Falcon: Listen, Market & Engage the Social Sphere Like a Wiz
With a swarming selection of platforms circling around social media management, it might seem daunting to pluck one from the vast sky of digital socializing which defines our era.
So in swoops Falcon.io, an extremely versatile set of tools to help your social media team execute optimal posting. It’s an aid to come up with the best kind of posts, the best places to post them, and the best times.
Beyond posting, Falcon offers sophisticated social listening features, to stay on top of trending topics and other online buzz around your brand. They offer marketing and paid-ad tools, and to top it all off, great reporting on the impact of your social presence.
From Denmark with love
In 2010, Falcon was founded in Denmark by Ulrik Bo Larsen and Morten Søderquist Li. Before Falcon, Larsen and Li were developing Mingler (not to be confused with the interracial dating app) a digital strategy agency that builds responsive websites, dashboards, and Facebook applications.
Looking to move on, the duo decided to turn their talents to the broader world of social media.
Falcon took flight, with new offices from New York City to Budapest to Chennai. Since then, it’s brought under its wing over 1,500 businesses as customers, including McDonald’s, Greenpeace, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Nintendo and Toyota.
Falcon: a six-winged creature
The six major modules composing the total Falcon package include:
Publish: which includes calendar features
Engage: a unified inbox for incoming communication
Listen: for social media monitoring
Audience: to manage the customer experience
Advertise: helping with Facebook and Instagram ads
Measure: for analytics and reporting
Social media unfolds over time, so you can think of Falcon’s Publish as the mega calendar: collecting data on past engagements, and planning future content.
Here is where you plan and schedule posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. Teammates can collaborate, and managers can set approval flows before anything goes out. The same thing goes for paid ads.
You can easily post rich-media like videos or Instagram stories, and store all your uploads in a content pool for later reuse.
There’s a total campaign planner for multiple posts over time. And after all that posting, you get performance tracking for individual posts or whole channels.
When it comes to brands, their customers, and the general public, social media is the prime space in which to forge connections.
The Engagement platform gathers all communications from Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, plus helps your team manage it all from one dashboard, which is customizable.
Incoming messages show you a profile card of the contact. Certain engagements can be auto-routed to specific social media managers. You can also create templates for standard responses.
It’s easy for teammates to collaborate on single engagements. You can add notes or tags to messages and communications, which your team can then lookup with the app’s search tool for future reference.
Even when your social media team is not directly part of the online conversation, it’s good to keep your ears wide open. Falcon’s Listen feature ‘hears’ what’s happening on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
By searching through lists of trends and hashtags, or getting specific with your own keywords or phrases, you can see what the buzz is all about on certain topics. And if there’s ever a weird spike or drop in any of your listening sessions, Falcon offers an auto-notification tool. Otherwise, you can get daily updates.
You can save the audience you’re listening to at-the-moment, storing surface profile information from those included in your database—a great way to identify potential leads.
The tool also does sentiment analysis on incoming communications, and you can compare a current campaign’s performance to others you’ve done in the past.
While Falcon is not a CRM—though it integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, and others—you can still get basic CRM-like tools for each contact (also accessible through the Engage feature).
The Audience feature gathers all the info across a contact’s social profiles and merges them into neat cards. From there you get a total engagement history log, as well as notes or labels you or your team have included.
But it’s more than passive info; it’s a tool to actively reach out to your contacts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Narrowing down bigger lists using filters and labels, you can create relevant content for the most would-be interested contacts. The Audience feature also provides overviews as to who in your network is hyped about what, and displays engagement metrics by demographics or trend.
If you’re spending money on ads, you might want something a little more robust than what you use for regular content posting.
Falcon Advertise works with Facebook and Instagram ads. It’s all done on one platform along with your organic content, so when any of the unpaid stuff really works, you can transition it into paid content.
When possible, it lets you insert tracking links and pixels into your ads for deeper insights as to what else your engagees are viewing.
You can also program automated advertising actions for quicker planning; you do this by using smart labels that activate ad targets, with which you can easily create new campaigns.
While you can get quick and useful feedback data throughout the other modules here, Falcon Measure is the total analytical solution.
The dashboards bring in metrics from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They are fully customizable, so you can pick the metrics that matter most to be upfront.
Reports are customizable too, and exportable across many formats—and there’s no max to how many you can make.
You can track metrics on individual posts, or entire channels. The Measure feature also offers internal analytics as to how your team is doing with their service targets.
What’s the plan?
There are three pricing plans, each suited to the size of your operation.
The Starter plan is good for small brands and agencies, but it lacks the Advertise module.
The Pro and Premium plans have full platform access, with the latter including a tailored setup for your operation’s specific needs.
All plans come with personalized onboarding, robust support, and weekly advice sessions. For demos and prices, you’ll have to contact Falcon’s sales department.
The tie that binds
This bird is never satisfied staying in its nest.
In January of 2019, Falcon was acquired by public relations firm Cision. Larsen and the Falcon team are staying on, and the Falcon brand will go on as its own product while also being cross-sold to Cision’s over 75,000 customers.
It’s long been believed that PR is the tie that binds brands to media outlets.
And while the history of PR goes way back to when they used to call it propaganda (innocently enough at the time), today it’s less about dictating what people should think and more about maintaining an open conversation between a company and the public. No space is more suited to that conversation than social media.
So it’s no surprise that a widely-successful PR firm like Cision would need to bring in a smaller but highly-specialized and skilled social media maven like Falcon.
It’s expected the partnership will truly ‘take off.’