Social media management solution Votigo announced today they’re opening a do-it-yourself management software at a price point even smaller companies can stomach giving the social media management software space a bit of a kick in the pants. The Social Marketing & CRM Suite from the long-standing enterprise solution provider can be had for prices as low as $15 per month. The functionality includes HootSuite-like publishing and engagement, Facebook contests and promotions, a “social CRM” function (more in a moment on this labeling), engagement applications (photos, videos, polls, coupons, etc.) and analytics.
Yeah, I know … they all promise the moon, right? But not all of them are existing enterprise platforms that are making their tool set available at a lower price point, either. So it’s worth investigating.
The big thing here is the layer of social promotions and apps for contests, coupons and the like on top of a standard engagement platform. Photo and video contests, sweepstakes, promotional applications that feed into Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more are not easy to come by for some cost, usually in the hundreds of dollars per month. Now a small business with some limitations on volume can get in the door for $15? You’ve got my attention.
Alas, there’s some limits to the functionality you get for such a low price point. Some of what you don’t get includes apps for Facebook, mobile platforms, scheduling functionality (available in some low-cost tools). You can buy promotional tools ala carte, however, so for a few more dollars, you could have a nice software solution on your hands.
Votigo is also a tool that has the ability to build custom microsites for these promotions and the like. Think WildfireApp with more HootSuite like functionality and you’ve probably hit Votigo pretty close.
The Social CRM claims always bother me. While I will admit to not having seen Votigo in action, my guess is what they’re calling Social CRM is just some ability to organize and manage your Twitter followers and Facebook fans in some address book like function. The problem with the term “social CRM” is the software companies all say they have it, but what they really have is follower management tools. When the customers hear “social CRM” they think user data from their social channels is going to be pumped into their CRM solution (like Salesforce or Marketo).
The way Votigo’s “Social CRM” function was described to me sounds more like the former, not the latter, so don’t get all lathered up about it just yet.
Another drawback I see in Votigo is that there’s no true monitoring functionality built in. It’s a monitor-your-streams type service, not necessarily one geared toward allowing you to monitor the web as a whole.
But another benefit is a credit card subscription, month-to-month setup that allows you to subscribe and cancel at will, rather than tying yourself into a long commitment.
For those who haven’t heard of Votigo, the company has been around since its founding in 2006 but has been largely under the radar, focusing on landing premium clients and building custom solutions. Starwood Hotels, Ford and Universal Studios are the brands they tout as users with Starwood using the platform to manage nine brands with over 1,000 world wide locations. It’s an enterprise platform, but now more accessible.
I’m sure the Votigo folks will chime in to correct anything I got wrong and can answer more specific questions about their tool. But the worst-case scenario is that for $15 per month and this type of software on the back end, you should probably look into it, regardless of the size of your company.
For more discussion about social media management software, especially if you’re a current user of any platform, please see our post and ever-growing comment thread from Monday.
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