For promotional and media relations pros who need a savvy, elegant entrance to social media, navigating through the scenes of movers and shakers - with all the negotiation and careful observation of mores that implies - can be a daunting task.
Many applications exist for monitoring social media buzz, but what about tools for the first step of online promotion: Creating the buzz in the first place? BuzzStream attempts to address the issue by allowing users to bookmark and track potential media and backlink contacts. It's an unusual solution, and one that we find intriguing. Read on for more info and beta invites.
Using two ubersimple bookmarks, users are able to flag pages or sites as belonging to media contacts or backlink contacts. BuzzStream then scans the website for all available and relevant information (email addresses, phone numbers, Twitter handles, etc.) while allowing users to enter information in a CRM-type form for later access.
In the entry forms, users can drill down for more information, from PageRank and site age to WhoIs lookup data and Technorati rank. As a group of people who get a lot of inbound mail from PR folks, we can tell you that this is a good thing. The more a press-seeker knows about the journalist in question, the more targeted and welcome the appeal for coverage is likely to be.
A welcome addition to this part of the app would be a tag cloud to ensure the contact is a relevant match. For example, we occasionally get pitches to review non-web related hardware. A PR pro or other evangelist could use such a feature to determine that our site might not be the best place to pitch his product.
Also, unless we missed something, we didn't see a good way for discovering new media or backlink contacts. A referral system ("Users who made this author a contact also added...") would probably be an awesome tool for users.
On the link-building side, the app allows users to denote the stage of the relationship, the method of link acquisition, and other relevant factors. We wish it showed whether links were search-bot followed or no-follow links, but perhaps this request will be heard and discussed for future releases of the product.
Once a contact is added, Twitter and email conversations with that contact can be easily indexed for future reference. Watch the demo video for a closer look at how contacts and link-building campaigns are managed from the back end.
What we like about the service is that it addresses the problem of social media optimization. In modern times, SEO is no longer enough to supply a site with competition-killing traffic. No-follow links are no longer the huge bummer they once were. Organic search traffic counts, and social sharing traffic counts, too. BuzzStream takes this all into account rather nicely and simply and allows busy PR and social web folks to efficiently and profitably manage those relationships.
As a new site, BuzzSearch is still a bit buggy. Not all available information is correctly and automatically indexed. Still, it's a good start and we look forward to seeing what these guys do next.
Two hundred fifty beta invites are available at the BuzzStream site. Hope you enjoy, and don't forget to send in your feedback to the founders.