Early last year Rochester, NY based Techrigy launched SM2. Dubbed a social media monitoring service, SM2 is representative of a growing class of services that are going beyond Google Alert type filters to a comprehensive monitoring solution that aggregates content from a virtually unlimited number of network sources.
As an aside, Google News Alerts has really gone to shit in recent months to the point that it can’t be relied on for serious monitoring requirements, there is simply too much noise in the alerts and no ability to fine tune outside of keyword selection. This is opening up a whole new category of services for startups and existing vendors to fill… which is not to suggest that Google News Alerts created the market but rather the visibility they provided is a boost for everyone else.
What is interesting about SM2 is the underlying social media warehouse, which currently houses 1.2 billion conversation records from multiple sources along with approximately 35 pieces of metadata attached to each conversation. The ability to aggregate conversation data and then extend it with proprietary metadata is what makes it valuable.
The fact that Techrigy is collecting data from multiple sources is not special, although this is not to suggest it is easy. APIs and RSS feeds are broadly available that enable applications to harvest user generated content from social networks off all kinds and whatever is left over can be scraped as a worst case method. Gnip is an example of a data service that is built around the premise of aggregating social network data and wholesaling it. Again I come back to the data extensions, like profile and sentiment analysis, being the key ingredient for turning data into information that can be acted on.
SM2 is not a database of information, it is a brand monitoring solution with a workflow driven user interface that takes a keyword filtering approach for identifying actionable content and then running through a workflow approach for prioritizing high yield tasks for attention. The number of reports and dashboards is a little overwhelming at first, but it’s laid out in a way that makes everything very navigable, which flattens out the learning curve. There are even a few nice extras, like the ability to monitor wikipedia pages, that makes SM2 nicely rounded out.
I’ve looked at a lot of analytics solutions over the years and the point about a workflow is really important because that is the component that takes information and turns it into action. People don’t need more information, they need targeted information that they can act on and measure the results.
There are many social media monitoring applications that have emerged in recent years, which is no surprise given the attention that brands are putting on social media channels. I’m starting to see some targeting of these services to specific segments of the market, and SM2 is no exception here being targeted to PR agencies versus Radian6, which is more aligned to the needs to an advertising agency.
SM2 is available on a month-to-month subscription basis (several plans are available) and from what I saw it appears that you can get up and running in a matter of hours.
An open question remains regarding overall performance and latency of data (how much time elapses from publishing to notification) but from what I saw it appears that SM2 is a good solution for PR agencies and in house groups that are monitoring a wide range of content sources and attempting to engage a subset of conversations.