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In episode seven of the Tech Product Review podcast series, guest expert Andrew Jenkins chats with host Bill Banham about how Sales and Marketing pros can use Audiense to grow sales.

Audiense is a handy tool which helps Sales and Marketing pros identify relevant audiences, discover actionable insights and inform strategies to grow business.

Listen to the show here.

Read the edited transcript:

Bill Banham: Welcome to another episode of the CPSA's Product Review podcast with guest expert Andrew Jenkins. In this episode we're going to talk about Audiense.

Andrew Jenkins: Thank you for having me.

Bill Banham: Firstly Andrew, what is Audiense, what does it do, and how does it help?

Andrew Jenkins: Well, it's evolved over time, I've used it since it was in early beta and under another name. It used to be called SocialBro and now it's called Audiense. It focuses on two platforms primarily, Twitter and Instagram, and it's both a community building tool, and an analysis tool, and also social media listening. Depending on the task at hand or what your area of interest is from an inside point of view you can apply it appropriately.

It's very, very powerful from a community building point of view when we're working with clients that want to grow their communities. We are able to do analysis on our client's competitors, organizations who have audiences that they want to be in front of, or just based on hashtags and keywords, we can surface entities and people that they want to be in front of from an Audiense point of view. We're able to do research on those audiences to find brand affinities, where the audiences overlap, it's a very, very powerful tool.

Bill Banham: Okay, thank you, that was a great opening overview and you actually touched on two or three benefits there all ready. Let's jump straight into the negatives, any shortcomings that you've seen, Andrew?

Andrew Jenkins: The fact that it is focused predominately on Twitter and Instagram only, without insight or analysis related to Facebook. Given the size and scope of Facebook and its dominance in social media, it would have been great to see some of Audiense's capabilities applied there, but, in fairness to it, Facebook isn't necessarily willing to share certain types of data in the way that Audiense would benefit.

Bill Banham: Okay, let's talk about money, because money's always important. Is there a cost, and if so, how much is it?

Andrew Jenkins: Well, there is a cost and it can vary from under $100 per month, it tends to be based on the number of followers of all of the accounts that you've brought into the platform. So as an example, because we do outsource social media management, we have all of our client Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts attached to Audiense. Then, if I have 10 accounts with 1,000 followers each, that means I have got 10,000 followers as part of my Audiense account. My cap might be 100,000, so if I add competitors or other organizations that I'm analyzing, then that would add to the 10,000 and I would get capped out at 100,000.

We're also able to, as I mentioned, look at the followers of competitors or other accounts, we can bring in public lists. If your company has an email list, you can upload the emails and run a check process and determine how many of those emails have an associated Twitter accounts, so from a sales point of view and marketing point of view, you create a secondary touchpoint with those customers. If you are doing email lead capture from a landing page, you could be doing the same thing while they're still at the prospect stage and turn them into Twitter followers as well.

Bill Banham: That sounds really handy, how does Audiense find out the associated Twitter handles based on an email address?

Andrew Jenkins: My assumption is that the Twitter API passes that information. So it's only if the email they have uploaded matches the email that the account holder is using related to Twitter.

Bill Banham: Okay, you had mentioned-

Andrew Jenkins: You might put a list of 1,000 emails in and only 250 might match. Some lists you'll get a higher match, some lists less, depending on what they are.

Bill Banham: Okay, and a moment ago you mentioned Facebook, are there any other major competitors, and if so, who are they?

Andrew Jenkins: To Audiense?

Bill Banham: Yes.

Andrew Jenkins: Klear, which was formerly Twitterland, similar in that it does analysis on Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts predominately. Klear does provide a bit more information related to performance analytics for a Facebook page, but the brand affinities and Klear does a bit of that too, but it's from the analysis front, yes, they have competitors. Whether they be social media listening tools or analytics tools, but from the community building point of view, maybe a Hootsuite or SocialHub, some of that. It's kind of an interesting solution that it's married a bit of community management and community building to analytics to listening, which kind of give it a unique situation. You can build monitors so that you are listening to certain hashtags.

If you want to set up a direct messaging campaign, for example, a lot of people don't like direct messages on Twitter that are automated. I follow you on Twitter and 30 seconds later I get an automated DM saying, "Thanks for the follow. Check out my free ebook." It turns everybody off. What's unique about Audiense is that it enables you to delay a direct message by up to six hours. So then it makes it look more human, as in someone went in manually and elected to send you the message.

We have a client who is kind of an academic think tank, so they are not selling anything, their objective is about raising awareness and distribution of their thought leadership and their research. We sent up a DM campaign to, again, only send to those recent followers, but on a six hour delay. It really, really works well because it diminishes the thought of people seeing it as spam. So the people were quite receptive to the content that was being sent, because it felt legitimate and intended for them. Over and above that, you can be creating DM campaigns for sending out promos, active outreach, et cetera, all within a solution like Audiense.

Bill Banham: I love that delay feature, that sounds great, because while there's lots of research that says that if one gets back to an inquiry or connection within the first five to 10 minutes they are much more likely to build a relationship with them. There's nothing worse, in my opinion, than getting a direct message through Twitter, for example, straightaway, which is totally irrelevant and frankly just becomes annoying, whereas if there is a little bit of a delay later that could certainly be beneficial.

Andrew Jenkins: Well, that's exactly it. I think in this instance, I agree that if you get back to a prospect right away with an inquiry, well following me and asking me a question are two different things. If you follow me and then I send you an auto DM that's salesy, then I risk turning you off. If you send me a direct question about our products or services and I respond in a timely way, then I've held up my end of the bargain to you as a sales prospect, but if I make you feel like the direct message was intended for you and it provides helpful content, then I'm doing right by you. It's the same sort of thing that when you invite me to connect on LinkedIn and then the minute that I connect, you send me a sales pitch into my inbox. I'll disconnect with you, because the messaging you used to genuinely make me interested in connecting with you is completely undone by you now trying to sell me something.

Bill Banham: I could not agree more. There's no bigger bugbear for me, on LinkedIn certainly, than you connect with somebody and straightaway they are trying to pitch you something. Particularly when they don't do their homework and they don't know what you're about, but that is a whole different interview, ladies and gentlemen, for a different time.

Just finally, for this particular episode, it's that time again, Andrew, what would be your rating be, out of five, for Audiense?

Andrew Jenkins: 4.5.

Bill Banham: High praise indeed ladies and gentlemen. 4.5 out of 5, okay. 90% for Audiense, wow, congratulations. That just leaves me to say for this particular episode. Andrew Jenkins, thank you very much for being our guest.

Andrew Jenkins: My pleasure.

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