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7/18/2012
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Radian6 Adds Partners To Broaden Social Analytics

Salesforce.com's Radian6 social media monitoring service will market add-ons from specialists like Clarabridge, Klout, Solariat, and others to provide powerful analytics.

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In addition to deepening its own social media analytics capabilities, Radian6 announced this week that it will partner with several analytics specialists to address needs like multi-lingual sentiment analysis with Clarabridge, and influence scoring with Klout.

Also on the list are Lymbix, OpenAmplify, OpenCalais, PeekAnalytics, and Solariat, each of which will make analytic services available as add-ons to Radian6 Insights to provide more sophistication where it is needed. For example, OpenAmplify's natural language processing is particularly adept at identifying and classifying brand and product mentions for customer service purposes, said Rob Begg, VP of Marketing at Radian6. "If customer service is a priority, we would strongly recommend looking at that package," he said.

Radian6 is part of Salesforce.com, which among other things is known for the breadth of its partner ecosystem. Radian6 isn't following quite the same model as the Salesforce.com AppExchange. Partner packages are priced individually, starting at $60 per deployment, per month.

[ Who's leading from the top? See How 6 Tech Execs Set Social Example. ]

Radian6 is also part of the broader Salesforce.com strategy of helping companies connect with their customers and their markets.

Even before it became part of Salesforce.com last year, Radian6 built its reputation on breadth, as a social media monitoring service that tracks not only Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but scores of blogs and discussion boards (close to 250 sources at last count). Salesforce has invested in improving the base Radian6 Insights functionality for analyzing positive or negative sentiment, enhanced demographic reporting, and identifying trends and emerging issues, Begg said. But the company also realizes it can't meet every need in the market alone.

"One of our customers may use the Radian6 native sentiment analysis for English but want to turn to a third-party cloud service like Clarabridge for Spanish language sentiment analysis because it's the best one there," Begg said. While Radian6 has previously worked with Clarabridge and other partners on custom integrations for their joint customers, the difference now is that the analytic enhancements will show up in the Insights dashboard as a more neatly integrated experience.

Each of the other add-ons has its own strengths. For example, Lymbix tries to go beyond positive and negative sentiment scoring to understand the emotional language of a post at a deeper level to OpenCalais provide a sophisticated "entity extraction" technology for identifying people, titles, and brands. PeekAnalytics is a social audience measurement service, and Solariat specializes in "intention analysis," such as spotting posts that indicate an intention to buy a product.

In a demo, Radian6 Insights was used as a network television executive might apply it to analyze social media reaction to the show "The Big Bang Theory." Using these partner technologies, Begg was able to look at an age breakdown of fans and show an analysis of the other shows they mentioned ("How I Met Your Mother" turned up as a strong number two). Applying sentiment analysis in combination with entity extraction, Begg was then able to show that Sheldon was the character who most often got favorable mentions.

That's the kind of intelligence that could guide planning for new shows or marketing of current ones.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Every company needs a social networking policy, but don't stifle creativity and productivity with too much formality. Also in the debut, all-digital Social Media For Grownups issue of The BrainYard: The proper tools help in setting social networking policy for your company and ensure that you'll be able to follow through. (Free with registration.)

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