BuzzStream offers Web-based influencer relationship management software. Features include social media research, project and relationship management tools, personalized outreach capability, and target audience segmenting.
Plans are $29 per month for two users and 1,500 contacts; $129 per month for four users and unlimited contacts; and $249 per month for 10 users and unlimited contacts.
Katherine Watier, VP of social media at Ketchum, has been using BuzzStream for about a year and a half.
How do you use it?
You log on online. You can then pull a list you have already built and see conversations across your teams with a blogger. If you are building a new list of bloggers, you search Google for those who cover your topic. You click on their blog, hit a browser button and it automatically scrapes their blog and adds all that information into your list. You can also run a report about pitch success and links you have built.
If there's a problem, BuzzStream has a “get satisfaction” process that is like an online ticket system where you can also search previous questions people have had. We can also call or email the reps.
How does it serve your business needs?
Overall, BuzzStream speeds up the information gathering process and the pitch process. It also helps us personalize pitches, build relationships with bloggers, and measure the effectiveness of our pitches.
Without BuzzStream, if you want to add blogger to a pitch list, you have to go find the blog's PageRank or MozRank and compete numbers and then search for the blogger's social profiles and contact information. BuzzStream does all this automatically.
A big challenge for us is coordinating pitching efforts across teams. Different teams often pitch the same bloggers and when you are sending outbound pitch email, you can use a specific blind copy and BuzzStream will automatically store the email in the database related to that blogger record. This allows us to personalize the pitch more, build a relationship with bloggers as real people, and ensure we are not over pitching them.
BuzzStream automatically determines if a blogger has linked to a client's property without us having to do anything. This helps us further personalize pitches by thanking a blogger who has linked to a client's property and it speeds up our SEO reporting process.
The system also finds social profiles in addition to the one you searched for, so we can ask a blogger if they will post information on their other channels as well.
Without BuzzStream, we would have to use Excel sheets and email them back and forth to our teams, and the Excel sheets might be dated. Another benefit of BuzzStream is it tells us if a blog has died or if a link to our page died.
For our client, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), we use BuzzStream to build links to its website and blog; to find people we think would be interested in joining its LinkedIn group; and to find influencers we might want to interview about health information technology.
It's really helped us increase traffic to ONC's website and blog. For example, based on BuzzStream data, we knew Susannah Fox from Pew Internet was one of ONC's Twitter followers and she picked up a blog post that was a big return for ONC.
At the end of our government client contracts, we turn over all data. BuzzStream makes it really easy to export into Excel. It also imports. If you find someone on Twitter directory Listoria, you can import his or her information.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from and IT standpoint?
It's Web-based. You can use an email template and have BuzzStream send emails through your own email system, but for various reason we don't do that. We just use blind copy.
We use SEOmoz and because BuzzStream also uses the data and integrates it really well.
What are the main benefits?
We do a lot of niche pitch list creation. BuzzStream really speeds up the process because we often can't get the lists we're looking for from media lists. For example, we did some work for a big computer company that wanted to promote one of the first electronic health records – it's one of those computers that fills a room.
They couldn't figure out how to spread that online, but through Google searches and by using BuzzStream we found people who cover old computer systems and were able to build and pitch that list quickly.
It allows for cross team coordination.
The system regularly and automatically updates information about websites so you always have the latest information at your fingertips.
Customer service is great. If something is broken we get a fast response and they've given us work arounds or tutorials whenever we've needed them. They call us regularly to talk about either a new feature we want or to train us on a new feature.
We're actually madly in love with the system – there aren't many systems that do what it does, and it's critical for us.
What are the main drawbacks?
We had to create a work around for some clients who want us to build follower lists for their social media properties.
We needed some tagging customization. For example, I can't put Huffington Post under one content label because there are a lot of bloggers writing about a several subjects on Huffington Post. Someone who likes health information technology might also be really interested in mobile health, and I want to label that blogger based on both of those content topics. So we had to adjust that tagging in a customized way.
What would you like to see improved / added?
Brian Ahier is an influencer and advocate who was retweeting and blogging about ONC, but he hadn't joined its LinkedIn group. We noticed that and asked him, but it would've been nice if BuzzStream's database had let me know.
They really involve us in developing new products. Just today, we ran through a usability test for something we requested.
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