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Act-On Software Social Marketing Review

Act-On Social Marketing

The Act-On Twitter Prospector is an interesting social tool which uses the Twitter API and periodically mines the Twittersphere for keywords and relevant tweets. Search results may be responded to in near real-time or forwarded to an inbox for later follow-up. There is also an optional configuration to filter out tweets with embedded links (which the company suggests may indicate those tweets are marketing pitches or spam). Staff can then forward the tweet or select a personal or corporate Twitter account and apply a template response to answer to the tweet. The system will also join multiple Twitter messages that make up a particular Twitter dialogue.

A newer social tool is the Social Media Insights, also known as the Competitor Insights. This is essentially a social network dashboard which displays high level social network activity benchmarks for your organization and your competitors. Act-On Social Media Insights compares your Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profile and statistics (i.e. for Twitter—number of followers, volume and frequency of tweets) in a columnar side by side manner with your competitors. In all candor, the Act-On Competitive Insights resembles one of the many free SEO or social widgets you would expect from HubSpot. Perhaps this is a sign of convergence and evolution, as HubSpot ventures much deeper into the marketing automation software space we may see more traditional marketing software vendors release more SEO, social and inbound marketing widgets. These two software sectors clearly share significant overlap and complementary nature.

Beyond the Twitter Prospector, social marketing techniques are limited to including a trackable link on a social network such as Facebook or LinkedIn. The Act-On Twitter Prospector is a good solution, but lacks sentiment analysis and automated response capability. More so, Act-On is falling behind in social marketing capabilities such as multi-channel social listening and measuring reach, performance and payback of campaigns across social networks such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Social marketing is seeing aggressive growth. The eMarketer Forecast report predicts that social advertising will be the largest growth area of online advertising by 2013. Social marketing is also seeing increased buyer attention in part by a string of M&A events between marketing software and social marketing software providers, such as Salesforce.com's acquisition of Buddy Media, Marketo's acquisition of Crowd Factory and Oracle's acquisition of Virtue. Failure to provide the tools marketers need to measure campaign reach, performance and ROI across social channels will exclude Act-On for some customers.

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