What Is Social Media Management Software? Analysis of Features, Pricing, Types and Benefits

Social media management software has been consistently gaining steam in terms of use, but the average business person may not be that familiar with the platform. So what is social media management software exactly?

The use of social media has revolutionized the way business is done all over the world. This technology has made it easier for individuals to listen, interact, engage and even collaborate with one another. However, this capability has also led to difficulty in monitoring and managing social media conversations.

This is where social media management software (SMMS) comes in. To better discuss this technology, it is prudent to ask, what does social media management software do for you? These new type of solutions aid organizations with the way they participate in important social media conversations. These conversations include blogs and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, along with other forms of online communities. These tools are also imbued with new listening technologies, through which businesses can learn how people view their organizations. These functionalities accurately describes the true definition of social management software.

A company’s social media presence can also be amplified using these solutions by automatically sending messages using different social media platforms. They likewise enable companies to integrate their social media activities with their respective marketing programs. This functionality has lead the way to the increased use of social media management software. An industry report has revealed that the primary reason for the increase in the use of the solution is its ability to improve brand awareness.

Most companies are looking to social media platforms to promote their businesses and build and market their brands. These businesses’ experiences can truly answer the query, what is social media management software? In this respect, the software’s basic function is to connect/communicate with consumers. It can also help distinguish vital customers and enable businesses to follow their online activities. Also, the software can monitor the performance of a company’s social media campaign through the real time analytics and reports that it furnishes. It is no wonder that in some places such as Europe, senior executives have been found to use SMMS more than their junior counterparts. This proves that the technology works as a marketing platform.

The SMMS market is a highly-fragmented one, owing to the number of vendors offering them and the constant innovations that keep companies competitive. Continuous product and service portfolio expansion is seen to drive competition further up, with developers high up in the ladder seen to gain further competitive edge by coming up with more advanced and innovative solutions.

In order for businesses to keep up with the seemingly endless stream of information from social media platforms, they need to use SMMS. Even as the number of companies using social media for customer service has risen, it has been found that eight in nine social media messages go unanswered in the first 72 hours. Using SMMS, enterprises can respond to such messages in a timely manner, ultimately saving a sale or even getting a positive comment from a customer. 

In this article, we will look deeper on the nature of social media management software. What it does, its benefits, features, pricing, examples, issues and usage trends. Although many software of its kind are offered on premise, we will focus on powerful systems that are deployed via cloud technology.

Here’s what you will find in the article:

  1. Benefits of social media management software
  2. Features of social media management software
  3. Why use social media management software
  4. Pricing of social media management software
  5. Examples of social media management software
  6. Potential issues
  7. Latest trends

Benefits of Social Media Management

We all know that companies harness the power of social media the way gossip magazines rely on word of mouth for the latest on the celebrity front. If used correctly, organizations can reap all the benefits of social media management software. For businesses, joining online conversations does not only inform existing and prospective customers of their brand, it also allows users to glean information about the competition. It essentially makes an industry a smaller place for all players.

It is important for any organization to have social media representation. Using social media management software, they are able to get an idea how consumers view them and know about competitors and industry trends. Social media also allows for the positive representation of a company, product or service, which is always a good thing. Building a good name and public image is most likely to improve connections with customers more quickly.

Facebook Pages Manages is one of the most popular solutions on the market

What Does Social Media Management Software Do?

We all hear and read the wonders that the technology does for businesses, but what does social media management software do? This tool offers a multitude of benefits to any enterprise who wants to use social media as a marketing tool. One of these is its ability to manage huge volumes of data from mobile apps and devices. Users can use such information to appraise and manage customer social media activities, allowing them to improve their marketing processes. This trend has led many to believe that this capability will spur further growth in the SMMS market.

With SMMS, organizations can better manage multiple social media pages. Since many companies maintain multiple social pages for marketing purposes, SMMS can help them manage this otherwise complicated task. It can likewise enable users to aggregate all messages regardless of social media accounts and put them in a single storage. Another strength of SMMS is its capability to nurture relationships with customers. Some systems can keep tabs on conversation history, enabling users to personalize customer experience.

Aside from this, SMMS can help businesses where team collaboration is required. Shared inboxes are a common thing with SMMS systems, allowing individuals to send messages to the right people. Such software also help provide brand security by allowing but trusted staff to send messages to corporate social profiles. Inappropriate messages sent are easily tracked and can be dealt with accordingly. In the same manner, unauthorized content that can adversely impact a brand can also be prevented.

As monitoring social media for consumer conversations is vital, SMMS gives users the ability to join such conversations and respond to them as necessary. This is especially useful as many conversations could entail mentions of their brand without them even knowing it.

Features of Social Media Management Software

The use of social media as a business tool answers the question what is the purpose of social management software?, involving processes such as marketing and advertising and customer service. SMMS needs to have features that could cater to these needs. Below is a discussion of the features of social media management software that every user should have access to.

  1. Platform integration:  SMMS should enable users to manage their most prized social media platforms in a single solution. This is important due to the fact that there are many social media solutions that businesses use. Managing these tools becomes an easy task with the use of SMMS. Integrations enable users to manage social networks from a single dashboard.
  2. Social media monitoring and listening: Any social media strategy without this capability will not bear fruit. This feature allows users to know what consumers are saying about their brand, their industry and even the competition. This is done through monitoring, which involves keeping tabs on existing conversations. In doing so, companies can join conversations that can benefit their marketing efforts.
  3. Scheduling: Some social media solutions enable businesses to schedule posts through the use of content calendars. They also allow for the anticipation of message releases. Content can be published at times when audiences are most likely to catch them. These mostly free templates eliminate the need for spreadsheets, which are the usual tools used in planning social posts.
  4. Engagement: SMMS can significantly boost customer engagement. However, this can only be done if organizations are quick to respond to messages, comments and mentions that are posted on social media. These are done through the use of pre-fabricated messages that companies can send out to customers.
  5. Analytics: Using real time analytics, SMMS can measure a company’s performance on social media, which can help evaluate social media strategies. This is accomplished by monitoring metrics like retweets and likes, among other indicators.
  6. Collaboration: To allow collaboration on social media strategies, SMMS has the ability to support teams in processes such as message assignments and stream and message sharing. This feature can greatly cut risks of multiple responses from individual team members.
  7. Content library and sources: Every SMMS should have a content library feature. This functionality would facilitate easy management of content across all social media platforms. It is specially beneficial for teams as they would know what content could be shared, assuring that a company’s social channels remain in excellent shape.
  8. Social media advertising: An ideal SMMS should also have the ability to manage social advertising, together with posts and marketing campaigns. This functionality will also simplify social media managers’ workflows.
  9. Software integration: Most SMMS are also capable of seamless integration with existing social platforms. This feature enables SMMS to be the total social media management solution through the integration of external applications, websites and services.

Hootsuite allows you to effectively manage your social media account

Why Use Social Media Management Software?

Another relevant question that businesses often pose is why use social media management software. Any organization utilizing social media platforms cannot be without SMMS in order to stay relevant. It has been found out that organizations that use social media are the ones that gain more brand loyalty. It is a way by which businesses nurture relationship with consumers, both existing and prospective.

There are a wide array of reasons why businesses should make use of SMMS in handling their social media efforts. This is where we answer the question how does social media management work?. SMMS has a variety of tools that can give managers control over conversations, along with its capability to improve and maintain social media presence.

  1. Businesses can post social media content at anytime: Using SMMS, managers can do away with checking into different social media accounts, giving them the ability to schedule posts ahead of time. Posting schedules need not be influenced by anything as drafts of unapproved posts could be saved for future use.
  2. In-Depth Analytics: Many SMMS are capable of providing users with metrics on social media accounts, data from which can be integrated into a company’s social media and brand strategies. Such metrics can also be used to link social media strategies to a business’ website. They can keep tabs on how marketing campaigns are doing, which can provide valuable insights into a company’s social media presence.
  3. Monitor multiple social media platforms: Publishing on a variety of social media platforms is also possible with SMMS, enabling users to garner more audiences, while being able to compare metrics across social media solutions. Posting across social media platforms is also achievable with a single update, saving managers time and allowing them to focus on other matters. Content success on different platforms can likewise be compared, which can be used to boost social media strategy.
  4. Monitor social media conversations: Using SMMS, businesses can monitor brand reputation as notifications of brands being mentioned on social media platforms are received through an inbox or a dashboard.

How Much Does Social Media Management Software Cost?

The cost of social media management software vary from vendor to vendor with licenses purchased depending on the number of users. Prices range from as low as $9 per month to as high as $18,000 annually. Pricing models also hinge on capabilities and support offered by the vendor. However, many developers offer free trials and free versions of SMMS, for those who want to give the solution a try. Most vendors also require prospective customers to visit their websites to get pricing quotations.

What Are Examples of Social Media Management Software?

Most businesses maybe aware of social management software but lack knowledge on how social media management software works and that there are numerous popular solutions that currently out in the market. In this section, we discuss some examples of social media management platforms.

  1. Facebook Pages ManagerOne of the most popular SMMS currently in the market, Facebook Pages Manager is a mobile application designed to aid in managing businesses’ social media pages. Using the solution, users can update social media pages, create posts and share media, among others. Notifications regarding social media activities and reminders are also automatically sent by the app. Page insights are likewise provided, enabling users to capture information regarding customer wants and needs. Facebook Pages Manager also offers both business and personal social media tools.
  2. HootsuiteA powerful SMMS, Hootsuite is designed to help businesses come up and with and implement social media strategies. It can likewise allow managers to handle multiple social media accounts using a single solution, eliminating the need for multiple logins. Users are allowed to post updates, directly communicate with customer base and analyze responses on social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare. The solution can also link businesses to third party applications such as Vimeo, Instagram and Evernote. Key features include management of multiple contributors, capture of brand intelligence and multiple network updates.
  3. TweetDeckA free app that is designed to let Twitter users to manage limitless accounts from a single interface, TweetDeck is ideal for organizations that require functionalities such as tracking, organizing and engagement on the social media platform. It can be used by virtually anyone, starting from individuals all the way to large organizations. The software is capable of managing Twitter accounts as well, while keeping track of hundreds of Twitter lists, searches and hashtags. TwitterDeck offers customizable dashboards that enable users to both send and receive tweets and monitor Twitter profiles. This robust tool can be deployed as a Web, Chrome or desktop application.
  4. ZOHO Socialan SMSS that allows organizations to increase their social media presence by targeting appropriate audiences. It can measure revenue generated from social media marketing, giving users an idea how their social media campaigns are performing. The software allows for management of multiple social media platforms, monitor conversations for keywords and schedule unlimited number of posts all from a single solution. It seamlessly integrates with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others. Using ZOHO Social, businesses can publish needed social media content at times when consumers are most likely to view them. It has the capability to listen and connect with audience in real time. Market performance can be improved using the application, which offers insights through custom reporting tools. Information sharing among team members can also be accomplished, which guarantees the formulation of sound decisions.
  5. AgoraPulseAn SMMS designed to aid businesses in managing their social network profiles, AgoraPulse can enable enterprises to handle their social media accounts across many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others. The software offers ease of use and excellent customer support. To maintain businesses’ social media relations and establish new ones, AgoraPulse ensures that no tweet, message or comment goes unread. It also provides tools that enable users to collect statistics and reports that can be used to come up with effective social media campaigns, giving businesses an edge over competitors. Numerous tools embedded in the application include Facebook apps, analytics and those that allow content automation. Users receive notifications about comments, tweets and messages, all on inboxes provided by the app. This feature provides access to conversations and therefore, a chance to expand.

You can use TweetDeck to manage your Twitter account

Potential Issues With Social Media Management Software

With all the advantages of using SMMS comes downsides that enterprises should consider before investing in the tool. Here are some of them:

  1. SMMS is expensive: Despite their useful features, SMMS require significant investments from businesses. Some solutions can cost up to $100 a month, which is a bit expensive especially for small enterprises. Likewise, these tools are seen as overpriced and would suit only businesses with big cashflows.
  2. SMMS Lack Spam Filtering: As many SMMS are littered with spam, problems could arise from their use. Many vendors pass off their products as free of spam but this is not always true. It is therefore good practice to check user reviews of a product first before purchasing.
  3. Inaccurate Automated Sentiment Analysis: Most SMMS generate reports about customer sentiments. Such reports are often proved inaccurate despite vendor assurance. Depending on these reports could severely impact a company’s appraisal of customer sentiments. Plus, it is easy to miss valuable social media insights from the use of automatically generated sentiment analysis.
  4. Social Media Marketing Involves Risk: Social media marketing entails risks that could backfire on any brand. Failure to check or update social media accounts could result in customer discontent and subsequently negative comments about a product or service. In cases such as this, a company will need somebody to monitor accounts who can provide immediate response to prevent such events from happening again. Bad comments do not just damage businesses they do so permanently.

There is also the danger that an SMMS could carry malware and viruses that could hijack social media accounts. Careful selection of these software can help prevent such things from happening.

What Are the Latest Trends in Social Media Management Software?

SMMS market growth. The global social media management software market is expected to grow by around 15% from the year 2017 to 2021, this forecast includes both on-premise and cloud-based SMMS. However, an increase in the use of cloud-based SMMS is see as more likely as businesses have been moving their information technology resources from on-premise to cloud-based platforms. This is being done as a means to minimize organizations’ IT spendings while upgrading their infrastructure.

Cloud-based software offers advantages that on-premise solutions do not. Among these are the use of social media analytics, improved dashboard management and data recording facilities. Likewise, cloud-based platforms are far easier to implement, a key feature that most businesses look for in SMMS.

As could be expected, the United States and Canada would remain as the largest SMMS market in the world. This is partly because some of the largest SMMS vendors such as Sprout Social, Lithium Technologies and Crowdbooster are based in the US and Canada.

In Europe, meanwhile, the increase in the number of businesses using SMMS is seen to drive market growth with the United Kingdom still leading in SMMS use. In the same manner, the increase in the use of smartphones and SMMS has been driving market growth in the region.

Category: B2B News, Featured Articles

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