Roughly once every two days, I get an email or phone call from a new Social Media platform salesperson. They're always really nice, and just want a few minutes of my time, but ultimately, after a few years of the same thing, I'm still using the same tools.
About a decade ago life was simple, we had just a few options. BuzzLogic (RIP), Neilsen Buzzmetrics and a small handful of others. My life became simpler once Radian6 came along, and that became my go to. It had everything I needed. The ability to perform relatively complex queries, an innovative User Interface (for its time), and most importantly - and pay attention to this one if you're a vendor - actual Canadian data.
1: Real Canadian Data
Getting real Canadian data is no easy task. A lot of vendors claim they have this within their system, but they usually rely on incorrect or unreliable data points to determine if something is Canadian. Case in point - there are some platforms that deem a mention to be Canadian if it comes from a site that ends in ".ca". Here's a gentle reminder as to why that doesn't work. www.globeandmail.com... That's right... Most of those platforms won't pick up the Globe... And that's a big deal in my books.
Man... I've been keeping that one bottled up for a while. Felt good to vent there, thank you.
So that's tablestakes now. If you can't give me that data, I simply can't use your product. Full stop.
2: Data Exports
Gimme all your data. Seriously. If I run a query in your system, I'm not usually relying on your interface. That's not to say that your interface isn't great - but I'd rather use a visualization tool, or dashboarding app to show off your data, vs. your UI. If you have an export button that pushes out a CSV, you're golden in my books.
3: Query Feedback
Writing good queries takes time. Help me save that time by telling me something I don't already know, like how many results I'll get as I start typing out a word. Better yet - once I have that query created - show me how that query will trend... Which brings me to a bleeding edge topic...
This is emerging as a requirement for me now that I've been playing with one of Canada's newest social listening platforms - http://eyesover.com. I want to know how a particular topic is trending, where it's picking up steam, and why. One really interesting thing that piqued my interest about this particular platform is that it uses its own form of AI to identify emerging keywords that I wouldn't have thought of on my own based on the overall conversation I'm interested in.
Once you have access to this kind of information, you start to crave it.