Today marks the end of week three in the ESN Shootout. We jumped ahead a little bit, and decided to tackle SocialCast this week. This program is a favorite of some of our bigger clients, as well as some other companies who have outstanding cultural initiatives, so we decided to see what all the hype was about.
And, surprisingly, SocialCast lived up to all of our expectations. It even exceeded some of my personal standards. The interface was clean and super-intuitive. It wasn’t a copy of any existing platforms, yet didn’t require any sort of tutorial. It incorporated all of the favorite functions from the previous competitors, but still created a unique and streamlined network.
A big plus? SocialCast was free for us to use. We didn’t need to sign up for a trial. They didn’t inundate us with price offerings throughout the week (though they did offer a 67% off coupon for some major upgrades in honor of Black Friday, which was generous). It was completely, no- strings-attached, unlimited-time-offer FREE. And it stays free for up to fifty people. Now, this is just for the bare-bones version, but VMware, the SocialCast developer has really struck gold here. Small businesses will likely gravitate to this option over the competition, and if you want to incorporate more deluxe features, like design options, it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Even if you have more people in your organization, SC is an affordable option at only a few bucks per user per month.
The rest of Tribe seemed to be just as smitten with this program as I am. Here’s what they had to say.
“Very easy! Also very intuitive and easy to figure out the rest of the features”
“Quick, easy. Able to find co-workers right away”
“Cool interface. Very clean, simple to navigate”
“As easy as Facebook without being a rip-off, style-wise”
“Pre-set groups made it easy to categorize teams quickly. Immediately had a place for an idea group, new employee group and design group without having to do any additional set-up”
“Loved the Idea Share function. The polls and Thanks features were a little more intuitive than J*ve and Y*mmer. Explore function was my favorite. It created an accessible information stream.”
“The interface as a whole. It reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears… Not too Facebook-y, not too different from Facebook, jusssst right” (have to credit Brittany Silberman with that comment.)
“I really like the “Thanks” feature. It’s a fun, easy way to show appreciation”
Ease of Integration
“It’s much more professional than Y*mmer. Would work for every day company functions”
“Every day use was no problem. The Trending function keeps everything organized. Very easy.”
“New activity popped up within seconds on the info stream. Makes for very easy use that’s constantly relevant”
“Could easily use it every day”
“I can’t find anything. This is my favorite so far.”
“Chat feature is missing, but that could be a good thing/benefit/upside” (multiple people responded with this statement. It was our general consensus that no chat function was better for the workplace, as it doesn’t encourage being too social, just for the sake of being social. It keeps you focused on the work-centered features)