In the realm of free monitoring tools, Topsy is head and shoulders above Twitter search. More sophisticated information, more analytics and more options for narrowing searches. Plus a great tool for social media marketers: the ability to find the key influencers on a topic at a glance!
Topsy launched as a real-time search engine in 2009. While the focus is on microblogging sites such as Twitter, the site also evaluates Tweeted links while considering the influence level of the person citing the link. For real-time search on a developing topic, such as a hot hashtag or a live conference, Topsy is a nifty little tool. It's even referenced in Twitter's official guide for journalists as a tool for researching news topics!
What's different about Topsy is that it gives preference to Tweets posted by influential Tweeters. In this case, "influential" means Twitter accounts that are reTweeted or mentioned with a higher level of frequency.
I did a quick search on the #Blogwell hashtag, having recently attended the event. At a glance, the weighted preference for influential Tweets rang true:
The Experts Tab
In the left sidebar, the Experts tab shows influential Tweeters whose posts about the topic are often cited. This is an incredibly valuable tool for marketers and a speedy way to determining the most influential posters on a topic or hashtag at a glance.
Interestingly, Topsy provides some valuable analytics. I tested it out with a hashtag we track at Spoken Communications. We provide cloud call center applications, and I blog, comment and Tweet a substantial amount of content surrounding customer service, call centers and IVRs. So I did a quick search for a common Twitter call center hashtag, #cctr.
The analytics box in the right sidebar provides daily, weekly, monthly and all time analytics for mentions of the search query term. Interestingly, the term #cctr tends to spike at 8:00 AM and secondarily around noon to 1:00 PM. The valleys (not surprisingly) are on Saturdays, with Sunday evening growing to peak volume on Mondays.
The pattern is repeated relatively consistently every week:
In terms of content creation, these analytics would provide insight that for this hashtag, Monday through Wednesday at 8:00 AM is the best time to post content. Analytics such as these are a great way to test timing for new content.
Has anyone else tried Topsy? What are your experiences? Is there a real time search tool you prefer?