These days, the words "social media campaign" are on the lips of everyone around, from media professionals to small business owners to college students in coffee shops. While the idea of a social media campaign is becoming widespread, the tools to manage one are often left for the former, while the latter look in awe at the price.
ViralHeat, a social media analytics firm, hopes to fill the space left empty by other, far more expensive services.
ViralHeat has been around for just over six months, providing a low-price but full-featured social media analysis for the budget minded. We had a chance to chat with CEO Raj Kadam and founder Vishal Sankhla today before the relaunch, which is unveiling support for Facebook monitoring, a new user interface and API support.
The fully Web-based app gives full analytics by monitoring an array of blogs, over 200 video sites, Twitter and now Facebook for mentions of your brand, which is set up as a profile. Each profile exists as a simple logic search, wherein you can keep track of your brand by searching for phrases, domains and hashtags, all in the syntax we've become accustomed to from using from sites like Google.
Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget?
While ViralHeat compares itself on price to services like Radian6, there is a primary difference between the two services. ViralHeat offers a full set of analytics features, from standard mention monitoring to sentiment analysis using a natural language algorithm, but this is where it stays. It does not venture over to the content creation side, where we find the more expensive and extensive services like Radian6. Other services might offer workflow management, scheduled content delivery and other conversational tools, but this would be overkill for the users we imagine at this app's usability sweetspot.
We see that as an additional merit: ViralHeat has both the price point and the feature set fit for the company that wants to get on top of its image and perception on the social Web but can't afford to bring a social media expert on board - and on salary. The learning curve is suitable for the DIY set and the analytics it provides are self explanatory, not riddled with indecipherable, industry jargon.
For those of you that like the pricing but want to do a little more with the data, the service also allows you to export data into Excel format and access your data using the API.
The Price is Right
Speaking of pricing, this is a point that really brings it home for ViralHeat. With today's relaunch of the site, ViralHeat offers a three tiered pricing system, starting with a basic package for $9.99, a professional package for $29.99 and a business package for $89.99. The Basic package offers standard mentions analysis for 5 profiles, while the other packages offer sentiment analysis and API access for 20 and 40 profiles, respectively.
If we haven't drilled it in enough quite yet, here's the bottom line: ViralHeat looks like a solid social media analysis tool that is priced and designed for the more casual user, while offering simple features like export and API interaction that keep it flexible enough for the more serious user.