December 13, 2017

Trackur – Reputation Monitor Overview

Trackur is yet another social listening / reputation monitoring tool and this video provides a brief overview of what it’s all about. Overall, it’s not too bad, but I don’t think it is the great, low-cost solution I would still like to find.

What I like about Trackur:

  • It seems to do a good job of pulling tweets, which other free solutions seem to struggle with (for some odd reason).
  • The overall layout is easily navigable and easy to understand.
  • Trackur includes search of “media” sites, most notably YouTube.
  • It also includes search of blogs and online new articles… seems to do a decent job of that as well.
  • You can save searches for quick launch.
  • It automatically refreshes results every 30 minutes.
  • You can subscribe to saved search results through RSS … and email, but the RSS is super cool.
  • It indicates that sentiment is automatically determined, although my experience showed that all results came through as neutral. Maybe this is something they are still working on. I was corrected on this point. Sentiment is NOT automatically determined, but Trackur does allow the user to manually determine and specify this. Based on the effectiveness of other sentiment tools I’ve seen, this is probably better anyway.
  • The user can update the sentiment setting. This allows the user to override any automated calculation.
  • The basic package cost is inexpensive – about $18/month – and there is a 14 day free trial so you know what you are getting.
  • You can exclude specific records so they don’t show up going forward. (one of the bullet points in my next section was inaccurate on this point and has been corrected).

What I don’t like about Trackur:

  • The search filters are very basic. It doesn’t look like you can use more advanced search strings like “multiple words” OR “other words” What’s up with that.
  • Because of the limitations of the search criteria, there is a lot of garbage in the result set and no obvious way to remove irrelevant records. This shortcoming is compounded when you consider these results are sent to users subscribing to RSS and email notifications. I was corrected by the CEO… there is a red “x” the the right of the “Source” of each post that allows you to filter on a record by record basis. However, it looks like if you delete a record from a saved search, that record will be exclude from all future searches other than the saved search. From a practical standpoint about how this tool might be used, that probably isn’t a big deal, but it might be an issue in some cases.
  • There are some basic usability issues that are frustrating. If you play around with it, you’ll see what I mean.

What I’m on the fence about:

  • In order to be able to export results, the package price jumps to $88/month.

Trackur claims you can set up your first search within 60 seconds and I think that is actually pretty reasonable. If you are looking for a low cost solution, I would recommend you at least check it out and see what you think.

Google Alerts Overview

Frankly, this is the first “social listening” tool I should have posted on. It’s super simple, pretty useful, and free. This 2-minute video tells you pretty much everything you need to know about monitoring what’s being said about your brand online with Google Alerts.

The steps are simple:

  • Go to www.google.com/alerts and login to your account
  • Enter in the keywords to use
  • Select what type of sources you want to search
    • News
    • Blogs
    • Web
    • Comprehensive
    • Video
    • Groups
  • Specify how frequently you want the search to run
  • Specify if you want results via email or Feed
  • Save

That’s it. The monitoring is activated and you can go have a nice cup of tea.

Let me know how effective you think Google Alerts are!

Scout Labs Overview

Scout Labs is a social listening tool that can monitor what people are saying about you and your organization. By defining searches, you can browse related:

It also tries to assign sentiment to these posts so you can gauge not only where people are posting, but if the posts are positive, negative or neutral. Additionally, you can share your workspace with your team (IT, PR, management, etc.) and manage team discussions.

While the initial value is monitoring social media buzz, Scout Labs’ tools make it easy to drill down to the source of the posts and engage authors directly to help build relationships.

Unfortunately, it’s not free, but packages begin at $99/month and a 30-day free trial. If the free sites like Crowd Eye and Social Mention aren’t meeting your needs, it might be worth checking out.

Crowdeye Overview

More and more solutions are emerging that try to mine useful information from social media outlets like Twitter. Crowdeye bills itself as a search engine for Twitter and they differentiate themselves by assigning reputations to posters as well as automatically generating a keyword cloud that can be used to filter tweets. Watch the demo video:

Overall, I think that Crowdeye has some interesting features, but still needs some work to be worthwhile. They are worth checking out just to get an idea of what is possible and I’m sure there are new features on the way.

Social Mention Overview

In my previous post on Tweetdeck, I showed how your brand can be monitored based on tweets, but there are a lot of other social media outlets that might be referencing you – blogs, photo uploads, videos, etc. Monitoring this information is referred to as Social Listening or Reputation Management. Social Mention is a free tool that scans a lot of these outlets and returns a list about where you are mentioned. It then goes one step further by trying to associate sentiment to these posts – are people saying nice things, bad things, or neutral things? While the solution has some consistency issues, it does provide some insight and it’s free. Watch the video to get some more info.

The things I like about Social Mention are:

  • It’s free
  • It provides some metrics like passion and reach in an attempt to provide some analytics about your social media reputation
  • You can drill down into result sets
  • You can set up email alerts
  • For data fiends, you can export information into a spreadsheet for further analytics
  • There is also an API that allows you to develop applications around the Social Mention Engine

There are other tools out there that might be better, but they cost money. At the very least, you should check out Social Mention and see if it helps you manage your brand.

Tweetdeck Explained

In a previous post, I mentioned how Twitter can be used by organizations to reach your target audience. But Twitter itself is an unorganized mess. There are tools that integrate with Twitter, however, that make it much more manageable and one of them is Tweetdeck. Watch this quick overview to learn how to add sanity to the information overload.

The demo covers how to:

  • Group people you follow into categories that mean something to you (Friends, Business, Organizations, etc.)
  • Integrate Tweetdeck with Facebook
  • Define searches that will keep you informed about what people are saying about you in the “twittersphere”
  • Even translate tweets from foreign languages

Although it’s not in the presentation, it is also easy to add filters for Direct Messages and Mentions (of your twitter ID).

Let me know any tools you might be using to help manage the noise!