Having looked at a content planning tool last time around, we thought it would be interesting to look at the other side of the coin and review a tool that specialises in listening. As it happened, we found something that did both, plus a whole lot more that we weren’t expecting.
Tool name and maker: Sysomos by Sysomos
Competitive set: Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Google Docs
What this tool does: Sysomos bills itself as a unified, insights-driven social platform. Designed to meet the needs of marketers, covering all areas from search, discovering and listening whilst also addressing their content planning and community management needs allowing publishing, engagement and analysis of earned, owned and paid media.
Sysomos is an independent social intelligence company, working with more than 1,500 customers that include 80% of the most valuable global brands.
Tags: social, content, planning, approval, assets management
Price as reviewed: Varying depending on package.
The test: The test we set was a pretty simple activity. Leading up to a new business pitch, we wanted to gauge audience sentiment of our prospective new client, as well as where it sat amongst its competitors. It was a new entrant into a booming sector where new star products are appearing on a weekly basis. The other key element we needed to evaluate was just what were its audience talking about, not just when talking about the product, but also more generally so that we could build related content pillars that we could craft copy around to resonate with our growing audience.
How it performed: At first navigating around the interface was difficult. The downside to having everything under one roof is that EVERYTHING is under one roof and having so many options available to you can become a little overwhelming. But with some time, we grew used to where everything was and it began to show us real results. Some of the listening features were a little sluggish, however this could be explained by the fact we were looking for some very wide ranging themes and topics.
The range of data it was able to provide was quite breathtaking. It was really interesting to see just how granular the program could get within the data. Being able to isolate by location too was a real benefit, particularly for our precise needs.
Likes: Having a one-stop shop for all your needs has a real economic benefit. The quality of the listening tools meant we were able to pull a clear graphic of our target audience which for the purposes of our presentation meant we were able to illustrate just where the communities we were targeting gathered and how best we could appeal to their interests.
From a drafting and management point of view, being able to upload content prior to draft means we can manage what assets we use and where we need to source new assets. Collaboration is encouraged and the flow between creation and approval is much smoother. One feature that we did really like was the automated “Seek Permission” feature that means you can comment on Instagram posts with a personalised message, and include a T&Cs link. And finally, it has a mobile app! Which for in the field community management and live posting will be very useful.
Dislikes: The user interface on the desktop app feels a bit bland and the generated graphics could be a bit more dynamic. If we hadn’t been pushed for time, we might have taken the generated graphic and had our designers redo some elements to it.
The one area we really suffered in was Telegram. Sysomos doesn’t seem to be working with Telegram, which is a huge area of business for a few of our clients. It’s a growing platform and as a result it’s a platform that a lot of brands are struggling to keep under control from a community management point of view. We have found this to be the case with a number of social listening platforms that we have tested.
We asked about the price and the ballpark figure we were given would put this program out of the budgets of many small businesses. You can see what you are getting for your money but it’s probably beyond the means of an agency of our size.
As with all reviews, our user experience was hindered slightly by the fact that we were only using Sysomos for a short period. The opportunity to test it in full campaign conditions wasn’t available to us, but hopefully we’ve given you at least an idea of what it’s capable of.
Star rating (out of five):
By David Macnamara, digital PR lead at agency Dynamo PR
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