Tools that are consigned to the “social CRM” category are not all created equal. Different tools have a different purpose, focus, and strength. Tools like Nimble and Gist are centered on tracking, consolidating, and presenting a comprehensive view of your contacts, while tools like Radian6 are focused more on monitoring what is said about your company or other targets you identify. JitterJam provides a combination of these functions.
Pricing in the social media category also varies. Tools like Nimble and Gist are free, while Radian6 and JitterJam are relatively expensive—starting generally in the $300 to $500 per month range and going up to the $1,000 per month range and beyond. Some users find the value of these tools is worth the money, while others are turned off by the granular nature of the fees and the feeling they are being nickel and dimed.
Radian6 is first and foremost a listening tool, aimed at monitoring the online conversations of targets you identify. It is also a complex tool. As one reviewer noted, “It takes some time to learn all the ins and outs of the tool. I am a very heavy user and I’ve been using for just over a year and I still learn something new each week.”
To help you master the tool, Radian6 provides a raft of support in the form of blogs, case studies, e-mail, telephone, and Twitter, and encourages you to take a one-hour training session before you begin using it.
But as the same reviewer noted, “In order to be successful with R6 you need to have the time, money and resources to put into it.”
Unlike tools like Nimble and Gist, Radian6 does not automatically import your contacts, rather it requires that you enter keywords and create topic profiles of the subjects you would like to track. The software then scours a host of online information sources and creates a data set of mentions for the terms you’ve chosen.
You sort and digest the information Radian6 offers via a Dashboard that can be adjusted via different views and widgets. You can focus specifically on Twitter or Facebook streams, for example, and can have Radian6 gauge the sentiment of posts, the influence of a poster, or create a snapshot of a poster. An Engagement Console presents a grid of social conversations in real time and allows you to group posts, respond to posts, or assign posts to others via workflow.
Pricing is an issue many customers have with Radian6. As our reviewer noted, it’s impossible to tell how much Radian6 will really cost your company to deploy without talking with a sales representative. Fees rise with add-on features and the amount of monitoring you perform.
While JitterJam has capabilities similar to Radian6, it is a different animal, more like a cross between Radian6, Nimble, and Gist. Unlike Radian6, and like Nimble and Gist, JitterJam builds a database of your contacts and employs unique search and analysis features to build detailed “Social Profiles” of each of your contacts that include information about their blogs, reach, and relative influence. These profiles are calculated automatically by JitterJam’s “Social Rating Engine.” JitterJam enables you to engage with contacts and track and measure the progress of your relationship moving from prospect to customer.
You can also perform “Social Searches” in which JitterJam searchs the entire Web for terms you specify, and you can search single or multiple channels, including blogs, e-mail lists, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
JitterJam also enables you to conduct sophisticated business communications campaigns, including permission marketing with “Make Me Happy” opt in/opt out channel choices, and integration with e-mail marketing solutions to conduct e-mail campaigns.
As our reviewer noted, JitterJam does essentially the same things that Radian6 and other leading social media management tools do, but also offers depth and breadth of consolidated, actionable contact information that distinguishes it from its competitors.
Like Radian6, JitterJam is a complex and difficult tool to master, but support options are thin or nonexistent in comparison with those offered by Radian6. Also like Radian6, JitterJam is difficult to price and you must talk with a salesperson to get a price quote. As our reviewer noted, there is no pricing information on the JitterJam website, while published reports indicate that prices range from about $300 to $1,300 per month.
Bottom Line: While the general capabilities and usability of Radian6 and JitterJam are similar, they differ in their interface, approach, and emphasis. As with a number of online available tools today, Radian6 and JitterJam are not easy to price and require consultation with a sales representative. Each allows a free trial, so you can test their functionality, get a price quote, and choose which tool best meets your particular needs, preferences, and budget.