Buddy Media eases pain of social media moderating

Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforce.com in August 2012, allows clients to publish and moderate content across social networks and websites, track social activity, and measure effectiveness of social marketing programs.

Specifications
Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforce.com in August 2012, allows clients to publish and moderate content across social networks and websites including Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more, track social activity, and measure effectiveness of social marketing programs.

In September 2012 Buddy Media was combined with Radian6 to form Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a comprehensive suite of tools for social marketing that includes monitoring, content creation and management, engagement, advertising, automation, and analytics.

Cost
Salesforce Marketing Cloud starts at $5,000 per month. Social Content and Social Engagement pieces (derived from Buddy Media's product) can be purchased separately.

User
Jeff Harse, senior director of PR at Recyclebank, has been using Buddy Media about a year and a half. 

How do you use it? 
We use it for monitoring Facebook conversations, flagging comments, responding to comments, scheduling posts, and for creating tabs and pages on Facebook.

I log on to a dashboard that shows our Facebook wall feed in real time. We can flag comments for follow-up, and the system automatically emails the person on our team who needs to respond to it.
 
The dashboard provides access to analytics based on anything we've posted. You can also do a deep dive into analytics to see various metrics.
 
You can schedule posts, which is one of the great things about Buddy Media. We develop our editorial calendar about a month in advance and we can schedule those posts to go out at specific times. We're can also geo-target posts.

If there's a problem, we always try to figure out a solution ourselves. If we can't, we can contact our account manager or our success manager, whose main role is to help talk us through new features or refine our use of the product. I typically email first, but I'll call if it's more urgent. We are not a huge client of theirs, but we still have two people on our account, which is really nice, and we always hear back within the day. 

I've not really noticed any change to the service since Salesforce.com acquired Buddy Media, though the branding and the look and feel of the interface is different. Our contacts are still there and they're still helping us – they just have different titles and the product name and branding is different. 

How does it serve your business needs? 
It helps us better engage our Facebook audience and really made the social platform painless. 

We've set up a monitoring strategy that involves a lot of folks across our customer care and social media teams. All of us touch the tool to a degree with regards to monitoring Facebook and responding to comments. I want to respond almost immediately so people know there are real people here, and Buddy Media allows us to quickly do that.

We set up alerts so we're pinged when certain words are used. We let the good and bad stand on Facebook, but if something offensive is posted Buddy Media will flag it for us so we don't have to cull through everything ourselves. It's expedited the process and made it more efficient.

It also cuts down on time it takes to build new pages on Facebook, and that's a huge benefit because everyone wants engaging content. We have 280,000 Facebook fans, which is a lot especially for a young, small brand so we're constantly iterating and reiterating content. 

We used to have to create pages from scratch, and we needed an HTML person, a flash person, and others to do it. Now we can take all the creative assets from any campaign apply them to sapplets (social applets), which are plug-and-plays for functions, and quickly come up with a page. It takes about a week now to build a page compared to about a month when we had to build a page from scratch.

How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
It's Web-based. 

What are the main benefits?
Comprehensive posting and monitoring. 

It's really easy to execute tabs and pages. 

Customer service is always available to help direct us if we have questions or issues.

What are the main drawbacks?
As transformative as it's been for us and as great as the service is, it's been challenging to not have a mobile site or an app. It's difficult to make adjustments or schedule or flag posts when we're on the go.

What would you like to see improved / added? 
We've had a really amazing following on Pinterest and we wanted to unite our Pinterest and Facebook fan bases and cross-pollinate them. Buddy Media is working on a sapplet to do that, but in the meantime our account rep showed us examples of other brands that are doing that and helped us build our own version of a sapplet to do it. We haven't gone live with it yet, but I appreciate the responsiveness and willingness to work with us to figure out a solution.
 
Our reps are very responsive, but I'd like to see a bit more proactive engagement in terms of how to use and implement sapplets. They're really the best people to analyze data coming in from our Facebook page and provide periodic suggestions.
 
Competitors
Adobe Social: a new product within the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite that combines social publishing and engagement with monitoring, social ad buying and analytics that can attribute social activity to business results.
Vitrue (acquired by Oracle this year): A cloud-based social marketing and engagement platform that enables clients to centrally create, publish, moderate, manage, measure, and report on social marketing campaigns.

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