With “Social Studio,” Salesforce introduces a powerful integration of Buddy Media and Radian6

Salesforce just took a big step forward in the race to becoming the first to offer a completely integrated marketing cloud.

With the launch of “Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio,” Salesforce is finally integrating its two social media marketing platforms, offering them as one cohesive solution to marketers. Along with Social.com, Radian6 and Buddy Media make up the social marketing component of Salesforce’s integrated marketing suite, the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

“What we are delivering customers is a single platform to manage all of their digital marketing, including social marketing, which is one part of the mix,” says Gordon Evans, VP of marketing for the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. “This is not a cobbled together solution.”

Here’s a quick demo video of the new platform:

By building a combined platform for Buddy Media and Radian6, Salesforce is answering one of the biggest criticisms of its marketing cloud products, which was that they weren’t integrated enough. Individually, both Buddy Media and Radian6 have been acknowledged as top-of-the-line platforms, for social media publishing and social media listening respectively. Both platforms routinely top Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for enterprise listening platforms.However, analysts such Forrester’s Zachary Reiss-Davis have stated that Salesforce would rank higher as a social media marketing platform if its individual components were better at talking to each other and sharing data. 

Salesforce has answered that call by combining the social media content publishing tools of Buddy Media along with the listening and analytics capabilities of Radian6. Here are some of the new features it will offer:

Workspaces – For team collaborations and coordinating social strategy across multiple departments or regions.

Collaborative Calendars – For scheduling content, organizing social media efforts across the company.

Publishing –  Create and publish content to targeted audiences across multiple social channels

Integrated Engagement – Respond to customers in real-time, deploy multi-channel campaigns and coordinate engagement.

Enhanced Analytics – View analytics of post engagement, monitor how content is performing and generate reports.

In addition to enhancing its social media marketing tools, Salesforce is also adding a content marketing solution to the platform. Salesforce doesn’t have the content-creating tools to compete with someone like Adobe, so it’s doing the next best thing, providing an open platform open platform that will enable content-creating platforms to run on it. 

So far it has announced partnerships with Getty Images, Kontera, Nexgate, Pressly, Rallyverse, Shutterstock, ShopIgniter and Trendpottr to give users a variety of ways to create the content they want to distribute through the Social Studio. This definitely helps marketers to deal with the problem of having great channels of communication, but no idea of what to say on them.

There’s still the question of how Social.com fits into this picture. Social.com is the paid component of Salesforce’s social media offering and Salesforce hasn’t quite confirmed its integration into the Social Studio, which would make it an even more complete social media marketing solution. However, Evans says there is definitely a sharing of data between the platforms, if not total integration. 

“What’s really amazing is that you can run a social content and engagement (earned) campaign in Social Studio, and then leverage Social.com for paid advertising to identify and amplify the top performing content from your campaign,” says Evans. “Your top performing content is automatically suggested for paid campaigns within Social.com.”

On the surface, the Social Studio offers marketers the combined use of two, very highly regarded platforms. It’s definitely a strong challenge to competitors like Adobe Social, and Oracle Social Cloud, both of which have lower rated individual social offerings. However, what it offers isn’t very much different from several other social media marketing solutions in the market. Through integrated partnerships, Hootsuite is offering paid social capabilities, and platforms such as Sprinklr, (with its acquisition of Dachis Group) and Spredfast (which just acquired Mass Relevance) are building up some very formidable platforms. The real value of the Social Studio is how well it can use and share data among Salesforce’s other offerings, namely its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.

“Our platform enables organizations to integrate and aggregate data from any conceivable source,” says Evans. “[This includes,] Salesforce contact records, service cases, web analytics data, and e-commerce purchase history, to really form that single view of the customer and use those insights to drive relevant and highly personalized communications.”

The Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio will be available to marketers as a stand-alone product for $1500 a month. Brands such as Citrix and jetBlue are among the first brands who have signed up to use it.

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