Astute's Social Relationship Management product monitors 150 million social media sites, blogs, and review pages. Additional capabilities include content, sentiment, influencer, brand, and competitive analysis, customizable workflow automation and escalation, integration with multiple other CRM tools, and extensive reporting options.
A base package provides access to unique active search streams for as low as $250 per search.
Tara Clark, consumer affairs social strategist at ConAgra Foods, began piloting Astute SRM in May 2012 with the Healthy Choice brand and broadened use to include additional brands in November 2012.
How do you use it?
I use it to monitor our 21 Facebook and eight Twitter accounts. I log on every day and use the moderation tool, which lets me easily slip between all the pages and see what's been posted and what needs to be responded to right away.
It's a Web-based system. I don't think a mobile app is available yet. I can access it on my iPad, but it's not a separate app. I think they maybe working on that.
It's very easy to use. Because I'm an administrator on all our pages, the tool keeps them in a list for me all the time.
There's an analytics tool that shows me real-time feeds for all our bands so I can quickly and easily see what consumers are talking about. I can get several different types of reports from this tool, including stats, trends, or custom reports.
You can decide how you want to pull in information and enter perimeters for what you want to see in your feed based on keywords. I don't have it pull in every single post as I am mainly interested in getting information about product quality, food safety, and consumer education issues so that's what I want it to pull in for me.
If there's a problem I call or email either of my two main account managers. They usually get it resolved within a few hours. They're very responsive and willing to make whatever changes we need to make it work for us. They also keep a log of all my requests so we always have something to reference.
An example of a problem might be that for some reason SRM didn't pull a consumer post about feedback on a Healthy Choice meal. I can see the post in Facebook, but I want it to pull through to SRM. My account representatives work with me to figure out why it didn't pull in that post and what we can do to make sure it does pull in that type of post in the future. So it's really just fine-tuning.
How does it serve your business needs?
I'm in the consumer affairs sector and report on the quality side of the business. I look for information related to product quality, food safety, and consumer education issues. Astute SRM ensures we are reporting social conversations to our quality teams in the same way we do for consumer calls or consumer emails, and that the reporting is as consistent for social as it is for calls and emails.
Astute SRM provides us with the conversations happening in the social spaces and provides data we may use to make changes to our products.
For example, if we had consumers talking about a certain meal or product in a negative way, we would collect the data from our traditional sources, such as phonecalls and emails, as well as the social conversations and provide that to our brand teams. They are then equipped with a complete picture of what our consumers are talking about and can use it to make decisions about our products.
It's also a risk mitigation tool for us. For example, if someone were to post a YouTube video addressing one of our products in negative way, we wouldn't want that to go viral without responding to it immediately. Astute SRM gives us the ability to see it so we can post an immediate response and try to take the conversation offline if necessary.
There are a handful of keywords we consider critical. The SRM tool emails me if it catches any of those words associated with one of our bands anywhere on the Web so I have line of sight to that right away and can alert everyone I need to alert internally. A lot of other social tools we looked at didn't have that capability.
I can easily add a topic to track. It doesn't have to be brand related – it could be anything that consumers are talking about. Once I add a topic, it'll automatically track and show me any related conversation, so we'll know to be prepared to talk about it.
An example of a topic I might want to add could be an ingredient or packaging feature that's common to food manufacturing. I might not know about the topic or packaging feature that's being talked about, but I want to consult someone internally to ask what is it, if we use it, and let them know we should be prepared to respond should we get a related question. It also helps us stay on top of trends, industry news, and what the FDA is saying.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
We were already using Astute's CRM tool, and the SRM tool fully integrates into that system. It takes out the manual work I'd have to do if I wasn't using Astute. Anything that goes into SRM automatically feeds into CRM and creates what we call a case – a consumer contact that we then have the ability to report on.
What are the main benefits?
The email escalation feature that gives me an immediate line of sight to any critical issues really helps us take any preventative or corrective action necessary.
The ability to continually make changes to the tool is helpful because everything changes so quickly in the social media world.Integration with Astute CRM is great and it's very easy to use.
What are the main drawbacks?
This isn't really a drawback to the Astute tool, but there are limitations stemming from Facebook privacy rules. For example, if a consumer posts a picture on one of our walls and they don't allow third-party access in their privacy settings, SRM can't pull it in. It also can't pull in emails sent to us within Facebook – this is because of Facebook privacy settings, not a limitation of Astute SRM. If a consumer emails one of our brands on Facebook it's there in our inbox, but I still have to go to Facebook separately to look at those.
It's not the same for Twitter. If someone sends us a direct message inside Twitter, SRM can see those and route them to me.
What would you like to see improved / added?
Regarding the integration between SRM and CRM, I'd like to have it capture photos from SRM and put them into CRM so they can automatically go into the case. Right now I have to manually add any photos.
I'd also like to be able to delete spam from our Facebook wall through the SRM tool. Right now I can see it, but I can't delete it without going into Facebook.
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