Fortunately, in the social media frenzied world that we currently live in, options for analytical tools are abound. However, like every other type of product in the market, you’re destined to find a few lemons. In my personal opinion, Virlaheat is one. Viralheat was created help companies and individuals identify key trends, understand community engagement and perform competitive analysis for their social media campaigns but that’s not the feeling I got from the software. Before I get into the details, I would like to preface my statements with the fact that I only used the demo version and not the “upgraded” site but let’s be honest; do you buy a whole block of cheese at the grocery store when the sample tasted bad? For those who want to judge for themselves, one can find the product at http://www.viralheat.com. After you sign up through an email, twitter or facebook account for the software, a two second tutorial shows you how to add in your social media accounts. Once this is complete, a user is able to pick from a group of options on the dashboard.
The main functions of the tool include:
Publishing- Viralheat allows a user to post directly on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, pintrest, Youtube, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles from the dashboard, however, the interface is a bit poor and the demo version will only allow a user to add one account per source. But in case you forget, the website is happy to supply you with an annoying pop-up asking if you would like to upgrade. It also appears that the software has a hard time distinguishing between personal accounts and pages on face book. While this function does saving people the hassle have having to repost similar message on multiple social media platforms, there are much more user friendly products out on the market.
Analytics – The analytics dashboard is extremely weak within the demo version. While the company claims that there are multiple tools to determine traffic, top mentions, top positive mentions, top negative mentions and top influencers, the trial version only allows an individual to track follower, likes, tweets and PTAT. The company’s website claims that the software utilized over 600 data points to give “the most detailed analytics ” but if that’s the case, they must be saving it all for the premium version.
The Explore Function- Is the only saving grace of the trial version. This tool allows a user to search social media sites for mentions using key words. It is a great way for viewing how others are reacting to your social media campaign or similar topics and it allows a user to see how a competitor is performing in their campaign.
Overall, I think the structure of the trial version is poor even though it is nice to be able to view all of your accounts on one tool. The major problems I see with the product is that it doesn’t have a friendly or attractive user interface and potential customers are not able to dabble with all of the tools and capabilities of the program without shelling out the bucks first. With similar products on the market that allow for 30 day trials of an entire product suit, I found myself disinterested with this product rather quickly.