Emerging Communication Tool

By Josh Climans and Carley Williamson


Radian6 is a comprehensive social media monitoring tool that allows companies to use social media as a strategic marketing communications platform. Launched in 2011, Radian6 has become the market leader in providing companies the ability to actively listen and engage with their customers across multiple social media platforms. Radian6 serves 3,000 customers including 55% of Fortune 100 companies and 8 of 10 of the largest global advertisers. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud of Radian6 allows companies to improve their social listening capabilities, generate more effective social content, increase engagement with followers, create more targeted social advertisements, improve company workflow and automation, and measure campaign performances using social analytics. As social media continues to change the way companies do business, Radian6 allows clients to create stronger relationships with their customers. Companies in any industry can now more effectively respond to what their customers want in order to make their business better.

See what people are saying about Radian6...

“Radian6 offers users comprehensive coverage of discussions on the social web, covering hundreds of millions of blogs, comments, the public Facebook API and the full Twitter firehose. In addition to this coverage, Radian6 is scalable within an enterprise, allowing online comments to be assigned within the business, to customer service, sales, marketing and so forth. Radian6 also integrates with other enterprise applications like Salesforce.com and analytics like Webtrends, Omniture and Google Analytics.” —David Alston

What is Radian6?

According to the company website, Radian6 is a “full service social solution that helps you listen, measure, engage and discover online conversations so you can build your community and your business.”(1) Purchased by Salesforce.com in 2011, this social media solution has been recognized as the market leader for listening platforms by Forrester Research Inc.(2) Radian6 currently supports over 3,000 customers, including 55% of Fortune 100 companies and 8 out of 10 of the largest global advertisers.(3)

The Radian6 Solution

The business solution that Radian6 provides can be divided into six different categories: social listening, social content, engagement, workflow and automation, social ads, and measurement. Radian6 allows companies to listen to what their customers are saying about them across multiple social channels. Data is collected from over 400 million sources and companies are able to monitor this activity in over 17 languages.

The social content aspect of Radian6 allows companies to make their social media content widely accessible to their target audiences by improving its sharing capability. Allowing more people to see what the company has to say improves the number of business prospects. Radian6 allows companies to determine how engaged different audiences are with the content that is being published online and understand whether the content messages are being understood the way in which they were intended.

Companies can engage with their customers across multiple social media platforms all through one integrated, easy to manage dashboard. This allows content managers the ability to more easily maneuver between conversations occurring across different platforms. Radian6 allows companies the flexibility to produce content at pre-scheduled times, whether it be a day, week, or month later.

Radian6 allows companies to integrate social media and content across every department. Posts can be delivered to the right person to allow customers to get the response they are looking for more quickly. Content can also improve the sales process at organizations by integrating the content within a company’s CRM system. The system also allows companies to automate different responses to certain posts creating a more efficient workflow.

Companies are able to create social advertisements using Radian6 that are highly targeted and localized based on customers’ demographics, geographics, interests, and behaviours. Analytics are used to track campaign performance to identify what seems to be working and what should be modified in order to achieve the defined advertising goals. Ad spending can also be tracked and automatically adjusted based on certain results.

In order to assess the ROI of certain campaigns, companies can measure the success of specific content among the target audience. Content and conversations can be integrated with a company’s website. This can help a company measure whether social media is driving customers to the website to make a purchase. Benchmarks and performance tracking are all easily accessible and automated reports help managers see the actual results.

External Trends and Market Factors

Increased Consumer Engagement: As social media continues to take the world by storm, we see a trend of increased consumer engagement, which can have both positive and negative impacts on a brand, depending on how these social media channels are managed. Using Radian6 allows a company to monitor conversations, keeping track of the most valuable followers and interactions, providing them with knowledge about who to follow, thank, and respond to.(4) It can also prevent a social media crisis by aggressively monitoring a brand’s online mentions to ensure the company responds quickly when someone voices a concern with the brand.

Change in Buying Behaviour: Consumers are increasingly using blogs, forums, and social networks to check out a product or service and find reviews before purchase in order to determine its pros and cons.(5) They have become ‘savvy researchers’ who use the social web to seek and share opinions.(6) By collecting real-time data from over 400 million sources, including blog coverage, video coverage, photo coverage, mainstream media coverage, and social media coverage, Radian6 allows a company to take part in enhanced social listening.(7) By listening to these social media conversations, Radian6 can help companies identify new sales leads, engage with current and potential customers, and meet customer’s expectations.(8) It can also provide companies with knowledge about their competitors and help them discover new market opportunities.(9)

Globalization: Business is becoming increasingly global, making it imperative to attend to conversations happening all over the world, in a variety of languages. Radian6 allows you to listen in over 17 languages, ensuring that no business opportunity being expressed online is missed.(10)

The Benefits from Social Media are Increasing: According to a survey conducted by WildFireApp of 700 marketers globally, 97% of marketers believe social media marketing benefits their business and 75% intend to increase social media spending this year.(11) Additionally, a State of Social Media Marketing Study conducted by Awareness Network found that 70% of businesses plan to expand their social media presence while 50% intend to improve their social media management practices and tools.(12) This means that more businesses will be seeking platforms such as Radian6 that can help them manage these media channels.

Radian6 and the Marketing Communication Mix

Radian6 allows companies to utilize other promotional aspects of the integrated marketing communications mix. Companies are able to conduct advertising campaigns across a variety of social media platforms. Advertisements can be targeted to specific consumers based on geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioural characteristics. Campaign performance and budgets can also be monitored and adjusted depending on their success. Companies can also use Radian6 to conduct sales promotions and direct marketing to consumers on social media. By integrating many different platforms, companies can provide sales promotions to Facebook and Twitter followers that can drive traffic to the website leading to purchases. Many companies also market directly to consumers with a strong social influence, which in turn can increase the number of sales the company can generate from followers.

Risks/Barriers for Adoption

Determining ROI is one of the top challenges faced by marketers, as it is extremely difficult to accurately measure. Research conducted by Altimeter Group found that nearly 50% of surveyed marketers are not purposefully measuring their social efforts.(13) Without knowing the impact of social media marketing, companies are reluctant to budget significant funds towards it. For example, in the State of Social Media Marketing study conducted by Awareness Inc. in January 2012, they found that 75% of businesses spend $10,000 or less, with most businesses only investing in people’s time toward the effort.(14) This poses a barrier for Radian6, as its starting price is $5000/month.(15) According to the study, only 10% of businesses would be willing to spend this amount on social marketing.(16) Another risk that relates to the pricing of Radian6 is the fact that there are currently many free services available that provide some similar services, although not as advanced. Many businesses will likely be reluctant to take on the purchase risk of Radian6 when they could try out free services instead. Another risk with paying the premium price for the service is the chance that the investment could go to waste if sufficient time is not devoted towards learning how to use it properly. By identifying these risks and barriers to adoption it is clear that this product is meant for large businesses that understand the large impact social channels have on their product or service.

How a Company Can Use Radian6

Take for example a large CPG company that has a strong global presence, a diverse product offering, and billions of dollars in worldwide sales. The firm competes with a massive number of other brands for retailer shelf space and presence of mind and wallet among global customers. It is essential for this company to establish a strong perception of its products and brand among its target audience in order to gain and maintain their business. One of the best places to establish this presence is online. This medium allows customers to interact and engage with your company’s brand, which can lead to stronger consumer-brand ties and relationships.

This relationship building is essential for enabling this CPG company to differentiate itself from its competitors. This large CPG company has many different opportunities to do this by using a product such as Radian6. Firstly, the company can actively monitor what its customers are saying about it or its products across a large number of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, and many more. By actively engaging and responding to what customers have to say, the company is able to identify what it is doing well and what it should be addressing to help solve customers’ needs. Monitoring different trends in the industry, for instance popular colours, styles, and materials, can allow this CPG company to quickly adapt to what customers want in order to satisfy them.

This CPG company can also use Radian6 and its online presence to test product introductions and promotional campaigns. The Radian6 analytics capabilities can allow this CPG company to determine the response by customers to new products including whether they like it or not, whether they are spreading the word, whether they are looking for more information, whether they actually end up purchasing it, and even whether or not they are satisfied with their purchase. This valuable data can allow the company to make adjustments in order to reach its marketing strategy objectives (i.e. ROI, sales, awareness, customer satisfaction and loyalty).

In addition, this CPG company can use analytics to identify its brand ambassadors or the people who are the strongest advocates and influencers for its products. Offering highly discounted or free products to these influencers can result in a positive response from their ability to influence their followers to purchase this company’s products. The company can track how effective its reach was through website and social media activity resulting from the actions of the brand ambassador.

The ability for this company to monitor and interact with customers when they are dissatisfied, allows for the CPG company to avoid problem situations or crises from arising. Addressing the concerns of its customers will ensure that customers are not going to resent the company and encourage others to do the same. In the case that the CPG company experiences a product recall, the company can ensure that customers are getting all of their needs addressed directly from the source. The ability to manage and avert brand crises can prevent the CPG company from losing significant market share and brand loyalty from its customers.

@cloud_griff by Chris J Griffin
Calling all Business Leaders! Make 2013 the year to unleash your Social brand using @marketingcloud

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