What is Social Media Management?

Social Media Management Software is generally understood as a set of tools designed to manage or analyze interactions through multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard. Most systems permit listening for brand mentions, posting to multiple channels and running marketing campaigns. They include analytics packages to measure the relative success of campaigns. Within this broad definition, there are distinct use cases which emphasize different feature sets. Understanding how well a particular product supports your use case is the place to begin, but there are also some other important criteria:
  • Mobility – a desire to access SMMS products via mobile devices.
  • Integration – capabilities to tie to other systems including CRM and analytics.
  • Usability – SMMS users place a high emphasis on usability/ user interface.
  • Likelihood and impact of acquisition - while acquisitions can bring integration benefits, they can also alter product roadmap.
Social Media Management Software usually involves both listening and publishing/engagement capabilities:

  1. Listening and Sentiment Analysis At the most basic level, social listening incorporates scanning the web for potential PR crises, identifying industry trends, gathering intelligence on competitors and identifying sales opportunities. But the quantity of data these tools return can be overwhelming. Many tools have filters to help remove noise, and some include sentiment analysis which helps to categorize comments into positive or negative categories, but this is still a somewhat inexact science.
  2. Publishing / Engagement Publishing means scheduling posts for publication to social media channels in advance. Publishing functionality is designed to simplify drafting and publishing posts to multiple social channels according to a pre-defined schedule. When multiple people are promoting different products or services across many different channels, this becomes a broad necessity. Most tools include a publishing calendar for staggering messages and ensuring that they are congruent with one another before publishing. Some tools also feature content libraries where users can re-use pre-approved content for their own campaigns. Engagement-focused tools enable multiple employees to interact directly with customers on social media.

Social Media Management in Large Enterprises

There are a number of enterprise platforms encompassing multiple use cases from listening to engagement and publishing, marketing campaigns and analytics. Additional features provided by these platforms that are not required by smaller organizations are
  • Scalability
  • Governance
  • Permissioning / Team Collaboration
  • Shared asset libraries
  • Access security