A New Category Defined: Social Performance Software

A new software category has emerged to bring performance marketing to social channels.

After interviewing over 10 software companies and 10 agencies, a new trend has emerged that will change the social business landscape. What is this trend? The marketing performance techniques to refine TV, Radio, SEO and other marketing mediums are now moving to the social space.   Read my definitive post on Mashable to learn how this impacts not only brands, but also Facebook and my long term predictions on how this will play out.

Market Needs
Companies are struggling to scale to keep up with all the conversations in this space, secondly, the noise is becoming deafening with everyone from consumers to brands all shouting in social that targeting is needed to cut through the noise. Those that deploy volume quickly find they’re part of the noise, and get cast by the wayside.  As a result, we’re seeing a new category emerge, called Social Performance Software.

Social Performance Software Defined
Software tools and methods that analyze, plan, deliver, and measure media such as ads, content, and conversations published in social channels. For example, they will analyze the conversations of your followers, then suggest which content and media to publish, then determine when to publish, on which channel, and to whom. As a result, content will reach the intended audiences and result in higher resonation, or higher call to action rates

List of Vendors focused on Social Performance
Here’s a list of the vendors, if you know of others, leave a comment below. Please note that this category stretches across a number of product lines, as this will be a horizontal feature set spanning nearly every social software company.

  • Adobe Social, which includes multiple acquisitions including Omniture and Context Optional.
  • BuddyMedia, offers both campaign platform marketing tools along with social ads with their Brighter Option acquisition.
  • Bazaarvoice, now has turned their earned content from ratings and reviews into a new social ad unit –even outside of FB.
  • Crowdbooster, analyzes, measures and then optimizes when content should publish.
  • Prosodic, which analyzes the who, what, where, and aids publishers.
  • Shoutlet, focused on larger scale companies can help with complicated publishing needs, at scale.
  • SocialFlow, analyzes your current socialgraph activity, guides users on content creation, then publishes at highest resonation.
  • Tigerlily, focuses on publishing content by theme, audience and location, increasing relevance.
  • UberVU, who first mines and analyzes data, then optimizes when content will publish.
  • Webtrends Social, tracks content and ads, and measures performance across these multiple locations.
  • Wildfire, a campaign platform marketing company has recently partnered with Adaptly to provide social ads and more

I’ve written other posts discussed why this trend will be important, one major industry force is that with Facebook and Twitter now offering ads (and new ad networks will emerge off FB and Twitter) we’ll continue to see social media agencies turn to advertising. I’ll be writing more about this space in the coming quarters, such as benefits and downsides of automation, and where this future will head.

Update: This is on the official Altimeter blog, and CMS Wire.