Viralheat launches free conversation management and publishing tool to serve small businesses and agencies

Social media measurement platform Viralheat expands further into the page management and publishing space with its new Viralheat Free product announced today.

The tool is among the most comprehensive free offerings for cross-platform posting, conversation management and analytics. Viralheat co-founder and CEO Raj Kadam tells us his goal was to make a full-featured product available for small businesses and agencies to access the data they need to be successful with social media.

More and more, social marketing platforms are converging. Marketers do not want to have to switch between multiple tools or deal with paying for different services. Although each start-up has its specialty, most are finding that they need to build all-in-one solutions for marketers to be interested.

Viralheat began as a social media monitoring and analytics platform, similar to Radian6, Omniture or Scout Labs. Those platforms got acquired by larger companies — Salesforce, Adobe and Lithium, respectively. Now as those services focus on serving large enterprise, Viralheat has made an aggressive move for the SMB market by giving away a publishing tool and basic monitoring and analytics. The free product is complete enough to lure some customers away from other affordable platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Free users can add up to seven accounts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They can track mentions and analytics, as well as create and schedule an unlimited number of posts. The tool seems to offer deeper analytics than Hootsuite provides in its free plan, though this matters more in relation to Twitter than Facebook because Facebook offers its own free insights about pages. When Viralheat users need to add more accounts, track more mentions or begin competitive analysis, they can move to a paid plan beginning at $49 per month.

Kadam says Viralheat is looking to add support for Pinterest in the near future.