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.
- 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.
- 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 EnterprisesThere 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
- Permissioning / Team Collaboration
- Shared asset libraries
- Access security
Excerpts from TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Management
Not surprisingly, since we launched our first Buyer's Guide to Social Media Management Software in November 2013, a few things have changed. In that guide, we defined social media management software as a “set of tools to manage or analyze interactions through multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard,” including the ability to listen for brand mentions, post to multiple channels, run marketing campaigns and measure the relative success of campaigns.
Within the broad definition, we identified seven “use cases”: analytics, listening, publishing/engagement, customer care, curation, social selling, and promotions, each of which emphasized a different feature set.
Since then, two major and somewhat conflicting trends have been underway: the simultaneous proliferation and consolidation of social tools. The 2011 marketing technology landscape, produced by Chiefmartec.com blogger Scott Brinker, contained a little over 20 social media marketing and analytics tools. The 2012 version contained about 35 products, the 2014 version contained more than 60, and the 2015 version contains well over 100, and is by no means exhaustive. TrustRadius currently has more than 140 social media management tools listed on our website. This proliferation of tools aligns with a similar trend in marketing technology in general.
Of course, as tools with different feature sets arise, mergers and acquisitions take place as vendors aim to become an all-in-one solution for their customers. In the social space, this is happening on two levels. First, the marketing cloud or suite vendors are adding social to their arsenals. In 2012, Oracle, for example, purchased Vitrue (a social marketing tool), Collective Intellect (a social intelligence platform) and Involver (a social development platform), and recently used the three products to create the Oracle Social Relationship Management platform. Salesforce purchased listening tool Radian6 in 2011 and the publishing tool Buddy Media in 2012, and in 2014 launched Social Studio, a unified version of the two products. Adobe acquired Efficient Frontier, a tool that allowed marketers to place ads on Google and Facebook, in 2011.
Secondly, social media management vendors are using acquisitions to incorporate different social capabilities, as well as developing their own additional functionalities, in order to become a one-stop shop for all things social. Spredfast merged with the social curation platform Mass Relevance, Hootsuite acquired the social analytics tool uberVU and the social media campaigns platform BrightKit, and Sprinklr acquired services company TBG Digital, as well as Dachis Group and Branderati.
With all this consolidation of social media management software, the lines between some of the use cases we delineated in our first buyer's guide are blurring. For example, many software tools that were originally positioned as “listening” tools have added or strengthened their engagement capabilities, just as many of the traditional publishing- and engagement-focused tools have added or strengthened their listening capabilities.
A third trend in the social media space is also underway, though not strictly related to software: some companies are shifting their approach to social media in general, from an isolated marketing channel, to an integrated part of business processes. This means that where social media was traditionally the activity or responsibility of one person in the marketing department or a small team, some enterprises are now leveraging the data and engagement opportunities via social media across different business units—from marketing to sales to customer service to HR—as well as across the customer journey—from awareness to prospect to customer to loyal customer.
Based on these trends, we've adjusted our approach to the space in this second guide. First, we're zeroing in on enterprises. There are many free or low cost tools that help smaller organizations or those just starting to leverage social media. We decided to focus on comparing the software products used by large companies (with more than 500 employees) for enterprise-level social media programs. Enterprises have particular social media software needs, including scalability, security, user permissions, collaboration within a team and across departments, workflow, content management, and governance. These software products are not used exclusively by enterprises, so this guide will be valuable to other market segments as well.
Second, we're defining use cases not based on the feature sets of the various tools (since those are blurring), but rather the social media strategies of software users. We've analyzed 400+ end-user ratings and reviews of 23 social media management software products to understand how enterprises are leveraging social media in general, and what tool or set of tools are they using to facilitate those activities.
Based on end-user reviews, in-depth interviews with some of the reviewers, and interviews with vendors, we've identified three primary use cases, or ways that companies are leveraging social media, and the tools that support them: social customer care, social intelligence, and social media marketing.
The use cases are by no means exhaustive. For example, PR departments might use social media for reputation management, and sales representatives might use social media to maintain relationships with clients. HR departments are starting to use social media to discover and recruit candidates for employment, as well as track employee sentiment and employee compliance with social media policies. Other use cases will arise as new social channels emerge and attract audiences, and as enterprises continue to find new ways to take advantage of the opportunities presented through social media. However, we feel these three use cases are the most widely used and require the most tool support.
It's also important to note that some companies fit multiple use cases and also use multiple tools. In fact, despite the consolidation of social tools and the desire of many vendors to become the one-stop-shop for social media management, consumers of these software tools still largely say they need more than one tool to meet their needs. In a recent TrustRadius survey, 75 percent of the respondents who use social media management software use two or more tools, and 14 percent of those who use more than one tool actually use six or more.
Richard Margetic, head of social media at Intuit and previously at Dell, says using multiple social media tools is redundant but necessary. “We've got to pick and choose among the landscape to meet our needs,” he says. “Each one does something well, but fails miserably in other areas that are important to a company. We end up with multiple tools that have overlapping functionality in order to get everything we need to be successful in social. We're not optimizing our spend, and still not getting the cohesive capabilities that we need to meet the business requirements.”
Many companies are using social media simply to post marketing content and engage with their community. In that case, a small social media team or single community manager might use social tools to schedule posts, publish to multiple networks, respond to inquiries, and measure results.
However, based on 422 authenticated, end-user reviews and ratings across 23 different social media management software products, we've identified the following in-depth ways enterprises are leveraging social media. Each use case usually involves a tool or set of tools, and many companies fit more than one use case.
Several benchmark studies show that:
- Consumers increasingly expect to be able to solicit and receive customer service via social media.
- Consumers who use social media for customer care are more likely to be loyal and recommend the brand than those who use other channels.
- As a result of these above factors, more and more companies are adopting social customer care programs.
Many companies engage in community management via social, and nearly all of the software products in this guide are capable of community management. This involves finding and responding to direct mentions and comments customers make on social channels.
High-volume social customer care is different, however. Many of the brands that run enterprise social customer care programs receive 5,000+ direct mentions per week, and even more indirect mentions (discussing the brand without referencing the company's handle). These companies need highly organized workflow processes to ensure each mention is prioritized appropriately and handled efficiently. The right software product is essential to manage an enterprise social customer care program.
In general, running an enterprise social customer care program, also called Social CRM, involves:
- Listening for mentions (whether positive or negative, direct or indirect) in the channels that customers frequent
- Prioritizing and routing issues or questions to the appropriate individuals and teams
- Responding (quickly) via the appropriate channel
- Measuring effectiveness through metrics such as satisfaction scores, sentiment conversion, agent scorecards, average response times, and cost per contact
- The ability to do all of the above at scale
Some industries that commonly do high-volume social customer care include retail, airline, automobile, bank, credit card, and telecom companies.
To understand what constitutes a strong social customer care solution, we gleaned insights from reviews on TrustRadius, interviews with vendors and end-users, and external research. Several themes emerged.
A social customer care software product needs to facilitate many users responding to a high volume of inquiries across multiple social channels and accounts. In addition, enterprises running a social customer care program commonly require the following functionalities from a social media management tool or set of tools:
- Finding and tagging direct and indirect mentions
- Ability to segment and prioritize mentions
- Automatic sentiment analysis, with the ability to edit manually
- Ability to view entire customer interaction history
- Workflow, prioritization and routing engines
- Multiple user logins and permission levels
- Integration with customer profile data and/or CRM system
- Integration with third-party helpdesk and/or call center systems
- Analytics on volume and type of issues, average response times, average handling times, satisfaction scores, agent scorecards, resolution rates, etc.
The ability to view all of the information available about an individual as well as a history of interactions within one tool can help streamline a customer care program.
“In terms of the social CRM piece, I want to know: Does the tool show the comment history that I've had with a person already? Can I have internal notes on a task or comment for others on my team to see? Can I modify the person's information, i.e., add student ID number or email address, info that stays with that user? How easy is it to select multiple items and archive them or assign them to team members, do some sort of bulk action rather than one by one?”
In terms of workflow and routing capabilities, the tool should allow users to segment mentions based on priority level or custom routing rules, and to route customers to the most appropriate agent to respond. It should also enable users to loop in employees outside customer service, such as those in PR or legal, when necessary.
“The goal is to have a cross functional solution that enables you to engage quickly with customers and identify opportunities to create a better customer experience.”, Director, Customer Service Strategy & Operations, Comcast
Uses Lithium Social Web and Crimson Hexagon
As for reporting, it's important that the software facilitate typical customer care metrics.
“The tool needs to have the ability to run quality reports on social conversations. This, among other KPIs, will help a user create productivity scorecards and really showcase the ROI in social care. Some of the key KPIs we track are: conversation handle times, target action response times, and closed dispositions. These metrics will help identify common themes, and opportunities to be more successful. Integration also plays a huge role in the ability to understand who our customers are. Social listening and engagement tools need to have the ability to integrate into our internal CRM database. By fully utilizing all social capabilities, the customer experience will continue to develop via social care.”, Director, Customer Service Strategy & Operations, Comcast
Uses Lithium Social Web and Crimson Hexagon
While many social tools can be used to respond to customer mentions and inquiries, Brand Embassy, Conversocial, Hootsuite Enterprise, Lithium Social Web, Spredfast Conversations, Sprinklr, and Sprout Social offer true high-volume, enterprise examples of social customer care, based on statements in reviews on TrustRadius. Brand Embassy, Conversocial and Lithium Social Web all specialize in social customer care, whereas Hootsuite, Spredfast, Sprinklr and Sprout Social are also used for community management and marketing.
Czech Television (Česká televise), a large broadcast media company in the Czech Republic, uses Brand Embassy for social customer care. “We were looking for a solution to quickly and easily handle dozens of accounts with tens of thousands of comments per week on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+,” says social media manager Marek Šoth in his review of Brand Embassy. “We tried a number of tools, but nothing matches the Brand Embassy. It's fast, easy to manage and great to work with in a team. Additionally, it includes CRM for every fan, which is a killer feature.”
Brand Embassy is a UK-based social customer care tool whose customers are mostly in Europe, per the mix of review on TrustRadius.
BMO Financial Group, a Canadian company with more than 10,000 employees, uses Conversocial for social customer care. “We've recently implemented it in our Customer Contact Centre to address our clients customer service needs with more proficiency,” says Conway Stone, Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media, in his review of Conversocial. “It helped to organize communications received through Social Media and provided a platform to respond to those clients in a quick manner.” The brand handles 500-1,000 customer issues via social per week.
David Tull, customer engagement manager at JackThreads, says in his review, “Conversocial allowed us to work 7-10X faster than we had previously while still maintaining the “socialness” of the platform, rather than converting the experience into a traditional customer service interaction.”
In general, users who reviewed Conversocial on TrustRadius said it's a robust, user-friendly tool to manage social customer care programs
Marketing automation software company Marketo uses Hootsuite Enterprise for both marketing and customer care. “We are using Hootsuite in several teams across our marketing department, as well as our customer support department,” says Mike Tomito, sr. program manager, web marketing, in his review. “It helps us monitor and respond to questions, complaints, or mentions in real-time allowing us to join relevant conversations or address customer issues at the speed that social media users expect... We have been able to resolve certain customer service requests and questions immediately, without the need to open a ticket and add extra wait time on the customer end to get a simple answer.”
Hootsuite Enterprise is also often used for community management and marketing.
Comcast uses Lithium Social Web for social customer care. “LSW has also helped us understand inbound volumes as we work to develop a true operational social care model which includes forecasting, service level management and staffing requirements,” says Bill Gerth, Director of Customer Service Strategy and Operations, in his review of Lithium Social Web. “Within five months of launching LSW, we were able to justify a 30% increase in staffing through the use of clear and concise operational reporting… Among our core social care metrics are In Channel Resolution rate – resolving the customer's issue immediately in the initial social channel – and Escalation Rate – forwarding the customer to another team for resolution.” Comcast handles 10k-15k direct conversations via social per week.
According to the reviews on TrustRadius, Lithium Social Web is also a strong tool for customer engagement. It's also distinguished by its connection to the online community building product also offered by Lithium.
LexisNexis uses Spredfast for customer service and engagement. “We've improved our customer service immensely using Spredfast. Getting questions and complaints to the right people is much easier because of the ‘Highlight’ function,” says Travis Burchart, social media manager at LexisNexis, in his review of Spredfast Conversations. “‘Highlight’ function allows for ease of communication between team members, especially when addressing customer service issues.”
Spredfast Conversations is also used for social media marketing and community management.
Groupon uses Sprinklr for both content publishing and customer service. Paul Matson, head of content and social media, says Sprinklr allows Groupon to do customer service at scale. “Being one of the largest Internet retailers in the world, customer service is a natural extension of our activity in social media channels,” Matson says in his review. “[We have] drastically improved efficiency in customer service and SLA (service level agreement). We are currently able to respond to at least 50% of our inbound inquiries within 60 minutes.”
According to the reviews on TrustRadius, Sprinklr is also often used for social media marketing.
Retail company Fossil uses Sprout Social for social customer care as well as marketing. “Our entire Social Care team is able to use Sprout globally to respond to customers and assign tasks to other users. We are also able to segment our fans into lists, identify customers and more,” says Jencey Keeton, marketing manager at Fossil, in her review of Sprout Social. “We are able to provide better customer service on our social channels due to the fact that we are able to receive the majority of our social mentions quickly and efficiently.” However, Sprout Social is not necessarily geared for social customer care specifically, nor is it tied in with the company's CRM system, she says.
According to the reviews on TrustRadius, Sprout Social is more often used for community management, and the majority of its customers are small businesses.
Some companies that manage a social customer care program use a second tool that specializes in social listening as well. For example, Ben Donkor, social media and online analyst at British Telecommunications, says the company uses Synthesio, a social listening tool, to find customers who have issues even if they don't directly call out BT.
“They find much greater customer satisfaction with the proactive approach versus reactive, because of the aspect of surprise. When people engage with us directly, they expect the issue to be resolved, but if I'm just complaining on social media, and then the customer service team contacts me saying, ‘Let me help you, actually,’ then that really helps with the enthusiasm for the brand... It could just be someone saying, ‘I'm happy with my BT wifi,’ and the social care team can engage in the conversation. It's not just about resolving issues, it's about caring for the customer.”, Social Media & Online Analyst, British Telecommunications
Uses Synthesio and an internal SMMS tool
Comcast uses Crimson Hexagon to calculate a real-time NPS (Net Promoter Score), to further analyze sentiment, and to run analytics on events and campaigns that the company runs.
Comcast's social care strategy stems from two systems: Lithium Social Web as the engagement console, and Crimson Hexagon for social listening, sentiment analysis and historical information.
“Comcast recognized the value of engaging with customers through social media early on and became an industry leader in the social environment.” says Bill Gerth, Director, Customer Service Strategy & Operations at Comcast. “Lithium's solution has provided the scalable and seamless agent-to-agent and agent-to-customer workflow we needed to enhance our social care support strategy. Comcast has been using Lithium for all social care engagement for over two years, which has allowed us to really amplify the in-channel customer experience. Lithium Social Web has enabled us to use social data to drive change in the organization.”
Gerth says Comcast receives thousands of direct and indirect conversations per month. Specialists review the mentions to find the conversations that are relevant to customer care. “This allows the care specialist to engage with the customers who need help more quickly.” Gerth says.
The team currently consists of 28 engagement specialists, and Gerth is in the process of expanding his team. This will enable Comcast's social support team to reach the new platforms that our customers are using today. “We are always looking for new ways to connect with our customers,” he says.
The social customer care program functions on a 24/7 schedule. The goal is to resolve as many questions or concerns in the customer's preferred channel as possible.
“When we first started the social care team, we were providing customers an email address to capture their concerns when trying to engage via a social channel. This is not a best practice, as we were taking customers away from a channel that they preferred and were most comfortable with,” Gerth says. “By gathering more resources and integrating into a scalable engagement solution, our off channel engagement rate decreased significantly.”
“We see more and more of our customers using social to engage with Comcast every day. We want to continue to meet our customers on the platforms that they prefer and continue to increase customer satisfaction.” Gerth says. “It gives us an outlet to listen and speak with customers.”
Use of social for customer service is growing, he says. “When we first started this initiative, most of the mentions on social were escalation cases, from customers giving us one last chance to make things right. Now, escalations have decreased and the majority of the customers are using social channels as a method to reach out to us for the first time. The customers are adapting to social because it's simple, and it's on their time. They send a tweet or a Facebook post before they go to work in the morning, and they have an answer before they get home.”
Social customer care also helps put a human voice to the brand. “The majority of consumers do research on a product before purchasing – they look on Facebook, Twitter, read blog articles and reviews. ‘How's the product? Does it fit into my lifestyle? How's the support function?’” Gerth says. “By having a human and public presence for customer support, I hope it shows our customers that we care, and we are here to help on any channel that they prefer.”
While social media is a useful channel for engaging with customers, it is also a source of a vast amount of information, and has been called the world's largest and most accessible focus group. In fact, it can be better than a focus group, because the conversations are happening ‘in the wild’ rather than prompted by a brand.
“Using social to look at the perception of the brand is essential. We have the traditional scores, NPS, etc., and those are well and good, but we've found a lot of value in unsolicited opinion.”, Social Media & Online Analyst, British Telecommunications
Many companies monitor social media for brand mentions and use the information for reputation management and to stay aware of any potential problems. However, brands are getting more creative about how they organize and use the conversations available for mining in social channels.
For example, companies might use social data in aggregate to:
- Analyze competitors and understand ‘share of voice’
- Learn more about a target market
- Discover new markets or prospects
- Understand consumer expectations and demand
- Track employee sentiment
- Inform product development decisions and product strategy
- Inform messaging and content strategy
- Identify risks, problems or opportunities as they arise
How a company uses social media insights can be unique to an industry. For example, one large retail chain uses social listening with Sprinklr for loss prevention. “It's amazing how many people openly talk on social media about stealing or doing something they shouldn't in stores,” says a data analyst, who requested to remain anonymous because of company policy. “If something is flagged or a trend is identified, the loss prevention team might reach out to a store to give them a heads up, or work with local law enforcement to address repeated stealing.”
Gleaning insights from social data generally involves the following:
- Identifying which geographic areas and social channels are relevant
- Discovering and setting up the appropriate keyword queries to gather the right data
- Filtering out the ‘spam’ or irrelevant data
- Organizing the data and discovering trends through analytics and visualizations
Often, a data analyst or a social intelligence specialist is required in order to set up queries and turn the vast quantities of conversations into real insights. Insights gained from social media can be useful across an organization, including Marketing, PR, HR, Product Development, and the executive team. Marketing, PR and ad agencies are also very common social intelligence practitioners, using social conversations to understand a client's industry, customers and competitive landscape, to inform content and messaging strategy, and to demonstrate to the client the agency's ROI.
As with customer engagement, most software products in this report facilitate some level of social listening, such as monitoring for brand mentions. However, tools with a strong social listening component are often the best choices for companies that want to use a vast amount of social media data to gather insights.
The following are some features organizations running a social intelligence program might look for:
- Sentiment analysis with some level of accuracy and ability to edit manually
- Complex Boolean search queries, beyond simple ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘not’ options; surfacing syntax errors when they occur
- Ability to save search queries
- Ability to segment data on things like sentiment, channel, demographic information, and geolocation
- Access to the Twitter API, a.k.a. ‘firehose’
- Breadth of coverage of social channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, discussion boards, channels based outside the U.S., etc.)
- Ability to manually add additional sources
- Ability to search comments, tags and metadata
- Automatic deduplication of data
- Unlimited search results, search queries, data streams, and account users
- Ability to process additional languages beyond English
- Global coverage
- Ability to surface trends through dashboards and visualizations, such as word and phrase clouds
- Ability to download or export data and create automated reports
- Integration with other data systems, such as CRM and web analytics
- Real-time analytics
- Ability to respond to mentions via social within the tool (or through integration with another social media management tool)
- A social command center, or a dedicated area where individuals can monitor social conversation around their brand at a glance, as well as engage
- Email alerts; ability to set up triggers/thresholds
- Ability to archive searches
- Accessibility of historical data; length of time data is stored
- Ability to identify influencers
- Mobile app availability
- Availability of training and customer support
Attensity is a text analytics tool that can be used for social listening and intelligence. The software collects data from across the web, as well as internal sources, to analyze sentiment and surface customer insights. It can also ingest and interpret other data, such as customer surveys and call records. It's often used by data analysts.
Onavie Boyce, data quality manager at TMW Systems, a computer software company, uses the tool to inform product development. For example, through the use of the tool, “We found a quality problem that was emerging,” she says in her review of Attensity. “Since the issue sounded like normal use of the product, we were not sensitive to the rapid increase in what our consumers were reporting. The tool made us curious as to why the use issue was growing. We had a problem.”
Pamela Fox, who reports on customer insights and analytics at JetBlue, says in her review, “Customer insight through text analytics is found on a daily basis. We have found that changes are needed at some of our Airports, for some of our inflight products and in regards to some of our processes. We believe that NPS can be impacted by even the smallest changes made from text analytics.”
Brandwatch is a social listening tool that is used by agencies, as well as companies and university students for research. Agencies use the software to understand clients' industries and customers, perform competitive analysis, manage crisis situations, and demonstrate the ROI of the agency's own work for the client.
Consultant Michael Watkins monitors social channels for consumer brands. In his review he says, “Brandwatch monitoring provides us with critical marketing intelligence including performance indicators, threats, concerns, opportunities and competitor benchmarks. Monitoring allows clients to intercept and evaluate the conversations regarding their brand. It provides key information for improving brand sentiment, share of voice, customer service and a host of other issues.”
Phil Butler, CEO of the tech start-up Argophilia Travel, and senior partner at PR firm Pamil Visions, says in his review, “A hotel recently asked us to show the ROI of PR, something public relations professionals have wrestled with for decades. Brandwatch helped me clearly represent how a ‘test’ PR campaign resulted in a massive branding plus for a singled out hotel chain versus its competitors. I know of no other metrics-driven tool that has been able to so easily accomplish this.”
Will Hall, digital analyst at the PR firm Waggener Edstrom, says in his review, “Brandwatch has given us a quantifiable way to prove ROI to our clients.”
In general, users say they can use Brandwatch to create accurate and refined Boolean search queries, filter out the noise, and surface insights through customized dashboards.
NetBase is a social listening-focused tool that is most commonly used by marketing, advertising, market research and PR agencies performing client research. According to the reviews on TrustRadius, agencies use NetBase to understand consumer sentiment around a particular brand. They then use this information to monitor crisis situations, prepare for a prospective client pitch, develop campaign ideas, make product development recommendations, or demonstrate the success of campaigns.
For example, an analyst at a marketing agency says in this review, “NetBase has played a large role in winning new business. The opportunity to pull data quickly around any topic has given our team fast and valuable insights.” The analyst also says, “NetBase has helped our team come up with new ideas for campaigns by finding out how users are talking about a certain product/industry.”
Many NetBase users at agencies say the visuals are useful to show to their clients. They might provide evidence to support a problem the agency has identified, or demonstrate the success of a campaign the agency has run. One reviewer says NetBase has led to “better client perception of our agency's social analytics capabilities.”
In general, NetBase is a useful tool for understanding consumer sentiment around a brand. According to the reviews on TrustRadius, NetBase is not usually used for publishing to social media, engaging with customers via social, or analyzing the ROI on social activities.
Radian6 is a listening-focused tool that also has an engagement console. Once an industry leader, it was acquired by Salesforce in 2012, and some reviewers feel it languished post-acquisition. However, in 2014 Salesforce launched Social Studio, which integrates Radian6 with other acquired social tools and aims to be a complete social media management suite. The analysis in this report is based on customer reviews of Radian6, since Social Studio is a new product and has insufficient review content on TrustRadius thus far.
As with other listening-focused social tools, Radian6 is often used by agencies to monitor clients' brands, determine share of voice, perform competitive analyses, and inform content strategy.
Alyssa Greve used Radian6 and Social Studio as a social media and marketing strategist at the marketing agency Sundog. Besides giving clients an idea of what's happening in their industries, her team uses the insights gathered from social listening to inform future marketing campaigns and messaging strategies. “We learn from what the public is saying about the brand, and about the competition,” she says.
A marketing manager at a PR firm uses Radian6 for “social brand intelligence.” In a review of Radian6, the manager says, “This involves monitoring of the client's brand as well as their competitive set. You can determine sentiment of conversation via random sample and can determine the Share of Voice in various media types.”
Companies and agencies also use Radian6 to determine the effectiveness of social media campaigns, as well as broader marketing campaigns. Jenn Vojta, Social Media Marketing Consultant at Vitamix, says in her review of Radian6, “We are able to show where our social efforts are contributing to our overall strategic goals and the purchase funnel.”
Radian6 is also used to find influencers and evangelists, which will be discussed in the Social Media Marketing use case section of this guide.
Sprinklr is a social media management platform used for customer care, engagement, community management, listening, publishing and analytics.
Heather McCarty, VP of strategy and branding at Springleaf Financial Services, says in her review, “Sprinklr provides realtime listening and monitoring that is leveraged in reports and actions across departments. This enables customer support and immediate action as well as trend monitoring and alerts.”
Madalyn Muncy used Sprinklr for reputation management as corporate communications intern at chemicals company DuPont. “Sprinklr is one of the best social media management tools for listening that I've come across,” she says in her review. “With customizable dashboards, you're able to create streams for just about anything. With Sprinklr, you can keep tabs on your dissenters and respond to them in an efficient manner.”
Sysomos offers two social listening products: Heartbeat and MAP. MAP is focused on in-depth social research. According to the mix of reviews on TrustRadius, all of MAP's customers are agencies using the product to understand client brands, perform competitive analyses, guide marketing strategy and measure the effectiveness of PR and marketing campaigns.
For example, Hagan Ramsey, Social Engagement Manager at IQ Agency, uses Sysomos MAP to test “brand perceptions around the 5 W's & How (ex: Who is talking about my product? Where are they talking? How are they describing it?),” as he says in his review. Tyler Sweeney, Social Media Coordinator at marketing agency RPA, says in his review that he uses Sysomos MAP to inform campaign messaging and design.
In terms of measurement, agencies use the data to analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. For example, Ryan Smith, VP of insights and analytics at Fleishman Hillard, says Sysomos MAP serves as a “measurement tool for earned communication programs.”
Sysomos Heartbeat is focused on day-to-day monitoring and reputation management. Casey Munck, marketing manager at Amadeus, an IT solutions supplier, says in her review of Heartbeat, “We use Sysomos for reputation management and to gauge our share of digital voice, competition analysis, sentiment rating and authority ranking.”
Heartbeat is also used by agencies for analytics. An account manager at a PR firm says in a review, “I was able to track the public perception of a client and quantifiably show how client actions related to public sentiment.” The manager also says that the tool “helped to create reports that we were able to use to prove that our work with bloggers was not only happening, but benefiting our product.”
Viralheat is a relatively new software tool that is used for social intelligence, as well as an all-in-one social tool for publishing, analytics and community management.
Anand Saggi, Senior Software Development Engineer at Intel, uses Viralheat to gather intelligence to inform product development decisions. “We are working on building a new type of television streaming technology and wanted to see what people are saying in the market,” Saggi says in his review of Viralheat. “We use Viralheat for its monitoring capabilities to locate conversations around our space and competitor products to gain insight on how they are being received.” The insights are delivered to the development team, he says. “The changes we made based on some of the collected insight did well with our pilot users - this helped us decide what features to keep or toss.”
There are additional social listening software products used for social intelligence for which there aren't sufficient reviews to include in the TrustMap™. The reviews that do exist show they are used for social intelligence.
Hagan Ramsey, social engagement manager at the agency IQ, uses Crimson Hexagon to understand consumer sentiment around client brands. In his review, he says the tool “shows crowd opinion & crowd opinion changes over time,” “highlights top conversation topics as well as the places where relevant conversations are happening,” and “allows for side-by-side comparisons with competitors.”
Brad Lawless, vice president at Collective Bias, says the agency uses MutualMind to evaluate campaign effectiveness. “By showing increases in engagement and share of voice (defined as the amount of content generated for our advertisers versus the amount of content generated for their competitors over time) we are able to correlate content to incremental sales data provided by our advertisers,” he says in his review of MutualMind.
Additional products used for social listening:
Ben Donkor, Online & Social Media Analyst at British Telecommunications, says the company has been able to use the insights gathered from social media (using Synthesio) in a variety of ways, beyond the traditional brand perception monitoring and competitive analysis.
“BT does TV, broadband, and some other traditional offerings, but we don't have a mobile service,” Donkor says. “It came to our attention through social listening that people associate BT with mobile phones and mobile SIM cards, even though we don't actually offer them. So we use that type of information to reevaluate our offering and see how we could best expand our services.”
“We have our core offerings, but we also have products that not a lot of people know about, things like baby monitors and GPS trackers,” Donkor says. “So we want to see how many people talk about those items, and whether could we collaborate with them in some way.”
It's all about improving the perception of BT. Another initiative involved promoting the BT Tower in central London as a landmark. With Synthesio, Donkor identified influencers who talked about the tower on social media. The influencers were invited to have full access to the tower for an evening and take photographs, which they later shared on social media.
“It's not only about making money and sales, it's also about changing the perception of your brand,” Donkor says. “Especially when you're a big brand like British Telecommunications challenged by newer brands that may be perceived as younger and hipper. But we do want to be on that same level, and social listening definitely helps us to get there.”
Beyond monitoring brand mentions, Donkor uses social media to do what he calls agnostic listening. “It's a more mature form of social listening, which is not just searching for BT or our competitors, but looking for mentions of what we offer, like broadband, wifi, SIM cards, television, without mentioning any brand,” he says. “Just looking at what people's expectations are for the product, and getting those insights back to the product team.”
For example, agnostic listening can help answer questions like, “Do people expect to get free roaming or free data when they go abroad?,” he says. “What is the ideal setup for a mobile offering?”
To manage all of the social mentions around brand-less keywords, Donkor says it's important to look first at top-level trends, and then look at the mentions underneath the trend. “Many people go the other way around, so looking at all of the mentions and trying to get trends out of them,” he says. “What you'll find is that it's a lot of information, but it's not insights.”
BT also leverages social media to run a customer care program, paid promotions of their offers, and contests and competitions. Again, while conversions are one KPI, the goal is mostly around perception.
For example, “BT.com is more of a content website now, rather than just a TV package you can get,” Donkor says. “It's more content and news and opinion articles, which is not something you would normally associate a telecommunications company with. So our social campaigns have been with the aim of improving the perception of BT; yes, we offer telephone lines and broadband, but we also offer you some great content that you can quickly consume on your mobile, tablet, anywhere.”
Donkor does look at revenue, but mostly when it comes to social advertising. With organic activities on social, the goal is different. Not everything on social is about making money, he says.
“Yes, you can say that social has an impact on your revenue, but not all the social posts actually convert into money, and not all of them have that intent. But what we can calculate is the social impact… so has that post changed the sentiment in the comments? Has it changed the perception of the brand?” he says. “I think it's about differentiating between the return on social activities and the return on social investment. They're both valuable, so we use both these metrics to make some business decisions, but they're not to be confused. So you aren't always looking for the pound sign or the dollar sign on everything you do on social.”
Whereas customer care is focused on using social media to engage with customers and resolve issues on their terms, and social intelligence is focused on leveraging the vast amount of conversations available in social media for various business purposes, social marketing is generally about using social media for brand amplification. This includes increasing brand awareness, growing audience, and ultimately driving more conversions and revenue. Social media is usually one channel within an integrated marketing plan that might include search engine optimization, PPC, email marketing, display advertising, and affiliate marketing, among others.
Using social to drive revenue is not, however, simply about posting campaign content to social media. Social marketing is about listening, posting relevant content, and responding to customers, all in order to establish a brand identity, build brand loyalty and trust, and optimize messaging and content. Social media can also be a testing ground to optimize messaging for use in other marketing channels.
Social media marketing often encompasses multiple social activities, such as:
- Tracking brand mentions
- Responding to and engaging with customers
- Finding and building relationships with influencers
- Finding and building relationships with customer advocates
- Finding and engaging with new prospects
- Listening to social conversations to gain insights about an audience
- Discovering opportunities to engage with customers in real time on something they care about
- Creating shareable or viral content
- Running promotional campaigns, contests and special offers
- Discovering and leveraging user generated content
- Measuring and optimizing marketing campaigns
- Leveraging organic and paid posting options
Some of the potential benefits of social media marketing might be:
- Increased brand awareness
- Increased brand loyalty
- More opportunities to engage with customers
- Gaining insights into audience desires and expectations
- Improved search engine rankings
- Increased traffic and conversions
- Lower marketing costs
Use case definitions:
- Community Management: Responding to comments and inquiries via social media channels
- Publishing: Scheduling posts to various social media channels and profiles from one interface
- Campaigns/Promotions: Creating campaigns such as contests, sweepstakes, apps, tabs and quizzes for social media channels
- Influencer/Advocacy: Discovering and engaging with influencers and brand/customer advocates
- Lead Generation: Discovering new prospects based on certain parameters, and engaging with those individuals
- Content Marketing/Curation: Discovering content from social media conversations and leveraging it in marketing materials
- Analytics/Optimization: Determining the effectiveness of social media activities for the purposes of optimization
- Paid Media Management: Managing and optimizing paid social media posts across different channels
Most software products in this report facilitate some level of social media monitoring and publishing, such as tracking brand mentions, responding to comments, and scheduling content across multiple social accounts. These functionalities may be sufficient to maintain a brand's presence on social media.
However, enterprises that integrate social media into an overall marketing strategy may need a tool or set of tools that include the following capabilities:
- Ability to track posts and mentions
- Ability to respond to comments and inquiries
- Customer conversation histories
- Internal communications/collaboration tool
- Ability to schedule content for multiple social accounts and view upcoming posts in a calendar format
- Functionality to suggest best days/times for content publication and customer engagement
- Approval workflows for content posting
- Audience segmentation and targeting based on geolocation, demographics, etc.
- Ability to create contests and promotions
- Content/asset libraries
- Content suggestion engine
- Varying user permission levels
- Compliance management
- Ability to discover and engage with influencers and advocates
- Customer profiling
- Ability to discover trending topics among a target audience
- Ability to find and curate user-generated content from social channels
- Ability to find and engage with leads and prospects
- Ability to track success, including likes, shares, retweets, followers, clicks, and conversions
- Ability to analyze effectiveness of both organic and paid social efforts
- Link shortener with tracking
- Real-time tracking
- Integration with web analytics tool
- Integration with CRM tool
- Integration with CMS
- Integration with social advertising tool
Adobe Social is a social media management tool built from two acquired software products—Efficient Frontier and Context Optional. It is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud.
In addition to publishing to multiple social accounts and platforms, Adobe Social is principally used to track social campaign analytics and understand the connection between social campaigns and website conversions. Many users take advantage of the integration with Adobe's web analytics product, Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture/SiteCatalyst), in order to help accomplish this.
Sandy Adam, social media marketing manager at a computer software company, says in her review of Adobe Social, “Adobe Social is used to tie our social promotions back to our web analytics to measure reach, sentiment and conversion.” A social media strategist at a marketing agency also integrates Adobe Social and Adobe Analytics. “The goal here is to combine social and web analytics to see how social drives purchase consideration,” the strategist says in a review of Adobe Social. “Ideally we would like to be able to attribute specific purchase decisions to campaigns by tracking the engagement path.”
Buddy Media is a social media marketing platform that was acquired by Salesforce in 2012, and re-launched as part of Salesforce Social Studio in 2014. Prior to the launch of Social Studio, Buddy Media was used by agencies and companies to create Facebook tabs and apps, engage with customers, and publish content to social channels.
A marketing manager at an Internet company says in a review of Buddy Media, “It was used to both facilitate and schedule Social Media content across multiple departments within the company. More specifically, between Digital, Editorial, and Marketing functions, this tool allowed for synchronization and efficiency in planning of social content. The analytics features allowed for quick, easy to read top-level insights that could be digested across various levels of expertise.”
Jeff Bachmann used Buddy Media at a marketing and PR agency. In his review, he says, “We purchased Buddy Media because we wanted an easy and quick way to build out engaging Facebook tabs. What sold us on the platform was the analytics.”
Expion is a social media management tool used by agencies and enterprises to publish to multiple social media accounts. For example, Faith Chihil, community coordinator at a marketing agency, says in a review of Expion that the tool “was incredibly helpful in organizing, publishing, and measuring the success of our social content across Facebook and Twitter.”
Expion helps agencies plan social media content and get client approval. Matthew Garcia, associate community manager at agency 360i, says in his review, “Our client likes using Expion for daily content approvals…Expion provides an easy way for us to draft a lot of content easily and efficiently.”
Non-agency customers also use the tool as a central interface for various departments or brands. Kelly Cates, a marketing manager at Hanesbrands Inc, says, Expion helps ensure all eight of the Hanesbrands brands using the tool are following best practices. “Each of our brands has multiple agencies and the Expion Platform allows one central area for all agencies to manage their posts, and gives management oversight into what each brand/agency is posting, performance, schedule and benchmark the data,” she says in her review.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool focused on allowing users to efficiently manage multiple social accounts from one interface. It facilitates publishing, responding to mentions, and measuring success of posts, and is often used by marketing and customer service team members.
Scott Hornsby, head of social media at Local World Media, a large UK media brand, says in his review of Hootsuite Enterprise, “At Local World we use Hootsuite to manage our 400+ social media networks for posting, engagement, social insights and search. All departments have access including editorial, marketing and promotions to ensure that our customer service level is at its premium and that we can manage our brands with ease.”
Mike Tomita, sr. program manager, web marketing, at Marketo, says Hootsuite has helped his company improve customer service as well as respond to questions from prospects. In his review of Hootsuite Enterprise, he says, “On the marketing side we have been able to quickly respond to questions about our product capabilities, which is especially important during the buying stage or when a competitor is mentioned.”
Hootsuite is also used by agencies to determine and show clients the effectiveness of campaigns. For example, a social media and IT manager at a digital agency says in a review of Hootsuite Enterprise, “The detailed analytics package not only lets us see how our campaigns are performing, but it also allows us to share detailed metrics with our clients to justify the fees we charge them.”
Meltwater Buzz offers social media monitoring, social media engagement, social competitions and sweepstakes, and a social CRM.
A marketing manager at a university says in a review of the tool, “We currently use Meltwater Buzz to schedule content on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, moderate and respond to posts and comments on these channels and also to listen to conversations concerning our organisation across social and blogging channels.”
A marketing associate in healthcare uses Meltwater Buzz to increase engagement on social media. “It's valuable in easily helping you find your online ‘influencers’ and those who are most engaged with your content,” the associate says in a review of the tool.
Meltwater's product team informs us that they are working on a new platform, with a “significant leap in functionality,” which will replace the Buzz solution later this year.
Offerpop is a social marketing platform that allows users to build social media campaigns such as contests, apps, sweepstakes and promotions, usually with the goal of growing fan base or engaging with customers.
According to a review of Offerpop, a marketing professional at a large retail company uses the tool to “engage with current customers in the social space, attract prospective customers, reward loyal brand followers, and crowd-source customer feedback.” As a result, the company has acquired more fans and increased engagement.
Keobs Avila, front end web designer at Wet Seal, says in his review of Offerpop that the company uses the tool for “social media contests, for example model search entries, social media signup, mobile signups and video voting.”
Oracle Social Relationship Management is a social media engagement and marketing suite based on three separate tools that Oracle acquired in 2012: social marketing platform Vitrue, social intelligence platform Collective Intellect, and social media development platform Involver. According to the reviews on TrustRadius, it is primarily used for marketing, whether by agencies or brands.
A marketing manager at a retail company say in a review of Oracle SRM, “We use Oracle SRM to manage all of our social platforms from creating and publishing posts to listening to competitor activity across the internet. Currently is used only by our Marketing department. However, we have crossed trained our HR department to use the platform for their own social channels when it comes to recruitment and cultural content. It helps us see how effective our digital content is and also allows use the efficiency and flexibility of building and executing social content in house.”
An agency uses the tool to manage social presence for clients, and determine the success of social campaigns. An account manager at the agency says in a review of Oracle SRM, “The ‘Listen & Analyze’ tab allows us to take all of the analytics and provide our client with exact implications of how posts are performing, who is being targeted, how we can target better, etc.”
One notable aspect of the tool is the ability to build contests and tabs on Facebook, which can be used for lead generation. Mark War, social media supervisor at Ansira, an agency, says in a review of Vitrue, “many of the contests/sweepstakes our clients do on Facebook are centered on data collection. Vitrue's Tabs tool made it very easy to whip up a small data collection form for campaigns that led to new leads for all clients, some of which were later tied back to transactional data to show true ROI for our clients.”
Radian6 is a social listening tool used for brand monitoring, competitive analysis, and social campaign analytics. However, marketers also use the tool to find and engage with influencers, new customers, and advocates. Derrick Lane, chief content officer at online health resource BlackDoctor Inc says in his review, “Radian6 allows us insight into identifying potential brand evangelists for our business by targeting relevant keywords. Our strategy was to use these brand evangelists to help build the brand.”
Andrea M. Bussey, marketing consultant at Computershare, says in her review, “The data retrieved from Radian6 allowed us to increase app downloads by 12 percent over a 6 month period, which surpassed our goal. Since we were able to find the consumers most likely to download the iPad app, we were able to engage them in/on a couple blogs and chat rooms. That was great for spreading the word.”
A marketing director at a nonprofit organization says in a review of Radian6, “The software does a fantastic job of letting us understand who our top social supporters are…Our marketing team understands who among our supporters can help us grow, and which messages resonate the most.”
Shoutlet is a social media management tool that allows users to schedule and post content to multiple social accounts, create contests and landing pages, respond to mentions, and measure the impact of social activities.
A marketing professional at a banking company says Shoutlet is used primarily for marketing. “This was a helpful dashboard that helped us manage our customer service issues, create engaging contests, and deliver analytics for a monthly social media report,” the professional says in a review of Shoutlet. “The information gleaned from our social media analytics guided critical business decisions from product promotions to event sponsorships.”
Many users say it is an efficiency-building tool that allows an individual or a few people to manage a large social media presence.
For example, Kimberly Fletcher, e-business manager at Klein Tools, a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees, says in her review of Shoutlet, “With the Social CRM tool and the calendar alone, I'm able to do the work of a small social media team when it comes to scheduling content and engaging with customers. I'm also able to easily grab metrics on any or all of our social media presences.”
Tim Demeter, Digital Media Manager at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, says Shoutlet is used by the marketing and PR departments “to streamline our social strategy and to track engagement.” He also says in his review of Shoutlet, “Our ultimate goal is to slowly it out to the entire organization and allow specific departments to address their own social needs with marketing retaining admin control.”
Simply Measured is a social analytics platform used by marketers to determine the effectiveness of social media endeavors.
Valerie Gunn, used Simply Measured as senior social media manager at marketing agency MMGY Global. In her review of Simply Measured, she says, “We used it to deliver analytics to our social media clients. It was immensely helpful because it did a lot of the work for us by not only compiling all of the data but also putting it in an easy-to-read and pretty-to-look-at format. Many of our clients don't want truly raw numbers when we deliver reports, so it's nice to have the graphs generated for you.”
Emily Ikuta, demand generation specialist at Ixia, a computer networking company, says the demand generation and marketing teams use Simply Measured to optimize social content. “The engagement data for the 5 channels we watch helps us determine what content really spoke to our audience. [That data] helped us determine what topics people were interested in the most,” she says in her review of Simply Measured. For example, “The distribution of views by video duration helps drive the development of future video content because we're able to see the shorter the video the better it performed when it came to certain topics.”
Spredfast offers a social media management suite that is focused on the marketing use case. Conversations is the tool that allows users to plan and post social content, respond and engage with customers, and measure the impact of these efforts.
A marketing director at a large supermarket chain uses Spredfast Conversations for all three of these functions, according to a review of the product: “Publishing – sharing relevant, customer-centric content focused on our brand as well as store-level information such as sales, events, and community engagement; Engagement – responding to customer questions and conversations in Twitter and Facebook; Analytics – optimizing our publication and engagement opportunities, as well as understanding how social fits into our larger integrated marketing mix.”
Many customers focus on using Spredfast to analyze the effectiveness of social campaigns and optimize those efforts. For example, Christina Hadly, Corporate Content Writer at National Instruments, says her company uses social media to increase brand awareness. “Content labels allowed us to track which content performed best,” she says in her review. “Knowing this enabled us to tailor future content and write posts that followers actually wanted to read and share, which then increased our social media following organically by thousands of users over the past year.”
In addition to increasing brand awareness, marketers will often use social media as a channel to drive conversions and revenue. In that case, users need to track conversion metrics in addition to the typical engagement metrics such as likes, shares and comments. Jason Nickel used Spredfast when he was online content and social media manager at Brooks Brothers. In his review of Spredfast, he says integration with the company's web analytics tool was important: “We know that social typically doesn't have a very high conversion rate compared to email and other channels. However, even if social is unlikely to be the last touch resulting in a sale, it is definitely part of the conversion funnel. Integration of Spredfast with [Adobe] SiteCatalyst helps us to understand attribution. For example, a large number of people might be driven to our website by a social campaign. It's very helpful to understand who among them converted following additional touches through other channels.”
Spredfast Experiences is a tool that helps companies integrate social content into their website and other marketing materials. Kyle Burt, publicity director at a consulting agency, says in his review that he uses Spredfast Experiences (formerly Mass Relevance), to increase “audience engagement with social media” and “audience participation in company events,” as well as to give “our audience the feeling like they are involved with the company.”
Sprinklr is an enterprise-focused, customizable social media management platform. It is often used by marketers to optimize social media content. For example, Justin Macauley used the tool as social media manager at Frontier Airlines. In his review he says, “Sprinklr allows us to track things like click-through rates at different times of the day, and to track performance of geo-targeted messages in an automated way. A big issue for us is understanding when to segment messaging through geo-targeting and when to push out blanket messages. Sprinklr has allowed us to test many different scenarios and to better understand what kinds of messages work best for what kinds of offers.”
Paul Matson, head of content and social media at Groupon, says in his review that the custom insights from Sprinklr have “given us the ability to maximize engagement and traffic, and hence impact our bottom line of revenue.”
A marketing manager at a large computer networking company says in a review of Sprinklr, “Our agencies use Sprinklr to share or suggest content to our community managers who can modify, publish and track the impact of these ideas in relationship to current campaigns. The “suggested content” tool is actually a feature that I advocated for Sprinklr to build, and we now use it regularly. We also take advantage of Sprinklr to tag both inbound and outbound messages based on topic, priority, product line or campaign for detailed reporting and insights across teams.”
Sprinklr is also used for community management. Allison Jordan, an account executive at an agency, says in her review, “Sprinklr allowed my team to be the fastest and most responsive brand on Facebook in their category. The industry that we happened to be in highly relied on word of mouth and recommendations for the sale of their product and therefore really valued the power of being a strong presence on social media.”
Sprout Social allows users to manage multiple social media profiles from one interface. Capabilities include scheduling posts, responding to mentions, and measuring impact. Many agencies and consultants use the tool to manage social media for multiple brands and clients. For example, Laura Pilcher, owner of Pilcher Creative Agency, says in her review, “Sprout Social allows me to link all my clients' profiles in one place and keep track of who is talking about them and when. The ease of scheduling posts and tracking results makes Sprout Social my first choice above all other social media distribution platforms.”
Agencies also use Sprout Social's analytics and reports to show the ROI of campaigns to clients. “Sprout has easily allowed us to demonstrate the value of social media to our clients,” says Mike Wolfe, President of WAMEnterprises, in his review.
Doreen Nicastro at Nicastro Consultants uses Sprout Social to help her clients increase brand awareness and influence, identify and engage with influencers, and build campaign metrics, she says in her review.
Brands use Sprout Social for marketing and community management. Thane Clark, Marketing Coordinator at Centriq Training, an IT and Services company, says in his review, “We've for sure had better customer service with Sprout Social's amazing keyword search tool. We were able to see real time what people were saying about us and then join in on the conversation with answers to questions, suggestions, and tips.”
Sprout Social's analytics helps marketers optimize social content. As Digital Marketing Manager at media production company E.W. Scripps, Jeff Cowan says in his review of Sprout Social, “It allows us to see who is posting the stories with the most engagement and understand what could be done company wide to increase social engagement.”
Viralheat is an all-in-one social media tool used for social intelligence, publishing, analytics and community management. In terms of marketing, it also allows users to leverage social listening to find new prospects. Reviewers mention the tool's “Human Intent” technology, which can be set up to surface potential leads. For example, Cory Smith used Viralheat for lead generation while he was head of sales strategy at education and research company PositivityU. “We monitored key words specific to our brand, services, and competitors,” he says in his review. “Viralheat human intent technology marked potential leads which we were then able to export into our CRM system for sales follow up. This allowed us to tap into the social world for leads we might not have been aware of.” He was also able to train the tool to learn to identify better leads, he says.
Jason Owen, Vice President of Acquisition Marketing at Vivint, a residential security company, says they use Viralheat's lead identification feature heavily. “In our industry people are always looking to feel more protected so we've found that these leads are often hotter than others,” he says in his review.
Woobox is a social media marketing tool that allows users to build social media campaigns, such as contests, polls, sweepstakes, coupons, apps and tabs. A marketing manager at a consumer goods company says in a review of Woobox, “We utilized Woobox to run our Facebook contests. It helped us to increase our likes and create a fun buzz about our products and prizes.”
Amanda Baggot, marketing coordinator at broadcast media company KPHO, says in her review that she uses Woobox to run Facebook contests, “Woobox creates an easy way for consumers to enter. It is not complicated therefore more people enter.”
Paul Matson, head of content and social media at Groupon, says the company uses Sprinklr as “our global enterprise solution for social content management and measurement in 47 countries.” In his review of Sprinklr, he says, “this includes basic publishing and scheduling across mainstream social networks, conversation management and engagement, and campaign (app) optimization.”
Matson also spoke to Jay Baer, founder and president of digital marketing consultancy Convince & Convert, about Groupon's social strategy and operations in a podcast. Groupon, Matson says, was a local company operating in a few U.S. cities, yet became a global company almost overnight. “It became this big strategic and philosophical question of, ‘how do we operate on a global level while still remaining as relevant as possible at a hyper local level?’ Social media probably, unlike any other marketing channel that we have at our disposal, is the one mechanism that allows us to be global and act local.”
In terms of operations, Matson says Groupon has several dozen individuals touching social. This includes community managers who publish and optimize content, editorial staff dedicated to producing social content, and “city planners” who are familiar with local markets and can ensure content is relevant at a local level. This team manages 147 Twitter handles (specific ones for all the major cities) as well as a hefty amount of geo-targeting on Groupon's Facebook page. Overall, in the United States alone, they are outputting 2,500 to 3,000 posts a week, he says.
Sprinklr is a key part of managing the operations around such a large volume of users and content. “We produce a high volume of daily content, most of which is created and published within 24 hours from ideation to execution,” Matson says in his review. “Sprinklr has given us an efficient workflow method, where content can be produced, reviewed, scheduled and measured all within one shared interface.”
Matson also says using one social media management system allows the team to easily share insights with each other around the world and optimize content. “Sprinklr helps us see what content is doing well almost by the hour,” he says in his interview with Baer. “Then we're able to very quickly translate that content into different languages, or kind of massage the message a little bit, and kind of do real-time A/B testing across borders, and then we repurpose content as we see it do well.”
In terms of measuring success with social media, part of that is direct revenue, i.e., posting offer links on social and measuring clicks and conversions, Matson says. Another ROI on social media, however, is the ability to learn and optimize content quickly and apply the knowledge to other marketing channels, such as CRM, email marketing, paid media, display ads, and search engine marketing. “The social signals that you can get from your Facebook page or Twitter or YouTube or any mainstream or niche social channel will often translate to a very sound strategy in other channels,” he says. “So it's essentially taking those social signals and converting them to other marketing arms.”
The other opportunity social media provides Groupon is discovering content ideas that resonate with audiences. For example, Groupon became a trending topic on Twitter one day, with many users discussing whether it was appropriate to use a Groupon on a first date. Matson's team took advantage of the idea, asked the same question via Groupon's social channels, and then turned the results into a content marketing piece focused on dating. “So we were very quickly able to take social insights and then turn that into an actual marketable decision that can make us revenue, as a bottom line,” he says.
Groupon also uses social media to find and engage with influencers. However, as with the rest of the company's marketing strategy, the influencer program is very targeted. “What we want to do is make sure that we're working with people that appeal to a very specific demographic or interest group, whether that's tied to geography or it's national but tied to a specific subset of users,” he says.
Pages 5-26 are available in the complete TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Management and cover
- Adobe Social Ratings & User Feedback
- Attensity Ratings & User Feedback
- Brand Embassy Ratings & User Feedback
- Brandwatch Ratings & User Feedback
- Conversocial Ratings & User Feedback
- Expion Ratings & User Feedback
- Hootsuite Enterprise Ratings & User Feedback
- Lithium Social Web Ratings & User Feedback
- Meltwater Buzz Ratings & User Feedback
- NetBase Social Ratings & User Feedback
- Offerpop Ratings & User Feedback
- Oracle Social Relationship Management Ratings & User Feedback
- Shoutlet Ratings & User Feedback
- Simply Measured Ratings & User Feedback
- Salesforce Social Studio Ratings & User Feedback
- Spredfast Conversations Ratings & User Feedback
- Sprinklr Ratings & User Feedback
- Sprout Social Ratings & User Feedback
- Sysomos Heartbeat Ratings & User Feedback
- Sysomos MAP Ratings & User Feedback
- Viralheat Ratings & User Feedback
- Woobox Ratings & User Feedback
Social Media Management Products
NetBase is a social media analytics platform that analyzes real-time and historical information on the internet. It uses proprietary Natural Language Processing along with machine learning to extract true meaning and sentiment from online conversations. Use cases include brand management, campaign...
Sprout social offers a comprehensive range of features from listening to engagement and analytics. It recently partnered with ZenDesk for social support. Its focus is on offering a broad offering suitable for SMB customers. Although a relatively young firm, Sprout Social already has over 2000,...
HootSuite Enterprise provides a centralized platform for managing streams from different social media channels and posting/ engaging across channels simultaneously. It also has strong team / workflow features and good mobile apps.
The Altimeter Group calls Sprinklr “the most capable” Social Media Management System to serve the needs of large organizations. Sprinklr considers themselves to be the only true Multi-Channel, Multi-Function, Multi-Division platform designed to make it possible-and profitable-for global...
HootSuite Pro provides access to up to 100 social profiles, and up to 10 enhanced analytics reports. It also provides message archiving and some other optional advanced features like team workflow.
Spredfast Conversations is a social media management platform. Key features include: Plan and Organize Social Campaigns, Manage Real-Time Engagement, and Learn and Prove Social Impact
Shoutlet is a cloud-based social relationship platform that enables marketers to publish, engage and measure social marketing campaigns and activities on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+, and YouTube. The product’s focus is on quantifying return on...
Cision Social Edition (formerly Viralheat) is a social media marketing suite that combines social media management and intelligence in a single platform encompassing account management, monitoring, publishing, engagement, and analytics. Viralheat was acquired by Cision in 2015 and rebranded Cision...
Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) enables organizations to socially enable the way they do business - without the cost and complexity of social silos. It's a strategy to be more engaging and responsive at scale, listen, and respond at the speed of social, with a consistency and...
Expion is an enterprise social media management platform. Expion specializes in the franchise marketing requirement for multi–location management. Expion helps brand managers take care of social postings at hundreds of locations with consistent messaging.
Engagor is a Social Media Management platform. Its key features include monitoring of the social web, real-time customer engagement, workflow automation, analytics and reporting. The product was acquired by Clarabridge in 2015.
HootSuite Free is the free version of the product which allows access to 5 social profiles and 2 RSS feeds. It does not provide team membership functionality, access to HootSuite University (training) or other advanced features.
Adobe Social, incorporates technology from Context Optional and Efficient Frontier. Adobe acquired Facebook advertising-management platform Efficient Frontier in November. Six months earlier, Efficient Frontier had acquired Facebook page-management platform Context Optional. Adobe Social is...
Oktopost is a B2B social media marketing platform designed to publish social messages, converse with prospects and generate leads. LinkedIn is the major network for B2B and Oktopost makes it easy to post to dozens of groups with many profiles. An additional benefit of Oktopost would be the...
Cool Tabs is a social media marketing platform that is used to manage marketing campaigns and drive engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. It also helps community managers to know the key performance indicators of their business pages on Facebook and export reports with...
Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio is a single platform for social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics, built for both enterprise scale and consumer ease of use, that allows marketers to collaborate like never before. And with the Social Studio mobile app, you can run social...
Gremln is a St. Louis startup offering basic publishing platform for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. One area of focus is compliance. The platform includes a compliance package that includes approval workflow, keyword filtering, and message archiving. They are also currently working on a Listening...
Falcon Social is a Social Media Management platform that enables enterprise teams to work together to achieve better business results. With a user-friendly approach to workflow management, the Falcon platform includes products to Listen, Engage, Publish, Analyze and Manage—as well as custom...
12mass is a Social Conversation tool enabling brands to engage with a large audience on Twitter and Facebook without compromising the personal touch. Its clustering tool makes search easier and the Multivariable testing allows for optimization of the responses.
OutMarket provides marketing automation software and services. The OutMarket platform includes email marketing, landing pages, social media management, press outreach, and analytics. The software was originally Vocus Marketing Suite.
SocialFlow is the first social media optimization technology to apply a scientific approach to understanding the real-time value of content on the social graph. With unparalleled access to the Twitter and Facebook data streams, the company developed the SocialFlow AttentionScore™ technology that is...
Awareness Social Media Hub is a tool intended to allow marketers to publish, manage, measure, and engage with their marketing across multiple social media channels. The Social Marketing Hub was created by Awareness, Inc. in 2010 and includes features such as permissioning, audit trails, and team...
Social Media Management Articles
- Quickly find out which Social Media software platform best supports your enterprise needs
- Deep dive into 3 major use cases for social media in this free 102-page guide from TrustRadius
- Learn how Comcast, BT and Groupon are using social media management software
However, businesses have a few options for how to develop insight into their customers. Learn how social listening can be a cost effective way to find gain market insights.
Social Media Management is a fragmented category with close to 140 vendors listed on TrustRadius. However, a few vendors are starting to break from the pack. In Q4, Hootsuite Enterprise retained its position as the most evaluated SMMS product on TrustRadius