Social Media Management Expert Insights on the Social Media Management Industry

Social Media Management Experts respond to questions specific to the Social Media Management category.

What trends have you been seeing of late in the social media management space?

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Ian Cleary
Founder of RazorSocial, Marketing Technology Blog Focused on Social Media Tools
One of the biggest trends is more and more players entering this space. It's already a very crowded place and there is an increasing number of products available. There are also some Facebook management tool providers that are now becoming 'social media management tool providers because they realize that putting their eggs in one basket is dangerous. Another trend is tool providers coming up with much better functionality for sharing content. The new tool called 'Edgar' is driving the way with many tool providers replicating similar functionality. Read more
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Neal Schaffer
Founder, Maximize Your Social | Maximize Social Business | Social Media Center of Excellence | Social Media Tools Summit
Social media management platform providers are trying to add additional value to their platforms by offering a number of new functionality, such as: 1) Publishing to new platforms such as LinkedIn Company Pages, Google+ Business Pages, etc., 2) Providing suggested content to make it easier to curate and publish content on a regular basis, 3) Schedule algorithms to allow you to schedule posts to go out automatically at optimal times, and 4) Deeper analytics. Read more
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Sue Cockburn
Websites + Social Media for Micro + Small Biz | GrowingSocialBiz
Small business owners are beginning to embrace social media management as an important piece of their overall sales and marketing strategy. It is still early days for many, but there is a growing understanding that social media is quite different from traditional media. That it requires a different mindset and approach, but needs to be an integral part of an organization’s overall marketing strategy. More and more businesses are grasping the reality that social media “marketing is about help not hype,” as Jay Baers says. And, that it requires time, thought, and often an investment of cash,... Read more
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Bernardo Donkor
Social Media & Online Analyst, Blogger, Tech + Social Media Savvy Geek
I've seen quite a few social media management tools merging with others and/or beefing up their offering to provide a more comprehensive suite of marketing tools. Is this the end of specialist analytics tools? Certainly not, but we’re definitely going to see a rise in all-in-one digital tools. Read more
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Jason Falls
Senior Vice-President, Digital Strategy at Elasticity
The software providers are consolidating, bringing together suites of products. This is good for larger businesses in that they can start to realize a one-stop-shop effect for social management, marketing, analytics and more. But it is a horrible series of events for 95% of the businesses out there. Small business is being left behind having to choose from freemium platforms that aren't enough or having to spend far too much money to get access to what they need. Read more
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Amy Vernon
Prize-winning writer & journalist. Connector of people & ideas. Prolific
Social Media is becoming ever-more integrated with overall marketing, which makes perfect sense. Social media isn't the solution, just part of the solution. Social media management augments content, public relations, marketing, advertising, and all the rest of it. Having SMM platforms that integrate seamlessly with products across these areas will be vital. Read more

How do these trends affect companies looking to purchase a social media management product?

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Ian Cleary
Founder of RazorSocial, Marketing Technology Blog Focused on Social Media Tools
Companies find it very difficult to evaluate the tools that are available. Many tools have similar features so it's hard to do feature by feature comparisons. Read more
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Neal Schaffer
Founder, Maximize Your Social | Maximize Social Business | Social Media Center of Excellence | Social Media Tools Summit
The great thing about these trends is that social media management products are becoming more robust in terms of their functionality. That being said, companies looking to purchase will recognize that this additional functionality will usually come at an additional price. That's why I recommend that my clients always do a regular social media tools audit to compare what they have with what is available in the market. Read more
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Sue Cockburn
Websites + Social Media for Micro + Small Biz | GrowingSocialBiz
Small business owners are recognizing their need for a social media management tool that ‘does it all.’ They’re often managing more than one social network and want to be able to manage these from one place. They’re looking for a tool that is intuitive and easy to use, works with all of their social networks, allows for different scheduling options, offers analytics and is reasonably priced. They’ll decide who to deal with through listening to what business associates and friends have to say about various tools and also do some basic, not exhaustive, research online - they’re busy people.... Read more
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Bernardo Donkor
Social Media & Online Analyst, Blogger, Tech + Social Media Savvy Geek
More intelligent tools and smarter analytics to start with. This will move more tools to take a holistic approach to digital analytics. After all, if you’re advised to adopt a 360° view of marketing and a multi-channel approach, there’s no reason why the tool you’re relying on shouldn’t do the same. That won’t result in more data: that just means data will be collected and processed in smarter ways, giving you better insights. Same data + smarter approach = better insights Read more
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Jason Falls
Senior Vice-President, Digital Strategy at Elasticity
The consolidation movement is simply making it impossible for small businesses to get the features they need at a price they can afford. Venture capital has ruined the social technology space because they push startups to focus on enterprise dollars. No one is looking out for the little guy. They have a meager budget, but still need a solution. They're being left out. Read more
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Amy Vernon
Prize-winning writer & journalist. Connector of people & ideas. Prolific
You need to figure out your overall plan and how different tools interact with one another. Just because two tools can work together doesn't mean their integration is the best. If you love one platform, find out who its preferred partners are, because those tools will have the best integrations. Read more

At what point should someone consider leveraging a social media management platform as part of their marketing efforts?

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Ian Cleary
Founder of RazorSocial, Marketing Technology Blog Focused on Social Media Tools
I think they should use a social media management platform from the very outset. The management platforms provide some essential functionality that is suitable for any company at any stage. Read more