For successful execution of any kind of online business campaign, a reliable and functional Social Media Management Software is instrumental. It 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, responding to inquiries, 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. Many social media platforms offer a broad feature set encompassing multiple or all of these use cases, while some excel in one particular area.
Many companies use more than one tool to manage their social media efforts.
Social Media for Business: Use Cases and Features
Companies leverage social media channels in different ways, from reputation management, to customer service, to market research. Here are four key social media use cases, and the accompanying relevant feature sets.
Social Media Monitoring
Social media is a source of a vast amount of information, with conversations happening among your customers and potential customers “in the wild”. Many companies use a social media monitoring tool to listen for brand mentions, track competitors and compare ‘share of voice', discover more about a target market, understand customer expectations, monitor employee sentiment, or inform product development strategy.
Features related to social media listening include:
- Ability to filter out spam/noise
- Boolean keyword searches
- Sentiment analysis
- Competitive analysis
- Broad channel coverage
Social Media Publishing
Many companies use social media as a way to communicate with customers, potential customers or any other relevant audience.
Features related to social media publishing include:
- Content planning and scheduling
- Content libraries
- Ability to target a particular audience, by geographic location, for example
- Content optimization
- Content suggestion engine
- Workflow management
- Compliance management
Social Media Engagement
As more and more consumers expect to resolve issues via social media, many companies are running social customer care programs.
Features related to social media engagement include:
- Automated routing and prioritization
- Customer interaction histories
- Bulk actions
Social Media Marketing
Companies that integrate social media into their overall marketing strategy might need an additional set of marketing capabilities beyond posting content.
Features related to social media marketing include:
- Ability to find and engage influencers and advocates
- Customer profiling
- Ability to curate UGC from social channels
- Campaign creation, such as contests, apps, sweepstakes, and quizzes
- Ability to discover and engage with prospects
- Ability to manage and optimize paid social media posts across different channels
Social Media Analytics
Finally, companies with comprehensive social media programs will want to measure and optimize their social activities.
- Features related to social media analytics include:
- Track success, e.g., likes, shares, retweets, clicks, etc.
- Ability to analyze effectiveness of paid and organic social efforts
- Ability to measure ROI
Social Media Platforms: Additional Factors to Consider
Understanding how well a particular product supports your use case is the place to begin, but there are also some other important criteria:
- Mobility – a desire to access SMMS products via mobile devices.
- Integration – capabilities to tie to other systems including CRM and analytics.
- Usability – SMMS users place a high emphasis on usability/ user interface.
- Likelihood and impact of acquisition – while acquisitions can bring integration benefits, they can also alter product roadmap.
Social Media Management in Large Enterprises
There are a number of enterprise platforms encompassing multiple use cases from listening to engagement and publishing, marketing campaigns and analytics. Additional features provided by these platforms that are not required by smaller organizations are: