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5/11/2011
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Prosodic Integrates Social Media Analytics, Publishing

Startup's proSCM product analyzes feedback and engagement metrics to inform future posts and builds in a content approval workflow to establish control.

Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media
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Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media
A startup called Prosodic is introducing a social media management tool it claims can boost social media engagement by tightly integrating social analytics with social publishing so that the performance of past posts guides the content of new ones.

Prosodic also wants to help organizations impose better control over the publishing process with content approval workflow. "Our tool enables brands to publish correctly and interact effectively with their audience," Prosodic CEO Leigh Fatzinger said in an interview.

The Prosodic proSCM product is so far available only in a limited beta, which you can request admission to on the company contact page. But it is already being actively used by some major enterprises, such as PEMCO Insurance. In a statement for Prosodic's product launch press release, Rod Brooks, chief marketing officer of PEMCO, said he was excited about the possibilities for boosting customer engagement by optimizing social media feeds. "Our audience, and the segments within it, have unique preferences when it comes to the content that they care about and respond to," he said.

Fatzinger said most social marketing managers decide what to post based on ad hoc processes and gut instinct about what their audience will respond to. They may also consider rules of thumb, like the idea that it's better to post items on the hour during the workweek because that's when people are coming in and out of meetings and may have a chance to check Twitter or Facebook. Prosodic's goal is to replace those rules of thumb with content posting rules specific to an organization and its audience.

The right social media strategy "is different for every single page," Fatzinger argued. "There are no averages in social media publishing."

As an example of how optimized content can make a difference, he cited a software company Prosodic has been working with that has a lot of fans on Facebook "and they were publishing content pretty actively during the day, but they weren't recognizing that they also had a big audience in India." Because of the time difference, Indian users weren't seeing as much fresh content when they logged into Facebook--an issue the software company was able to address with a new content strategy and the scheduling feature of proSCM. "By publishing different content and different types of content on the back side of the clock, they were able to address the Indian echo and give that audience the sense they were being paid attention to just as much as the North American audience," said Fatzinger.

Prosodic customers also can see which types of posts perform best, in terms of how many comments they attract and how widely they are shared, with what the company calls an analytic sidecar for each content object. You can see how text posts compare with photos, videos, links, and combinations of media types. Text posts are further broken down by sentence type, so you can see how statements compare versus questions or exclamations.

So far, the tool does not attempt to apply natural language processing to sentence classification, instead prompting users to do so. But Fatzinger said analyzing post performance across sentence types is another way to go beyond rules of thumb, like the idea that question posts draw a better response. "To find out whether you're asking too many questions or not enough questions is what this platform is built to do," he said.

Prosodic also hopes to win customers with better content management. Fatzinger cited incidents like the one where Chrysler recently fired its interactive agency after an employee there accidentally posted a personal and profane message complaining about Detroit drivers to the corporate Twitter page. In another incident, an intern at fashion design house Marc Jacobs spent his last day on the job ridiculing the firm.

HootSuite recently added "secure profiles" after its tools were associated with some of these misfires, such as one where a Red Cross employee tweet about the wonders of beer appeared on the organization's Twitter page. The HootSuite security feature essentially consists of an "are you sure?" check to prevent items from being inadvertently posted to the wrong profile. Prosodic would allow its customers to construct approval workflows, where for example an intern might only be allowed to a queue of posts to be held, pending manager approval.

"We have a high focus on building in workflow and permissions so not everybody can publish anything they want," Fatzinger said. Where some other social media dashboards started out as productivity tools for individuals, later adding team and enterprise features, Prosodic was specifically designed for multiple users and management of multiple social profiles, he said.

Prosodic plans to offer a free proSCM Lite version of the product, plus premium and enterprise versions that layer on workflow and analytics features. No pricing was announced.

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