schneider - April 22nd, 2015

Beefing Up Agency Margins Through Social IntelligenceAny one who has ever worked for a creative or communications firm – or even attempted to start their own – knows the financial side of the agency world can be a tricky beast. Agencies are mostly considered “services”, and the margins for companies in the services space are often razor thin.

Most agencies operate on a retainer-billing model where they charge clients either a recurring monthly fee (for example, $15K/month), or an agreed-upon amount based around a project or campaign (like, $25K for work around a product launch or trade show). The retainer amounts and length of engagements vary from firm to firm, but the point is, most agencies bill in terms of monthly retainers and project fees.

And within these monthly retainers, the agency often outlines, explicitly, what services the client will receive in exchange for their monthly fees, along with an estimate of how many hours the agency team members will spend servicing their account. For example:

——

The Mitch Agency charges Company X $20,000/month for communications work. Scope of work includes:

-$6,000: [40 hours (@ $150/hour) for media pitching, placement and reporting]

-$3,000: [15 hours (@ $200/hour) for communications strategy]

-$3,000: [12 hours (@ $250/hour) for content creation for web site, news releases and blog]

-$1,500: [10 hours (@ $150/hour) for crisis communications, alerting, and awareness]

-$1,500: [5 hours (@ $300/hour) for media training of executives and public-facing staff]

-$5,000: for misc. costs, such as travel, subscriptions, tools, ad hoc requests, etc.

Total: $20,000/month (80-plus hours/month)

——

Keep in mind, the above scope of work is very, very basic and non-descriptive. But this is typically how many firms determine client costs, and how they lay them out.

The tricky part to all of is the hours’ piece. While an agency may designate 40 hours/month on a retainer sheet for media pitching, placement and reporting, in actuality, that agency may spend 50 hours accomplishing this task. This overage could be for a number of reasons — it may have been a particularly busy month on the pitching front; there was an unexpected story that boosted visibility; or the firm just didn’t do a good job of tracking its hours.

Regardless of the reason, the agency is now in the unenviable position where they either have to charge the client an unexpected fee for the additional work, or, simply, the agency has to eat the cost (which they’ll often do to avoid aggravating the client). And rather than pocketing the $20,000 for the client work and netting $3,000 (after overhead costs), the agency now pockets the $20,000 but loses $1,000 because of the extra costs it incurred to keep the staff working and lights on during those extra ten hours.

Again, this is an overly simplified example. But the gist here is, agencies have very thin financial margins because they’re selling strategy and human-generated services, which are much more vulnerable to human error and loss of profitability then if the product sold was something tangible and transactional, like software, cars, real estate, etc.

Social intelligence reporting can greatly improve agency margins

So, how can an agency offset its thin margins, while at the same time stay current in its offerings and diversify its product set? Easy. That agency can begin selling and packaging social intelligence.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Executive Overview Sample Dashboard

From what I’ve seen in the market the past year, it’s safe to say most companies are doing very little in terms of collecting and analyzing social intelligence that directly impacts their business. Sure, that company may have a Twitter feed, Facebook Fan Page, and LinkedIn microsite. But when it comes to making light of the trillions of data points in the social sphere, those organizations are doing next to nothing.

Even more surprisingly, very few firms have the tools and the know-how in place today to help companies understand and take advantage of this expansive data set. This represents a GIGANTIC market opportunity for all kinds of agencies – communications, digital, marketing, advertising – to begin collecting social data on behalf of their clients, and then report back those findings to their clients on a weekly/monthly/quarterly or annually basis.

Using another basic example, let’s say a small agency works with a dozen clients who each pay, on average, $8K/month in retainers. This amounts to $96K/month in retainer fees for the agency, or just under $1.2M/year.

What if the agency introduced to all its clients a very simple set of monthly social intelligence reports, where the firm billed each client at the modest rate of $750 each?

Sysomos Heartbeat - Demographic Research Sample Dashboard

If we do the math – $750/report x 12 clients x 12 months – that agency just grossed an additional $108,000. This represent a 10% increase on top of what it was just earning on its old set of standard services.

Better yet, the margins in selling the social intelligence reports are, likely, far better than normal agency offerings, as the only incurred costs to the firm are (a) the data and platform fees (which are extremely reasonable in today’s market), as well as (b) the fast time it can take to extract social data and productize it by way of a report.

Bottom line

Most communications agencies operate in the services space, and as a result, they are subject to thin margins due to the fact that they’re selling strategy and counsel, which are not tangible things. Agencies can improve their bottom lines, not to mention, expand their suite of services, by investing in social intelligence software, and then re-selling this data back to their client base. Social intelligence reporting is a relatively untapped market, it’s easy to productize, and can be quite lucrative.