In February, we talked about social media monitoring newcomer Viralheat and how they were lowering the barrier to entry for social media monitoring by offering quality results at lower-than-typical prices. Now the rising start-up is doing even more to shake up the monitoring landscape by offering a top layer of monitoring results through its Charts feature to anyone … for free.

The offering is an expansion of their Social Trends feature, available since the product’s launch, which allows paid users to make part of their keyword searches public for all to see. If a client has set up a monitoring profile for the iPad, for instance, and make that search public, anyone can go to Social Trends and see the results. (Seventy percent of Viralheat’s users made their results public.) Social Trends was also free for anyone to use, so long as a paid subscriber (or Viralheat folks) had set up a search for the term  you were trying to find. If not, you could pay for an account and set it up yourself.

ViralHeat - Embed this chart!

The new Charts feature allows anyone to build a comparison search. Now you can search, compare and contrast multiple brands (e.g. – iPad vs. Kindle vs. Smart Pad or others) and not only see the results, but grab the embed code and offer up a real time chart on your blog or website. (Awesome idea for a transparent company wanting to show people online chatter and sentiment for their brand vs. their competitors.) The company’s open API for paid users also allows  to tap into the usefulness and build out dashboards for the data. (Social Trends has a free API which allows you to pull out the publicly available data and use as you like.)

CEO Raj Kadam told me the information they’re making available to everyone for free has previously only been available to big brands with big market research dollars. I would add that some of it has also been available to bloggers and journalists in product demos, but typically only the iPhone or iPad data. (Someone please do a different default demo search. Heh.)

Kadam said Viralheat gets a lot of requests from journalists who are interested in the real-time, online buzz about a certain person or topic. Now the reporters can do the search themselves and embed the results right on the story page on their website. And if you’re about to say, “Yeah, right. Like journalists would even know how!” Hold your fire. ESPN is using Viralheat’s open API to create real-time buzz tracking dashboards of NFL teams this fall.

Oh, and sentiment scoring on all those results? Included. Free. (Kick ass.)

Viralheat also told me they’re making their library of infographics open and downloadable for anyone to use. They’ve got a pretty interesting collection worth checking out, for certain.

As for the paid version of the software, you can still get the Cadillac version for just $90 per month. Plans start at $10. At those prices, I don’t have a lot of problem with Viralheat execs calling themselves a “disruptive” social media monitoring company. They kinda are.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/SeqRyanBrooks Ryan Brooks

    Very nice! Looking forward to seeing ESPN's NFL dashboards.

  • http://www.brosix.com/ Brosix

    I usually use SocialMention.com but I'll try this one and see if I like it.

    • Don

      search for “car” in social mention and look in the top right hand corner. Quickly see why socialmention is fun to look at but can't be used:(

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Thanks for the ongoing coverage of some of the tools coming out, Jason. I appreciated the review of JitterJam the other day.

    Any insight on which sources Viralheat pulls data from? One of the critical features of a social media monitoring tool for me — in addition to user interface, reports, and workflow management — is the breadth and depth of data. Do they query across all mediums (blogs, social networks, forums, reviews) and across all providers (Facebook, MySpace, Ning, etc.)?

    Appreciate these reviews, dude. Useful, relevant stuff.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      My guess is the Viralheat guys will pop by and answer. Thanks for asking!

    • VishalSankhla

      Thanks for your post Jason.

      Scott, We currently cover twitter, google buzz, Facebook, a ton of video sharing sites like YouTube, Metacafe etc.. and the real-time web (which covers the most recent blogs and links for your profiles.). We are continuously adding new data sources to the system and working on bringing in many more new sources to Viralheat very soon.

      Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about specific sources.

      • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

        Thanks, Vishal. Good info.

  • http://smile.ly JinAtSmilely

    That's a really useful tool! I'd be sure to check it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominique-Lahaix/599136631 Dominique Lahaix

    Thanks for the info and Kudos to Viralheat.

    My take on this is that broad monitoring of social media is a commodity with marginal value for brands. This is also what we get from our clients.

    Marketing without strategy and segmentation is of very little value and no brand wants nor can be everything to everyone. What needs to be measured and monitored is whether a company really achieve its goals on reaching out specific communities and be known and appreciated for what it want to be.

    It gets interesting when brands/company can go down to understanding what specific communities are thinking about a brand or a specific topic and also change it by engaging in the relevant conversations from the people that matter.

  • http://www.codyaswann.com/ Cody Swann

    I'm on the two-man team at ESPN that has been working with ViralHeat. We've got some cool stuff in the works. It's been a pleasure working with the guys at VH

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Nice gig, Cody. Very interested to see what you guys do. Would love to catch

      up after the season's underway to see how it's working.

  • http://justinchick.com Justin

    Hey Jason, not to call you a lier but this post lacks honesty.
    There's nothing free about Viralheat.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Justin, Not to call you ignorant but go to their Social Trends tool and enter a keyword … Even for your own company. See those results and the widgets you can grab and embed anywhere? How much did that cost ya?

      Who else gives that away? Nobody.

      If you're going to call me a liar at least do your homework. Fair?

      • Vishal

        Thanks Jason. We have made it very clear on our home page too and apologize for any confusion to your readers.

      • kmskala

        I think what he was trying to get at is that while there is free content, it's most for large brands. I put my company and its competitors in there and didn't get any results. So to say you can put anything in there and get data, that's kind of misleading.

        That being said, there is still “free” data available. Regardless, I'd say fork up $9/month. Incredibly inexpensive for what you can get.

        • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

          Fair point, but he also called me a liar and the post dishonest, which it

          wasn't. You can call me a lot of things, but liar isn't one I'm going to

          respond very nicely to.

          And instead of putting your brand in, why not put the keywords around your

          industry. Sharing that with your audience (or just using it for your own

          intelligence) is pretty smart, too. Oh … and free.

    • Vishal

      Hi Justin,

      You do not need to pay a monthly fee or even register to access profiles and widgets on Social Trends section of our website. Even the API calls are no metered or have access restrictions, there is no API key and there are unlimited calls. You can access Social Trends at: http://www.viralheat.com/social_trends

      If you have any further questions, please drop us an email or happy to do a call to discuss further.

      Thanks,

      Vishal

  • http://rt-now.com Ruthless25

    Never heard of ViralHeat, but it looks worth checking out. Thx for the plug

  • http://www.thesocialfirm.com TheSocialFirm

    I have never heard of Viralheat, but it is something I am definitely going to try out!!

    Thanks

  • Rob

    This is certainly going to change the game. Viralheat will help me add more value to my services to companies. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • http://twitter.com/Kartek Kartik

    I am so impressed by the fact that there are mid priced monitoring tools. Seriously not a lot of people can afford Radian6 or Socutlabs. I heard a lot of good stuff about Trackur..any one else has used it for monitoring incl. sentiment scores?!!

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