Tag Archives: pinterest

Rallyverse robot

Scaling social media: Rallyverse is boosting reach for B2B & B2C

Rallyverse deck
Rallyverse

 

Helping community managers and social media marketers curate, share and create content

Let’s face it. Scaling social media is hard for both B2B and B2C players. Driving greater levels of engagement (and ultimately sales) remains an uphill battle for many, in particular, those in eCommerce.  A number of major brands over the past two years have opened and then shuddered their Facebook shops, including J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Gap, and GameStop. For marketers trying to gauge what a like, a share, or a comment ultimately signifies, the first stop is collecting this data.  The next stop is generating the content that will speak to their audience. A few enterprise SaaS players want to help brands better leverage their social media muscle and one of them is Rallyverse.

Rallyverse is the brainchild of a few ex-Microsoft employees, all of whom worked in the ad/tech industry but shared an itch to make improvements in the way social media can influence advertising. I got the opportunity to try out Rallyverse and according to Gabe Bevilacqua, co-founder and VP, Biz Dev, “we let the brand define where they want to play and expand the reach of what they are doing with just a few clicks.” For community managers and social media marketers, Rallyverse (a Twitter-certified partner) aims to keep track of all of your owned and paid social media by helping you curate, respond, and post more relevant, engaging content to your target audience. It seeks to provide users with a dashboard of real-time recommendations so you’re never again stuck with the question,  “What do I say today?”

Rallyverse takes a page from Pinterest’s groundbreaking tile platform

When you first login to your account, you’re immediately struck by the platform’s similarity to Pinterest, with tiles stacking up on top of each other. Images are vital components for triggering your levels of engagement and Gabe acknowledges Pinterest’s lead in promoting the tile format. Rallyverse examines your sources of content (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter) in order to assign it a certain score. Using its own proprietary algorithm, it will serve up a baseline of recommended content based on your criteria. Under SETTINGS, in the left-hand column, you provide select keywords, categories, influencers, including those topics you don’t want Rallyverse to search for.

In my case, I focused on keywords such as content marketing, social media marketing, and social media technology. Rallyverse will curate content from any of the sites and services where you post content. In this case, that would include YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and your own personal feed from your blog. You can also enter the RSS, Atom, or XML feeds for any site and Rallyverse will add relevant content from those sites to your profile.

Users can set publishing frequencies (for example, one post every 60 minutes), and then can schedule individual messages for what Rallyverse calls “Optimized Publishing.” Within each time window, the platform will evaluate each eligible message and publish the one that is most relevant at that time.

Once you’ve entered all of your essential criteria for the content you want tracked, you click on the Rallyverse blue button and let the fun begin.

Rallyverse trending content
Rallyverse trending content

Capturing trending content

Rallyverse will populate your content within seconds. In reviewing each tile, you have an opportunity to thumb it up or down (thumbing it down will cause the tile to disappear from view), and Rallyverse provides its own “star-rating” for each tile of content. According to Gabe, its unique algorithm interprets each piece of content for you, the user, creating the star rating. The more stars highlighted, the more relevant the content is for you.

Inside a tile is a camera icon, which when you click on it, opens up, allowing you to repost it, make revisions to the content itself (including image), schedule a new delivery time for the content, or even turn it into a paid ad. You can also save it as a draft and revisit it at a later date. Rallyverse will also automatically shorten URLs for you (when tweeting, for example). It will also add hashtags automatically for you.

Rallyverse features a separate Conversations topic, which when you click on it will show you what social media you’ve posted has been retweeted or shared by one of your Twitter followers, including responses to your Tweets. It will document any Facebook interactions you’re having, including likes, comments, and shares.

Rallyverse content editing
Rallyverse content editing

One feature that I particularly liked was the ICYMI topic. ICYMI stands for “in case you missed it.” When a tile is tagged ICYMI, it means Rallyverse has determined it met a minimum click threshold (again, based on its own proprietary algorithm), and will bring it back to your attention. This certainly can help community managers and marketers understand what forms of content are more effective than others in generating engagement. Gabe told me that his company’s clients very much appreciate ICYMI as it constantly acts as reminder of just how much you need to nurture your social media content in order to help it grow and spread.

A feature I couldn’t take full advantage (being only a single user) was the parent/child relationships that Ralleyverse created to facilitate better social media scaling. The platform allows organizations to scale their social media efforts by sharing content for publishing between different users and Profiles. Child profiles can publish content that is shared by parent profiles as well as their own recommendations.

Reports – how can you track social media engagement without analytics?

Rallyverse Analytics
Rallyverse analytics

 

What would a social media platform be without any analytics reporting? Once you’ve connected your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, you get the opportunity to review just what types of action were recorded once you’ve begun posting and sharing content.

Rallyverse currently goes back no more than two months when reviewing your owned content. It provides you with a graph, summarizing all of your channel’s engagement. Rallyverse details your click percentage by hour. This means the percentage of total clicks that were recorded for a post that took place in a particular hour. Establishing a percentage based on the volume of clicks seems a bit off to me and Gabe said Rallyverse’s platform is currently displaying clicks an hour early so you’re not getting an up to the minute exact summary of your actual clicks. This is something Rallyverse is looking to fix. However, you easily get to see a good overview of each one of your posts and their levels of engagement. You can select a 30-day report, which easily exports into a CRV file.

Is there room for improvement?

Rallyverse is far from perfect. There were a few minor annoyances for me, including the listing of messages underneath my profile that are published by the platform, which confused me. It continues to finely tune both its algorithm and the way it delivers metrics reporting. It also is currently missing additional social media channels for integration into its platform, like StumbleUpon or Reddit, for example. Gabe told me that there are plans to bring on additional social channels but that decision is heavily influenced by client demand. Its platform will undoubtedly continue to evolve as users require more sophisticated metrics that incorporate a greater degree of sentiment analysis.  Overall, all of the features I could use worked. I truly got a kick out of watching what content got tweeted or shared and for a spell, I completely forgot about Tweetdeck.

As leading Web analytics expert Avinash Kaushik is fond of reminding marketers, it’s not so much about the volume of likes or shares your social media content is getting but whether or not it is supporting the economic value you’re getting from it.

Social media engagement: the never-ending quest for results

Rallyverse is not the only enterprise-level social media engagement platform on the market. Competitors like Percolate and HereSaySocial offer similar features though the technologies may differ. For Gabe, the elusive quest for the ROI of social media marketing makes creating Rallyverse a meaningful step forward. In his words,  “I’m constantly surprised by how much our platform seems to understand the pulse of social conversations as they are happening. We’re making sense of the social media noise and doing it in a way that makes it easier for users to consume it. I get a thrill and surprise by our product each and every day.”

Overall, I very much enjoyed Rallyverse’s ease of use and look forward to keeping track of its development. Pricing begins at $500 a month. Request a demo of Rallyverse and let me know what you think.

 

 

Article first published as Technorati Product Review: Rallyverse Social Media Management System on Technorati.

Pinterest

Pinterest: How to create a content strategy for Pinners

Pinterest's Tiffany Jones Brown
Content Strategist Tiffany Jones Brown speaks to a captive Pinterest audience

 

I recently had the pleasure of hanging out at Pinterest’s new headquarters in San Francisco. I listened to a presentation by Pinterests’s own “voice strategist,” Tiffani Jones Brown.

Sculpting the Pinning message and brand

In her presentation, Tiffani reviewed a number of qualifying factors that go into determining the company’s content. Voice factors include: personality, vibe, and feeling. According to Tiffani, Pinterest’s voice must have power and resonate in everything the company does. In forging their voice, Tiffani stressed the company’s storyline and how it values Pinners first, above all else. Tiffany described “pinning etiquette” and “Pin with care” as models for crafting a unique voice. Tiffani stressed being “gender neutral” and “to be the voice” when crafting content. With so much of Pinterest’s content being graphical, someone in the audience asked what written content is the Pinterest content strategy team actually creating?  Tiffany responded that content strategy included the creation of traditional company content such as  FAQs, style guides, product descriptions, etc…

Tiffany provided one example of developing the Pinterest voice by comparing two email responses crafted by the company in response to a Pinner who had pinned content that was considered “sexually explicit.” The first Pinterest response used a stiff, generic voice and began with “We removed a pin from your account because it contained nudity…Please remove any other pins you’ve added that contain nudity.” Instead, the Pinterest voice team revised their “corporate speak” and the email response crafted went like this: “We recently removed one of your pins from Pinterest because it may include sexually explicit content. We hate removing pins, but sometimes we have to when they go against our policies. This helps keep Pinterest fun for families, professionals and everyone else who uses it. Please remove any other pins like this from Pinterest. Or, if you think we’ve made a mistake, please let us know!”

Now most brands do spend the time and resources to cultivate a unique voice that speaks to their customer-base. But many corporations still come across  with an icy voice to their audience. But I was surprised at just how banal most of what Tiffani discussed came across to me.  I’m not sure what I expected but it makes sense that Pinterest does not want to be using “corporate speak” when communicating with its users. That warm and fuzzy feeling is critical because Pinners are using their platform, in particular, to post and share about their life passions, like cooking, fashion, travel, etc…Pinners don’t want to dialogue with a “corporation” that doesn’t understand or appreciate their human qualities. Hmmm, wouldn’t everyone like a corporation to communicate in this same fashion?

Pinterest is a start-up. It received 200 million in series D funding earlier this year. The company is valued at more than 2 billion, according to VentureBeat. The company, while not profitable, is flush with cash and can spend the time needed to figure out how it is going to earn a profit.

When VC money comes knockin on your door

So Tiffani and her crew of five writers (yup, this constitutes the core of Pinterest’s current content strategy team) have this golden opportunity to continue refining and developing their voice to maximize Pinner appeal. VCs, however, will one day want their money back. Pinterest will be forced to go public. Now Pinterest continues to experiment with revenue driving models. Founder Ben Silbermann says, “we don’t want to commodify someone’s passions.” Great sentiment. I’d like to see just how far it gets him and the company when it comes time to show a profit to investors.

More importantly, once a company does go public, everything changes. The warm and “viby” voice that Tiffani and her writing crew are busy developing now will most certainly be impacted by the time Pinterest does go public. Think about Facebook. As a public company, it is beholden to its shareholders and must consistently show a profit. Facebook’s stock price is currently nestled in at around $25 a share, thirteen dollars below its IPO price back in May of 2012. In a recent story in U.S. News & World Report, Facebook founder Marc Zuckerberg expressed his own disappointment at the stock’s performance, mirroring the sentiment of the company’s shareholders

Meanwhile, Facebook continues to try new initiatives that piss off its users. Just how popular was the $1 fee Facebook implemented forcing users to pay if they want to send messages to non-friends?  Or what about the hashtag? I haven’t used hashtags yet myself but I’ve read nothing but negative accounts by users in my network and just as important is the spam it has created generating dozens of irrelevant spam posts.

Facebook is a splendid case study for Ben Silberman and I’m sure he and co-founder Evan Sharp are not ignoring that company’s ongoing challenges in its quest to remain profitable and popular among its users.

The warm and fuzzy Pinterest voice

Pinterest has the luxury like any other venture-backed start-up to proceed at a measured pace not beholden to any stockholders. Tiffani and crew can take the time to hone the Pinterest voice, making it warm and congenial for its users. But nothing I heard in Tiffani’s presentation made me think that what the company is doing in developing its voice and branding isn’t terribly unique. Because Pinterest is heavily invested, it has more than a few years to go modifying and shaping its brand voice.  Meanwhile, the VCs still breathe down Silberman’s neck wanting to know sooner, rather than later, just how Pinterest is going to become profitable.

Tiffani left Facebook to work at Pinterest.  Does anybody wonder if Tiffani would leave Pinterest the day it goes public to go work for another start-up?  Well, assuming she’s still working as the company’s chief content strategist she probably won’t have to worry, as she’ll become one of the next SF Bay Area millionaires.

Entrepreneurs generally love the start-up culture. The time before a company is forced to go public is generally considered one of the most exciting periods in a company’s life. Once it does go public and shareholders enter the mix, the fun is diluted.  Pinterest is hiring like crazy, in particular, for more software engineers.

Pinterest will be an interesting company to track. According to Alexa, Pinterest currently ranks 17 on the top websites visited in the U.S. with Google and Facebook ranking 1 and 2, respectively.  While the majority of its users are still women, men are becoming a larger demographic. Tiffany did bring up the important point of how Pinterest’s voice will continue to adapt as its tries to broaden its user-base.