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What is social media marketing software?

Social media marketing software helps you scale your social media efforts, engage customers, and monitor conversations about your brand. If you’re struggling to bridge the gap between your marketing and social media efforts, your business needs social media marketing software, also called social media marketing software (SMMS).

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Social media marketing FAQs

What are the benefits of social media marketing software?

Closely aligned with marketing automation platforms, social media marketing software work best as an extension of your sales, social CRM, and email marketing efforts.

When aligned correctly, marketers report the following benefits:

  • Increased exposure for brand
  • Increased website traffic or subscribers
  • Improved search rankings
  • New business partnerships
  • Increased generation of qualified leads
  • Reduced overall marketing expenses
  • Improved sales

With the amount of consumers inundating social media channels with opinions, experiences, and recommendations, businesses can no longer afford to ignore this marketing channel.

How do I choose the right social media marketing software?

How do you know what your customers and leads are saying about your business on social media? How do you know if someone who tweets a question at your business is already subscribed to one of your email marketing campaigns? Does this customer subscribe to one of your competitors’ social media accounts?

If you only have a handful of clients, then this information isn’t hard to track, however, as your business grows, you’ll need a more connected view of your customers, and the history and nature of their relationships with your company. SMMS platforms help through integration with your sales or marketing database(s) to create rich, omni-channel customer profiles with information on previous web interactions with the company — page views, email opens, etc. — and their purchase history.

In addition to rich customer profiles, most SMMS platforms have advanced monitoring tools to help track specific keywords or contacts. Having real-time streams of relevant phrases can help you prioritize your social media efforts and identify how and when to interact with your customers.

It’s all about being there to say the right thing to the right person — at the right time. To make it easier to monitor all of these channels, nearly all solutions provide a combined social media management dashboard so you don’t have to track mentions or interactions using multiple tools.

With all interactions centralized on a single social media management platform, it’s much easier to generate omni-channel marketing reports and perform robust analytics to determine the return-on-investment of your efforts. You can see the number of clicks per message, as well as the number of leads and customers you generate.

There are several ways to package SMMS solutions. They may come as a module of your marketing automation software (i.e. Hubspot), or as a standalone social media management tool that integrates with existing systems (i.e. Hootsuite).

The best solution for your business will be the one that integrates your social media activities with any legacy systems. Features will vary from vendor to vendor, ranging from simple social profile access to sophisticated analytics and social media monitoring capabilities. Before your evaluation, determine which functions and criteria are important to you.

Additional considerations

Selecting a social media marketing solution is about more than just features and supported networks. In addition to making sure the system you choose offers the features your company needs, you’ll need to verify the system is scalable in functionality and price. You’ll also want to evaluate your options and decide on the importance of:

  • Team collaboration
  • User permissions
  • Mobile access
  • Available pre-built integrations to legacy systems (such as CRM software)
  • Customer support
  • Pricing model

What are the most important features for social media marketing software?

Features of social media marketing software platforms are numerous, as social media platforms allow diverse forms of media, have varying levels of functionality, and wide-ranging options for social promotion, sharing, or paid media.

Some common features of social media marketing tools include:

  • Publishing and scheduling of posts
  • Social listening and monitoring
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Keyword tracking
  • Automation (favorites, retweets, likes)
  • Enhanced customer profiles
  • Multi-channel management
  • Multi-account management
  • Campaign management
  • Reporting and analytics

What are the applications of social media marketing software?

No matter how large or small your business is, social media marketing software can help increase customer engagement, improve the response of customer support, boost sales, and much more. Creative companies leverage social media marketing strategies in a variety of ways; these are a few common social media marketing software use cases to help paint a picture of how you can use social media to improve your business.

Market analysis

Use the information gathered through social listening to gain a better understanding of customers and prospects. What are their questions and pain points? What are they sharing? Use social media data to draw valuable insights about your target audience, then use those insights to guide your efforts, inform your content creation, and gather customer suggestions for product or campaign improvements.

Publishing, promotion, and curation

Social media is most commonly used to publish and curate content, but you can’t just blindly schedule posts without considering your audience. You want to create content based on your specific business goals; do you want to be a seen as a thought leader in your industry? Do you want to get more sales leads? Are you trying to garner more web traffic? In order for social media marketing to be successful, you have to have a goal to measure success against.

Social listening

Social media should be viewed as a dialogue, rather than a monologue. If you make it all about you, then no one will be interested in the message. One way to avoid this is through social listening. Social listening is a way for your business to scan for crises, identify industry trends, gather intelligence on competitors, and identify sales opportunities.

For example, to help with social selling and lead generation, you can subscribe to mentions of a certain phrase. When these words are triggered, you can then connect with new opportunities. You can also use social listening for customer care. Almost half of all consumers who complain about a brand or product on social media expect a response in 60 minutes or less. SMMS tools can help you prevent and mitigate customer criticism, and retain customers through faster issue resolution.

Community management

Social media can help brands establish their voice by creating content schedules and identifying leading influencers in your market. Then you can nurture those relationships, which can help to improve the overall image and visibility of your brand.

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