Radian6 Launches Real-Time Monitoring And Engagement Console

Radian6 has announced a new tool that has the potential to be a paradigm shift in how companies manage their social media monitoring programs.

The Radian6 Engagement Console combines two of the best tools out there – Tweetdeck and Radian6 – in an Adobe Air-based desktop tool. In doing so, the console makes radical improvements to the workflow process for Radian6 users. We’ve been test-driving the console in our office for a little while now, and I’ve been very impressed by the utility – and future potential – of this new tool.

The Low-Down

Some of the key features of the console:

  • Supports multiple Twitter accounts and Facebook, so you can combine your personal and professional engagement – posting and replying on both of these services
  • Allows you to set up “stacks” (as they call columns) from multiple Radian6 profiles, based on numerous criteria
  • Incorporates Radian6’s search functionality, pulling from searches covering blogs, Twitter, Google Buzz, forums, Flickr, YouTube and more
  • Far, far faster than the Radian6 web interface – both in terms of interaction but also refresh frequency, which can be as frequent as every 30 seconds
  • Supports conversation threading – a feature missing from Radian6 previously
  • Built-in URL shortener
  • Allows team-wide collaboration on engagement, as you can see updates from colleagues in near-real time and can view previous conversations with people
  • Resizeable columns (hear that, Tweetdeck??)
  • Incorporates all of Radian6’s workflow features within the tool
  • Allows you to create custom macros for bulk management of posts.

Check out Radian6 CEO Marcel Lebrun discussing the console in this video:

Workflow At Your FingerTips

These last two features are central to the console’s value. One of the biggest barriers to using the full potential of the Radian6 workflow has, in the past, been the slow speed of the web interface and the 15-minute refresh cycle within that interface. This, combined with the preference people for tools such as Tweetdeck for their own personal posts, makes it hard to ensure that messages all flow through one system from a workflow perspective. This all changes with the Engagement Console.

The Engagement Console is intended for use as a front-line tool. In contrast, the Radian6 web interface is built much more around its reporting functionality. By taking the popular layout of Tweetdeck, building-in Radian6 data and workflow, and also essentially co-opting many of the features that have made tools like Hootsuite and CoTweet popular for team-based approaches recently, Radian6 is releasing a tool that has the potential to dramatically ease the monitoring and engagement process for companies.

Of course, the web interface remains for report generation purposes – this tool is intended as an addition, not a replacement.

Macros are your friend

The macro feature is another very cool addition. Macros aim to streamline your interactions by letting you automate recurring tasks. So, if you have a type of post that frequently comes up, you can set a standard way of dealing with them, save it as a macro and then click one button to handle all of that post’s workflow actions.

Confusing? Imagine a macro for product complaints, for example. You could create a macro that sets sentiment to ‘negative’, sets the post classification to ‘product complaint’, adds a post tag of “support” and assigns posts to a particular team member. Then, when future complaints arise, you can click the macro and all of that is taken care of in one click.

Bottom line

The Radian6 Engagement Console really could be a game-changer in their market. It combines the powerful search, workflow and team functionality of Radian6 with an easy-to-use interface which is a front-line person’s dream come true. Given all of the relatively similar social media monitoring services out there, this tips the balance. Once this tool rolls out fully (it’s in private beta until April), I see no reason why companies looking for both social media analytics and real-time engagement wouldn’t choose Radian6.

Now, where’s that mobile app…?