However, all of that communications power comes at a price, namely confusion. Think about it, to fully leverage social networking's business capabilities, you have to work with at least three platforms and update multiple feeds, while organizing customer relations across multiple profile pages. Add to that regular marketing tweets and status updates and you have a recipe for miscommunication and possible dilution of critical marketing messages.
The Meltwater Group thinks they have a solution for social networking chaos in the form of their Buzz Engage Social Marketing Tool for Business, which is a module for the Meltwater Buzz product suite that was introduced this week.
"Social media has put the customer in the power position, and influencers have sprouted all over the social Web," said Niklas de Besche, executive director of Meltwater Buzz, in a statement.
"With Meltwater Buzz Engage, companies can gracefully embrace this shift in influence by identifying relevant social conversations happening on the real-time Web. Engage allows brands to take a targeted and tailored engagement approach--turning conversations into customers," Besche added.
Meltwater Group focuses on social media and news monitoring, and the new Engage software is capable of bringing together the social CRM and business offerings of the JitterJam product (a recent acquisition) and the social media monitoring and analysis capabilities of Meltwater Buzz.
"Engage is the first result of the acquisition," says Ric Pratte, director of Meltwater Buzz and former CEO of JitterJam. "What we've done is create this first module utilizing some of the JitterJam technology to allow our clients to engage back and connect with the things they are hearing on the real-time Web."
With Meltwater Buzz Engage, users can build social profiles of customers that interact with a businesses' products or brand. Those profiles can capture information from Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, and other Web-based community tools. Profiles provide an insightful look into customers' online presence by pulling together all the public profiles of the person into a single location, called a social graph, which identifies all their various social identities, all communications, and any notes.
Meltwater Buzz Engage also offers the ability to analyze and rank people using a variety of tools, including jitterator, a tool that can grade how important a person is to a brand using brand sentiment scoring and sentiment by message.
Users also have the ability to send messages to their contacts via Facebook or Twitter and add contacts to a Twitter list. The product also features a "Social Inbox," which pulls all conversations into a central location, making it easier to wade through messages, track message history, and sort messages by relevance, social rank, impressions, and many other elements, and works with a Social Calendar. The Social Inbox also allows users to view the detailed profile of an author, engage with them, write notes, and assign tasks. The product also incorporates some basic workflow capabilities, which allow users to direct tasks and actions to others, either via the Meltwater Buzz platform or via email.
Meltwater Buzz Engage also offers several other analytical capabilities, ranging from location-based analytics that can trend social activity by geographic location to engagement by channel measurements.
According to Pratte, Engage extends from the "core of the Buzz monitoring platform," and, as a result, social conversations become "actionable" and "measurable."
"It's improving levels of intimacy with these connections," he explains. "We retain some very deep profile information about these social connections, knowledge, history, and background, providing context for conversations."
Pratte also noted that Buzz Engage is geared toward small and midsize business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies. "It probably wouldn't be for the corner pizza shop, but for any ongoing business concerned about marketing and wanting to engage in the social sphere, this would be a great product," he said.
Buzz Engage is now available for a $5,000 annual contract.
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