Author Archives: aagall

Social Mention like Google Alerts, but for Social Media

With so many media sources bringing information at the speed of a keystroke to your attention, how do you keep control of all conversations happening around your subject of interest? Here is one simple and free way of doing that: Social Mention. It monitors more than 100 media sources such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube, FriendFeed etc. Use it like a search engine except it will deliver you most current information from the main media sources in digested and even quantitative format. Unlike Google Alerts, Social Mention provides a sentiment analysis, hashtags, and trending keywords in exportable format. It also can be set up to send you e-mail alerts on a keyword that you like to monitor throughout the entire media or just selected sources.

I decided to test this tool by looking for any information recently mentioned in social media on the cancer drug  Adcetris developed by a local Seattle biotech company. When I entered the keyword into the search box, I could explore the following options: search All or by clicking at the link below the box, I can select particular media sources.


After pushing the Search button, the tool works approximately ten times longer than Google but the results are more than just a list of references. In the upper-left corner, the results show a score for strength, sentiment, passion and reach.


Strength is the likelihood that your brand is being discussed in social media. A very simple calculation is used: phrase mentions within the last 24 hours divided by total possible mentions.

Sentiment is the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative.

Passion is a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly. For example, if you have a small group of very passionate advocates who talk about your products or brand all the time you will have a higher Passion score. Conversely if every mention is written by a different author you will have a lower score. Most frequently used keywords and number of times mentioned. Number of mentions by sentiment.

Reach is a measure of the range of influence. It is the number of unique authors referencing your brand divided by the total number of mentions.

The first hit from Twitter two days ago links to a Facebook photo of a woman who just finished an annual chemotherapy course with Adcertis, with very supportive and inspirational comments under the photo.


The Social Mention search results show more detail on sources and some statistics, and these are live links: By clicking on the sources, the search results get filtered by the keywords, users or by the source. For example, by clicking on YouTube link, the result show only YouTube videos related to Adcertis.

I found this tool fun, simple and useful. Please try it and you will like it too!


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Filed under 2013 - Post 3

FiveThirtyEight: The Tool for Predicting Political Future

Elections of 2012 championed in collecting, analyzing, manipulating and advertizing data from various polls via multiple media channels. Beside Obama, Nate Silver emerged as an absolute winner predicting the outcome of the elections based on his approach to statistical analysis of polls and media opinions. Silver initially recognized as a developer of PECOTA, a system for empirical comparison, optimization and testing of game strategy. Now the system is being used for forecasting Major League Baseball performance.  Silver implied the same approach in predicting the outcome of presidential elections in 2008 while doing it anonymously on the site FiveThirtyEight that he founded and later licensed to The New York Times.


In 2008 Silver was in a minority predicting Obama win with a 90% chance. In 2012 he was right again! The tool that Silver developed based on statistical analysis of multiple media sources, polls and historical tendencies. The methodology includes seven stages: Weighted Polling Average (1), Adjusted Polling Average (2), FiveThirtyEight Regression (3), FiveThirtyEight Snapshot (4), Voting Day projection (5), Error analysis (6) and finally Simulation (7). Instead of simply taking a pollster’s numbers at face value, the model weighs a poll result according to the following three factors: recency, sample size and a pollster’s rating. By combining this information with other factors such as demographics, economic trends, and several other layers of analysis, Silver’s model creates an innovative method of organizing, analyzing and interpreting the available information that has thus far proven to be impressively accurate. One interesting observation Silver made in September 2012 is that Obama’s lead looked stronger in polls that included cellphones. The result were consistent with the fact that the majority of cellphone-only population are leaning towards Democrats and the polls conducted via landline-only phones failed to produce unbiased results.

Media technology becomes a powerful tool for politicians but it is just as important for the voters: it is a two-way street. FiveThirtyEight is a tool for followers of political events that provides unbiased look at the data that sometimes is hard to interpret otherwise.

Read the most recent blogs about public opinion on Miranda rights and Modeling the Senate’s Vote on Gun Control.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2

One size fits all? Not for Brooks!

Image“One size fits all” maybe a formula about anything but certainly not about Brooks Sports, a local Bothell company. I think they better than anyone else understand that customers come not only in different sizes but their interests and needs vary, and therefore Brooks uses the best media tools such as Votigo Platform in reaching their diverse customer base and customizing their marketing campaigns through Facebook and other social media channels. Particularly, I want to mention Social Conversation Manager that allows scheduling and post updates, photos and links to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from your Votigo dashboard, and it recently integrated with Goodle+. Votigo social marketing includes the following steps: pre-cultivate your audience, build a great promotion, seed the message and follow through. The tool also allows you to measure effectiveness of your marketing or sales campaign and repeat it, if successful.

We all can get irritated by advertisement spam, and yet at the same time we spend substantial time shopping online or in the store. I am one of these folks, like most of the Brooks customers, who adhere to active lifestyle, technology-savvy and who value the time. When a store delivers information that I need at the right time in the right setting and via the right channel, I embrace it and I will share it with my friends. Rather than asking a sales person, I like to hear from other people how they like new running shoes before investing my time going into the store and taking my own risk in trying them. I can find these discussions on Facebook,  Brooks blog page and many other pages that are certainly not just about the shoes. In fact, we all enjoy reading about the runs and events, watching photos and sharing our emotions. The problem is not lack of information. It is the opposite: too much information and too many channels that deliver it. The challenge for retailer is delivering the right information to the right potential buyer. The challenge for the buyer is to filter the right information through all the media noise and fish out the right choice with the minimal effort.

When it comes to Brooks Running, I think there are beating all their competitors in regards to social media providing the best brand reach and quality of service. The way they interact with customers makes us feel special, and when Brooks listens back from us using social media channels, it helps the company in staying on top with their product development. Social media is where we share what we like or do not like with our friends and friends’ friends and just complete strangers. When done right, the social media delivers marketing in a noninvasive way, provides potential buyers with a great set of options and learning tools. When we like it, we naturally become free marketers for the company that treats us individually and with respect.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 1