One of the things I love about my job in public relations is the chance to familiarize myself with emerging technologies. It seems like every single day I am reading about the latest and greatest Facebook app or measurement tool. Social enterprise software companies are working hard each and every day to enhance users’ experiences across various social networking platforms.
The tough part in learning about all of the software available is figuring out what are the differences – they can be so similar! Today, I’d like to compare two similar services – Wildfire and Buddy Media – both of which I have used for client projects:
Functionality: This suite of products includes a messenger tool, where you can schedule posts, respond to posts and generally keep track of page activity in chronological order. Additionally, it features a page manager tool where you have the ability to create as many applications (or apps) as you’d like (quizzes, photo albums, coupons, etc. included), as well as a promotions tool where fans can register for a sweepstakes. Page-level and app analytics are also available to you.
- Using the monitor tool, you have the ability to compare the performance of your page with other Facebook pages.
- Wildfire has a great selection of pre-coded templates for your use. This is especially useful if you don’t have anyone in the office (or no budget) to create a custom app using CSS coding.
- The analytics don’t differ that much from what Facebook offers with its Insights feature.
- You cannot track old posts. Only posts that are made after you start using the tool will be available. While this might not sound all that problematic for some of you, it’s important to be able to track old posts when you’re dealing with the history of customer service complaints.
Functionality: Like Wildfire, the Buddy Media suite of products features a conversation tool where users can schedule and respond to posts, as well as see activity in chronological order. It also features a profile tool similar to that of Wildfire’s page manager tool (sweepstakes included) and a similar analytics feature.
- Buddy will work with you to create a custom template design for your tab(s), reflecting the colors and fonts of your brand.
- You are able to track old posts! Buddy populates its conversation tool with posts that were made even before you started using the program. This is nice for reasons mentioned above.
- Buddy’s analytics don’t differ that much from Facebook Insights, either.
- Without CSS coding knowledge, you are more limited in what you can do with your tabs. Buddy has a smaller selection of templates than that of Wildfire.
Of course, everything that I’ve written above could change in a matter of months, weeks even! In fact, I haven’t used Buddy Media’s tool in the last five months. Undoubtedly, the company has responded to customer feedback and has upgraded many of its services. Not to mention, Salesforce.com just entered into an agreement to acquire the company in hopes of delivering the first comprehensive marketing cloud.
Is there anything you’d like to add to the list of pros and cons for Buddy Media and Wildfire? I know that cost certainly is a concern, but because it can vary greatly from client to client and service to service, I thought it’d be good to focus mostly on function here. Feel free to share your feedback on cost, as well!
We’d love to hear your thoughts!