The job description of the modern brand includes managing countless streams of conversations across social and messaging media.
But there’s so much of it that “management” can seem like a metaphor. To turbo-charge a brand’s social wranglers, San Jose, California-based community and social media management provider LiveWorld released this week its first public product — a self-service cloud-based platform that combines social media scanning, moderation, and engagement with case management and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Founded twenty years ago, LiveWorld is headed by CEO and Chairman Peter Friedman, who was vice president and general manager of Apple’s Internet Services in the mid-90s. Since its inception, LiveWorld has provided a service and then backend tools to brands for community management and social media.
The new product is an updated and public version of the company’s existing tools. It currently supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, WordPress, and one messaging app, Facebook Messenger. Friedman told me the platform will soon support WeChat and Snapchat. The do-it-yourself product is also available through a managed service.
While there is no shortage of social media management platforms, Friedman said that most of them “began as publishing platforms.”
The key thing about LiveWorld’s, he said, “is we started with the conversation itself, [handled] at massive scale.”
He claims that a mortal human moderator, empowered by the platform, can conduct 500 to a thousand actions per hour on social posts. Actions include reviewing, approving, escalating, tagging, and responding. The speed of moderation, Friedman added, is “two to ten times faster” than any other tool.
A common scenario, he said, is that a brand will use the platform to look at everything that comes into its Facebook page. The system pulls the comments in, automatically tags them and routes them with natural language processing, and employs “smart listening” for sentiment analysis, topic detection, and identification of opportunities for loyalty marketing.
After that, the moderator looks them over and decides whether to keep the comment, reject it, or respond to it, and whether to designate it as a case to be resolved. Here’s a screen with a case management pane:
There’s a built-in case management framework to facilitate rapid response on complaints or other issues, and an onboard CRM to track and maintain profiles and conversation histories.
Friedman points out that case management systems often lose the conversational thread, but LiveWorld’s is designed to keep the entire conversational history as it makes its way through issue resolution.
In responding to a post, a moderator can move a public comment to private messaging, such as from an open Facebook post to a closed Facebook Messenger conversation. The CRM can access the Salesforce CRM to look for the same person and mirror the record if found, and there is also API-level integration with Oracle. Other customized APIs are in the works.
The platform is only using bots for greetings, but Friedman indicated that more sophisticated ones will eventually find a job here.
“The world of marketing has to learn to be like customer service,” he told me, “personal, empathetic, [with a] customer context.”
“People are tired of ads.”