Why I’m moving my team away from Radian6

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Radian6 is widely regarded as one of the best social media monitoring and analytics tools going around. It’s success and popularity has stemmed from many places, including a terrific presence in the communities most likely to purchase their product. In fact, brands from other sectors could learn a thing or two from the ‘grassroots up’ approach they’ve taken to marketing its services.

But, the product is not right for every agency and brand.

This might seem like a very obvious statement, but it appears that agencies that are still finding their way in the social space see Radian6 as the default option. Again, this has a lot to do with reputation.

Personally, I think Radian6 is a terrific tool, and one that is best utilised by hard-core social media and digital agencies. These are the shops that specialise in social as their primary arm of their business. This is due to a couple of things, but mainly due to its at times overly-complicated user experience.

In other words, this is a solution that is not always right for agencies and consultants still getting their heads around the specifics of social listening.

The alternatives

So, I actually thing there is an argument for a stepping stone or phased approached to introducing social listening into hybrid agencies that are attempting to become more proficient at social media.

The solution I am most fond of and am implementing with my team is SoDash.

SoDash is one of the newer kids on the block when it comes to listening and monitoring solutions which appears to have helped the way it has been developed. It’s most useful feature is its use of artificial intelligence (AI) which intuitively makes your monitoring smarter the more you use it (in other words, it has its own ‘brain’).

However, the big reason why my team have warmed to it so quickly is its ease of use. This is due to its interface, the AI technology, and incredibly helpful customer service team.

If you haven’t tried out SoDash yet, I really recommend it as an alternative.

The other listening dashboard which has surfaced even more recently is Mention. It is another solution that takes the ‘geek’ out of the listening and monitoring task and makes it accessible to people at any stage of their social media management journey.

Getting the balance right

Ultimately, the tools you adopt depend very much upon the jobs you need to perform.

Some brands require 24/7 monitoring and engagement, especially those with a big customer service focus.

Others, who are more skewed toward proactive customer engagement do not have the same needs for big data.

The following is an illustration of how I see a sample of the different tools being deployed:

I’d really like to stress that this post is not a dig at Radian6. It is a phenomenal tool and when used appropriately it is virtually peerless.

The point I’m trying to get across, especially to agencies making decisions about purchasing these tools, is that other options exist and might make more sense depending on where you’re at on the social media life cycle.

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