With all my talk in earlier blogs about the benefit of companies employing a social media strategy, I thought that it would be a good idea to review a product that enables companies to build their own social media empire. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see a demo of a great new product from Social Platform LLC: Social Platform Enterprise 1.2. Just released last week, this product does what it says on the tin- it is a highly extensible, modular platform which allows enterprises to build a customized social media infrastructure – complete with integration into key social media sites like Blogger, Live Journal, WordPress, and soon, YouTube and Flickr. The platform effectively allows companies to develop a social networking hub for their constituents.
Social Platform Enterprise is highly customizable and integrates well into existing systems. Social Platform and their clients work together to tailor a solution to meet business goals – i.e.: identifying features, branding, integration points, etc. With the current release of Social Platform Enterprise 1.2, the average implementation usually takes between 30-60 days and costs about $15,000 for a basic site. Clients typically pay about $1,500 month for hosting and services. The resulting product is a unique, scalable, hosted, managed social media solution, which allows an organization’s constituency to interact with each other and the organization in a more meaningful way. The code and presentation layer are separate, so clients can make edits, using almost any HTML editor. In the future, President and CEO Eric Schlissel tells me that they’re planning to release an “Express” version of the platform in Q1 2007, which will be an out-of-the box solution for customers who are looking for a less customized solution that is easy to set up without consulting expertise.
One of the biggest selling features of this platform is the openness and its ability to integrate well with existing systems and popular social media sites. The plug-in architecture and open API, combined with the fact that modular software updates are included in the cost of the product, mean that that the platform is scalable and can grow with an organization’s needs. Plus, Google Analytics is incorporated so that clients can measure what levels of traction their social media efforts are producing.
There are several other key advantages of Social Platform Enterprise 1.2 including:
- The ability to integrate community, ratings, and rewards: create member profiles and member groups and conduct polls of specific groups of constituents. Offer rewards to members for their participation in forums or their evangelism on other websites. The ability to allow for member rankings.
- The ability for members to communicate and collaborate. Clients have the option of integrating content management systems, wikis, member-to-member messaging, and target communication channels (which allow client to speak to members with a specific profile. E.g. a certain number of reward points)
- Security features are built in, and clients can decide which level of security they want for their social media sites. There are automatic security updates, a secure admin area, and the possibility for secure sign on for users. Plus, because the resulting sites are hosted and managed by Social Platform, there is a private hardware and a private network
In the next rev of the product, Schlissel expects several improvements including:
- Payment Options for All System Features
- Ecommerce, Auctions, Classifieds
- Expansion of Web Services
- Integration of Third-Party Software
- VOIP, IM
To see the results of Social Platform in action, check out one of their first clients: Omotion. If you’ve got any comments on Social Platform, please post a comment on this blog. The demo looks good, and I’m eager to hear feedback from others who have interacted with Social Platform generated social media sites.
*Note: I don’t get paid to endorse products. I just review new social media products as I see them, when the opportunity arises.