Social Media Case Studies, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Twitter Top 20 Interviews

David Alston – The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening

alston David Alston   The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media ListeningDavid Alston is a singer. A photographer. The former host of an improv comedy show. He’s also a vastly experienced technology marketer – currently the Vice President of Marketing for the conversation monitoring software company Radian6. He’s also Canadian, so is helpful and kind as a default setting. 

I first met David at the excellent Marketing Profs Digital Mixer conference last fall. He participated in a Twitter 20 interview (20 questions live on Twitter) and illuminated the present and future of Radian6, listening, and the social media universe.

You may also want to read David’s blog, TweetPR – it’s excellent and I have it on my RSS feed.

Disclosure: I use Radian6, and it is one of the two social media monitoring tools (Techrigy) I recommend to my clients.

1. @jaybaer: How do you describe what @radian6 does?

  • @davidalston @radian6 gives a brand a way to answer the “social phone” – listening and engaging with those calling out to them in SM.

2. @jaybaer: I like the “social phone” analogy. There are a number of others in the monitoring space, how do you set @radian6 apart?

  • @davidalston: We listen and build what our community needs (foundation) The support we receive back from them has brought us to this point.

3. @jaybaer: Are there companies that should NOT use @radian6 or other listening tools? Does listening and engagement have to go together?

  • @davidalston I’ll go back to the “social phone” analogy – should any company not answer the call. Listening first, engagement soon after.
  • Companies that excel at amazing customer service will excel at SM listening and engaging. It’s in their culture.

4. @jaybaer: Where do you see listening within the overall social media umbrella?

  • @davidalston: Listening should be first. Listening helps you discover your own custom community spread out over millions of conversations.

5. @jaybaer: What’s the key to getting more companies using listening tools? How do we reach a tipping point?

  • @davidalston: Eye opening experiences I believe. Show what’s being said. Or case studies. Or new ways of looking at things. Combo of things.

6. @jaybaer: I’m sure there are examples on both sides, but do you see agencies or brands using listening tools more effectively so far?

  • @davidalston: Both. There are many use cases for listening & engaging. Hear are 10 – some with agency, some corp or both – http://bit.ly/PoPd

7. @jaybaer: It seems like the value proposition of listening tools is higher for bigger brands and B2C (more conversation to monitor).

  • @davidalston: While bigger brands have more conversation if you “actively” listen to your community you can create conversation at any size.
  • @radian6 itself is an example of a b2b company that uses active listening. It can work regardless of size.

8. @jaybaer: I’m not a database engineer, but I suspect corralling and parsing the flood of data is tricky. What’s the hardest part?

  • @davidalston: Thank goodness I’m the non-tech guy so I don’t have to worry about it icon smile David Alston   The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening We work with an amazing team that tackles this.

9. @jaybaer: My favorite @radian6 term is the “River of News”. How did that come about?

  • @davidalston: Because we refresh data in real-time, found posts/tweets constantly flow by. Thus the River name.

10. @jaybaer: How does being in New Brunswick in Canada impact the company?

  • @davidalston: Well, long plane rides 2 conf’s aside icon smile David Alston   The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening the great thing about SM is that location is less relevant. I’m WFH today 4 example.

11. @jaybaer: I’m glad you mentioned conferences. How do you decide which to attend? So many of them now.

  • @davidalston: It’s tough 4 sure.Look for balance of community we know vs. community we want to know plus opportunities to engage in some way.

12. @jaybaer: Congrats on the new round of financing. Other than a better brand of scotch, what are the plans for that capital?

  • @davidalston: LOL. Well. lots of R&D for more cool functionality, more connections with community (Ambers’ role) & content (Warren role) etc

13. @jaybaer: I should know this, but don’t. Are there language or regional versions? Are you going to actively sell globally?

  • @davidalston: Good question. We support 10 languages & filtering by region now. We have many customers deployed globally.
  • Customers like OgilvyPR, Weber Shandwick, Dell, and partners like Cision plus many others take advantage of these features.
  • We also have our UK partner, @6consulting, working with us to provide on the ground presence there and support.

14. @jaybaer: Any plans for a mobile and/or iPhone interface for a stripped down version of @radian6?

  • @davidalston: The cool thing about the iPhone is it’s full browsing ability. It opens up some pretty cool possibilities for sure.

15. @jaybaer: You mentioned hiring @warrenss and @ambercadabra Is the plan to create multi-modal SM-oriented content like @hubspot ?

  • @davidalston: Well I’m a big fan of @chrisbrogan‘s teachings on content marketing. Providing content of value that informs & builds ties.
  • Goes back to the tipping point we talked about earlier. The community is looking for content to help them adopt SM.

16. @jaybaer: Any plans then to reprise the Twebinar series (http://www.twebinar.com) you did last year with @chrisbrogan ?

  • @davidalston: We had a great response to it last year so I would love to see it happen again this year. Plus try a few new twists too. icon smile David Alston   The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening

17. @jaybaer: Will @radian6 provide social media consulting services? Or perhaps a Certified Partner Program like many SAAS companies?

  • @davidalston: The great thing about having so many agencies using @radian6 now is that we have this powerful network of consultants.
  • Certification for various stages is a very cool idea for sure Jason.

18. @jaybaer: How do you personally cope with social media overload (other than using @radian6)? So much content, so little time.

  • @davidalston: There were 124800 conversations mentioning “social media” in last 30 days. “Targeted listening” is the only way to do it.

19. @jaybaer: You’re a very good photographer. How did you get into it & is there a tie between photo snapshot and conversation snapshot?

  • @davidalston: Thx Jason. For me photography is about the only hobby I have left icon smile David Alston   The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening Nikon goes with me everywhere. It’s definitely my escape.
  • I definitely love shooting pics from new perspectives, looking for patterns. I suppose you could draw a parallel.
  • Thanks for sharing this Jason. I’ve also tried to organize them into photo sets too – http://bit.ly/2Nx8DK

20. @jaybaer: You’re of Scottish descent (kilt at your wedding). Help me understand why you people worship Robert Burns? I don’t get it.

  • @davidalston: LOL. Until you’ve tasted haggis you’ll never understand the secret icon smile David Alston   The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening
Thanks again to David for a great edition of Twitter 20. Who would you like to see on a future edition?
  • http://www.radian6.com/ David Alston

    Hey there Jason, the interview today was a lot of fun. I love your format with this style. I can tend to ramble in circles in a video interview so I loved that I had to get creative and come up with a way to jam it into 140 characters. Now if I could only do that in real life. :)

    And you point out the MarketingProf’s event. I have an interview with you that I’ll be publishing soon as well. Watch for it. I had no idea how much time goes into editing video (again to remove my ramblings). Maybe I should tweet the questions to my video guest in the future – it would save me lots of time.

    Again, thanks. It was a blast and a half.

    David

  • http://www.radian6.com David Alston

    Hey there Jason, the interview today was a lot of fun. I love your format with this style. I can tend to ramble in circles in a video interview so I loved that I had to get creative and come up with a way to jam it into 140 characters. Now if I could only do that in real life. :)

    And you point out the MarketingProf’s event. I have an interview with you that I’ll be publishing soon as well. Watch for it. I had no idea how much time goes into editing video (again to remove my ramblings). Maybe I should tweet the questions to my video guest in the future – it would save me lots of time.

    Again, thanks. It was a blast and a half.

    David

  • http://twitter.com/radian6/status/1160359788 radian6

    @jaybaer ‘s Twitter 20 interview with @davidalston earlier today – http://bit.ly/9Qkf

  • http://twitter.com/pwtoday/status/ Paul Wilson

    RT @radian6: @jaybaer ‘s Twitter 20 interview with @davidalston earlier today – http://bit.ly/9Qkf

  • kazumasa aoki

    コミックマーケット:50万人来場のマンガの祭典が13日開幕 傾向と対策は… (MANTANWEB) http://bit.ly/b6tcXf

  • http://www.blog.quickwhatsup.com/ Seth Resler

    Jason,

    I know you’ve been doing a lot of these Twitter interviews, and while I appreciate the novelty of the idea, it highlights a pervasive problem with all of these emerging communication tools. Namely, that people are beginning to use forms of communication which are ill-suited and, frankly, inappropriate for the task at hand.

    I have had both co-workers and clients who refused to answer their phone and attempted to conduct all of their business by text message. The experience was infuriating because this made it so difficult to get work done. Text messaging, a recent communication innovation, was actually hindering communication because it was used improperly!

    Likewise, Twitter strikes me as an exceptionally poor tool for conducting interviews. Email, podcasts and video would all be much more appropriate. In a world where we complain that the mainstream media is reducing the news to headlines and soundbites, it is disappointing to see online innovators limit their subjects to 140 characters per answer. We’re taking the time to read the interviews, so please give us some depth!

    -Seth

  • http://www.blog.quickwhatsup.com Seth Resler

    Jason,

    I know you’ve been doing a lot of these Twitter interviews, and while I appreciate the novelty of the idea, it highlights a pervasive problem with all of these emerging communication tools. Namely, that people are beginning to use forms of communication which are ill-suited and, frankly, inappropriate for the task at hand.

    I have had both co-workers and clients who refused to answer their phone and attempted to conduct all of their business by text message. The experience was infuriating because this made it so difficult to get work done. Text messaging, a recent communication innovation, was actually hindering communication because it was used improperly!

    Likewise, Twitter strikes me as an exceptionally poor tool for conducting interviews. Email, podcasts and video would all be much more appropriate. In a world where we complain that the mainstream media is reducing the news to headlines and soundbites, it is disappointing to see online innovators limit their subjects to 140 characters per answer. We’re taking the time to read the interviews, so please give us some depth!

    -Seth

  • http://twitter.com/sallyhogshead/status/1162885839 Sally Hogshead

    @steveyastrow and @erikorama, check out @jaybaer and the format of his Twitter 20 interview: http://bit.ly/ovPq

  • http://twitter.com/nemou_00/status/14660346815 sallyhogshead

    きゅーぽんらめえええええええwwwww http://blog.esuteru.com/archives/459306.html

  • http://twitter.com/julieburgess/status/1173257132 JulieBurgess

    “David Alston – The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening” http://tinyurl.com/aooua2 #feedly

  • http://twitter.com/techiejunk/status/13010053253 julieburgess

    Yahoo likes location services, mum on Foursquare http://bit.ly/caIV9v

  • Pingback: Three Reasons To Use Twitter | The AIR Blog

  • http://twitter.com/brettpohlman/status/1196513976 Brett Pohlman

    David Alston – The Twitter 20 Interview about Social Media Listening from Convince & Convert by @JayBaer http://bit.ly/ovPq

  • Pingback: Twitter Social Media Leaders Insights | Achterom 21

  • letstalkandchat

    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/