Using Radian6 to surface the most Engaging Content

Posted by: in Analytics, Social Media Insights & Trends, Thinking Creatively on November 17, 2010

Radian6 is a Social Listening platform powering many of our Social Media reports; yet the platform has been used mostly  for reporting that does not highlight its real strengths.  One of the best things Radian6 can do is uncover the most engaging content for a particular brand or audience by collecting “likes” and “votes” about each piece of content in a river of news.   In this post I’ll share how you can use Radian6 to identify what content audiences interacted with, how much they interacted and decide why (they interacted).

Recently Jason Falls over at Social Media Explorer expressed his opinion old media was about “consumption” and new media was about “engagement”.   Here’s what Jason said:

“The true critical difference between blogging and journalism, or at least journalism as we understand it (institutionalized, done by professionals, etc.), is that traditional media is produced for consumption. Today’s media is produced for engagement.”

Many times we are asked to use Social Media to gauge content “consumption habits” around online media when the current crop of monitoring tools aren’t built with this in mind (one example might be trying to ascertain buzz around a media placement); at the same time interesting and engaging content our listening tools uncover is not looked at or shared in reports.  The engaging content may end up being a far more interesting insight for the client than media consumption they thought they wanted (clients may not be able to articulate everything they want or need to see or know about).

Assuming we did our homework well and created keyword rich groups in our topic profile covering all the linguistic variants (ways the same thing can be expressed using different language) we can then bring up a “River of News” for that keyword group (in either a topic analysis, topic trend or “word cloud” widget.  First sort on “Likes and Votes” and if they doesn’t yield enough compelling content then sort of “engagement level” as observe what comes up

Subject: Arthritis (common disease)   Time Period: Last Quarter

90 people “liked” this article on Facebook (same thing as saying 90 people became fans of the article) and it had been retweeted 22 times, a lot for online content about a common medical condition.   The reference to the disease was close to the end of the article (meaning the article isn’t all that relevant) but looking at what is engaging to our online audience we begin to learn which online content will be looked at.  This leads to creating content of our own that will be much more likely to be viewed and interacted with.

In engaging content in blogs for this disease surfaced an unexpected find that catchy titles on content by well known celebrities often is what ends up winning the day with Social Media consumption.

Again, reference to the target keywords was well into the article, not near the title or first paragraph.  Still, by learning what drove 875 people and plus a larger online audience that had  4373 likes and votes to comment on this blog post we come to know what we need to do if we want 875 people to like our client’s content.

While Radian6 might end up showing us online media being manipulated to be more viral and  interesting to online audiences (but not truly original or even user generated) we should recognize online media has its own rules of success, requires a different thinking cap and a different approach for  content creation than what we planned for, but well worth doing when we can.

A content gap exists between  our audiences interest and the  content a Brand or individual finds interesting. Striving for the Golden Mean, we should look for a balance  between interesting content online and those who is interacting with it.

By: Marshall Sponder

Marshall Sponder is a frequent guest speaker at analytics conferences and blogs at

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