In March of last year, social community platform Lithium Technologies bought social reputation startup Klout.
Today, Lithium is unveiling new features and enhancements, including ones that bring Klout into the fold.
The new releases, announced at Lithium’s LiNC Conference in San Francisco as the biggest product rollout in the company’s history, are part of the Total Community initiative for its Social Web community.
The basic idea of the initiative, chief marketing officer Katy Keim told me, is “expanding who’s in [the Lithium] community” and what is known about them.
Lithium, which claims 700 million users for its Lithium + Klout communities, is a customer service platform for creating and managing social communities and for responding to customers on social networks.
A new Integrated Profile, currently in beta, takes a Klout score and adds it to community profiles. A Klout score measures a user’s online influence, derived from indicators across the Web. The company says the new Profile is more useful than, say, a profile in a customer relationship management system because it includes community expertise and Klout influence.
There is also now the ability for customer care agents, or customers in a community, to request help from a wider range of experts, both inside and outside a Lithium community. Previously, experts had to be designated as official experts in a group.
New Shared Dashboards allow teams and managers to more readily drill down into customer trends, and the Monitor Wall — a kind of Shared Dashboard — is designed for audience viewing via a large monitor or video projector.
A new Value Analytics feature integrates community surveys with the platform’s built-in data crunching to provide additional ways for measuring return-on-investment. Keim said Value Analytics help to measure such things as why a user is visiting a community, success rates in answering customer questions, the most popular content, and net promoter scores among community members.
Ratings and Reviews have also been updated to make opinion sharing easier, and a new software development kit is out for Klout and Lithium.
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A new connector to Salesforce offers greater interaction between the two platforms for case management, content sharing, and tracking of community activity. Updated APIs enable social listening from any of the proliferating social networks and third-party communities, so a brand can respond to buzz.
Keim noted that such social management platforms as Sprinklr and Spredfast offer some similar functions, like social community management or large-screen displays. But, she said, those are point solutions by comparison, while Lithium has a broader sense of customers through its engagement with brand communities, social networks, and third-party sites like TripAdvisor.
And then there’s Klout, she said, a “universal portable reputation” score that makes Lithium unique.