Things worth watching: Jugnoo, Tablets, Facebook Timelines and Sysomos-Google Analytics integration

On this week’s Inside PR podcast, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I talk about new social management tool Jugnoo, tablet computers, Facebook timelines for pages and a new feature in social media measurement tool Sysomos.

Jugnoo – and the importance of courting before marriange

Last week we reported that Jugnoo, a new social media management console service had launched in open beta. Martin and I both were impressed with its feature set. (Disclosure: Gini Dietrich is an adviser to Jugnoo. However, Martin and I weren’t aware of this when we raised it as a topic of discussion for the podcast. Discreet Gini.) I was so impressed that I requested access to the beta so that I could test it. And then I hit a hard stop. As one of the first steps in using the service, Jugnoo asked me to install some code on my website so that Jugnoo could access data from my site. For me, this is a show stopper. Installing code and sharing data is a big step, one that I am willing to take only with services that I trust and that I have some degree of comfort I’ll use for some time. Gini thinks that I’m being overcautious. She believes that most small businesses won’t hesitate to provide access to their data because they will perceive that in return the service will “hold their hands,” providing them with insight into what they should be doing and whether it is working. Do you have the same reaction to being asked for access to the backend of your Website as a first step in testing a service.

Tablets and the content creation challenge

We also talk about the rapid adoption of tablets in the workplace. Two years ago, we considered our notebook computers to be the go-to mobile devices. Today, we each use a tablet computer. Initially, tablets were billed as media consumption devices. However, all three of us now use our tablets to create content – blog posts, documents, etc. Gini and I have found that this has driven us to switch from Microsoft Office to other applications that exist in the cloud – Evernote, DropBox, Google Docs. We use these apps to have access to our data and content across devices. This enables us to move smoothly between our desktop computers, notebooks (yes, we still use them), tablets and cellphones. And we see this trend accelerating with the newest generation of tablets. We wonder how long it will be before we will be able to reduce the number of devices. The limiting factor on this is the evolution of tablets to include both the hardware and software to support all the content creation we want to do.

Timelines – too much commitment for small businesses?

Timelines for pages is being rolled out to all users at the end of the month. Gini is keen on timelines. She’s watched as content that she had long ago posted to the Arment Dietrich page has resurfaced. Old content becomes more accessible. I’m skeptical of the value of timelines for small businesses. Many small businesses have limited resources to devote to social media. And it seems to me that corporate page owners will have to devote considerable energy and resources to keep their content fresh. And this may not be a priority for may businesses.

Sysomos Heartbeat integrates Google Analytics

Finally, we talk about the integration of Google Analytics into Sysomos’ Heartbeat social media monitoring service. A nice addition that makes a good service better.

What do you think?

Listen to the podcast and tell us what you think. Are we on the right track? Missing something? Do you have a different view?

 

Finally, a means of measuring the ROI of social media?

It’s about more than valuation

The big news this past week was the announcement that Salesforce.com would pay $323 million to acquire social media analytics company Radian6. The size of the valuation makes this an acquisition to watch. But what’s even more interesting is the potential it holds to trigger a great leap forward in the evolution of social media monitoring and analysis services.

A fork in the road

As a longtime user of social media monitoring services (Thornley Fallis currently uses Radian6, Sysomos and PostRank), I watched as the companies appeared to take divergent paths.

Sysomos has pushed its analytic tools (including a great keyword mapping tool), appealing to the data miners in our company. At the same time, it used its blog to highlight the insights that could be surfaced through its database.

PostRank has followed a similar path, but with the addition of some nifty APIs that enable other organizations to link directly to its database and build its algorithms into their applications. Both Sysomos and PostRank have placed emphasis is on the data, the database and the analysis. And in doing this, they have gained a loyal user base among social media professionals and analysts.

Radian6 seemed to follow a different path. The first indication of this was the introduction of its Engagement Console about 18 months ago. At that time, Radian6 seemed to shift its focus away from the core analytics tools toward providing tools to enable large organizations to manage their social media interactions.

In this way, I think Radian6 targeted the enterprise. And that brings them into Salesforce’s sweet spot.

Corporations like Dell have pointed to the challenge of scaling social media that stops many enterprises from using it effectively. Radian6 – and most other social media monitoring solutions have focused on providing community managers with tools to identify and manage the most important conversations in social media.

Until now.

Now, the Salesforce – Radian6 deal offers the promise of something truly different – an effective means of measuring the ROI of social media. Through the merger of Radian6 and Salesforce, I think they have the essential building blocks of an end to end service that will enable us to track our social media outreach and connect it to the sales funnel. If it is integrated this way, marketing and sales departments finally will be able to identify which social media activities lead to revenue – and to measure the return on their investment in social media activities. If Salesforce and Radian6 can pull this off, it may well yield a handsome return on the $1/3 billion investment Salesforce just paid for Radian6.

I’m cheering for them to make this work. If they do, a new standard in social media monitoring and measurement will be established and we’ll all benefit from it.

This is bound to be discussed at Social2011

I’ll have a chance to explore this when I participate in a panel on Friday at Social2011, Radian6’s user conference. I’ll be on panel titled “Can you define the ROI of social media?” with some people who know measurement – Katie Paine, Marshall Sponder and Ken Burbary. I’ll be sure to ask them what they think the implications are of the Salesforce-Radian6 deal. And you can be sure I’ll tweet the discussion. (Follow the hashtag #social2011.)

Gini Dietrich and Martin Waxman have views about this too?

Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman and I talk about the Salesforce-Radian6 dealon Inside PR episode 248.

Inside PR 2.11: Consolidation in the social media measurement business & the inevitability of disclosure

In this week’s episode of Inside PR, Gini Dietrich and I talk about summertime and the PR business. Is it cyclical. Does it have to slow down. What can we do to make best use of the slower summer days? Maybe close the office early every Friday?

Is summer slower at your company? What do you do to keep busy? To keep staff morale up? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and we’ll use it in next week’s show.

We also talk about the acquisition of social media metrics company Sysomos by Marketwire, the latest in a series of social media metrics industry consolidations. I regularly use Radian6 and PostRank and think that social media metrics are a core tool for the new PR. Hopefully, consolidation will not stifle innovation in this area.

I also get a chance to make the point that organizations attempting to move opinion online should be transparent and disclose their interests from the outset. The recent controversy over the failure of the groups behind the Balanced Copyright Website to declare themselves underlines that, sooner or later, you’ll be forced to disclose who is behind online campaigns.

And, how could we close out the show without a quick pass at Prince’s statement that the Internet is over. Heck, after 30 years in the music industry, Prince still has us talking about him. So, I’m game to listen to what he has to say.

You can listent to all of our Inside PR musings here:

Inside PR Shownotes

0:28 Joe opens the show.

1:50 Joe talks about the summer slowdown.

6:12 Joe asks Inside PR listeners if summers are slower at their workplace and what they do to manage the lighter workload while keeping morale high.

7:10 Joe talks about the show’s first topic: Sysomos’ recent acquisition by Marketwire. He mentions a recent post by Dave Fleet about other social media monitoring tool acquisitions over the past year.

8:30 Gini talks about the various social media monitoring tools her business uses.

10:10 Joe shares his favourite social media monitoring tools.

17:12 Gini talks about Prince’s outrageous comment “The internet is over”.

21:45 Joe wraps up the show.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Yasmine Kashefi.