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SMToolbox: Real-Time Social Media Engagement with Spark from Spredfast

Spredfast's Spark tool

Real time social media engagement requires you to be agile, flexible and quick. Our focus this week is on Spark, a new real time social media tool designed to help you jump into relevant conversations and maximise your engagement. The tool is the first product from the newly merged Spredfast and Mass Relevance team. To demonstrate our own agility and flexibility the SMToolbox column is being published today to coincide with the launch of Spark rather than our usual Sunday slot.

Backgroundspredfast logo

The recent merger of Spredfast and Mass Relevance is only 30 days old but today sees the launch of the first new product from the combined team. It confirms that this was a well planned merger as clearly the tool has been in development for a while and it has recently been out on Beta testing with selected clients.  It is appropriate given the pace the team have moved that the new product focuses on speed in your marketing.

Spredfast was focused on helping brands manage their social media marketing, whereas Mass Relevance was focused on finding and creating digital experiences. The new product Spark is designed to support a very particular form of social media marketing, namely real time marketing.

Real Time Means Results

It is difficult to know when a particular subject might trend or when a spark may occur on social media. However, what we do know is that consumers like it when brands engage in real time conversations. Engagement in the form of retweets, likes and favorites can jump by 300% above the norm when you are engaged in a trending subject or hashtag. According to eConsultancy and Monetate real time marketing content can boost conversion rates by twenty six percent.

The Spark tool focuses on how you can increase engagement by jumping into trending conversations from small events to major events. Everybody knows when certain topics will trend such as the Superbowl or the Oscars, the question is can you capitalise on the unknown moments, the sparks that happen day to day on social media. The premise behind Spark is that with the right data, and the right tools to help you discover and curate content, you can be smart about real time social media marketing and dramatically increase your engagement.

The Spark Tool

Spark starts with a simple search screen, so let's say I want to see what is happening around the World Cup. I simply search for my topic.

This brings back a dashboard as follows.


The dashboard contains a proprietary score out of ten, 7.8 in this case, which shows the volume and acceleration of social content for the topic searched.

The dashboard also shows me the growth rate, the number of tweets, the photos being shared, the top accounts and the top brands participating in that topic. On the right I can also see the trending terms including hashtags. I can filter by these terms and watch the terms I am interested in. I can also review which brands are participating and see their content to help me decide if I want to also jump in.

If I do decide to participate in the conversation I can interact directly within the platform as shown below or suggest a campaign approach with my team and share some suggestions.


I can also generate a real time dashboard for a brand such as, say, Estee Lauder below to see what is trending amongst their followers.


In this example I can see their followers are talking about Mother's Day. So I may decide to jump into this conversation, though I may first want to check out what other brands are already participating in this conversation and the approach they are taking. I can see all of this data quickly and easily with Spark. 

Alternatively, rather than a brand or topic I might want to see what is trending right now around a TV show such as Game of Thrones.

spark image of game of thrones

I can also explore what is trending globally or in a particular country or city. Spark allows me to pull up the top trending topics and hashtags that are trending in any city and then dive into a topic and pull up a dashboard for more detail. It brings out the opportunist in you, to seize the moment and jump on a trend.

The focus of the tool is very much aimed at the digital marketer in the larger brands, agencies and entertainment companies, however it will be of value to anyone interested in improving their real time social media marketing.


There is a particular need amongst larger brands, sports and entertainment companies for real time social marketing and engagement. There is little question appropriate participation in trending topics increases engagement but you have to be knowledgeable and quick. Spark aims to provide the data you need, when you need it, to help you jump into real time conversations appropriately. I think the focus on real time marketing is a smart move from the new team.

If you are a Spredfast or Mass Relevance product user you can add Spark to your package; if not, you can buy Spark as a stand-alone product. For more information and a demo contact Spredfast.

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