In the old days, monitoring the media meant you’d read various print and trade publications (which usually were a finite number) and get to know reporters and editors. You met these people at trade shows or they’d come to your facility if they were in the area.
You had cocktails together and got to know each other. You developed a relationship and then when you had a new product to announce or a story topic, the reporter or editor -– who knew you by name and face –- was inclined to take your call and talk to you.
Those days are long gone.
“With over two billion voices on the Web,” says Gary Lee, CEO of mBLAST, “it’s almost a fulltime job monitoring what’s being said in your industry (or your clients’ industries) across hundreds of blogs, industry sites, online publications and various social networks.”
According to Gary, monitoring alone is no longer enough. To do it right, you have to leave comments on blogs, Tweet out content, and slowly develop relationships with people in your various networks –- people you know only as a face on an avatar or through tweets and blog posts.
If you’re lucky, you may meet a few people at conferences or workshops. I say “lucky,” because let me tell you, you’re not going to reach these people through email. (Want to know how many emails I delete each day from PR “professionals” who send me untargeted press releases?)
My mPACT –- Scores you on your own “thought leadership”
“This free tool,” says Gary, “allows people to look at themselves and what they talk about.” I can look at my profile for example, and see which keywords I’m using in my posts. I can also tell at a glance — via a tag cloud — what I’m talking about. (Note to self: do a better job of staying on topic about B2B Web marketing.)
The cool thing about mBlast is that the company indexes thousands of blogs, articles and social data and then matches this content to keywords. Do a search on “B2B marketing,” for example, and I get a list of the top people writing about this topic.
What I like about this tool is that it allows me to click on people’s names to see their profiles, the publications for which they write, their topic keywords, and links to the last three articles they’ve written. I can also see the top influencers for any given topic.
My only quibble with My mPACT is that it uses your personal Facebook profile versus your Facebook Page. I purposely keep my personal FB profile locked down and super private and thus don’t post business-related stuff to it. So my mPACT profile is seen as being incomplete as it’s not linked to FB.
My mPACT also doesn’t include Google+ since Google hasn’t yet made an API available — which is a pity as I’m finding I’m using a Google+ more than Twitter these days. (I think it’s because I have so few people in my Circles it’s just much easier to follow the really cool people I’ve found in Twitter.)
At any rate, I like this tool and plan on using it much more to help me see what others are writing about –- and keep myself on topic, too.
mPACT PRO — For the hardcore PR or marketing pro
“mPACT PRO is for people who do PR and marketing all day long,” says Gary. “It’s a really powerful tool that allows you, the PR person, to find influential people in a space and view all their posts and tweets. It also allows you see how much ‘authority’ or influence a person has because you can see if the person’s posts and tweets are getting picked up.”
The tool combines the old clipping services of yore (if you’re of a certain age, you remember paper-based clip files) with powerful social media monitoring. Using mPACT PRO, you can track article coverage of your company or CEO, how your brand is being perceived, and what your voice is in the marketplace.
As soon as Gary gave me a demo of this tool, I instantly “got” it. It automates a lot of the grunt work associated with PR and marketing. And, instead of giving you a generic score, the way Klout does, it shows you, via graphs and other information, just how influential people are on given topics.
mPACT PRO starts at $50 a month or $495 a year for a single subscription and goes up from there. I’m really impressed with both tools. Be sure to give My mPACT a whirl. You can also try mPACT PRO for 14 days without charge.
Full disclosure: I was not paid to write this review.