Easter Eggs: Location Filter

We’ve got two easter eggs for you to play with in our Location filter on SocialRank.





1) Zip Codes
. If you’re looking for all your followers in the East Village, type in 10009. Or if you’re looking for your high-roller Beverly Hills followers, enter 90210.





2) Radius
. Specify a location and the exact surrounding region (in miles) you want to search. Format: “[City/State/Country] : [Radius]”. For example, if I wanted to find all my followers within 30 miles of New York, I would search “New York: 30.”

More easter eggs to come soon!

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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SocialRank for Business Travel

I love using SocialRank when I’m away on a business trip.

In the past, whenever I went to San Francisco or Los Angeles (my two normal stomping grounds), I used to just look through my Linkedin contacts to see if there’s anyone I should contact and grab lunch with.

But I realized that I’m already in touch with most of these Linkedin contacts on Twitter and Instagram. And since people typically post on Twitter and Instagram more often than they do on Linkedin, I can find more up-to-date data on these platforms.

So I started using SocialRank as well. It’s been extremely useful.

Here is a quick walkthrough of how you can use SocialRank for Business Travel:

Using the Location Filter

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The obvious first step is to use the Location filter to find people based where you’re traveling to. This could be a country, city, or even a zip code. You can use this filter simultaneously with other filters to whittle down your search results even more.

Using the Bio Keyword Filter

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The Bio Keyword Filter is by far my favorite. The information that appears in someone’s Twitter bio is information that this person chooses to identify with. This is a strong signal that helps you get more relevant results.

So if you are going to SF looking to sit down with investors/founders, you can apply the Bio Keyword Filter (in tandem with the Location Filter) to find followers who are based in the Bay Area and have “VC” or “Investor” or “Tech” in their bio.

Using the Company Filter

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The Company Filter scrapes Linkedin to search for followers based on their employment history. This is really useful when I want to find followers at a certain company or in a certain role. I could just use the Bio Keyword Filter for this, but some people don’t include employment information in their Twitter bios.

With these three filters (and a few minutes of overpriced Gogo Inflight Internet), your Rolodex might as well stay at home for your next business trip.

If you are using SocialRank in an unexpected fashion, please get in touch with us at hi@SocialRank.com! We’d love to chat.


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SocialRank for Recruiting

Over the past few weeks we’ve been highlighting different ways brands, agencies, and professionals use SocialRank to help them with whatever their professional or organization goals are. Last week we wrote a post called SocialRank for Journalists, showing how journalists can use SocialRank to find sources for articles. Before that, we wrote a post called Using SocialRank for Local Events, highlighting the ways brands and nonprofits can use SocialRank to find people for location-based activation.

This week we want to show how companies and recruiters can use SocialRank to find quality candidates.

The first step of a strong recruiting process is often to look within your existing network of contacts. With SocialRank, we make this easy by allowing you to search your followers based on Bio Keyword and Company/Function.

Many Twitter users include words like “engineer” or “marketing” or “biz dev” in their bios to quickly sum up what they do. The Bio Keyword filter lets you search for these keywords. Easy enough.

Not everyone includes their job titles in their bio, though, which is where the Company/Function filter comes in. This filter matches the public LinkedIn accounts of your followers, so you can search for anyone with the title “Product Marketing Manager” or the company “Google” listed in their profile.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Candidates

There are two ways to find candidates using SocialRank. You can either look through your own followers, or you can look through someone else’s followers (using our Market Intel product).

Finding Candidates Using Your Followers

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Say you have a growing startup and are looking for developers fluent in the Python. We’d like to think that, unless you’re a snake enthusiast, putting Python in your Twitter profile is probably in reference to the programming language.

To find all your followers who have “Python” included somewhere in their bio, you simply search using the Bio Keyword filter:

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It looks like I have 9 followers with “Python” somewhere in their bio. Now that I have these followers conveniently up on my screen, I can reach out to them via Direct Message (DM). Hopefully this results in good conversation and, ultimately, a new team member:

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Finding Candidate Using Other People’s Followers

While the most effective way to recruit is to look within your existing networks, sometimes you need to search outside of it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Our Market Intel product (currently in beta but contact us at Hi@SocialRank.com if you want to play with it) lets you run any public Twitter account and peruse these followers to find possible candidates. Once this public Twitter account is run, the process looks almost exactly like the one we walked through above.

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Technical recruiters looking to fill a CTO position for a client will find Market Intel especially useful. You can build a robust list of potential candidates by running the accounts of highly-followed tech influencers such as @Github or @Sacca.

For each of these accounts, simply use the Bio Keyword or Company/Function filters to target terms like “CTO” or “VP of Engineering.” After you narrow down these lists, you can export them to a CSV for future use.

Unfortunately, unless these people also follow you, you can’t DM them (as per Twitter policy). However, you can Tweet at these handles, or use them as the tailored audience for a Promoted Tweet campaign.

Other Notes:

  • Each profile card on SocialRank displays where a follower is currently working (“Currently Works At”) and where they have previously worked (“Previously Worked At”).
  • We encourage you to get creative with your search queries. If you’re looking for a developer, for example, they might not identify with “developer,” but rather with “Rails” or “dev” or “full stack engineer” or “programmer” or “writing code by day” (you get the idea).

If you are using SocialRank in an unexpected fashion, please get in touch with us at hi@SocialRank.com! We’d love to chat.

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SocialRank for Journalists

We’ve recently noticed journalists using SocialRank to find sources for upcoming stories. In hindsight, it actually makes a lot of sense – what better way to find domain experts than through a keyword search of Twitter profiles?

For example, a journalist may be preparing an opinion piece on the rise of drone technology. It’s one thing to find people sharing links and appending drone-related hashtags to their posts. But that’s generally a soft, unpredictive vote of confidence.

If someone actually includes the keyword “drone” in their profile, though, that is a much stronger signal. This person actively identifies with this specific word.

Using SocialRank’s Bio Keyword filter, a simple search for “drones” would yield all followers who have that word in their profile descriptions.

Here’s another hypothetical, this time with Bitcoin. I’m writing a piece on the future of digital currency, and I’d love to chat with someone with some experience with Bitcoin.

So I use the Bio Keyword filter, searching for “bitcoin,” and these are my results:


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I see here that Vinny Lingham is someone that is into Bitcoin and might be a great person to reach out to. I click the DM button in his profile card:


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Now I can directly hit him up to connect with him. Super simple.

h/t @EricFriedman for sparking the idea for this post.

There are tons of ways to use SocialRank and so we’ll be sharing many of these use cases with you all as we learn of them.

If you are using SocialRank in an unexpected fashion, please get in touch with us at hi@SocialRank.com! We’d love to chat.


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New Feature: Most Popular Among Followers

We recently revamped some of our most widely used filters to include your followers’ most popular results on SocialRank. You’re now able to see your audience’s most popular locations, keywords, hashtags (for Instagram), interests (for Twitter), and companies (for Twitter).

All you have to do to view them is to click on a particular filter. The most popular results will appear in-line before you even search for anything.

Let’s see how this all actually looks.

Bio Keyword Filter
For Twitter and Instagram

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As one of the most popular filters on SocialRank, the Bio Keyword filter lets you query your followers by the words and phrases in their name, handle, and/or bio. Viewing the most popular keywords among your followers gives you a richer idea of how your audience tends to identify itself.

In my case, it’s mostly founders and marketers in the tech world.

Location Filter
For Twitter and Instagram

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The Location filter lets you search followers by where they are based. The application of Most Popular is pretty obvious here — you can now see the three most frequently-occurring locations among your followers. This could be particularly useful when planning local events.

Interests Filter
For Twitter only

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The Interests filter drills down into more finely-defined categorizations for your followers’ interests. (We pull this data thanks to Klout’s API).

My account’s Most Popular Interests align with the results from the Bio Keyword: technology entrepreneurship and marketing.

Company Filter
For Twitter only

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The Company Filter matches up your followers’ LinkedIn data with their Twitter data. This filter lets you look for organizations (i.e. Apple, Walgreens, etc) and functions (Director, CEO, etc).

So in this case, Most Popular doesn’t necessarily surface top companies, but rather a mix of companies, roles, and phrases that appear most commonly among my followers’ Linkedin accounts.

My audience again leans decidedly in the startup world (“ventures”, “capital”, “business development”, “founder”).

Hashtag Filter
For Instagram only

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This one is exciting and we will definitely be playing around with how to surface the most contextually relevant results here.

The Hashtag Filter is our newest and most popular filter that lets you see which hashtags your followers use. As you can see from my account’s results above, #tbt, #latergram, and #nofilter are no surprise. But we also see #nyc (represent!) and #sxsw, which gives you further clue as to who my people are.

Play around with this new functionality! You might be pleasantly surprised by what you learn about your audience.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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Using SocialRank for Local Events

This past September, the American Red Cross and its supporters set a world record for simultaneous downloads of its Blood Donor App. This local event was part of a broader national grassroots campaign to get more people signed up to donate blood via this award-winning mobile app.

Getting people to show up for blood drives and other health-related initiatives is always a tall task, so we were very excited to hear that the Red Cross had used SocialRank to help market their event. Using SocialRank’s free tools, they discovered their biggest Twitter follower in Las Vegas (famous MMA fighter Wanderlei Silva) and partnered with him to get the word out:

Ultimately, over 40 supporters participated in the event and downloaded the mobile app (which significantly simplifies the registration process for donating blood). The Red Cross must collect 15,000 units of blood per day in order to meet the needs of accident victims and cancer patients, so grassroots events like these can make a significant impact on people’s lives. According to Curtis Midkiff, Red Cross Director of Social Engagement (now the Senior Advisor of Social Business Strategy at Southwest Airlines):

“Launching the mobile app for blood donors was a big step for the Red Cross in our ongoing efforts to leverage technology to fulfill our mission. SocialRank allowed us to quickly and easily connect with our influential Twitter followers in Las Vegas which included Wanderlei Silva and the local CBS Radio affiliate which featured us on a morning drive show. These connections, forged with the tool, were pivotal to our launch event.”

Social media is definitely in its first inning, and so there’s still no clear blueprint for how brands should leverage their online audiences. However, as the Red Cross has shown, there are many creative and out-of-the-box ways brands can engage with their followers. In this specific use case, local events can be very powerful. To give you some ideas on how you can use SocialRank for local events, we have included some examples below.

SocialRank for Local Events

Invite Your Biggest Supporters Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.33.35 AM

You can use SocialRank for Twitter or Instagram to run detailed searches on all your followers and organize them along a handful of powerful parameters. These include: Most Valuable Followers, Most Engaged Followers, bio keyword, location, interests (only on Twitter), hashtags (only on Instagram), verified accounts (only on Twitter), and more.

If you host tech events in New York, you can filter your followers by your Most Engaged Followers who live in New York City (location filter) and have an interest in Technology (interests filter on Twitter or #technology on Instagram via the hashtag filter). Now you have a robust list of people to invite and reach out to for location-based activation. Or you can save this list for future reference (just click on the green “Save & Export” button).

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Another way to use SocialRank for local events is to target individuals who themselves have large audiences. People usually call these people “influencers” (although we don’t love the word, we think everyone is a snowflake). The “Most Followed” or “Most Valuable” sort options and the “Verification” filter are probably the easiest ways you can compile a list of these influencers. You can combine these with a location filter if you want to narrow your search to a specific city. As discussed above, the Red Cross used this method to find their most followed follower in Las Vegas and partnered with him to market a local event.

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A third way we have seen SocialRank used for local events is for local media coverage– specifically, to find reporters and journalists. This is where filtering by bio keyword, interests, or organization comes in. Setting up a Bio Keyword filter for “Writer” or “Reporter” or a related term will populate a list of people you could contact for a story. Running similar filters under Interests (ex. “Journalism”) or Organization (ex. “Editor” or “Producer”) would work just as well.

Other Use Cases People have been using SocialRank in ways we hadn’t imagined, and so we’ll be sharing many of these use cases with you all as we learn of them.

If you are using SocialRank in an unexpected fashion, please get in touch with us at hi@SocialRank.com! We’d love to chat.  

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New Bio Keyword Filter

New Bio Keyword Filter
New Bio Keyword Filter

We’ve pushed an update to the Bio Keyword Filter (for both SocialRank for Twitter and Instagram) to give it a new look and better functionality.

What’s different about it now?

1. Unbundling Search Results

Previously, we bundled the bios, names, and handles of your followers together whenever you used the Bio Keyword filter. But what if you only wanted to search for a specific handle, or a specific keyword? In this old version of the filter, you might have gotten some irrelevant search results.

So we unbundled this filter to let you choose specifically whether you want to search just for bios, just for names/handles, or if you want to search through all of them at once. This becomes useful when trying to filter down for everyone with the name “George” or for everyone who has “journalist” in their bio.

2. Similar v. Exact Words

The new functionality also gives you the option to search for “exact words” and “similar words.”

So let’s say you are searching through your Twitter followers list for anyone with the name “Mike.” Keeping the “search for similar words” box checked surfaces accounts with not just Mike, but also Michael, Micha, Mitch. etc. If you only want to see search results for Mike, simply uncheck the box.

Our Latest Update

We have one final change, which is going to be its own blog post, but you’ll also notice “Popular Among Your Followers” under a handful of filters. This includes the most popular words in your followers’ bios. We’ll share more about this soon – stay tuned.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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A Revamped Account Refresh

This may not be very obvious, but your SocialRank account doesn’t update automatically.

Actually, this hasn’t been obvious at all (our bad).

Up until now, the Refresh button had been tucked away in the side navbar. But you guys continued to give us feedback wondering why your stats weren’t up to date.

So we’ve gone ahead and done two things:

1. If you haven’t refreshed your account in the past 3 days, you’ll get a pop-up message:




2. We’ve moved the “Refresh List” option to the top of the page, where it’s easier to find:




Eventually we’ll have an automatic refresh. But for now, these changes should make it more obvious when your SocialRank account needs to be updated.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!


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How Sesame Street Revolutionized Product Development

In 2009, Sesame Street aired a short segment that starred buttoned-up muppets in grey suits and spread collars.

The first words kids hear in this piece are from the group’s fearless leader:

“So where are we with the Happy Honey Bear account?”

Over the next couple minutes, the muppets review some designs, trying to find the one that will make them feel happy about honey. One illustration enrages them, while another reduces them to tears. Finally, the last image elicits broad smiles.

This scene is gold for educational programming. Young children learning how to express their emotions see muppets getting angry, sad, and happy just like they do. The vocabulary for these expressions gets repeated over and over so that it sticks.

“Mad, mad mad … Sad, sad, sad … Happy, happy, happy!!”

While this educational framing is definitely important, it isn’t the true genius of Sesame Street.

The real genius is that the producers wrote the scene for two audiences — not just kids, but also their parents. The scene described above is a parody of the popular Matthew Weiner drama Mad Men:

Yes, this entire sketch aims to entertain and educate its primary audience (young children). But it also keeps its secondary audience (parents and caregivers) firmly in mind. All of the small details, from the dramatic intro music to the snappy dialogue (“Good work, sycophants!”), are winks at the adults watching Sesame Street with their children.

Executive producer Carol-Lyn Parente described this phenomenon when she spoke with Fast Company:

“The show has to be furry, heartfelt, educational, funny, and clever for both adults and children.”

This practice stems from the important insight that the needs of all key decision makers need to be considered during product development.

So while a show for young children absolutely needs to be furry and funny for the kids, it also needs to consider the parent looking after them and possibly recommending things to other parents. The show’s head writer Joseph Mazzarino put it this way:

“As a parent myself, I can say that if you’re sitting down for a lot of kids’ shows, you kind of tune it out a little bit or get bored, but if all of a sudden there’s a Sookie muppet up there [from True Blood], you might think, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool. That looks just like her.'”

Over the 40+ years that the show’s been on air, the slapstick humor that kids love has been sprinkled with a healthy dose of subtle jokes and references that the adults in the room would also enjoy. The result is a show widely held as the gold standard for children’s television.

Two-Level Product Development

This type of development is very similar to the type seen across many successful products in the tech world. Companies like Mixpanel and RelateIQ have baked things into their platforms that serve the needs of not just the daily users, but also the people that they report to and work with.

Source: Illuminant Partners

For example, Balsamiq, a mockup tool, serves the purposes of two “users.” The primary user is the designer, who needs to build quick prototypes. The secondary user is the executive, the potential customer, or the product team that will approve or nix potential designs. Balsamiq’s product allows the designer to convey ideas very quickly and clearly to other stakeholders. Without investing weeks upon weeks of time into a version one that might get shot down immediately.

It appears that developing for the needs of multiple decision makers is a key component of the most popular tech products used today (not just Balsamiq).

A few months ago, we dug through StackShare’s publicly-available data to see which tools were being used most frequently, and why. From the 9,000+ votes filed for over 30 of the most widely-used products, we noticed specific types of feedback appearing over and over again.

Almost 55% of all reasons why people used a particular tool were because of either its 1) simple, intuitive design; 2) plentiful free allowances; or 3) third-party integrations:

stackshare-graph In terms of two-level development, these top three reasons make a lot of sense.

First, the primary user often requires an intuitive, well-designed tool — people are busy and need to be able to understand how to use it quickly, right out of the box.

Second, most startups and small businesses are cash-strapped and can’t liberally throw money at new tools, so free allowances provide the runway to try things out without upsetting the COO (a potential secondary “user”).

Third, a product that handles third-party integrations well means that a primary user can seamlessly integrate the product into the suite of tools being used by everyone else in the company.

This all culminates in a happy harmony between the needs of the primary and secondary users.

The Effects of Considering Key Decision Makers

The result of building in close alignment with the needs of vital stakeholders (and not just the primary user) is a product that spreads like wildfire through word-of-mouth — via mailing lists, Quora reviews, water cooler talk, and everything else in between.

In the case of Sesame Street, this meant being called by TIME Magazine “not only the best children’s show in history, but also one of the best parent’s shows ever.” This accolade came after the show’s very first year on air.

But there’s another great side effect to this two-level style of product development. Sesame Street’s Mazzarino had a great script pitched to him a couple years ago. It was a parody of those goofy Old Spice “The Man That You Could Smell Like” commercials. Mazzarino knew the script didn’t fit into the schema of the actual show, but thought it was great and that it would be a hit.

“So I started calling around and interactive scraped together some money somehow with the help of PR, and they shot it and put it up and that was maybe three weeks altogether. That was way different than anything we’ve ever done … I said that maybe it could be a promo. […] And that’s what happened, it became a thing to try to drive people to the show.”

The “Smell Like a Monster” clip got posted up on YouTube and proceeded to go viral. It worked because, after doing two-level product development for years, the Sesame Street team had built a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t. This freed them to take risks that other shows and products probably can’t take.


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Floating Header

We hate it when we scroll down in an Excel file or Google spreadsheet and the column titles disappear. (There’s a simple solution for this, by the way).

Our SocialRank product used to have this problem, too — whenever you scrolled down, the titles of the sorts and filters would also scroll out of sight.

So we pushed a fix for this– the floating header. Scroll to your heart’s desire, because those filter, sort, and export headers will always be visible.


This should make your user experience better when using SocialRank.

If you have any product feedback or suggestions – please don’t hesitate to hit us up at hi@socialrank.com – we really do listen!

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