When FriendsEat started out, co-founder Blanca Valbuena told me, they couldn’t afford publicists, and had to do their own marketing. “We were early adopters of everything,” she said. Tired of paying for software to support social media campaigns, “we built a back-end product for ourselves. All these little problems we had, we solved them.” In 2013, Valbuena became co-founder of Socialdraft too, with the internal product transforming into a notably low cost, web- and mobile-based, managed service solution for clients.
The Calendar is Key
Unlike Hootsuite or Sprout Social, for example, Socialdraft isn’t primarily focused on capturing and filtering the global social conversation. It’s model is a visual calendar, and its main selling point is the ease with which users can schedule and re-schedule social posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Drag-and-drop functionality allows users to move posts between social accounts, duplicate them, and alter timing with a few clicks. It’s clear that this approach will appeal to some users more than in-putting scheduling changes on a service like Hootsuite.
The calendar is collaborative: users can set up permissions to share content, approvals, and workflows between clients and agencies.
Socialdraft doesn’t neglect listening, of course. Its social feed tool allows users to comment, “like,” and re-tweet across the four main social channels (and it claims to have an especially robust search capability for Instagram). A proprietary real-time alerts system, customizable through keywords, surfaces relevant discussions–not just on the main social channels, but web-wide. Alerts can be shared directly with team members just by clicking.
Amplifying the Message
Socialdraft seasons its calendar and listening features with the ability to address key influencers. “There are so many different social networks,” Valbuena told me. “You need to decide where you’re going to be and who you’re going to interact with.” Most businesses can’t sift through hundreds–even thousands–of Facebook comments and “likes” and judge which ones to engage with.
You need to decide where you’re going to be and who you’re going to interact with
Socialdraft’s Smart ID product automatically identifies the top influencers in the conversation, capturing their demographics, their activity on other social channels, and the topics on which they’re influential. Top influencers are likely to amplify any brand response, and engaging with them can help reinforce loyalty. Socialdraft equates this feature with “smart social media analytics,” and it does seem to substitute for comprehensive analytics on performance and reach of social activity.
Not a Comprehensive Social Marketing Suite
Indeed, important to recognize that Socialdraft doesn’t pretend to do everything a comprehensive social media marketing suite might be expected to do. It doesn’t provide tools to identify and save highly specific audience segments. Although it streamlines publication of content, it doesn’t provide a digital asset library within which content can be stored and managed. It’s not a product which will help a sales team by tracking an individual prospect’s social touch-points.
But not all businesses need those features. Socialdraft’s “enterprise” package serves 25 team members, 50 accounts, and 1,000 posts per day. That’s a drop in the water for major enterprises–but it’s priced at $99 per month (Socialdraft’s basic tool currently sells at $29 per month). Whereas some brands seek to nurture prospects by targeting wide-ranging content–white papers, videos, tutorials, newsletters, blogs–others simply need an intelligent system for putting updates and tweets in front of the right pairs of eyes.
Valbuena explained that Socialdraft is mainly concentrating on attracting SMBs and agencies, although it’s a solution which local “mom ‘n’ pop” businesses can efficiently use. The challenges coming down the road are new, younger social networks (she mentioned Snapchat), and extending the social conversation across international markets.
And she’s still answering the client question, “Why do I need to pay for this when Facebook is free?”
Company Name: Socialdraft
Headquarters: New York, New York
Categories: Analytics, Monitoring, Social Media Management, Social Media Publishing
Describe Yourself: Socialdraft SmartID is a social media management dashboard that helps you interact with the right people by giving you the top people to interact with each of your social media posts, as well as intelligence on who they are so you can engage them intelligently on various Social Networks. Socialdraft’s drag-and-drop social media calendar allows you to duplicate posts and drag-and-drop them to another date to easily re-schedule. It also allows for you to collaborate with a team or clients, keeping Social Media accounts safe.
Socialdraft’s real time alerts let you know when your brand or business is mentioned on the web or social media. It then allows you to share positive mentions to your social media accounts with just a few clicks. Socialdraft schedules to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and has Instagram implementation with robust search.
Main Competitors: Hootsuite, Buffer, Agorapulse