New Crowdsourced Social Media Management Software Guide from TrustRadius

AugieRay1
Augie Ray Director - Global Voice of Customer Strategy, Fortune 100 Financial Services Firm

Posted on October 23rd 2013

New Crowdsourced Social Media Management Software Guide from TrustRadius
social media management

If you work in social media, you probably are already familiar with Gartner's Magic Quadrant on Social SoftwareForrester's Wave on Social Relationship Platforms and Altimeter's report on Social Media Management Software (SMMS). Now social media professionals have yet another source to help in the selection and evaluation of the many competing SMMS options: TrustRadius has published its own guide to SMMS platforms.

In an approach reminiscent of Altimeter's "open research" methodologies, the TrustRadius report is both free and crowdsourced. It summarizes the experiences of actual social media practitioners, ranging from employees of large firms such as Dell and Hertz to professionals at agencies with fewer than 200 employees.

The source for this information is TrustRadius's website, which is a sort of Yelp for business software. The site permits professionals to share their observations and ratings of the business platforms they use. To increase trust, every reviewer is authenticated and every review vetted before publishing. TrustRadius has found the reviews the site receives are quite substantive, averaging more than 500 words.

Culling from the reviews and content offered by its users, TrustRadius has separated the plethora of SMMS products into seven primary use cases:

  • Listening and sentiment analysis
  • Publishing/engagement
  • Promotions
  • Curation
  • Analytics
  • Customer Care
  • Social Selling
 
crowdsourced guide
 
The report is interesting and valuable, but it has a couple drawbacks. First, the data upon which the guide is based is fairly thin--just 100 reviews of 36 different SMMS products. This lack of depth is more apparent in some categories than others; for instance, over a third of the product ratings furnished in the "Publishing Tools" category are based on just a single review. In addition, the limited number of reviews means that the ratings for each product do not vary from one category to another--Adobe Social may be better for "Publishing" than "Listening," but it is rated the same three stars in both categories.

The report acknowledges the limited input from users, noting, "While the volume of content does not yet provide the basis for a definitive sector survey, the insights from users are revealing and point to some broad directional conclusions." I expect TrustRadius will repeat this process periodically, and as more reviews are received, the depth and quality of the report will improve. 

I also had questions about potential conflict of interest in some of the information furnished. For example, the CMO at marketing agency Penguin Strategies praises Oktopost, but a visit to the Penguin website reveals Oktopost is a client of Penguin Strategies.

Conflict of interest is always a risk with this sort of open source research, but despite the concerns, there are many ways the TrustRadius guide can be of assistance to social media practitioners, especially since the price (free!) is right. First of all, it helps to define the players in the SMMS space and aligns them to specific use cases, which can help define the candidates to consider early in an RFP process.

Second, while I would not base any decisions on the praise and criticism contained in the report, the user comments can help guide vendor selection research. For example, the knowledge that some users have concerns about spam in Radian6 results can encourage you to explore recent improvements in that platform's spam filtering.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for both social media professionals and TrustRadius, this guide can lead readers into the TrustRadius website where much deeper information is found. Few of us base moviegoing decisions simply on star ratings, preferring instead to dig into reviews to tell if a given film might be appropriate and interesting. In the same way, social media practitioners can start by reading the report but then dig into TrustRadius.com's in-depth data.

For instance, the Sprinklr page on TrustRadius.com furnishes not simply the overall rating (4.25 stars out of 5) and nine user reviews, it also aggregates ratings in attributes such as "Likelihood to Recommend" (8.6/10) and "Performance and Reliability" (9.1/10). In addition, TrustRadius has a nifty feature that permits simple head-to-head comparisons of competing products, such as this page which stacks Sprinklr up against SpredFast.

The report is useful, but the real value of the report is to lead readers into the deeper crowdsourced information found on TrustRadius's site. As more social media experts take the time to review the tools they use, the value of TrustRadius will only grow.

AugieRay1

Augie Ray

Director - Global Voice of Customer Strategy, Fortune 100 Financial Services Firm

For six years, I have researched, analyzed and blogged about Customer Experience (CX), social media marketing, social business and the collaborative (or sharing) economy. I welcome your feedback on my posts here on Social Media Today or my blog at ExperienceTheBlog.com.

My background includes more than 20 years of experience in digital, brand, customer experience and social business. Currently, I am the Director of Global Voice of Customer at a Fortune 100 Financial Services firm. Prior to this:

  • I led social business at USAA, a firm recognized for its innovative use of communities and social customer care within the financial service industry.
  • Consulted and published analysis as a Forrester analyst covering digital marketing and social media in the Bay Area.
  • Led a diverse $9-million agency team with specialties in digital development, digital experiential marketing and community strategy.

I am passionate about monitoring current trends and understanding what they mean to marketing, product development, customer care and other corners of the enterprise. I continue to evaluate how new mobile and social behaviors and technologies are combining to change fundamental attitudes about the way we select, purchase, consume and share products and services. The future will bring a great deal of innovation that offers opportunities to organizations that are agile and willing to cannibalize their own business models (but it will severely challenge those organizations that cannot.)

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