Viralheat offers a platform that allows clients to manage multiple owned social media accounts (currently Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) and execute real-time audience engagement through scheduled updates, comments, replies, retweets, likes, and more.
It also features monitoring of the social Web including video and blogs; sentiment analysis; analytics for user created searches across platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, video, and Web; and a patented social leads identification tool.
Plans range from $49 per month to $499 per month. Factors impacting cost include number of search profiles, social media accounts, and mentions. A free plan for seven social media accounts recently launched, and 14-day free trial is also available on all paid accounts.
Marla Schulman, founder of Dvin/Ideas, has been using Viralheat since January 2012.
How do you use it?
I log on with my user name and password and it takes me to my dashboard, which has an overview of my accounts and keywords.
You can add Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, along with whatever relevant keywords you want Viralheat to search to pick up on websites from articles. You can also set up filters to exclude certain terms so you can try to omit irrelevant messaging.
I've set it up to get daily alerts that give me a quick run down of what's happening, and I run a full analytics report once a week. You can set up what you want to monitor in daily alerts and in weekly reports.
One of the best features of Viralheat is it reports on sentiment – positive, negative, or neutral. It's also possible to publish your content on the social channels you have linked without having to go outside to another application.
If there's a question or issue that's not urgent, I email and get a response via email. If it's something more urgent, I'll call. Someone always answers.
How does it serve your business needs?
My job depends on helping clients understand if their social media campaigns are working, and they obviously want to know ROI, so the more information I can give them the better I can service them.
When one of my recent clients was launching a television program, there were concerns because the star was both loved and reviled. It was very important to monitor messaging, but more importantly to gauge what was being said and if we needed to reply or not.
This client also wanted to make sure we were reaching its male audience, and being able to "look" at the entire picture enabled me to ensure messaging was on target or make quick adjustments if it wasn't.
Radian6 is an excellent resource to measure sentiment, but my agency is small and the cost of Radian6 does not fit into my budget. Viralheat offered me the ability to review sentiment and determine which messages were effective, which were not, and to make instant changes to what we published.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
It's Web-based. There's nothing to download, and you can access it from any computer.
What are the main benefits?
It aggregates most platforms in one tool, and it delivers sentiment.
It's a simple, straightforward platform with a comprehensive analytics suite and is reasonably priced.
Customer service is awesome. They helped me set things up the way I wanted fairly quickly and were willing to help me at every step. You can have the best platform in the world but if customer service or tech support is subpar, it's not worth anything. They ask what clients need, and they listen.
What are the main drawbacks?
The message filtering process is still a little rough around the edges. Every once in a while, I'd get irrelevant information about my TV client that would skew sentiment reading. I could read it and see it wasn't relevant, but if there were four of five of those and I couldn't take them out, it would skew the sentiment metric. I'm not sure why I couldn't delete the irrelevant messaging.
What would you like to see improved / added?
I'd like to see the setup process streamlined a bit – it can be confusing.
Also, I would like better filtering or [increased ability] to eliminate irrelevant messaging.
Right now there is a limit of six keywords in the search function, and I'd like to be able to have more – at least first until I see which ones are most effective in delivering the information I need.
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