An increasingly social Internet has transformed Facebooking moms, tweeting trend-followers, and Digging teens into powerful brand and product influencers. And as your ecommerce business grows, you should be concerned about what these social Internet influencers are saying regarding your site, your products, and your service.
But with more Internet users blogging or participating in communities (66.8 percent) than using email (65.1 percent according to Nielsen Online), there could be a significant number of posts about your business on any number of sites, blogs, and social communities. So it can be a challenge to monitor everything that is being said about your business. Enter Filtrbox.
Filtrbox offers a real-time, software-as-a-service (SaaS) social media monitoring platform that is both effective and easy to use. You’ll be able to monitor what social Internet influencers are saying about your company, respond to or participate in the conversation when it makes sense, or pass the conversation on by posting it to Twitter, Facebook, or the like. For providing a simplified way to participate in social communities and monitor company reputation, I am awarding Filtrbox three and a half out of a possible five stars in this “The PeC Review.”
“The PeC Review” is my weekly column created specifically to introduce you to the products or services that I think will improve your ecommerce business. This week, let me explain why I think Filtrbox is a good choice for reputation management and social media marketing.
Video: Using Filtrbox
It Is a Matter of Knowing
At bottom, Filtrbox is a tool that tracks and aggregates content from around the web and pushes that content to you for review. It lets you know about conversations that could be pertinent to your business and provides ways for you to take part in those conversations, too. The service even includes some basic analysis tools that will help you identify trends in the sea of status updates, comments, and posts.
But it is not a tool that does everything for you. If you are looking for a way to stay abreast of your industry and your company’s reputation, then consider this tool. If you want a programmatic solution that does the work for you, you won’t be satisfied.
An Intuitive UI and Clear Labels
Filtrbox’s marketing emphasizes its ease of use. On the company’s home page there is a large header that promises, “Real-time social media monitoring, simplified.” It is a promise Filtrbox delivers on throughout the user interface.
Filtrbox is easy to use. Clear labels and effective icons point the way. And everything seems to do what you expect it to do. There is not necessarily anything fancy about the tool. Rather, it is just clear.
Get Started in Minutes
Filtrbox’s basic mission is to help you monitor what others are saying about the topics important to your business, whether that is brand reputation, products, or related terms. The company doesn’t mess around. In just a few minutes you can be attentively finding and following those influencers that are writing or speaking about your business, your competition, and your industry.
Supports Seven Media Types
All told, Filtrbox G2, the company’s newest product, offers tracking for seven distinct media types, including indexing more than 1 million forums, comments from sites and blogs, YouTube videos, images, social media sites Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed, blogs, and news sites.
Although it is certain that Filtrbox is not tracking everything on the Internet, the service does have access to a very large slice of the pie, which should more than suffice to monitor and engage in conversations related to your business. In fact, if the search terms you select are too broad, you’ll get an acute case of information overload that you will really want to filter.
Prices Vary, But Figure on $2,000 a Year
Filtrbox prices vary by specific product and the number of users, so to get an exact price, you have to speak with the company’s sales team. As an estimate, if you use the G2 product and have just one user, you would pay about $2,000 per year if you prepay or about $2,400 per year if you pay incrementally.
Some Waiting and the Need to Buy a Vowel
As I experimented with Filtrbox, I encountered two hiccups that I wish the company would fix.
First, they need to buy a vowel. It was cute when Flickr launched sans “e,” but all that dropping the “e” in “Filtrbox” does is make the name hard to spell and harder to look at. With luck, Ari Newman, Tom Chikoore, Patrick Cameron, and the rest of the Filtrboxers will become successful enough to pry the Filterbox.com domain away from the Rain for Rent irrigation company so they can reintegrate the “e.”
They could even do a marketing campaign around it. “This ‘e’ means that we’re putting even more ease and efficiency in our product.”
The second hiccup had to do with speed. More than once, while I was creating filtrs, I had to wait a long time for the Filtrbox system to respond. Of course, I was staring right at the application watching and waiting for the proverbial pot of water to boil. In real world use, the wait is probably acceptable.
I am a firm believer in reputation management and in meaningful engagement in social media. I believe that Filtrbox is a good tool to help in those efforts. It is reasonably priced and very easy to use, which is why I awarded it three and a half out of a possible five stars in this The PeC Review.