socialrank

Auto-Fill on Account Search for Market Intel

We recently released the Market Intel auto-fill update for both Twitter and Instagram. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Now when you begin to enter a handle, we will automatically begin loading suggestions for what you could be looking for. This is similar to the search tab experience on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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This has been a major request amongst our clients, and it makes for a better user experience. If you have any suggestions to make your SocialRank experience better, hit us up at [email protected] – we want to hear it all!

 

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Find Your Biggest Followers That Have Engaged With You

You have your most valuable followers and your most engaged followers, but what if you wanted to know which of your biggest followers have also engaged with you?

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Using the SocialRank ‘Best Follower’ sorting option you can easily view your followers in order of value plus engagement. On Twitter it looks at the engagement with your tweets in the past 14 days, and on Instagram it looks at the engagement with your photos in the past 45 days.

Best Follower is a combination of the Most Valuable and Most Engaged sorting options. Most Engaged is based on Retweets, Replies, Mentions on Twitter and Likes, Comments, Tags on Instagram. Most Valuable is based on total followers, following/follower ratio and total engagement. Best Follower essentially takes all these factors into account.

This is especially useful for brands that want to look at both value and engagement at once. For example, let’s say a celebrity with 20M followers has retweeted a brand once or twice, they may not show up on the brands Most Engaged view (at least not until a few pages in,) because there are super fans that are constantly engaging. However, with Best Follower sorting, the celebrity would be pushed up on the list based on their value plus engagement.

As always, hit us up at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments, requests, jokes, concerns – we want to hear it all!

Source: DataValueTalk + Scott Adams

Lessons from Launching a Data Product

Over one month ago, we launched a product called the SocialRank Index. The Index tracks the Twitter activity of the world’s biggest brands, and our goal with it is to build a tool that monitors the “pulse” of how people are engaging with brands online.

Since the Index has launched, we’ve learned myriad lessons on what makes for a truly compelling and useful data product (hint: it’s a lot harder than just pulling some graphs together).

Here are three big things we’ve learned after getting feedback from users, marketers, and data scientists/statisticians.

1. Tweet Annotations: There’s a story to uncover in the data

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When we got the first working version of the Index up and running, we were really excited to see the Engagement graph in action. This graph showed a particular industry’s hourly flow of retweets, mentions, and replies. Our first “Wow, this is really interesting” moment happened the morning after Obama’s State of the Union address. We took a look at the Tech Media Index (which consists of big hitters like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BuzzFeed, among others):

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Around 9pm on Tuesday night, there was an unexpected spike in activity in the Tech Media Index. After some deep deliberation, we concluded the spike was due to the State of the Union, which had begun … at 9pm.

Duh.

But what about situations where there is no immediately recognizable reason for a spike in Twitter activity? Why leave this kind of “aha!” to guesswork and inference? The data clearly is telling a story, and so we should do our best to uncover what that story is.

Thanks to some technical wizardry by our co-founder Michael, the Index now automatically locates and annotates the largest peaks in the engagement graph. Can you guess when the Oscars were?

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If you hover over these annotations, you can see the “highest velocity Tweet” at that particular hour. This is our best guess at the Tweet that got shared/retweeted/faved most frequently within that given hour.

According to the Tech Media Index, BuzzFeed and Lady Gaga won the Oscars. This is the Tweet that we captured at the peak of the graph:

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Data isn’t very useful without context (see Jen Lowe’s great talk “Data Needs Memory”). Being able to correctly identify which events contributed to an anomalous piece of the data is crucial. Continually looking deeper at the data and trying to articulate which stories are being told (or not told) makes the data itself more insightful and valuable.

We still have a lot more work to do in this regard: our current system isn’t foolproof, doesn’t identify every single peak, and doesn’t answer every relevant question we might have.

For example: looking at the graph above, I notice that the mini-peaks throughout the week tend to fall at around the same time (around 11am). What’s the insight from that? I could deduce from anecdotal evidence that this is the time many tech media outlets push out new stories in order to maximize attention time (when people are about to break for lunch or take a mid-morning break). But of course, that is me just guessing– I would love to have something more to support this inkling.

Lesson learned: keep asking what the data is really telling or not telling us.

2. List View: Most “Big Data problems” are actually “Display problems”

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One of the first things you learn the hard way when shipping product is that not everything is as obvious as you think it is. One common piece of feedback we get on the Index is “Wait, what exactly am I looking at?” To us, that is obvious — the graphs and charts show you what the average company in an index looks like on Twitter. But it became very clear after early rounds of feedback that this wasn’t crystal.

We’ve focused a lot of our efforts on the specific metrics to track, the specific types of graphs to plot, and the specific brands and industries to monitor. But the overarching issue of usability remains a sore spot. Our “Big Data” problem is a display problem. It isn’t that we aren’t pulling in enough data. Rather, we aren’t being as clear as we should be with how we show all of this data.

While this is still a major work in progress for us, our feedback from users told us something important about display problems: they happen when people are required to jump through too many cognitive hoops to figure out what’s going on. Our friends would first ask us “What exactly am I looking at?” and then follow up with “Wait, so which companies are in this index? Why can’t I just see how Adidas is doing?”

So today we’re unveiling List View, which breaks down the stats for each and every brand in an index. Here is the List View for the Tech Startups Index, sorted by Total Daily Engagement:

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Now you can not only see which companies are in an index, but also what their specific stats are. We still need to tweak and retool the rest of the Index from a UX/UI standpoint to make everything more obvious. But we feel the “List View” will go a long way in helping people get a more intuitive understanding of what’s going on.

Lesson learned: it’s not that you don’t have enough data, it’s that you’re showing it all wrong.

3. Mean vs. Median: Hunt for a less misleading way to show data

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A quick look at the two numbers above should raise some eyebrows. The mean (or average) number of followers for companies in the Tech Media Index is over 1 million. The median number of followers for companies in this index is just under 245,000. The difference between the mean and the median is over 700,000 followers — that is a lot of followers.

When we first began building the Index, the way we processed data made it much more practical to calculate averages (or means), and in the spirit of shipping things fast, we settled on the mean for all of our stats.

But the Index is supposed to display data for the “average company” in an index. And the average company in the Tech Media Index definitely doesn’t have over a million followers. In fact, only 24 out of the 95 brands in this index have over 1 million followers. Due to outliers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, using the mean to represent what an average company looks like was terribly misleading.

Here is the distribution of followers for brands in the Tech Media Index:

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@Medium has 1.09mm followers, which is right around what the mean was that we calculated. There are only 23 other companies in this index that have more followers than Medium. Meanwhile, @PCWorld has some 244,000 followers, which also happens to be the median here. Notice how much more representative PCWorld is of the companies in the Tech Media Index than Medium is.

There’s too much misleading and lazy data out there that goes viral and gets morphed into “truth.” And when certain numbers get repeated enough, the desire to check if they actually represent reality grows stale.

We don’t want to contribute to that.

So we’ve switched all of the numbers in the Index to median measurements. We could’ve opted for more advanced statistical maneuvers, but we highly value simplicity, and we also recognize the difference between accuracy and precision.

Obviously this “mean vs. median” discussion is very basic compared to some of the more challenging problems other analytics products might be struggling with. But the lesson holds all the way through, regardless of the type of data problem.

Things to further consider: the size of each index. Right now, each index has about 100 members, but maybe this arbitrarily determined total is skewing the data (example: does the Tech Media Index need 100 members? Or is looking at just the top 50 or top 25 most useful?)

Lesson learned: Be simple, be useful, don’t mislead.

4. Retail & Music Index Launch: You’re building this for customers, not yourself.

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At first, our process for determining which indexes to launch was internally determined — which ones did we think were cool and awesome and completely relevant to marketers?

And so we launched with indexes for Global Brands, Tech Media, Tech Companies, and Tech Startups. Each of these have a high amount of pop culture value, and journalists for the most part loved seeing them.

But when we started showing these indexes to existing customers, they kept asking whether there would be an index coming out for music or for retail or for their specific industry. Which is when we realized that we should’ve asked the market before building the product in the first place. While our initial indexes displayed data on the world’s “hottest brands,” marketers and strategists are more interested in relevant brands in their own specific industries.

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Today, we are listening to our users and launching the Retail Index and the Music Index. The Retail Index consists of companies in the National Retail Federation’s annual top 100 list (think Amazon, Apple, Walmart, and the rest of the gang). The Music Index is comprised of artists from the Billboard 200. These indexes are equipped with all the updates listed above (List View, Median, and Annotations).

All of the lessons we’ve learned so far are some version of DJ Patil’s advice to “put the human back in the equation.” We’re excited to keep developing the Index into a place where marketers, brand strategists, and community managers can get real with data and start using it more meaningfully. If you are interested in what we are building, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at [email protected]

Welcome Ammar To The SocialRank Team

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Michael, Zhanna and I are very excited to welcome Ammar Mian, to the SocialRank team to run content and work in business development, partnerships, data, analytics and everything under the sun.

Ammar is joining us after working on brand strategy with Moxie Communications Group and writing with Priceonomics and HackerRank. He is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

We are hiring at SocialRank, specifically Full Stack Engineers. If you are interested in joining our team – please email us at [email protected]

7 #Hyperlapse Videos You Must See

 

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On August 26th, Instagram announced the release of Hyperlapse–an app designed to help users create visually appealing, steady videos (and slow them down or speed them up). Since then, a bunch of brands have started creating hyperlapse videos and posting them with the hashtag #hyperlapse. Brands from Mercedes to Taco Bell to Arizona Iced Tea have already jumped on board. Since launching, there have been nearly 280,000 videos posted on Instagram with #hyperlapse included.

Here are some of our favorite Hyperlapse videos.

1- Russ & Daughters

2- Taco Bell

3- The Ellen Show

4- Disney

5- Bud Light

6- Foot Locker

7- The White House

#ThrowbackThursday–The Evolution of SocialRank

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In light of #ThrowbackThursday (commonly known as #TBT) and the release of SocialRank 2.0 last week, we decided to do our own version of #TBT.

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January 2012
It all started one day when Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld thought of an idea called MVF. Or Most Valuable Follower. It wasn’t too scientific–they basically just took all of your followers and sorted them by a combination of who had the most followers + a good ratio of follower/following. So if you had 1M followers and you followed 1M people you were less valuable than someone that had 1M followers and followed 100 people. Pretty simple, no?

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The app was intended to be for fun–a weekend side project for Michael and Alex.

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Despite being a side project, MVF was picked up by Mashable, TechCrunch and many more outlets. It went viral and tens of thousands of people used it in the first week. It was fun, but Alex and Michael had full time jobs, and after a month or so they turned MVF off and went on their way.

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2012-2013

That should have been the end of the story, but over the next two years brands continued to email Alex and Michael about bringing MVF back. While there were tons of tools out there to help brands figure out what content to push out, what time of day to tweet and what hashtags to use, there were no easy-to-use and affordable tools to help the brands manage their followers. The brands asked Alex and Michael to take MVF and build on top of it. They wanted a tool to help them identify, organize and manage their followers. From all of the inbound, there was clearly a need for this type of tool.

2014

Jan/Feb– Michael and Alex left their jobs and started SocialRank!  It started as a simple tool to help brands and people find out more about their followers on Twitter. The initial version of SocialRank looked something like this:

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The original SocialRank had a few launch partners, including GoPro and Spotify at the launch. GoPro and Spotify used the SocialRank platform to find their most engaged followers and reward them. GoPro gave away a full GoPro set and Spotify delighted one of their followers with a free month of Spotify premium. The result was authentic brand engagement from real fans.

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May 2014SocialRank raised $1 million to get SocialRank rolling + announced 5,000 brands are using SocialRank.

May was a big month for SocialRank. SocialRank announced $1M in funding, that it had hit over 5,000 brands using the tool and a new product called Market Intelligence would be available in beta soon.

July 2014SOCIALRANK 2.0

Last week, SocialRank introduced an updated version of the product, filled with fun new filters and upgraded sorting mechanisms in addition to new ways to save/export lists. This represents one step further in the evolution of SocialRank.

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For the 2.0 launch, SocialRank partnered with brands such as Juicy Couture, Uber and even the one and only, Muhammad Ali!

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We have started work on Instagram and have a lot more in store. The SocialRank story is just beginning.

Stay tuned!

We would love to hear your feedback about SocialRank 2.0: [email protected]

 

 

Where SocialRank Is Going (Building In Public)

May was a big month for SocialRank. We had four major milestones.

1) We announced that we closed $1M to grow SocialRank.

2) We announced the ability to request early-access to SocialRank Market Intelligence, which gives brands the ability to run any handle on Twitter through the SocialRank platform to see that handle’s most engaged,valuable, and best followers. In June we will be letting select brands into the product.

3) We announced that over 5,000 brands have used SocialRank since our February launch.

4) We hired an awesome head of design, Zhanna. She is front-end developer and UX/UI designer who previously worked at Digital Ocean and Quirky.

So where is SocialRank going? That is a great question. To understand where we are going, we need to explain where we have come from. We purposefully launched a simple tool back in February to get brands using it. After all, it is just a list!  A list of your followers, sorted by value (MVF), engagement (MEF), and a combo (BF). Heck we only show you your top 10 or top 100 if you are paid. Unless you are a self-starter (a bunch of brands are) there wasn’t much you could use the tool for besides coming back to see if you had new big followers.

But this is going to change very soon and for the better. We are now working on a new and (visually) improved SocialRank that should be released sometime the end of June/beginning of July that will show you all of your followers. Showing you all shouldn’t be a premium feature, it should be the basic offering. On top of that we will be including the most requested feature, deep filtering. We are working on that right now. Filtering will allow you to filter in and out things like Verified status, Location, Identity (celebrity, mommy blogger, etc.), Interests (Sports, Movies, Music, etc.), and more.

SocialRank will help brands slice and dice their followers, starting with Twitter but soon after Instagram. We are at the beginning stages of thinking about what we will be offering for Instagram. We would have done it sooner, but we took the feedback from brands and users in the past four months and decided to build the design and infrastructure to support any network first before adding the next social platform. We think each network is very different (for example: Instagram is visual with no linking – all dead links) and want to do each one right and not just have every network for the sake of having it.

SocialRank the product is going the direction of CRM for your followers on social media. Sprinkle in a little SocialRank Market Intelligence (running other handles) and you have one powerful tool.

I’ll leave you with a closer look at what is coming for SocialRank. Below is a design look at what is coming, as well as what a brand can theoretically do with SocialRank Market Intelligence.

The set-up: Imagine a movie studio like 20th Century Fox wanted to do better social research for a movie like X-Men: Days of Future Past (which was a pretty awesome movie). Fox only has access to @XMenMovies, but to get people into the theaters they should be doing things like targeting the followers of the stars in the movie. In this case, wouldn’t it be vital to know who engages with Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Stan Lee, Ellen Page, and others on Twitter? You can even take it a step further: why not check out who engages with @Marvel, other popular movies like Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, Superman. Run the biggest comic-book/superhero-related handles out there. The opportunities are endless. We are excited.

 

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Introducing SocialRank

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Here we go. It is long so tl;dr is on bottom.

For the past six weeks, Michael and I have been working day and night on our new company, Modern Mast. Today we are happy to announce the launch of our product, SocialRank.

Housekeeping:

Try the tool at: SocialRank.co

Follow us on Twitter: @SocialRank

What is SocialRank?

SocialRank tells you more about your followers on Twitter. Not WHAT they talk about, but WHO they are. SocialRank is an evolution of the MVF (Most Valuable Follower). Before diving into the who, what, where and how of SocialRank, I’d like to tell the original MVF backstory.

MVF and the backstory that led to SocialRank

The concept of MVF started when I had a thought, “Who out of all my followers on Twitter is the most valuable?”  I immediately emailed Michael (this was in January 2012) to see if he could figure this out, before falling asleep for the night. By the time I woke up the next morning Michael had built the first version of MVF.

What MVF did was look at your Twitter followers and tell you who, out of all of them, was most valuable. The original MVF formula looked at “value” as a scarcity (think supply/demand). The tool looked at your total follower count and follower/following ratio and determined value. So, if you had 100k followers and followed 100k accounts (ratio of 1), you were not that valuable. If you had 100k followers and followed 100 accounts (ratio of 1,000) you were very valuable. MVF worked in some respects. For example, Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon, tried the tool and his most valuable follower was the CTO of Cisco (Michael also “fan-boyed out” and Werner gave us some love which was awesome).

Anyways, MVF went viral and we had over 50,000 people use it in the first week. It was glorious. We had no intention to turn it into a business at that time and a month or two later we ended up joining Dwolla. We then made the decision to shut down MVF, as opposed to leaving it unsupported (which I think we can all agree was the right decision). So we shut MVF down, put up a nice note thanking people for trying it, and joined Dwolla. Then something interesting happened, every few months a different brand would reach out and ask us to turn it back on. After talking to a handful of them, we found out that the majority wanted a tool to tell them more about the people who followed them on Twitter so they could engage and reward the best of them. We kept this in mind and once Michael and I were ready to start our own company we began thinking about all the brands that reached out to us in the past two years. The intelligence we received when talking to them was that they had a ton of good working tools that focus on getting more reach across social platforms (more RT’s, Fav’s, Follows, Likes, Pins, Shares, etc.) so they didn’t need another tool for that. What they did have a blind spot in was around the people that follow them on these platforms. Not what they are saying, but who they are. So Michael and I decided to get hyper-focused on building a product that helps individuals and brands find out more information about their existing followers. And for now, only on Twitter.

SocialRank: MVF + MEF + Best Follower

So here we are, launching MVF 2.0 and calling it SocialRank. We have three important phrases to understand: MVF, MEF, and Best Follower.

Most Valuable Follower (MVF)

The first thing to note is that MVF is now a data point. We have a new and improved MVF, taking into account a myriad of things on top of your reach and ratio of follower/following. MVF tells you who your most valuable, scarce, important, and useful follower is (irrespective of if they interact with you). This can be a great metric for individuals and brands looking to activate a potentially un-engaged but very “valuable” follower.

Most Engaged Follower (MEF)

On top of MVF, we have a new metric called MEF, which stands for Most Engaged Follower. MEF tells you who, out of your followers, has engaged with you the most in the past 30 days. This takes Retweets, Favorites, @ mentions (both replies and native), as well as a few more data points. MEF may be easily determined in your mind if you only have a few followers, but this can be a headache for a brand with tens, hundreds, or even millions of followers. While MVF and MEF are important, the real significant metric and focal point when you log in is a new concept we have dubbed Best Follower.

Best Follower

Best Follower is the perfect combination of your most valuable and most engaged follower. Best Follower balances your MVF and MEF to tell you who your best follower is in the past 30 days. Your Best Follower is exactly that: the person or brand that strikes a great balance of engaging with you and has the reach or importance to be a little dangerous (in a good way!). It’s important to note that just because someone is your MVF, doesn’t mean they will be your Best Follower, same with someone being your MEF. The most likely scenario is that your Best Follower is not your MVF or your MEF (i.e. your Best Follower could be your #8 MVF and #2 MEF).

Monthly Reports + Basic Filters

We are taking the product a few steps further this time. We have added a monthly reporting system that will give you changes to your Top 10 Best Followers. Every month you will receive an email with a link to your Top 10 MVF, MEF, and Best Follower changes.

On top of monthly reports, you can also filter between individuals and brands on the top right side of each section. This allows you to see your top 10 brands and top 10 individuals in the MEF, MVF and Best Follower categories. Post-launch we will allow for deeper filtering.

Everything to this point is free. Woo hoo!

SocialRank Premium (Free for Nonprofits)

If you are inclined to get more insight into your followers, we are releasing a premium version. In SocialRank Premium you not only have the ability to make daily and weekly reports, but you also get individualized breakdowns of demographic (ie age, gender, ethnicity), geographic (ie US or International) and all social media accounts attached to the individual or brand for your Top 50 Best Followers. Twitter does not collect a lot of this information when you sign up so this is pretty cool. We are still in the early testing phase on accuracy (we share probability of it being correct next to results), inferring a lot through technology, but improving daily. SocialRank Premium will cost $25/mo (or $250/year) which we think is a great price point for brands (and individuals who want to dig deeper about the people who follow them). It’s basically less than $1 a day for a report you should already be getting!

If you are a non profit and can prove your 501(c)(3) status we are happy to give you SocialRank Premium for free. Please email me at [email protected] with the appropriate info and I will upgrade you (Note: We have automated all functions on the site, besides this, but we feel this is important and a great tool that will help NPO’s. So please bear with us if it takes a day or two to upgrade you).

Examples of Brands Rewarding Best Follower

We are also happy to showcase a few brands already using the SocialRank platform to identify and reward (surprise and delight) their Most Valuable, Engaged and Best Followers on Twitter.

GoPro

Everyone loves GoPro. You can’t not love them. Often used in extreme action video photography, GoPro is the go to tool for surfing, auto racing, skiing, bicycling and the occasional high-altitude skydiving mission. When I first ran my personal SocialRank report, I saw that a guy named Kevin Plashton followed me. I looked up his account and saw he ran digital marketing for GoPro. I immediately followed and DM’d him to tell him about we had coming out. Flash-forward to the launch and GoPro will be rewarding one of their best followers with a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition, Jaws Flex Clamp and a Head Strap. Go GoPro!

Harry’s Grooming

One of my favorite brands in the last two years is Harry’s Grooming. You can buy Harry’s razors, german engineered blades and shaving cream online for a fair price. Jon Goldmann, the Director of Social Media at Harry’s was one of those people/brand that reached out to us to turn MVF back on (and one of the reasons Michael and I started SocialRank). Jon and Harry’s are happy to reward one of their Best Followers on Twitter with an Engraved Winston.

Spotify

Spotify is a league of their own when it comes to giving their subscribers millions of songs at their fingertips. I am a proud Spotify Premium member and listen to my playlists daily. So we are excited that Spotify is going to be giving a free month of Spotify Premium to one of their most engaged followers on Twitter, found via SocialRank.

theSkimm

Anyone that knows Michael and I know we are very fond of Carly and Danielle, the founders of theSkimm. We’ve known them since day 1 (of theSkimm) and it is still the best daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We are excited to finally find a way to work together, as they will be rewarding one of their most engaged followers on Twitter with some very hard to acquire theSkimm swag (t-shirt and mug).

Plated

Plated makes it easy for you to cook a fantastic gourmet meal in thirty minutes or less. Plated is a recent graduate of the TechStars program in New York and is spreading like a wildfire. Plated was recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine’s as one of 10 Startups to Watch in 2014. Plated will be rewarding one of their best followers on Twitter one box of Plated, which is 4 plates!

Cory Vines

Cory Vines is my favorite activewear brand. Based in Montreal, they are building an activewear company for people leading active, interesting lives. When I caught up with Founder/CEO, Daniel Lieberman, I told him what we have coming out and he immediately wanted to use SocialRank to find out more about CV’s followers on Twitter. For the launch, Cory Vines is giving a free “The Racerback Tank” to one of their best followers on Twitter.

This is just the beginning. We accomplished all of this in a little over a month, with two (and a half) people. We are excited for the future of SocialRank.

– Alexander Taub, co-founder of Modern Mast

P.S. Tomorrow I will write a personal post on Alex’s Tech Thoughts about the goals we have for SocialRank. So stay tuned!

tl;dr SocialRank is MVF 2.0. You see your Top 10 Most Valuable, Engaged, and Best Overall Followers. Monthly reports for free. Daily, Weekly, Top 50 and Individualized breakdown of who people are cost $25 per month.