ExactTarget's Social Studio Combines Features of Radian6 and Buddy Media

Social media engagement and publishing have a new home. Features from Salesforce.com's acquisitions of Radian6 and
Buddy Media have been combined into one clean interface, officially dubbed Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio. The offering will sit in the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

"Radian6 and Buddy Media pioneered this space," says Gordon Evans, vice president of product marketing for ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. "We're reinventing it with Social Studio." The goal of Social Studio is to create an enterprise-level product, with proper controls and governance that protects brands from social media errors, while having a consumer-level of usability. The interface covers the breadth of social media activities brands carry out, including social listening, publishing, delegating, and analytics.

"One of the challenges companies have seen is that there are so many point solutions in the marketplace, and there are so many social channels to monitor, with multiple Facebook pages, LinkedIn handles, and Twitter accounts. Keeping all those channels in sync can be a big task," Evans says. With the Social Studio product, all activities across multiple social accounts can be done within one platform.

Designed for situations where multiple people are handling social media, Social Studio enables the creation of multiple Workspaces that can organize social media information by region, brand, or social media goal. There are also collaborative calendars that allow people to see where and when posts are scheduled. Managers can select posts and delegate a person to handle them, both as one-time instances or by creating rules.

The Social Studio comes with a robust mobile offering that allows for social monitoring and publishing on smartphones. "Social media is not a nine-to-five job," ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Product Marketing Manager Cory Hartlen states. The mobile solution will be important for community managers who need to be on hand to respond to time-sensitive posts.

The Social Studio is an open platform that allows companies to create applications that add value to a company's social media plans. The Social Studio launched partnerships with image providers such as Shutterstock and Getty Images. There are also connections to services that provide content discovery and inspiration, including Kontera and TrendSpottr. Users can link RSS feeds to their Social Studio accounts as well.

The Social Studio will also be integrated with Salesforce.com. Larger brands can create rules that would automatically route technical questions to the Salesforce.com Service Cloud, for example. Smaller brands can manually push social media interactions to the CRM system as needed.

The product starts at $1,500 per month. Existing customers of Radian6 and Buddy Media can switch over at no additional cost. The Social Studio team also thinks the easy, intuitive interface will "decrease the time to value," Evans says, allowing for brands to quickly see a return on their social media investment.

Ultimately, Evans sees Social Studio as a way to push organizations to a new level of maturity in social media, with greater consistency and fewer social media flubs. "Social Studio will ensure you have a consistent brand experience: the right images and copy delivered across all the channels at the right time. Making sure everything is in sync, and your French, German, and U.S. Facebook pages are consistent, with all the links driving to the right place and the same images. That is one of the main benefits of Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio."

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