Has something seemed just a bit different about BuzzStream lately?  Have you found yourself trying to figure out if it’s a new hairdo, botox or something even more drastic?  Well, neither a trip to the salon nor surgeon is responsible for these “enhancements.”  Just hard work from our engineers, who’ve been on a tear lately with new feature development.  Here’s an overview of these features, as well as some info about a major new update that’s in the works.

Continuous Metrics Collection and more

One of the things that customers consistently rank among their favorite thing about BuzzStream is the ability to build and sort their lists by so many different metrics.  We’ve improved this in four ways:

Automated metrics collection

BuzzStream now automatically collects metrics for a contact on a regular basis.  Also, when you import contacts, the metrics are collected as part of the import.  Metrics that are updated include Google PageRank, SEOmoz’ mozRank, monthly unique visitors (from Compete), number of inbound links, and number of juice passing links.

Numeric custom fields

Is there a metric that you want to keep track of, but that’s not captured by BuzzStream?  To help with this, we’ve added the ability to create numeric custom fields.  So now if there’s a metric that you absolutely need to track, just create a custom field for it.

To create a numeric custom field, click on “Settings” and go to the “Custom Fields” tab.  Select the type of custom field you want to create and in the “Type” section, select Number.

Numeric custom fields in BuzzStream

Editable metrics

Sometimes the actual metrics for a contact don’t accurately reflect their actual influence.  To help with this, you can now edit the values for these metrics.

Collection of additional SEO metrics

We’re expanding the metrics we’re collecting from our friends at SEOmoz to include Page Authority and Domain Authority.  These are great comparative metrics for getting a sense of the overall SEO value of a website and of a specific page (note: we’re not yet collecting Page Authority for every link or article added to BuzzStream, but we are capturing it for the home page).

Relationship Stage for People and Media Outlets

Customers using BuzzStream for PR and Social Media now have an optional field available to them called “Relationship Stage.” To activate or deactivate this field, go to “Settings,” click the “Custom Fields” tab and click the Edit icon next to the field.

Manage Relationship Stages in BuzzStream

In addition to disabling/enabling Relationship Stage, you can also edit the stages and change the order.

Scheduled Backlink Checking

If you’re a BuzzStream for Link Management customer, no doubt you’ve used the backlink checker to keep track of links from your partners and to find new link opportunities.  Now you can set up BuzzStream to run these checks for you automatically on a bi-weekly basis.  To set up weekly checks, start by clicking on “Settings” (top right-hand corner of BuzzStream).  If you’re using Projects, click on the Projects tab and select the Project that you’d like to check on a scheduled basis.  if you’re not using projects, click on the Websites tab. Look for the section labeled “Backlink Checker.”

Checking backlinks in BuzzStream

When scheduled checks are enabled, you’ll receive a bi-weekly email that lists all the changes that have happened since your last check.

One suggestion for those of you setting up scheduled checks.  You can still run ad hoc backlink checks from the Links tab.  This gives you flexibility, but since backlink checks only show you links that have changed since the last check, you might not want everyone in your account running them.  Given this, we’d suggest that you limit people’s access to the backlink checker through “Roles,” which we’re about to walk through.

Roles and User Management

In order to support our customers who operate in a large team environment, we’ve made our support for roles more granular, flexible and manageable.  Roles allow you to restrict visibility and access to specific parts of the application.  So, for example, you might create one role called “Intern” that only has viewing access to contacts and another role called “Account Manager” that can access all parts of the application and can view, modify, add and delete contacts.

To add a role, go to “Settings” and select the “Roles” tab.  To create a new role, click “Add Role.”  Select the activities that this role can conduct and the information that they can access.

Roles-Based Management in BuzzStream

Once you’ve defined your roles, the next step is to assign the appropriate team members to them.  To do this, just click on the Users tab and select the appropriate people.  You’ll find the “Role” dropdown near the top of the screen.

Setting Values for Custom Fields at the Project Level

Until now, the value you set for a custom field was associated with all projects.  For example, if you had a contact in three projects and you set the value for a custom field called “Industry” to “Automotive,” that would be the value for this contact across all three projects. That works for a field like “Industry,” but it doesn’t work when the value might be different for each project (e.g., “Relevance Rating”). Now, when you create a custom field, you have the option to make it “project specific.”

Other Features and Bug Fixes

  • Custom fields are now sortable in the contacts list
  • You can now sort on “last communication date”
  • You can now show tags for contacts in the list view
  • BuzzBox improvements – now handles forwards from the Sent Items folder and handles emails sent to multiple contacts in your account
  • PageRank in the backlink checker – PageRank is automatically checked when the backlink checker runs. If it changes, you’ll be notified in the summary email
  • Fixed a performance issue that was making it difficult to add tags to a contact record
  • When moving or copying a Person to another project, all associated Media Outlets are copied as well.
  • Added “bi-annual” as an option to the “Term” field in “Purchases.”
  • When copying Link Partners to another project, you can now change their Relationship Stage and who they’re assigned to
  • Fixed a performance issue when deleting Media Outlets in “All Contacts” view
  • Numerous fixes to the Buzzmarker to make contact information discovery more effective and to make it faster

Added the “Add from Tags” cloud to the Media Outlet section of the Buzzmarker

What’s Coming Next

Sticking with the plastic surgery theme, we’ll be implementing some nips and tucks over the next few weeks.  Then in mid-November we have a HUGE release coming.  I’m as excited about the November release as anything we’ve done since our company launch.  I feel like we’ve been laying the foundation over the last two years and this is the release where all the pieces come together.  We’ve been soliciting feedback over the last few months and the response has been tremendous, but I’m still looking for more input.  If you’re a customer or if you’re on our email list, you’ll likely receive an email from me sometime this week.  You can also reach me directly if you’d like to be involved with the upcoming release.

Paul May

Paul May is the CEO and co-founder of BuzzStream. Previously, Paul was the first employee at Support.com, helping grow the company through its IPO. Paul also helped build products and grow revenue at BMC, Tonic, Alterpoint, Wavebender, and Pluck. You can follow Paul on Twitter or Google Plus.

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