Should You Use Radian6 for Social Media Monitoring?

social media toolsAre you befuddled by all the social media tools out there? Are you wondering if Radian6 is a good choice for your organization? Do you need a way to compare different vendors? Keep reading for a comprehensive review…

If you’re looking for a social media monitoring tool, you’ve probably noticed that it’s quickly becoming a confusing landscape. For those who are new to social media and looking for tools to manage their presence, it’s difficult to know how to compare one vendor to the next. Here’s the skinny on where Radian6 fits into the picture.

Where does Radian6 fit into the social media measurement landscape?

Radian6 helps brands ensure that no post is missed.

We offer unequalled coverage of the social web and provide metrics to measure what is being said, and by whom. —David Alston, CMO Radian6.

Primarily, Radian6 is a monitoring tool. It can help you monitor brand mentions across the social landscape and the new Engagement Console offers you an end-to-end presence management tool.

radian6

Radian6 Dashboards

For consideration: Think about how much “noise” you have in your space. In order for monitoring to be actionable you want to keep in mind that for industries and brands that are targets for spammers it can take a considerable amount of work to filter and find the “meaningful” conversations. I experienced this problem myself, as CareOne and the entire debt relief industry are hounded by spammers and it required intervention from Radian6 to get it in line.

Tip: Many people start by putting in keywords that are used in SEO and paid search. To narrow your results, sort them by comment count. Because comments indicate more engagement, it’s more likely that the conversations are meaningful. Look for other words that are used frequently with your keywords and add them as modifiers to narrow your results to conversations, rather than spam bots.

radian 6 engagement console

The Engagement Console is a real-time social web client—more complete than Twitter.

What are Radian6′s greatest strengths?

Radian6 offers users comprehensive coverage of discussions on the social web, covering hundreds of millions of blogs, comments, the public Facebook API and the full Twitter firehose. In addition to this coverage, Radian6 is scalable within an enterprise, allowing online comments to be assigned within the business, to customer service, sales, marketing and so forth. Radian6 also integrates with other enterprise applications like Salesforce.com and analytics like Webtrends, Omniture and Google Analytics.” —David Alston

comprehensive coverage

You can scour more than 150 million public sites and sources including blogs and comments, forums, mainstream online news publications, public photos and videos.

In the landscape of monitoring tools, while competitors are on the rise, Radian6 has had a very comfortable and secure position in the market. I think this is because of two things. First, they entered the market early and got popular social media bloggers to test them out and recommend them. Second, they quickly gained popularity among enterprise organizations with big brand names as being the go-to choice.

For consideration: Radian6 is a very comprehensive tool that gives you a one-stop shop for engaging on your social channels. The workflow aspect is a key consideration for enterprise-level organizations. However, for smaller businesses or teams with one or two people it may be overkill. Additionally, their pricing model can get expensive quickly for larger teams. It starts at $1k+ per month.

Tip: Take advantage of the free tools out there for a while. See what you like best about them and see what they’re lacking. Create a list of absolute must-haves and nice-to-haves. When you’re looking at different providers you can use this checklist to make sure they have what you need. Anything they’re offering that isn’t on your absolute must-have or nice-to-have lists will likely end up being an unused feature.

If Radian6 is integrated with Salesforce, Webtrends, Omniture and Google Analytics, can they provide ROI data?

The short answer is no. Based on the integration David described to me, there’s no way to follow the conversation back to the revenue. The integration was mostly done from a customer service perspective.

“For Salesforce, it’s designed in such a way that, for example, if you find a customer service issue in Radian6, you can link the record of what you find in Radian6 back to the customer record. In terms of Google Analytics, Webtrends or Omniture, you can create an XML report of the 10 terms that get captured in Webtrends that you want to import into Radian6. You can then overlay the Webtrend data on those keywords with the information inside Radian6 and do kind of a pivot to sort by items like time on site.” —David Alston

For consideration: The level of conversion tracking was described by Alston as items like lead forms that are set up as goals within your web tracking software. In my experience, this type of conversion data is nice but unless it was an online sale it doesn’t attach to revenue.

Tip: While Radian6 doesn’t provide ROI data within its interface, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get to it through other channels. You may need to work with a consultant who can help you quickly identify where to connect the pieces to get to revenue.

What are Radian6′s biggest weaknesses?

There are a several things that I think Radian6 could do better.

Up-front Effort for Workflow Features

From a workflow perspective, it’s great to be able to assign tasks and tags to posts; however, to be effective, you need to create a system of tagging up front or you’ll end up with a large clean-up effort later. It was a great improvement when they released the Engagement Console which allows you to write macros. This cuts down significantly on the number of clicks it takes to assign a post and tag it. But it does take a lot of forethought and setup to get that working well.

David acknowledges that this can be a challenge.

“Because the Engagement Console was designed to optimize usage in a team environment, it requires users to think through the tagging, classification and macro systems they would like to use in advance. This takes an investment to create (we call it a “playbook”), but it’s definitely worth it once it has been set up. The latest addition of administrative functionality in the Engagement Console means a single super-user can help pull this all together for the team, thus saving more time.”

Two Interfaces

As a user you’ll find that there are two interfaces for you to use. The Engagement Console is where you manage your social media channels, tag posts, assign them and so on. I liken it to your HootSuite or TweetDeck interface on steroids. This is what you’ll likely use every day. Then you have the Radian6 dashboard which aggregates all of your stats into pretty little charts and you can get data based on specific timeframes.

I found it awkward that the Radian6 dashboard is web-based and the Engagement Console is a desktop app. I would have preferred to have them both as web apps.

No Smart Phone App

For those who manage their presence on the go, there’s one big missing piece of the puzzle. You can’t use Radian6 on a smart phone because there is no app. I asked David about this and he said to “stay tuned” but I’ve been hearing that for over a year now so I’m becoming a little skeptical on their ability to make it happen in the short-term. If I were at Radian6, this would be my top priority. For users, it creates a disconnect from presence management and forces us to use other tools on our phones.

I’d rather look for all of my stats on my smart phone, and using the Engagement Console means I have to get reporting in two locations, which is not my preference.

Pricing

There are three fees. One is a per-seat license. The second is a per–topic profile fee. A topic profile is where you tell it what data you want to pull in. If you want to separate data, there is only so much you can do within one topic profile. An agency managing multiple clients would need at least one topic profile per client and it’s the most expensive item on the list. The third fee is based upon the volume of posts that come into your topic profile.

While the initial volume range that comes with your topic profile is reasonably high, you’d be surprised at how quickly you can exceed it. You can use keyword refinement to bring this down. These are all monthly fees that make up your core price. While I think Radian6 is certainly the Cadillac in the space and their price indicates that, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the money.

Summary

Radian6 is a great platform that’s equipped with a lot of bells and whistles. From my perspective, it was clear the company is dedicated to continual innovation of the tools. To decide if it’s right for you, you’ll need to look at your list of absolute must-have and nice-to-have features and see if buying the “whole farm” makes sense for your organization. My feeling is that for most one- or two-person operations it may be a little overkill and pricey, but for corporate marketing teams I think it’s a reasonable choice.

Read these posts for more on measuring social media and its impact on brand awareness, looking to track social media metrics and 5 ways to use social data to grow your business.

What do you think? Are you a Radian6 user? If so, what would you add to the list of strengths? How about weaknesses? Did you switch from Radian6 to another tool? If so, which one did you pick and why? Please join the conversation and leave a comment in the box below.

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About the Author, Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the president of SME Digital, the digital marketing division of Social Media Explorer. They provide digital marketing strategy, implementation and measurement using the Full Frontal ROI methodology. Other posts by »




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  • Lindsay

    I have never used Radian 6, but several friends of mine have. I currently use Alterian SM2 because of its low cost and ability to search other languages. I have found that a lot of listening tools say they have a worldwide reach, but they still only bring back conversations in English.

    For global companies, I think it is important to have language as a criteria when choosing a listening tool; and then they just have to ensure they have the right team and workflow for responding to different languages. Does Radian 6 have this kind of functionality?

  • Ian Wright

    Radian6 looks very comprehensive but profile costs can add up and it is expensive compared to some other offerings out there, however you pay for what you get and it certainly is one of the premium services.

    Social Media for brands requires highly effective monitoring especially for any negative chatter about a brand. The price you pay for Radian6 is obviously very little compared to how a brand could be damaged if its not monitored properly.

    Radian6 how about a lower level cost for the smaller guys like us trying to grow our offerings and services?

  • http://www.notfrombolton.co.uk Not From Bolton

    Personally I have been using Alterian SM2 it works well and delivers the data I need to demonstrate the ROI of the work I do with my clients.

  • http://twitter.com/genevievecoates Genevieve Coates

    Hi Nichole!

    First off big thanks for this comprehensive overview! This really gives the public a great chance to see where they can leverage our platform for their needs.

    We really appreciate all the points you’ve raised here and we’ll be reviewing internally to look at the ways we can improve our platform in those areas. If you have any follow up questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    All the best,
    Genevieve Coates
    Community Manager – Radian6

  • http://twitter.com/NathanRKing Nathan King

    I’ve been using Radian6 for several months now and it has been great. I think you might want to look at your pricing in the post – seems off. There is a per-user fee plus a fee for the data stream that I believe starts at $500. That cost goes up if you are pulling in a lot of data.

  • Ian Wright

    Hi Genevieves thanks for the prompt response, will you be offering small business start ups the opportunity to use Radian6 at cost effective pricing to help them grow their businesses?

  • http://www.twitter.com/jeffscott jeffscott

    one huge problem with Radian6 is that it doesn’t actually monitor public comments posted to public Facebook pages. sure, it monitors pages, but it’s only looking at an RSS feed of the content published by the page’s Admin. this means that i need to supplement Radian6′s offering with a collection of other tools for every topic profile i create. sure, a mobile app would be great, but having more thorough monitoring on one of today’s most significant social media platforms is of much greater concern to me. just sayin’.

  • http://twitter.com/Aaron_Wragg Aaron Wragg

    Great Review… I agree with your assessment on strengths and weaknesses. It is a great tool, but can be hard to justify that expense on a month to month basis when dealing with smaller clients.

  • Bill Grunau

    I was going to post about how Radian 6 offers great tools, BUT it is too expensive for all but the large companies with BIG bugets. Too late, many have already said this, do Ditto, I agree…

  • http://twitter.com/HMarketingHelp Josiah Mackenzie

    “The best online reputation management” solution depends on your needs. There’s no one universal answer. When selecting a tool for online reputation management, I recommend considering the following criteria:

    1) What data types does it aggregate and index?

    2) What is the international coverage and language support? (Reputation is increasingly becoming an global issue)

    3) Does the company have the right development team in place?

    4) What type of training and support is offered? (A tool is only as good as it is used)

    5) Does the tool enable communication and collaboration among staff members? (Reputation should be a team sport)

    6) What workflow systems are in place to encourage rapid resolution?

    7) Will it keep my team engaged with information sharing?

    8) Does it support semantic analysis? (You need insights and meaning behind the numbers)

    9) Will it help me attract new customers by proactively reaching out in social media?

    10) Can it organize and analyze data by groups and brands?

    11) Does it support the needs of each department manager?

    12) Does it integrate well with my existing systems and technology with data import/export functionality? (ex: Can I import and analyze offline customer service questionnaires to get a complete picture of customer sentiment?)

    A big issue I have with user-based pricing is that the edge of innovation I see right now is in using business intelligence from social media throughout an organization. Feedback from customers in the form of reviews (and elsewhere) can be used for everything from investment decisions to HR recruiting and training to marketing to pricing. So ideally the pricing scheme should encourage company-wide use.

    In my opinion, the future of online reputation aggregation will be industry-specific tools that collect data from industry-specific websites. As social media evolves, there are so many niche sites and unique needs that it’s difficult to use one tool across everything.

    For example, in the hotel industry, online review tracking is complicated because there are dozens of review websites in many different languages. The software company I do market research for, ReviewPro.com, pulls in over 70 million guest reviews from 60+ review websites worldwide in 8 languages – and that would be very difficult to do using a generic tool.

    So my advice is try to find an online reputation aggregation that collects the right data for your business, for your industry.


    Josiah Mackenzie
    Industry Analyst, ReviewPro.com

  • Mark Stolte

    Hi Lindsay, If you are using Alterian SM2 one thought to keep in mind with International coverage is how people will talk about your brands/products in other areas. A prime example was we were searching for IPhone apps in France and found out that instead of abbreviated iPhone applications to “apps,” the French say “appli”.

  • Mark Stolte

    Hey Ian,

    If you are considering monitoring tools that would fit your business model a little better, you should consider Alterian SM2. We give you the ability to manage multiple clients, topics, projects, and unlimited searches with a single license fee. We pull from over 200 million sources so you can rest assured you are getting great data and coverage.

    Many of our clients use SM2 to not only manage their clients social presence but it also gives them the freedom to pitch new busoiness. Let me know if I can help – Mark

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Olivia-Merchant/100002061012492 Olivia Merchant

    Radian6 is a good to site to choose but TrackThisNow is a site that track conversation or article topic trends, or determine the social network that a majority of your constituents use and advertise on that website.”Social media monitoring realizes that there are conversations going on about you specifically, online whether or not you are there.”

    This tool track from 20 different sources and search engines which gives all the updates in a page.
    Like i want to know about BasketBall,then clicking on the below mentioned link i’ll get to know what are the updates in social networking sites, Blogs,Youtube,Videos,Images,Books and can take the updates geographically basis.
    http://www.trackthisnow.com/s?q=basketball

    For Free user http://www.trackthisnow.com

    You can please register here http://www.trackthisnow.com/sadd if you are interested.

  • Greg

    I have used Media Badger for monitoring. They offer a much more comprehensive search,( Radian 6 primarily is a Google search ) better pschometrics…and 75% less costly

  • http://communityinstinct.com David Alston

    Hey there Nicole,

    Thanks for taking the time to produce such a detailed review and thanks for reaching out and interviewing me prior. I think you’ve done a great job on illustrating our strengths. On the points you would like to see us enhance we definitely have some pretty big plans in 2011, many which have been well underway for some time, and you’ll see some pretty cool announcements in just a few short weeks at our user conference – http://social2011.com in Boston in April.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments here as well. I know Gen has already commented on the post itself but she’s also working with the team to get some answers on some of the questions posed in the comments to stay tuned on that today.

    On the ROI section I wanted to just point out a couple of additional things to consider. Social media is a two way channel much like, say, a phone. Any number of conversations can happen on it covering multiple topics – from customer service, to feature requests, to declaration of needs etc… Each type of conversation would have a different ROI path. The good news is that with social media, unlike the phone, these paths are automatically recorded and they can be strung together later to point to how an investment in a conversation, a relationship, etc.. can be associated with a sale or a customer retained. ROI calculations are entirely possible but they are not something that are out of the box. However that doesn’t mean that platforms like Radian6 can’t make these calculations easier – so stay tuned very soon on a significant feature enhancement on that as well.

    Your comments on figuring out what you need in terms of a listening platform are very correct. It’s important to consider what you need now in terms of getting started, and what you need going forward as social moves beyond a tactical need to something that becomes very strategic – bringing the voice of the customer to every employee and the positive changes that can happen because of it. Dell and others are laying the foundation of this type of approach and while it make take time for everyone to evolve to it we are confident it will happen. No one could debate the effect the web had on all businesses even though originally businesses often created websites that were no more than digital brochures. The social web will have the same if not a greater impact on the way business is done. Listening is foundational to that.

    We have an aggressive approach to innovation in this space as you pointed out. We already have the largest R&D team in our space and we continue to invest. We aim to practice what we preach so we love getting this type of feedback to fuel our new features and products. It’s how we got to where we are today so thank you for this review and for everyone who’s taken the time to add to it in the comments.

    Cheers.
    @davidalston
    Radian6

  • Janet

    I think that you can get a lot of great data without spending a whole lot. I actually use Ravan Tools. It’s a fraction of the price … I’m sure it doesn’t tell me everything like Radian 6 does, but it tells me what I need to know … the mentions I’m getting, my reach on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. Until I can tie more monetary return on social media efforts, I’ve got to keep the measurment costs down.

  • ShellyKramer

    I couldn’t help wondering if Radian6 paid you to write this. There are so many tools out there – and some of them are FANTASTIC. I agree with Josiah … the tool you use depends on your needs. Sysomos, Alterian (fantastic customer service), Spiral16 (virtualization) (disclosure: client), and so many others are terrific. And again, the one best suited for you is the one that best fills your specific needs.

    Again, this really felt like an ad.

    Shelly Kramer
    @shellykramer

  • Elizabeth Giles

    Has anyone looked into/had luck with Vocus?

  • http://twitter.com/genevievecoates Genevieve Coates

    Hi Lindsay!

    We do support 15 different languages and are adding more as our continual effort to expand our language coverage.

    Hope that helps!
    Genevieve Coates
    Community Manager – Radian6

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Lindsay- Thanks so mich for your comment. Radian does allow you to select different languages that you want to return results for, though I’ll admit I’ve never used that functionality myself. Can someone with direct experience provide some input for Lindsay?

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Mark- Thanks for the great tip. :-)

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Thanks for stopping by Genevieve!

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Ian- I totally agree. The cost of not being there can far outweigh the cost for Radian6. It would be nice for Radian to support a small business model and do more to make costs reasonable for agencies to do client monitoring.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Genevieve- Thank you for stopping by and offering support for the comments here. I hope the feedback in the comments will help you continually improve a great product!

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Nathan – Thanks so much for your feedback. The data I have said that it is $500 a month for a topic profile alone. When you add in the costs for the volume and the per user fees it was about $1k. But I’m sure if that’s incorrect one of our Radian 6 friends will let us know. I haven’t met anyone who has been able to get in cheaper, but if you have that’s awesome. How much are you paying?

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Jeff- Thanks so much for your feedback. Great point. What tools are you using?

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Aaron- Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Bill- LOL It sounds like you are facing similar challenges as others who have posted today. Just know that you are in good company. :-)

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Great points Josiah! Thanks for taking the time to share.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Thanks for the tip Greg.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    David – Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I’m very interested to see what’s in the pipeline. :-)

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Janet- The key is that you are getting what you need. That is above all the most important thing. I’m so glad you have found something that works for you and maybe that solution will also work for others here as well. Thanks for commenting.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Shelly- Ouch that hurt a little. I assure you I was in no way compensated for this post. However, I did interview the David Alston from Radian 6 ahead of time in an effort to provide a rounded out view of their opinion versus my own. In my past reviews I haven’t done that but thought it might add a nice touch to an individual opinion and give the company a chance to respond to my tough questions about the deficiencies I found. This hybrid approach to a product review may not be the best approach for me in the future if it makes people concerned that it is an ad. Thanks for the feedback. I will certainly consider this in the future as I write other reviews.

    There are many tools out there, I agree. I’m doing several reviews of the different solutions I have actually used for at least 90 days before writing a review. Last month I focused on HootSuite and will have others in the future.

    Again thanks so much for the feedback.

    Nichole

  • Kerrylan

    To @shellykramer’s point, I’d love to see the same kind of coverage for the comparable tools out there in order to generate a true comparison.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Elizabeth- I haven’t personally but maybe someone else here has.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    I have been thinking about a demo with Radian6 for a while. This post just might give me the push to give it a try. Good overview!

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Kerrylan- Please stay tuned. Maybe some others will post links to reviews of other services in the meantime. While my process for a review leaves a bit of a delay as I must use it extensively for at least 90 days I feel it provides in depth knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses. There are tons of tools out there and the solution for each individual will likely be different. Reviewing all of them will take a lot of time to pull together but I’m sure someone has generated at least a side by side feature comparison even if it doesn’t have in depth strength and weakness analysis. Thanks so much for commenting. :-)

  • http://buhlerworks.com/wordpress JEBworks

    These are excellent points to consider. The travel vertical is a great example of the specific requirements in terms of monitoring results to make them really useful to the client. These are far different from the major brands where the volume generated is much higher but easier to capture than let’s say for a global hotel chain with multiple brands and hundreds of properties that need specific results requiring much more data drill down.

    Another category within travel are destination marketing organizations (DMO) who again have different requirements on tracking to produce meaningful results.

  • http://flavors.me/40deuce 40deuce

    If you’re interested in doing a review of Sysomos I would be more than happy to help out. Just reach out and let me know.

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • CD

    I utilized Radian6 at my company for a short time. For a small business, the prices are hefty and it didn’t knock my socks off or show me anything I couldn’t find somewhere else. It’s a pretty console which definitely helped suck me in initially. During the first month, our entire topic profile was gone one day when I logged on. It took them a few hours to fix it, but this was after other problems and promises they couldn’t keep, so I asked for it to be canceled that day. I figured with all the problems we had, they might cut us a break and not charge us the full month (since I never logged on again after that day). Ya know, good customer service…4 months later we received our very first bill for a full month of service…and it was a LATE bill…what?? It was the first bill…how could it be late?? They were not the most pleasant on the phone either. They just didn’t seem to have their ducks in a row so I personally would not recommend or use them in the future. I have used Alterian ever since and it’s FREE for what we need and it’s great! I would pay for Alterian! I think the biggest thing these monitoring companies need to keep in mind is that they are not just working with huge companies so they need to adjust their prices accordingly. There is no reason a small business needs to be paying $600 a month to find out they were mentioned 800 times. I agree with someone above, sounds like you were paid to post this.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    CD – Thanks so much for your feedback. It sounds like you had a really rough experience. There have been a lot of really great comments about Alterian and a free solution is always awesome.

    Radian is the big dog on the space and I happen to work for a large company so it makes sense. But as I’ve said in the post and the comments it isn’t right for everyone. I recommend using free tools first and deciding if they aren’t giving you something you need. If that is thencase it may be worth looking at a paid solution.

    I had no idea there were so many anti-Radian people out there. But since they are the big dog in the space I suppose it’s natural to generate sweeping emotions on both sides of the fence. In your case I completely understand and would probably feel very similarly if that had happened to me.

    Thanks again for commenting. Your feedback is much appreciated.

  • ShellyKramer

    Nichole, thanks for the response.

    The problem is that you didn’t tell this “story” in your post. That this was just one review of many and that you’d reviewed such and such tool previously and have reviews for this and that on the horizon so readers should stay tuned. You simply asked “Should You Use Radian6″ … and then launched into your post, which really made it suspect.

    And, to Sheldon’s point, if anyone would like a demo of Spiral16′s tool, which is every bit as wonderfulicious (if not more so) than Radian’s, feel free to ping me. And Sheldon’s product (Sysomos) – and responsiveness to customer needs – is terrific as well.

    Shelly
    @shellykramer

  • ShellyKramer

    I’m sorry, Nicole, but I couldn’t resist commenting on your comment above.

    Because you work for a big company, and Radian6 is the “big dog” in the space, you automatically make an assumption that they are the tool for you – and other companies out there? Big ones? Small ones? Radian has a good product. And a LARGE marketing budget, but to assume that they are logically the solution for large companies (or companies of any size) is, well, dangerous.

    All of the tools mentioned here (and I don’t think anyone is “anti-Radian”) are different. And each tool might be better suited for a businesses’ particular needs, depending on what those needs are. THAT’S where you start when it comes to picking a tool for monitoring – with your needs and how the tool meets those needs. You don’t pick the big dog because they market themselves well. You do a lot of due diligence and pick the tool that works for you and your people and your goals/needs.

    And when you write about a topic like this, with an audience of pretty knowledgeable people, you should expect us to ask questions, pick apart your arguments, and step forward when we think that what you’ve posited doesn’t quite make sense. It’s nothing personal.

  • http://www.revenueassociates.biz/ Louis Gudema

    ROI calculations are the “million dollar question” in social media. Most CMOs (in a survey) say that their #1 question is the ROI of their social media. SocialEye can do that – http://www.socialeye.com

  • Nichole_Kelly

    LOL. Thanks Shelly.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    I would love to utilize Spiral 16 to provide a review. Perhaps you could put us in touch.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Sheldon- Totally would love to take look. Hook a sister up. :-)

  • Paigeldonnelly

    You guys are making me drool with all this great insight for SM monitoring. We currently use Vocus for our media database, list management tool and distribution tool, but I’d rather use Cision for their bettter functionality, usability and analytics. And I just signed up for Radian 6 almost 2 months ago for SM monitoring. It is fascinating to me – but I’m a bit lost. Set up my dashboards and now what? I feel like I need a consultant to hold my hand a little bit at the start to help me figure out what and how to measure best for my company. Hello Radian 6 – anybody listening?

  • http://menoob.com menoob

    I agree with Jeff, have been using Radian6 for a while and it’s a great tool, but we need to always explain to clients why Facebook mentions are missing from the conversations that is often dominated by Twitter tweets.

    I wonder why free monitoring tools like SocialMention and a host of others can capture Facebook conversations while an expensive tool like Radian6 can’t. That’s a huge limitation from an otherwise great tool.

  • http://twitter.com/HMarketingHelp Josiah Mackenzie

    Thank you, Nichole!

  • http://twitter.com/HMarketingHelp Josiah Mackenzie

    Exactly. I think it depends on the vertical you’re operating in, but reputation and monitoring is becoming increasingly important for organizations of all types – so it’s worth taking the time to research the right product.

  • fredchannel

    Good post Nichole,
    We’ve been using Radian 6 for two years and we absolutely love it, however we haven’t married with the tool. In fact, we tried to go with other platforms three times but after doing the demos and the trial pediods we realised that the “monitoring space” it’s not just measuring a couple of keywords in Twitter and other blogs (like most free services do).
    I wouldn’t say that the number of people in the project is an indication of Radian 6 being a fit for your company or not. First it’s what you trying to achieve. If your goal is to get the deepest insights from your competitor and on real time and compare their performance against yours, maybe 6 to 12K per year is a very fair investment, even for small companies. In terms of agencies, it’s all about the client’s budget.

  • http://www.carol-lefrancois.com Carol Lefrancois

    Great overview of what is nedded Josiah.I’m learning a lot but reading your post and it gives me a great general picture.Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.carol-lefrancois.com Carol Lefrancois

    I see that there is a tool for SM monitoring that suits every needs.If you play with the big boys and what some specific data Radian6 can do it for you.Also reading those posts I’ve notice quit positive reviews about alterian who seems to be very popular.Finally to search for more specific needsthere is also socialeye who is trending towards the ROI.

    Thanks eveybody.

  • Ian Wright

    Hi everyone, great to debate this thread I am still waiting to hear whether Radian6 will be offering cost effective pricing for smaller businesses to help them and their clients grow.

    In turn Radian6 will grow via me becoming a great brand advocate, surely they have the technology infrastructure anyway to offer different levels of services.

    Interestingly I just had a call off their UK partners to check everything was all right so thanks for that but my original question has still not been answered by Radian6 direct?

    Sorry but for a company that has a business model that you pay for for monitoring any queries or possible issues regarding a companies brand they themsleves have not answered my question.

    Am I being harsh no I don’t think so I just asked a genuine question about their services in the first place?

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  • Ian Wright

    Hi Fred, I understand your points, but your company is not small and no doubt has deep pockets to support your marketing objectives.

    As you said in your post In terms of agencies, “it’s all about the client’s budget” – Well it’s okay for the big boys but for smaller companies branching out into this developing area 6-12k annually is not cheap.

    SM is a highly cost effective area for growing businesses in today’s economic climate especially for smaller companies.

    Given most of the UK growth is due to come from small companies would it not be a great idea for Radian6 to tap into this marketplace? They no doubt have the infrastructure and resources to be able to do this?

    Personally I believe Radian6 is a great resource to have and can be very positive for brand/competitor monitoring purposes. There are a number of very good services out there as well though that offer more than a few keywords in Twitter and the SM landscape. However they do have limited scope agreed, purely because they don’t have commercial arrangements with the major SM platforms.

    Yes I am standing up for the little guys, I am one myself, however I firmly believe that if some of the larger tech companies offered different entry level modules then everyone including themselves would benefit in the end.

  • http://twitter.com/genevievecoates Genevieve Coates

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks so much for your feedback on our pricing model, I’ve passed your comment along to our internal teams for review and consideration.

    All the best,
    Genevieve Coates
    Community Manager – Radian6

  • CD

    I definitely am anti-Radian6 — more so for their customer support than anything. We had tried many other “free” tools, then I attended OMS in 2010 and that’s all I heard, Radian6 this, Radian6 that, so I was like I want to know what the big deal is. Tried it and found out it’s not a big deal at all. I really was underwhelmed. The demo was great! But that’s about all I liked.

  • CD

    I could not agree more with you.

  • http://twitter.com/Kollerson Vladimir Koller

    Hi everyone

    A great review and a very interesting thread. I have recently tried Radian 6 for a week and liked it, but as someone wrote here before, it didn´t blew my socks off.

    But then again, I haven´t tried a commercial package like this before. I`m part of a bigger project team and we are evaluating several social media monitoring tools and trying to learn as much as possible.

    We have now played around with Brandwatch, another commercial and so far very impressive tool. Does anybody here have some experience with this application.

    We are primaly looking for applications with an API that will let us export data out and send them to our system. Brandwatch can do that really well. If somebody have tips about other solutions, you are more than welcome to share them.

    And I do recommend looking into Brandwatch, it looks very impressive.

    Thanks everybody

  • http://twitter.com/genevievecoates Genevieve Coates

    Hi CD,

    First off, let me apologize for any issues you experienced in dealing with us. I loved to be able to look in to what caused this and ensure that these circumstances are resolved so that they don’t occur again. Customer service is very important to us so if you feel comfortable following up with me to provide further feedback, I’d very much appreciate it. You can reach me via email (first name.last name@radian6.com).

    Thank you for your honest feedback.
    Genevieve Coates
    Community Manager – Radian6

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Awesome! I’m hearing Alterian is a great product.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    I’m hoping someone from the Radian team will jump in and let us know if that is on the way. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/genevievecoates Genevieve Coates

    Hey Paige!

    We are listening! I’d love to be touchbase with you and make sure you have had the chance to be exposed to our training and other resources that available to you as a client. Please feel free to email me directly and we can chat further. (firstname.lastname@radian6.com)

    Genevieve Coates
    Community Manager – Radian6

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Glad to hear it Nick! I bet Genevieve could put you in touch with someone.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Louis – Thanks so much for sharing!

  • http://www.davejones.ca Dave Jones

    ThIs report from Fresh Networks puts many of the leading paid tools in a head to head comparison. Worth a read if you’re wondering which tool is right for you. http://www.freshnetworks.com/blog/2010/06/social-media-monitoring-review-download-the-final-report/

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Paige – Some people were asking about Vocus. Could you give them some insight into what you think?

    Understanding what to do with the data once you have it is certainly the biggest challenges. Let’s chat on Twitter. I know some people that could help you get it all figured out.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Fred – Thank you so much for sharing. I totally agree that the competitor analysis is very valuable. I like the view that shows the industry vs. competitor vs brand mentions to determine share of voice. That is actually one of the key features that I like the most and is a key performance indicator for us. Moving that needle is not always easy but when you do it’s a great win for the brand provided it reflects positive mentions of course. I wish they broke down the positive, neutral and negative sentiment in this view for each as well. And I wish that you could easily get a view of each of your competitors broken out with industry and your brands rather than having all of your competitors listed in one big group. It totally may be possible, and we just haven’t done it yet. :-) Again, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Totally agree Ian. While the business may be small and the revenue potentially smaller for each business client, as a whole small business represents a very large market to tap into. It’s a win-win.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Carol – Thanks for sharing. I hadn’t heard of Social Eye. I will definitely be taking a look at them. I’m an ROI junkie! :-)

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Vladimir – Thanks so much for sharing. I would LOVE to hear insight on what your team thinks of the products they have looked at. Honestly, there are so many it’s really tough to review them all and maybe with your teams assistance I could do more of a side by side comparison that is more inclusive of other vendors. Can we connect via Twitter and chat?

  • Mark Stolte

    Jeff, you make a great point as not all tools collect data in the same way. Some have an over reliance on twitter, while others don’t allow for the addition of new and custom sources. What I like about your post is that it is important to get at the right data as you point out. We recognize all tools will not be all things to all people, and strongly encourage social media monitoring tool evaluation include very detailed evaluations of the data collected and how that data will be used to inform the goals and strategies of those evaluating.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Dave – Thanks so you so much for sharing. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/genevievecoates Genevieve Coates

    Hi Ian,

    I did follow up above to your question directed to me and have passed along your feedback to our internal team. If you’d like to discuss further please feel free to reach out to me via email and I’d be happy to chat more. (firstname.lastname@radian6.com)

    Genevieve Coates
    Community Manager – Radian6

  • CD

    Hi Genevieve,

    I do appreciate your response and your offer to help. With the amount of phone calls and e-mails it took me to try and resolve my issues, I don’t want to deal with it again. I just try and take the opportunity now to express my opinion so other people don’t make the same mistake or at least they go in cautious. I will say that I dealt with Paul Ryan and he was super!! Nice guy, took the time to explain things, but once it was out of his hands, it was all down hill.

    Oh well, you live, you learn. Have a great day!

  • http://surewebtraffic.com Francois Painchaud

    I’ve looked into Radian6 about a month ago, but decided to use a couple of other tools configured to do just about the same thing, but almost free. I agree Radian6 seems like an awesome solution, but for the consultant with little staff, it might be a little too much! Great post, confirmed my conclusions! Thanks

  • http://flavors.me/40deuce 40deuce

    Feel free to shoot me an email to sheldonATsysomosDOTcom and we can set something up

  • Simon J

    I’d quite like to see a social media monitoring tool post, this, although useful comes over like an advert for Radian6!! You guys are so impartial please do an overall review of these tools.

  • Simon J

    I use Brandwatch too and thinks it pretty good for the fees you pay, tried Alterian one and a couple of others also but once your into one switching to another is a hard thing to want to do having invested all that work into one tool.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Francois – I’d love to hear what tools you have paired together. It sounds like many are looking for the right combination of free/near-free tools. Thanks so much for commenting. :-)

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  • PK

    Hi,

    Great overview on a great tool. Unfortunately, it might not fit the needs of every organization looking for monitoring. There are lots of other paid tools out there and it would be great if you could post a weekly/bi-weekly review of a new tool. Would help all of us a lot out there who need a tool but don’t know where to start. Thanks.

  • tracx

    Nichole, I would like to introduce tracx to you.

    tracx is an end-to-end social media management solution that analyzes all social media activity from research and strategic planning, influencer management and engagement, complete content distribution, to real-time conversation volumes and extensive reporting and ROI modules. The platform allows unlimited results, queries, topics, terms and competitor definitions, so there are no hidden costs.

    I would be happy to take you through a private demo, so you can include it in your next review of social media tools.

    Mandy Newgrosh
    Marketing Director, tracx
    mandy@tra.cx

  • Erika Margaretha

    I have used Radian 6 for 2 months. At first I felt like it was such a great tool with so many features. Radian 6 helps me a lot on doing analysis. But then I found some issues. First I found that the result on River of News is different from what I got from Twitter search although I put exactly the same keywords. It kinda confused me. Then on the Influencer widget, there’s a lot of missed data. Every time I want to click through the influencer’s name to see what post they had put that make them on the list, it seems that the data was gone. So I can’t rely on the Influencer list they gave to me.

    Radian 6 is great to be used for analysis and monitoring. But I’m afraid if we’re continue facing more issues, it will bring down our confidence and trust on this tool.

    And yes I totally agree, that perhaps Radian 6 is not suitable for small business due to its high cost. We’ve been dealing with that too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rosemary-Vaughan/1410970805 Rosemary Vaughan

    I might suggest Infoglutton.com for hospitality venues such as restaurants and hotels plus SMEs…very reasonably priced and still provides sentiment analysis, analytics, volume trends and keeps all mentions in a database for chronological analysis, export, etc. There are a ton of free and low cost online reputation monitoring sites out there. Radian6 is good for those companies looking for a comprehensive solution for their needs, and yes, they will pay the price tag that goes along with that. Main thing at the end of the day is that your business adapts some form of social media monitoring/curating.

  • Drew Frey

    No one has mentioned Visible Technologies yet? I’m currently using them where I work and have been pretty happy over the last year or so.

    This is an absolutely great summary of Radian6 though and really appreciate the time involved on this.

    My biggest complaint on most of these tools is how overwhelmed you can become with 100s of daily posts you’ll find within the tool when you get to your desk in the morning. I really believe in casting a smaller more effective net than trying to touch on all kinds of possible conversations revolving around your brand. Specifically I work in the ski/travel industry and would much rather have someone help me determine where the most relevant, important and influential conversations are taking place and from these sites move forward accordingly.

    It’s great to have the ability to listen to 100′s if not 1000′s of possible conversations happening at any given time out online about your brand but what’s more compelling is the ability to sit down and know that each conversation and author you’re speaking to is going to give you true results.

    ROI isn’t a big deal and shouldn’t be a focus. Yes this has been said 100x before but needs to be driven into the minds of those who make decisions about being able to pull the trigger on whether or not a monitoring tool is important to purchase. Influence is extremely important and being able to put an actual face/person in front of a brand is even more important.

  • http://www.bit-cart.com/ shopping cart software

    The most excellent online standing organization, answers depends on your requirements. There’s no one worldwide reply. When selecting a tool for online character management

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Olivia-Merchant/100002061012492 Olivia Merchant

    Hey Janet,Probably the monitoring tool which you are using is good enough for you but try out something new and updated tool TrackThisNow gives all the updates related to Social Networking Site, News, Blogs,Books,Images and lots more.

    Just Explore free version http://www.trackthisnow.com

    You can please register here http://www.trackthisnow.com/sa… if you are interested.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Olivia-Merchant/100002061012492 Olivia Merchant

    hey Greg,Try Out TrackThisNow, a site which helps you to update you in every topic and product you are looking for,and paid version is also really very economical.
    Just have look and explore the free version of this http://www.trackthisnow.com

    You can please register here http://www.trackthisnow.com/sa… if you are interested.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Olivia-Merchant/100002061012492 Olivia Merchant

    Hi Nichole,You can alsotry out something new and updated tool TrackThisNow gives all the updates related to Social Networking Site, News, Blogs,Books,Images and lots more.

    Just Explore free version http://www.trackthisnow.com

    You can please register here http://www.trackthisnow.com/sa… if you are interested.

  • Nichole_Kelly

    Hi Mandy – Thanks for posting. I just sent you an email. :-)

  • tlonuqbar

    Hi Jeff, Nicole, Menoob,

    Completely understand your points. We recognised that existing monitoring tools and Facebook Insights do not provide the level of insights that marketers require. In response to those requirements, we have just released a Facebook Analytics tool that can monitor public comments, left on Facebook pages, and allow you to see trending themes, positive and negative sentiment, and most frequently commenting fans.

    It’s at http://friends.skyttle.com Please have a play and let us know your thoughts!

    Mark Rogers
    CEO
    Market Sentinel

  • http://twitter.com/mapivos mapivos

    I have found that Radian6 is great for monitoring and listening, but lacks in the engagement area. The Engagement Console is nice, but it doesn’t provide a conversation tracker. For example, you have to create a custom search for every interaction with another user. Say someone @replied our company and we responded, we would have to copy the original tweet verbatim and do a search to capture the entire conversation. Not good for following through on outstanding issues and questions, and contradictory to the word “engagement.”

  • http://tonyahn.com/ Tony Ahn

    Do you support Filipino? I am based in Manila and have corporate clients that would really benefit from that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/judevbrown Jude Vincent Brown

    Hilarious! You wave the finger while peddling your own wares. If you are going to critique the review it would be that it isn’t comprehensive. It is short. The gloves were off in the comments and this IS about Social Media. I care much more about what the community has to say about the product rather than the review. Nichole – your review was whatever but your ability to attract attention, comments and insight from the community is liquid gold. Congrats you have a few trolls as well – you’ve made it!

  • ShellyKramer

    Nice move, Jude. Barge into the comments and call someone a troll. Great to meet you, too. If you read all the reviews, you would see that I disclosed an existing client relationship – but as someone very active in the social media space, I’m also very knowledgeable about a variety of tools on the market, many of which I use or experiment with often. I offered a trial of the product in response to a conversation with Nichole, and, if you’ll notice, mentioned another great product and their stellar customer service as well.

    This was a terrific review, unfortunately, it was also a very one-sided one with so many other, similar and very capable products on the market, all with different price points, attributes, etc.

    And if you’ll notice, many in the community also remarked that it seemed a bit like an advertisement for Radian6. Radian makes a terrific product, but bottom line, the best product is the one that’s right for you and your specific needs. Which, of course, was also mentioned by me and all the other trolls here.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I’d say most bloggers don’t strive to write posts or reviews that can be characterized as “whatever” which, again, was the entire point of my original comment. And the reason the comments here are such liquid gold is because there was so much lacking in the review and the community stepped in to comment.

    Once again, it’s great to be called a troll. I’m sure everyone else here appreciates that as well. Or, was that just intended for me? In either case, smooth.

    Shelly
    @shellykramer

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  • Osebumere

     Excellent feedback on Radian6. Has anyone used Jive yet? Jive is from Jivesoftware How does it compare with Radian6 in terms of cost and effectiveness?

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  • http://www.spotter.com Michel da Costa

    Hi Freydrew,
    I agree with your analysis. I think the biggest issue when using such kind of tools is the Noise generated and the lack of prioritization of the data you get.
    I usually advise my friends or clients to spend time on assessing a “Reference Panel” dedicated to their industry/country/business before using any tool (If I have 1 hour to cut a tree down, I will spend 45 min charpening my axe…).
    Mesuring the influence/impact is then key and this influence doesn’t exist on his own: it really depends on the Market, the country, the topic… (a very influent blogger in Germany may have no influence in Latin America for example).
    Owns you defined your Reference panel, giving a criticity score for each Stakeholder, then the tool you are using must take these criteria into consideration to alert you efficiently.
    Personnaly I believe in the combination of Technology and Consulting to provide you with the best service. If you have a team of analysts then let them use a tool efficiently configured for your needs.
    If you don’t have a team in place, then it’s cheaper to externalize the pre-analysis (specially when you need to monitor multiple countries, languages, source types…).
    Best wishes,

    Michel DA COSTA, International Sales Director at SPOTTER.
    mdacosta@spotter.com

  • Jqcortez

    Hi Greg,

    do they offer a social media tool? i saw their website. it just says they do social media research and strategy. wonder if they offer a tool. cheers

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  • 5 years in SEO consulting

    Hi CD – wow this is refreshing to hear.  This is word for word exactly what happened to us.  For an enterprise level software (I own 2 software companies) there’s a lot of hype about a product that in my opinion, doesn’t deliver very useful insights.  We work with medium sized brands – mostly international who are either category killers in their tight niche, or at least very reputable.  I felt like we needed a consultant to run a single campaign – and our company, while not big, only 3 employees, are all SEO experts.

    I feel like a lot of people are afraid to say something negative about Radian6, until the first person does so.  I’m glad you did – I feel the Radian6 curtain has been unveiled to be somewhat of a useless tool for small and even medium size businesses..As the “big dog,” I would expect more in terms of user interface.  Seriously - 4 separate logins?  There’s the Dashboard, Insights, Summary, and the Engagement Console that all have separate .com logins. And it’s not like we’re newbies in the social media space – we’ve been working in SEO for major brands for several years and I am currently working on my PMP certification for developing major web projects.  I don’t understand how so many people signed up and how they reached the hype they did.  For an enterprise level solution, I found it incredibly difficult to use and the data, close to useless.

  • Jason Pace

    Hello Tony.  Are you referring to Tagalog?  conversIQ supports this an many other languages

  • SheenaWong

    Hey Nichole, you might want to give JamiQ a try! Contrary to Radian6, JamiQ’s dashboard is purely web-interfaced and the pricing is quite decent as well. I guess Radian6 is more geared towards large organisations in general. On the other hand, JamiQ is more suitable for SMEs although we do have large companies as our clients as well. If you’re interested in doing a review on JamiQ, drop me an email and I’ll get in touch with you shortly with a demo account! http://jamiq.com

  • Adrian

    I’ve been using Radian6 on a daily/weekly basis for over 18 months now, and the longer i use the tool, the more frustrations i have.

    A few simple improvements which would make life a lot less tedious:

    - Ability to copy and paste/import lists of keywords – how hard is it to implement this feature?! I don’t want to spend hours inputting keywords individually, and then having to refine them by editing them one by one..

    - Ability to export keywords – Our clients want to know the keywords we have used in our setup, and get involved in the configuration process. It is obviously possible to export these keywords – one of your representatives did it upon request (thanks) – but why not include an ‘export’ button so that this can be done in seconds?

    - Groups type – i want to create my own, not be limited to ‘brands’, ‘competitors” and ‘industry’

    - Keyword Query builder – add an ‘OR’ function. I would like to be able to search for ‘Radian6′ AND ‘tool OR system’ AND ‘great OR useful’ (perhaps not a great example, but you should get the point’

    - Add a $wildcard command to allow for variations – e.g. ‘pack$’ would bring results for ‘pack’ ‘package’ ‘packaging’ etc.. = saves time

    Other feedback:

    - The tool monitors video and images – where is Vimeo? 
    - Facebook public page comments – still not covered
    - Other social networks? (Myspace is dead no?..)
    - Mobile app
    - After long keyword entry sessions (avoidable with an import feature;)), the system will lag and require a login/logout

    I will add to the above another time..

    Not to say Radian6 isn’t useful – i have been using it for so long for a good reason. However i am getting quite fed-up with the lack of updates/improvements – its not exactly a cheap tool.

  • http://twitter.com/MannyEstanislao Manny Estanislao

    I agree with Adrian. Exporting keywords will be very useful. I usually do it manually but it takes a lot of time since I have to open them one by one (can’t copy and paste if you don’t open). Also, the wildcard function will be a big improvement. I don’t know why they haven’t added it yet. In addition to that, I would also like to suggest being able to put in Boolean queries all in one box. That will be a lot faster than adding keywords one at a time.

    Other comments:

    -I think Radian6 can do better in customer service. The premier support rep I was emailing before just repeated her first email to me after several exchanges. Using templates is normal in this kind of work but be sure to read the exchanges.
    -The rep was unable to resolve our issue and I asked her to pass us over to someone who can. She had a sr premier support rep who basically just told me the same thing the first rep said. She just rephrased a few sentences.
    -For Insights, is there anything Radian6 can do to improve the results’ accuracy? The numbers are very inconsistent. We’ve been waiting for a response from their support team for weeks now and I thought support only takes 2 hours to respond.

  • http://www.dayngrzone.com/ Dayngr

     Adrian,

    I’m sorry to hear about your frustration and I’d love for you to share your experience with us so that we can work to document your experience and if possible, work toward making improvements. Please email us at community(AT)radian6(DOT)com.

    All the best,
    Trish | Community Manager, Radian6

  • http://www.dayngrzone.com/ Dayngr

     Manny,

    Thanks for sharing your comments. Satisfied clients are our priority and I apologize if that was not apparent in our communications with you. We’ve shared your comments and concerns and reached out to Ben, Premier Support Manager, on your behalf and he will be in touch with you. In the meantime, if there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at community(AT)radian6(DOT)com.

    Sincerely,
    Trish | Community Manager, Radian6

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  • Suschoud

    could some one suggest a tool for intellectual capital mining……we have huge sources of data, best practices, google search results, company internal database etc…..

  • http://twitter.com/SocialOmidia Omid Kamali

    Hello Bill,
    There are solutions out there that cater to small and medium size businesses, currently Viralheat is that solution.  Contact me directly, I’m more than happy to do a demo with you.

  • http://twitter.com/SocialOmidia Omid Kamali

    If your contracts are coming up, I invite you to contact me through twitter for a quick demo.

  • betur

    Thats a good article on Radian 6. Can someone tell which is the most popular SMM tool used in India? Thanks









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