One of the biggest challenges in monitoring and measurement of social media for companies is how much efforts are increasing mentions of the brands. And then knowing whether those mentions are generally positive or negative. It’s fairly easy to get a snapshot at any point of time of how many mentions have happened in the past 24 hours using searches and some tools. What’s difficult to get a feel for is how mentions of a brand are trending over time. Actionly looks to fill this gap with trending information for keywords over time pulled from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Blogs and News.
How Actionly Works
Actionly provides a free 7 day trial that connects to your Twitter account and provides information for one keyword search. Actionly polls Twitter, Blogs, Flickr, YouTube and News for your keywords and shows trending information over time.
Actionly also shows basic metrics for the social profiles it’s connected to and tries to provide some gauge of sentiment for search results (either positive or negative).
For Twitter, you can view the latest mentions, retweets and follower trends. Any individual tweet can be responded to from Actionly or you can mark it as a favorite, to do or read.
Drill into your keyword search for more information about where mentions have come from, top influencers who have mentioned the keyword, sentiment, recent tweets, recent facebook posts and recent blog posts.
Top Influencers gives you an idea of who is really engaging with a brand, but it seems to be based on volume of tweets and number of followers, not necessarily the influencer’s true “influence”. Top Influencers for my search of “sazbean” include my own account which is not useful information. And how many followers a person has is not the best measurement of their true influence since it’s fairly easy to get a number of followers who don’t really engage.
Is Actionly Useful?
With a new account, results are only pulled for the past couple of days from Twitter. Keyword results were not pulling from recent blog posts for some reason and also were not showing results from Google Buzz even though there clearly are mentions there since I’ve posted to my blog and to Google Buzz recently.
As with all sentiment analysis, it’s difficult to gauge positive or negative just by keywords. For example, Actionly deemed the following tweet as negative:
While the sentiment may be negative towards Apple, it’s not negative towards the search, “sazbean”, which is a given since sazbean is the one who posted it.
Overall it seems like Actionly might be useful, but I’d like to get a full free trial for 30 days with all the features before I’d be willing to try a paid version. Trending information is very useful for social media measurement so you can see how well your tactics are doing over time. Some of the information is also available from other free tools like Klout, Google Trends, etc. A full free trial would make it clear whether Actionly can provide value over other tools.
UPDATE: I’ve re-reviewed Actionly based on a trial of their paid version.
What do you think? Have you tried Actionly?