Here we are again, back on SMToolbox Island for another Rapid Fire Review and another plate of nachos.
I'm glad you came back this week to get the tl;dr on another promising social media tool (ThinkUp) and am equally happy that you're proving the thesis I laid out last week: waving food in front of your face is the key to capturing your attention. No sense stopping now, let's do another Rapid Fire Review with another application of the nacho scale.
Last week, I highlighted Tagboard; a social media tool that tames the chaos of hashtags and makes social sharing at events fun. This week I'm setting my sights on ThinkUp, a promising Twitter/Facebook insights tool that's championed by Anil Dash. We'll try to catch up with Mr. Dash later, for now let's see how ThinkUp fares on the world famous nacho scale...
The ThinkUp Review
Last week I started by calling Tagboard delicious. Today I want to start by calling ThinkUp delightful. So often social media tools are only discussed according to their bottom-line function; the end result of using a tool. Did it deliver me the results I wanted or did it make me work harder than I wanted to find an answer or fulfill a function? These factors matter and should always be examined, but the best tools give you some entertainment during the journey as well. ThinkUp is all about the entertainment.
Once you sign up for ThinkUp you'll get emails of the daily (or weekly) variety containing fun, bite-sized insights on your Twitter and/or Facebook activity. ThinkUp doesn't put on airs about being the most comprehensive or densest of insights, instead it focuses on providing both insights and the context users need to understand those insights. Here's a few examples from my own ThinkUp insights:
These examples are of the lighter variety, other insights are more piercing, such as stats on how often a tweeter uses personal pronouns, or what types of their tweets perform best (ones with quotes, links, etc.). I find it much easier to adjust my social media behavior with these types of insights than with charts or graphs that track multiple variables at once. But that could be just me.
In addition to putting these insights into a novel context, ThinkUp also provides the highlight reel-style insights that make us all feel warm and fuzzy. Two of mine from the last week seem particularly apropos for this post:
These highlight reel tweets not only make us feel like "you like me, you really like me!," over time they also reveal trends about the types of tweets that inspire the reactions we're looking for. For example, over time ThinkUp has shown me that my best performing tweets invariably include at least one @ mention, and often two. Such an insight shows me that initiating engagement with others (as opposed to waiting for them to come to me) is the surest path to amplification of my tweets (this insight also shows me that I'm woefully unpopular, but that's a personal problem).
In any case, insights and metrics are only as good as how you apply them. ThinkUp helps mine the data to come up with the raw content, but it's up to us to learn from it.
There's a lot to like about ThinkUp. There's hardly any legwork to get started, it's easy to use and visually appealing. I find the information it yields both entertaining and insightful. There's not a single person (or brand) on Twitter or Facebook that I can imagine who won't get something of value out of ThinkUp. You should use it.
However, you should also appreciate its limitations. ThinkUp doesn't suffer from overly lofty expectations. It does a nice job of staying in its lane and delivering contextual intelligence. But for heavy-duty social media practitioners, I expect you'll find ThinkUp to be a handy tool in your arsenal, but hardly the only one you'll need.
Moving forward, I'm curious to hear how ThinkUp looks to evolve; what innovations it's pursuing; what partnerships loom on the horizon. I see great potential in ThinkUp as a component of a much broader offering. Perhaps ThinkUp will grow into this broader tool with wide-ranging utility, or perhaps it'll continue to thrive in its niche. In either case, it's a promising tool that I recommend you try.
There's not a social media tool out there that I enjoy experiencing more than ThinkUp. But because its uses are still being defined and refined, I'm scoring it "Chips, Salsa & Guacamole," which is nothing to sniff it.
In days ahead, I hope to grill one of the gurus at ThinkUp and share it here on SMToolbox. Once I do, this rating is worth revisiting, as I'm open to the possibility that I'm missing a key component of any tool. In the meantime, I'll keep using ThinkUp and keep enjoying every minute of it.