Falcon Social’s mission is “connecting the dots in the user journey.” That’s how May Laursen put it when we linked up for a phone conversation about the platform’s development and achievements, she in Copenhagen, me in New York.
That’s one reason Falcon Social might be less familiar to you as a name than, say, Sprinklr or Spredfast or Percolate. It’s a Copenhagen, Denmark-based company–somewhat younger, said Laursen, than its US competitors, and with more limited access to venture capital. The European background differentiates it from other social media management firms we’ve profiled in this ongoing series, although in most ways it bears direct comparison with its US peers.
Competitive with US Peers
Falcon boasts an impressive roster of enterprise clients in Europe, including Danish beverage giant Carlsberg, Deutsche Telekom, Nintendo, Toyota and Pandora. What’s more, it’s already making waves with US-based analysts. In Forrester’s April 2015 evaluation of social relationship platforms, Falcon was listed one of the “strong performers,” a group just behind pack leaders Percolate, Spredfast and Sprinklr. According to Forrester: “Falcon Social offers the best unified social to-do list we’ve seen. (It) does a good job helping marketers decide what content to publish, and clients say the vendor excels at onboarding new customers” (The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2015).
In March 2015, it closed $16 million in funding in March this year, available, an investment which should aid both product development and continuing overseas expansion. It will also, Laursen told me, help in adding data sources to a portfolio which currently includes Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, as well as–via partnership with social data vendor Gnip–blog hubs like WordPress, and countless sources outside the higher profile social channels.
The Product Proffer
Falcon is committed, like Sprout Social, to channeling the global social firehose into a single inbox. It’s highly customizable, as one would expect, not only by profile, brand keywords and sentiment, but according to individual or team assignments.
In a signature move, Falcon also prioritizes updates, tweets and other posts using an algorithm which singles out relevant, trending discussions, and also makes recommendations for responsive content (Forrester suggests it makes no recommendations for scheduling, but the dashboard does show the relative impact of date and time of posting in the immediate past). What’s more, machine learning improves the algorithm, as it detects and assimilates the intensity of the client’s response. Engage rapidly and in depth with a specific customer complaint, for example, and the algorithm will give complaints of that description a higher profile in future. In effect, it automates elements of social risk management.
Users can readily engage in the social conversation using response templates or assets stocked and shared in the collaborative Content Pool. Assignments and workflows can be shared both in-house and with partners–agencies for example–and significant data can be forwarded by email from within the tool, to subject matter experts or for review at C-level.Topic and project filters readily segment the stream of social data.
Another differentiator is the Facebook App Builder which allows almost immediate creation of custom Facebook apps through drag-and-drop to pre-configured templates. In addition, Falcon provides the expected analytics tools; customized benchmarking can assess performance by in-house teams and against competition, and social data reporting is automated.
Not a Full-Scale Marketing Tool
Falcon presents itself as a robust customer response tool, in an environment where such functionality is by no means straightforward. As Laursen says, at a simple level, “it models responses to messages on a large scale.”
Falcon automatically surfaces relevant conversations among customers and potential customers, and enables brands to leverage responsive content within one interface. It doesn’t pretend to be a comprehensive asset management tool, nor does it provide marketers with the ability to closely track prospects, touch point by touch point, through every stage of the customer journey.
Laursen told me that future plans involve integrating social data with social profiles, but anyone seeking to model customer identity across multiple channels and automate a personalized experience in response to individual behavior will be looking elsewhere for now.
Who Uses Falcon?
That’s hardly a criticism, of course. Focus, in itself, is not a fault in a marketing tech product. Laursen estimates that Falcon’s current market divides as 80 percent brands, 20 percent agencies. Clients range from businesses with five employees engaged in social media users to those with hundreds, even thousands.
Her advice on whether companies qualify as Falcon clients is common sense: “Can you identify a return?” But she does make an interesting case that smaller businesses can actually be more successful than enterprises using Falcon’s tools, “because they can make changes much more quickly.”
Company Name: Falcon Social
Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark
Categories: Monitoring, Social Media Management, Social Media Publishing
Describe Yourself: Falcon Social offers a unified social media management platform for social media listening, engaging, publishing, measuring and management. Listen – With real-time monitoring, brands can proactively serve customers, identify business opportunities, address image issues, gain insights and engage with influencers. Engage – A social inbox equipped with tools for moderation and to leave notes and assign tasks, social media teams can finally focus on what they do best: talking with customers. Publish – Our social media content calendar makes it simple to create, schedule and publish content to social channels. Build – We want you to develop the best possible community onFacebook, and our applications are designed to help. Measure – We want to help employees determine their own social metrics, and make informed decisions based on what’s most important for their business. Manage – Our governance layer keeps the platform together. It enables administrators and team leaders to grant or restrict access to features—custom settings that can be applied to people or teams.
Main Competitors: Sprinklr, Spredfast, Hootsuite, Adobe Social, Salesforce