Platform industry update: Wildfire, ShopIgniter, Shoutlet, Spredfast and more

wildfireWildfire, the social media marketing platform owned by Google, announced Tuesday that it is shutting down its self-serve Promotion Builder product.

The company will instead offer promotions solely as part of its Social Marketing Suite for enterprise clients. Basic, Standard and Premium promotions will be retired June 30. Promotions data will be available for export up until July 31.

The Social Marketing Suite covers ad buying, page management, conversation monitoring and analytics, in addition to promotion development. Previously, anyone could visit Wildfire’s site, sign up for an account and start creating and running social promotions, such as sweepstakes, coupon offers or user-generated content contests. Now, Wildfire doesn’t offer any pricing information on its site and asks potential customers to contact the company directly.

Smaller brands and businesses could look to alternatives like Offerpop, North Social or Heyo, which give marketers a range of tools for running social promotions and creating other custom experiences across social, mobile and web properties, but without the cost and commitment of an enterprise contract.

Forrester assesses social relationship platforms

thumbs upForrester Research released a report Tuesday evaluating eight top social relationship platforms in terms of their current offering, strategy and market presence. Shoutlet received the highest score for current offering and Spredfast had the top score for strategy. Salesforce.com’s Buddy Media led in market presence.

Forrester looked at Adobe, Hearsay Social, Salesforce.com’s Buddy Media, Shoutlet, Socialwave, Spredfast, Sprinklr and Syncapse, rating each on 49 criteria. Overall, the study found no clear leaders in the space, but most were “strong performers.” Socialware and Syncapse were in the lower tier of “contenders.”

Shoutlet led the current offering category largely because of its comprehensive feature set and easy onboarding. Spredfast excelled in strategy because of its highly satisfied customer base, which found its measurement and reporting capabilities to be the strongest of all platforms.

The full report, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013,” is available for purchase here.

ShopIgniter updates rich media advertising platform

ShopIgniter_color_logo_vert_blackSocial marketing and commerce company ShopIgniter this week announced an update to its Igniter platform, which helps companies create rich media posts on Facebook, as well as its entry into the paid media management space.

The combination gives brands an end-to-end solution for running interactive advertisements in the Facebook News Feed. For instance, a company could show off a new product line with a video and image gallery that link to the retailer’s website or includes an entry form for a related sweepstakes. ShopIgniter provides templates, but experiences and design are fully customizable.

Instead of hosting these experiences in page tab applications that users hardly visit, ShopIgniter presents them in-stream so users can interact with and share the posts directly from News Feed. ShopIgniter says rich media posts generate more engagement and less negative feedback than traditional posts.

ShopIgniter now has a small media buying team to manage campaigns for clients. Sr. Director of Strategy Justin Kistner, who recently joined the company after leading product at Spruce Media, says he’s bringing on more media buyers and a product team is in the works but for now the company is mostly advising clients on how to apply paid media to their rich media posts created with ShopIgniter.

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