Spredfast, the social campaign management tool launched today by Austin, Texas-based Social Agency, we thought it looked like a less-flashy version of TweetDeck. Our first question to co-founders Kenneth Cho and Scott McCaskill was actually how the two programs differed and they took it in stride, given how far off the question really was. With big names like IBM, AOL, Cisco, Intel and Porter Novelli using the service, you better bet it does more than manage a handful of social networking accounts and microblogging services.When we first looked at
The entirely Web-based application is a full set of tools to not only manage and measure the message a company sends out among various social media, but also track the people who send the message. With fully customizable user roles and permissions, Spredfast looks like a great way to target multiple audiences on the Web from multiple directions. We think the key word here is multiple. This is a tool that can make a single person appear, to the average Web user, to be an entire community of people talking about your product.
Like single-user tools of this variety, such as TweetDeck or Ping.fm, Spredfast is set up to work with any of the standard social networks. In addition to that, however, it will work with a number of content management systems, from Drupal and Wordpress to Movable Type. And with its user-role management, you can not only say who can post to what, but whether or not it can go live or needs to be reviewed by another user before being published. On-site scheduling and voice management allows a single tweet to be sent out and then be retweeted, in slightly altered forms, by any number of other accounts over time, creating the illusion of a discussion. We may never trust what we see people talking about on the web again.
In addition to multiple users, roles, networks and blogging platforms, Spredfast is also set to handle multiple campaigns. So, if ReadWriteWeb were to suddenly start using the system, for example, we could track activity for ReadWriteStart and ReadWriteEnterprise separately.
That brings us to the last point - tracking and metrics. As of now, the system has already incorporated Google Analytics and is looking to work with Armature and WebTrends in the near future. But even now, it offers full reports on the effectiveness of your message.
Campaigns are judged with three primary measurements - engagement, reach and activity. Put simply, these look at your interaction with your audience, the size of your audience, and how much you are pushing your message out onto the Web. Beyond these basic ranks, however, the system will give you detailed reports showing you how many "likes" you've gotten on a specific message on Facebook, or how many times a tweet has been retweeted. But that's even just the tip of the metrics iceberg, as it keeps stats on each individual tweet, blog post, status update, what have you offering a full variety of data on click-throughs, impressions and whatever you would expect from a traffic analytics service.
Starting today, the system is available on a monthly basis starting at $50 per month, per campaign, for a single user. The "Enterprise" plan, at $100 per month, per campaign, allows for multiple users. Social Agency plans to announce another plan in February that will allow for unlimited users and campaigns, but the details for that are not yet available. For a program with this many features at launch, we only see it getting better.