Lithium buys Social Dynamx to boost social customer services

Hopes to compete with Salesforce, Jive and Oracle

Lithium announced last week that it was purchasing Social Dynamx, which lets companies monitor what people are saying about them across social channels. What's remarkable is that the product is being incorporated into the Lithium product family immediately and being rebranded as Lithium Social Web. That's fast.

Like so many deals, it probably was as much about the Social Dynamx customer list as it was about the technology--although it does seem to merge nicely with what Lithium has been doing up to now including building online communities where customers can gather and share ideas in a social way. Social Dynamx customers include Time Warner Cable, DISH Network and Convio.

The new tool lets Lithium customers monitor and respond to social activity on sites like Twitter, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) + in real time, and helps by identifying the most relevant conversations and routing them to the correct individual for a response automatically. What's more, it even suggests content to share to help answer customer concerns by interjecting themselves in the conversation.

Brands have to be careful about doing this, but if they do it well and deliver content that is truly relevant, they can catch an unhappy customer before the situation gets out of control. I know when I've complained about brands on Twitter, I'm usually impressed with those that respond quickly and find ways to help me out. Comcast has been on the forefront of this with their Comcast Cares team, which monitors social channels for complaints and pounces when they find one. Companies that have let customers talk about them without reacting have found that a situation can spiral quickly out of their control.

Rob Tarkoff, the former Adobe executive who has been CEO at Lithium since September of last year, says it's imperative that businesses understand what customers are saying about them in social channels and the purchase of Social Dynamx now gives Lithium customer that capability. He says too many companies are ignoring online customer activity, and they need to get control of that.

Social Dynamx CEO Mike Betzer will be merged into the Lithium executive team and continue to run the Social Dynamx/Lithium Social Web side of the business, much like the Yammer CEO became part of the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) SharePoint team when Microsoft purchased Yammer in June.

For more information on this deal:
- see the Lithium press release

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