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Social Media Management Platforms (SMMP) Landscape

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  1. 1. Vendor Landscape Plus: Social Media Management Platforms (SMMP) Reign in social media by choosing a management platform that’s right for you.Info-Tech Research Group 1
  2. 2. IntroductionAchieving social media business objectives can be a challenging task.Select the right Social Media Management Platform (SMMP) to dramaticallyboost the effectiveness and efficiency of social media initiatives.This Research Is Designed For: This Research Will Help You: IT managers advising the business on how to  Understand the features and business improve the effectiveness and efficiency of benefits of using an SMMP to manage social social media campaigns. media initiatives. IT professionals involved in evaluating,  Determine functional requirements based on selecting, and deploying an SMMP. organizational needs. Sales, marketing, and customer service  Understand the current state of the SMMP professionals interested in how SMMPs can market and evaluate and select an SMMP improve the outcomes of social media vendor that meets the organization’s campaigns and interactions. requirements.  Implement and operate the selected platform.Info-Tech Research Group 2
  3. 3. Executive Summary• Social Media Management Platforms (SMMPs) reduce the complexity and increase the results of enterprise social media. SMMPs integrate with a variety of different social media services, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The platforms offer a variety of tools for managing social media, including account management, in-band response and engagement, and social monitoring and analytics.• The value proposition of SMMPs revolves around enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of social media. Using an SMMP to manage social media is considerably more cost-effective than ad-hoc (manual) management.• IT must partner with other departments (e.g. marketing) to successfully evaluate, select and implement an SMMP. Before selecting an SMMP, the organization must have a solid overall strategy for leveraging social media in place.• SMMPs have a variety of use cases. Prominent departments that can benefit from using an SMMP include marketing, sales, customer service, public relations, and human resources.• The market for SMMPs is relatively immature, with no market consensus on standard features. CRM vendors have also begun to enter the fray with their own social offerings. The vendors that Info-Tech formally evaluated in this set include: Radian6, Sprout Social, Syncapse, Socialware, Cymfony, Visible Technologies, and Lithium.• Radian6 and Syncapse were the only vendors to fall into the Champion category; however, other vendors also have strong feature sets and compelling individual use cases for certain organizations and the SMMP market is only emerging.• Implement an SMMP by choosing a deployment model, identifying points of integration with CRM suites, establishing a maintenance model, training end users, and identifying a specialized individual in IT to serve as a resident SMMP expert.Info-Tech Research Group 3
  4. 4. The Info-Tech Social Media Research Agenda  Consumers are rapidly adopting social media. Organizations that don’t keep pace will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage (particularly those serving end consumers and a younger, more connected clientele).  Build a comprehensive strategy for social media that adds social to the existing channel mix. Select the social media services that best complement your existing channel interaction strategies in marketing, sales, and customer service.Social Media Strategy Refer to Info-Tech’s solution set, Leverage Social Media for Customer Interaction.  The proliferation of social media services has made actively managing social initiatives a challenging task. SMMPs empower managers with a variety of tools for effective (and efficient) use of enterprise social media.  Selecting an SMMP involves defining the organization’s functional requirements, creating a shortlist based on these requirements, formally evaluating vendor offerings,Select a Social Media and choosing the platform that is best tailored to the organization’s unique circumstances.Management Platform This solution set addresses selecting an SMMP.  An organization’s social media strategy must constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of target stakeholders and consumers.  New social media services and the rise of mobile and location-based services necessitate that managers constantly fine-tune their social presence.  Social media marketing campaigns are now a part of any mature multi-channel marketing strategy and must be properly integrated alongside other campaign channels. Social Media Optimization The solution set, Implement a Social Media Strategy will be released in the near future.Info-Tech Research Group 4
  5. 5. SMMPs reduce complexity and increase the effectiveness ofenterprise social media• Social Media Management Platforms (SMMPs) are solutions End Users (typically cloud-based) that offer a host of features for effectively (e.g. marketing managers) monitoring the social cloud and managing your organization’s presence in the social cloud. SMMPs give businesses the tools they need to run social campaigns in a timely and cost-effective manner. SMMP functionality broadly falls into three categories: Account & Campaign SMMP account & campaign management, in-band response, and social Management monitoring/analytics. In-Band Response• The typical SMMP integrates with two or more social media Social Monitoring/Analytics services (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) via the services’ API or a dedicated connector. SMMPs are not simply a revised “interface layer” for a single social media service: they provide layers for advanced management and analytics across multiple services.• The unique value of SMMPs comes from their ability to manage and track multiple social media services. Aggregating and managing data from multiple services gives businesses a much more holistic view of their organization’s social initiatives and reputation in the social cloud. SMMPs mediate interactions between end users and the social cloud. The increasing complexity of social media coupled with the rising importance of social channels has led to a market for formal management platforms. Organizations with an active presence in social media (i.e. multiple services or pages) should strongly consider selecting and deploying an SMMP.Info-Tech Research Group 5
  6. 6. Failing to reign in social media initiatives leads tomore work, uninformed decisions, and diminishing returns• The growth of social media services has made manually Ad-Hoc Management vs. SMMPs: : updating pages and feeds an ineffective and time-consuming What’s the difference? process. The challenge is magnified when multiple brands, product lines or geographic subsidiaries are involved. Ad-Hoc Social Media Management  Use the advanced account management features of an SMMP to reduce the amount of time spent updating Social media initiatives are managed directly social media services. through the services themselves. For example, a marketing professional would log in to multiple corporate Twitter accounts to post the• Engaging customers through social channels can be a delicate same content for a promotional campaign. task – high volumes of social content can easily overwhelm marketing and service representatives, leading to missed selling opportunities and unacceptable service windows. Social Media Management Platform  Use the in-band response capabilities of an SMMP to create an orderly queue for social interactions. Social media initiatives are managed through a third-party software platform. For example, a• Consumer activity in the social cloud has been increasing marketing professional would update all social exponentially. As the volume of content grows, separating the account simultaneously with just a couple clicks. signal from the noise becomes increasingly difficult. SMMPs also provide cross-service social  Use the advanced social analytics of an SMMP to ensure analytics – highly valuable for decision makers! critical consumer insights are not overlooked. Effectively managing a social media campaign is not a straightforward exercise. If you have (or plan to have) a large social media footprint, now is the time to procure formal software tools for social media management. Continuing to manage social media in an ad-hoc manner is sapping time and money!Info-Tech Research Group 6
  7. 7. Cost/Benefit Scenario: A mid-sized consumer products company wins big by adopting an SMMP The following example shows how an SMMP at a mid-sized consumer products firm brought in $36 000 a year. Before: Manual Social Media Management After: Social Media Management Platform  Account management: a senior marketing manager  Account management: centralized account controls was responsible for updating all twenty of the firm’s for rapidly managing several social media services social media pages and feeds. This activity consumed meant the amount of time spent updating social media approximately 20% of her time. Her annual salary was was cut 75%. Allocated cost savings: $12 000 per year. $80 000. Allocated cost: $16 000 per year.  In-band response: Using an SMMP provided  In-band response: Customer Service Representatives Customer Service Representatives with a console for manually tracked service requests originating from quickly and effectively responding to customer service social channels. Due to the use of multiple Twitter issues. Service window times were significantly feeds, several customers were inadvertently ignored reduced, resulting in increased customer retention. and subsequently defected to competitors. Lost annual Revenue no longer lost due to defections: $10 000. revenue due to customer defections: $10 000.  Social analytics: The product development group used  Social analytics: analytics were conducted in a keyword-based monitoring to assist with designing a crude, ad-hoc fashion using scant data available from successful new product. Social feedback noticeably the services themselves. No useful insights were boosted sales. Gains from social insights: $20 000 discovered. Gains from social insights: $0.  Cost of SMMP: $6000 per year. Ad-hoc management is costing this The net annual benefit of adopting organization $26 000 a year. an SMMP is $36 000.Info-Tech Research Group 7
  8. 8. Go with an SMMP if your organization needs a heavy socialpresence. Stick with ad-hoc management if it doesn’t The value proposition of acquiring an SMMP does not resonate the same for all organizations: in some cases, it is more cost effective to forego an SMMP and stick with ad-hoc social media management. Follow these guidelines for determining if an SMMP is a natural fit for your organization. Go with an SMMP if… Stick with ad-hoc management if… • Your organization already has a large social footprint: • Regulatory compliance prohibits the use of social media you manage multiple feeds/pages on three or more in your organization. social media services. • Your organization is focused on a small number of • Your organization’s primary activity is B2C marketing; institutional clients with well-defined organizational your target consumers are social media savvy. buying behaviors. • The volume of marketing, sales and service inquiries • Your target market is antipathetic towards using social received over social channels has seen a sharp increase channels to interact with your organization. in the last 12 months. • Your organization is in a market space where only a • Your firm or industry is the topic of widespread bare-bones social media presence is seen as a necessity discussion in the social cloud. (for example, only a basic informational Facebook page is maintained). Using an SMMP is definitively superior to ad-hoc social media management for those organizations with multiple brands and product portfolios (e.g. consumer packaged goods). Ad-hoc management is best for small organizations with an institutional client base who only need a “bare bones” social media presence.Info-Tech Research Group 8
  9. 9. SMMPs are beneficial for companies of all sizes: don’toverlook an SMMP just because your organization is smaller A common misconception around SMMPs is that they’re only beneficial for larger organizations – this tidbit of conventional wisdom is unfounded. Small organizations can also be well-positioned to successfully use SMMPs, provided the requisite conditions are in place (for example, an active presence in social media or the need for advanced social analytics). A small manufacturing firm with an established brand portfolio or a small regional hospital are still ideally positioned for SMMP success. There was no significant difference in the 0.5 0.45 overall SMMP success between Average Success Score 0.43 0.41 0.4 small, medium and large/enterprise organizations 0.3 The degree of SMMP success is 0.2 independent of the size of the 0.1 organization. 0.0 The overall social media management platform success was calculated by taking the average of the following items on a six- Small Medium Large/Enterprise point scale (1 = Strongly Disagree to 6 = Strongly Agree): Size of Organization • Our brand has been improved N = 34, Source: Info-Tech Research Group • Our sales have increased • Customer acquisition has been improved • Customer retention has been improved • Our cost-to-serve has been reduced • We have gained significant competitive intelligence • Social media risk (i.e. security risk) has been reducedInfo-Tech Research Group 9
  10. 10. IT has a valuable role to play in selecting &implementing an SMMP• Selection and implementation of an SMMP must involve both IT and the business units. The business units must own the Who should be responsible for what? requirements but should do so with IT serving as a valuable advisor. IT is accountable for providing service, and should be the primary decision-maker for technical standards. It’s • The business ( e.g. marketing, sales, important for IT managers to understand the features, customer service) must create the overall benefits and costs of an SMMP in order to properly assist strategy for using social media. This business departments like marketing and PR. involves specifying the objectives and services to be used. IT should be involved with creating the strategy, but should not• In order to help the platform run smoothly, IT should be involved be driving it. A senior member of IT should with SMMP account control and administration (for example, sit as an advisor on the social media steering committee. executing access privileges). • IT should be actively involved with• IT should design and conduct training sessions. A business evaluating, selecting and deploying an SMMP. The business needs to specify analyst in the IT department should be intimately familiar with functional requirements, but IT should be the SMMP to serve as a single point of contact for all issues intimately involved in the selection related to the SMMP. process; IT’s knowledge of the finer technical details and its experience with other enterprise applications place it in a• IT should be responsible for setting up points of integration prime position to serve as a key selection with existing CRM systems where applicable. IT should also stakeholder. assist with setting acceptable use policies around social media and the SMMP. Related Research: Refer to Info-Tech’s ready-to-use Social Media Acceptable Use Policy.Info-Tech Research Group 10
  11. 11. Build a Strategy for Managing Social Media What’s in this Section: Sections: • Overview of how to leverage social media for marketing, Build a Strategy for Managing sales and customer service. Social Media • How SMMPs integrate with multiple social media services to Select a Social Media deliver superior business value. Management Platform • Details on SMMP features and functionality. Implement Social Media • Demonstration of various business use cases for SMMPs. Management in Your OrganizationInfo-Tech Research Group 11
  12. 12. Before selecting an SMMP, start with the fundamentals:build a comprehensive strategy for enterprise social media Why build a social media strategy? Important considerations for an enterprise social media strategy:• Before an SMMP can be selected, the organization must have a strategy in place for enterprise social media. Implementing an SMMP • Determine how social media will before developing a social media strategy would be akin to buying a complement existing customer mattress without knowing the size of the bedframe. interaction goals.• Social media is neither a fad nor a phenomenon, it is simply another • Assess which social media tool in the business process. Social channels do not necessitate a opportunities exist for your radical departure from the organization’s existing customer interaction organization. strategy. Rather, social media should be added to your channel mix and integrated within the existing CRM strategy. • Consider the specific goals you want• Social media allows organizations to form direct and indirect to achieve using social channels, and connections through the Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF) model, which pick your services accordingly. increases the credibility of the information in the eyes of the consumer. • Not all social media services (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are equal.• Social media enables organizations to share, connect, and engage Consider which services will be most consumers within an environment that they are confortable in. effective for goal achievement. Having a social media presence is rapidly becoming a pre- requisite for successful business-to-consumer enterprises. For more information on developing a strategy for enterprise social media, please refer to Leveraging Social Media for Enhanced Customer InteractionInfo-Tech Research Group 12
  13. 13. Social media is big: Consumers are rapidly embracing socialmedia services as their communication medium of choice• Social media services facilitate the creation and dissemination of user-generated content.• Consumers can access social media services from their computers, smartphones and video game consoles. This ease of access has further fuelled social media adoption.• Adoption of social media began with younger consumers, but sustained growth is taking place across a range of demographic tiers, from young to old.• Social media is displacing traditional e-channels, such as e-mail, as consumers’ preferred method of interacting with one another.• Businesses need to understand that social media is an integral part of their customers’ lives, so when working in a B2C context, it is essential to have a social presence… or you’ll risk losing your competitive advantage. Organizations must add social channels to the marketing, sales, and service mix or risk being leapfrogged by savvy competitors. Social channels are essential for B2C organizations: fish where the fish are!Info-Tech Research Group 13
  14. 14. The social cloud is a new point of interaction: integrate socialchannels alongside existing customer interaction channels • Instead of thinking of customers as an island, think of them interacting with each other and with organizations in the social cloud. As a result, the social cloud itself becomes a point of interaction, not just individual customers. • The social cloud is accessible with services like social networks (e.g. Facebook) and micro-blogs (Twitter). • Previous lessons learned from the integration of Web 1.0 e-channels should be leveraged as organizations add the social media channel into their overall customer interaction framework:  Do not design exclusively around a single channel. Design hybrid-channel solutions that include social channels.  Balance customer segment goals and attributes, product and service goals and attributes, and channel capabilities. Don’t believe that social channel integration will require an entire rebuild of your CRM strategy. Social channels are just new interaction channels that need to be integrated – as you’ve done in the past with Web 1.0 e-channels.Info-Tech Research Group 14
  15. 15. Understand the different types of social media services andhow they link to social media strategy and SMMP selectionBefore adopting an SMMP, it’s important to understand the underlying services theymanage. Social media services facilitate the creation and dissemination of user-generated content, and can be grouped according to their purpose and functionality:• Social Networking: Social networking services use the “Friend-of-a-Friend” model to allow users to communicate with their personal networks. Users can share a wide variety of information and media with one another. Social networking sites include Facebook and LinkedIn.• Blogging: Blogs are Websites that allow users to upload text and media entries, typically displayed in reverse-chronological order. Prominent blogging services include Blogger and WordPress.• Micro-Blogging: Micro-blogging is similar to blogging, with the exception that written content is limited to a set number of characters. Twitter, the most popular service, allows users to post messages up to 140 characters.• Social Multimedia: Social multimedia sites provide an easy way for users to upload and share multimedia content (i.e. pictures, video) with both their personal contacts as well as the wider community. YouTube is extremely popular for video sharing, while Flickr is popular for sharing photo albums.In many cases, services do not fit discretely within each category. With minorexceptions, creating an account on a social media service is free, making use ofthese services extremely cost effective. If your organization makes extensive useof a particular service, ensure it is supported by your SMMP vendor.Info-Tech Research Group 15
  16. 16. Define your goals and select the social mediaservices that will achieve your specific objectives  What areas are different social media services helpful in? Proven Useful*  Potentially Useful *Proven useful by Info-Tech statistical analysis carried out on a cross-section of real world implementations. Social media is invaluable for marketing, sales, and customer service. Some social media services have a high degree of efficacy than others for certain functions. Be sure to take this into account when developing a social media strategy. Different social media services are more effective than others for different goals. For example, YouTube is useful as an avenue for marketing campaigns, but it’s of substantially less use for sales functions like lead generation. The services you select while planning your social media strategy must reflect concrete goals.Info-Tech Research Group 16
  17. 17. Assess which social media opportunities exist for your organization with Info-Tech’s tool Use Info-Tech’s Social Media Opportunity Assessment Tool to determine, based on your unique criteria, where social media opportunities exist for your organization in marketing, sales, and service. Info-Tech Insight 1. Remember that departmental goals will overlap; gaining customer insight is valuable to marketing sales and customer service. 2. The social media benefits you can expect to achieve will evolve as your processes mature. 3. Often, organizations jump into social media because they feel they have to. Use this assessment to identify early on what your drivers should be.Info-Tech Research Group 17
  18. 18. An explosion of social media services & functionality has madeeffectively managing social campaigns a complex task• Effectively managing social channels is an increasingly Ad-Hoc Management complicated task. Proliferation of social media services and rapid end-user uptake has made launching social campaigns a challenge for both small and large organizations.• Using multiple social media services can be a nightmare for account management (particularly when each brand or product line has its own set of social accounts).• The volume of data generated by the social cloud has also Platform-Based Management created barriers for successfully responding in-band to social stakeholders, and for carrying out social analytics.• There are two methods for managing social media: ad-hoc management and platform-based management. ◦ Ad-hoc social media management is accomplished using the SMMP built-in functionality and administrative controls of each social media service. It is appropriate for small organizations with a Ad-hoc management results in a number of social very limited scope for social media interaction, but poses media touch points. SMMPs serve as a single go- difficulties once “critical mass” has been reached. to point for all social media initiatives. Managing social media is becoming increasingly difficult to do through ad-hoc methods, particularly for larger organizations and/or those with multiple brand portfolios. Ad-hoc management is best suited for small organizations with an institutional client base who only need a “bare bones” social media presence.Info-Tech Research Group 18
  19. 19. Ad-hoc social media management results in manual, resource-intensive processes that are challenging to measure • Most organizations that have pursued social media initiatives have done so in an ad-hoc fashion rather than outlining a formal strategy and deploying software solutions (such as an SMMP). • Social media is often a component of Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Info-Tech’s research shows many organizations are handling CRM without a strategy in place, too. • Social media management platforms reduce the resource intensive processes required for ongoing social media involvement and keep projects on track by providing reporting metrics. Both social media and CRM are often being done without a Many processes related to social media are being done defined strategy in place. manually, despite the existence of SMMPs.Source: Info-TechSurvey, N=64 When we started our social media campaign it took 34 man hours a week. an SMMP that streamlines these efforts is absolutely an asset. - Edie May, Johnson & Johnson Insurance Company Info-Tech Research Group 19
  20. 20. Social analytics vary: Balance requirements amongmonitoring goals and social presence/property management Segment your requirements around common SMMP vendor product design points. Current market capabilities vary between two primary feature categories: social cloud monitoring and social presence and property management. Cloud-Centric Social Monitoring Content-Centric Social cloud monitoring enables: Social presence & property management enables: • Brand and product monitoring • Monitor and manage discussions on your social • Reputation monitoring properties (e.g. Twitter feeds, Facebook • Proactive identification of service pages, YouTube channels) opportunities • Execute marketing campaigns within your social • Competitive intelligence properties Social Analytics Social analytics provide insights to both dimensions of social media monitoring. Some firms only need social cloud monitoring, some need to manage their own social media properties and others will need to do both. Some vendors do both while other vendors excel in only one feature dimension. If you are NOT prepared to act on results from social cloud monitoring, then don’t “boil” the social cloud for no reason. You can always add cloud monitoring services later. Likewise, if you only need to monitor the cloud and have no or few of your own social properties, don’t buy advanced management and engagement features.Info-Tech Research Group 20
  21. 21. SMMPs provide functionality for robust account management,in-band customer response, and social monitoring/analytics The value proposition of SMMPs revolves Three Types of SMMP Functionality: around enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of social media initiatives. Account/ • Integrate and push content to• Features such as unified account management and in-band Campaign multiple social media services response capabilities boost the efficiency of social campaigns. • Define and implement policies Management for privacy and security These features reduce duplication of effort (for example, manually posting the same content to multiple services). Leverage account management functionality and in-band response to “do more with less.” • Track customer conversations In-Band and provide the ability to• Features such as comprehensive monitoring of the social cloud Response respond in-platform to social and advanced social analytics (i.e. sentiment analysis, trends interactions and follower demographics) allow organizations to more effectively use social media. These features empower organizations with the information they need to make informed • Monitor and analyze a variety decisions around messaging and brand positioning. Use social of social media services: analytics to zero in on your most important brand advocates. Social provide demographic Monitoring & analysis, frequency Analytics analysis, sentiment analysis I don’t want to pull up sixteen accounts, I want one dashboard and content-centric analysis. that will allow me to manage multiple accounts, fast. - PR Consultant SMMPs provide a suite of indispensible tools for organizations looking to strengthen the outcomes of social media campaigns and decrease time to results. SMMPs complement (but do not replace) an integrated strategy for enterprise social media. Identify areas of the strategic social media plan that can be augmented by the capabilities of an SMMP.Info-Tech Research Group 21
  22. 22. Take advantage of social analytics to realize thegreatest value from an SMMP Our research indicates successful organizations employ both social cloud monitoring as well as management of their own properties, with analytical tools to enhance both feature categories. But the market is segmented into vendors that do one or the other well, with few vendors exceling at both. Larger organizations should be prepared to buy more than one product to satisfy all requirements. However, we expect feature convergence over the next 1-3 years, resulting in more more comprehensive vendor offerings. The features that have a statistically significant impact on the overall success of the SMMP are: • Advanced social analytics • Centralized account controls • In-band response capabilities • Multiple social media service integration The feature with the largest impact on the overall SMMP success was executing advanced social analytics The more important executing advanced social analytics, the *Each bar represents a statistical estimate of the impact more successful the SMMP – take each factor has on the overall SMMP success advantage of this functionality! Refer to Appendix A for information on how the success score was calculated.Info-Tech Research Group 22
  23. 23. SMMPs equip front-line sales staff with thetools they need for effective social lead generation• Content-centric social analytics allow sales staff to see click- Using an SMMP to assist the sales through details for content posted on social networks. In many process can... cases, these leads are warm and ready for immediate follow-up. • Increase the number of leads• For example: a software development firm uses an SMMP to generated through social post a whitepaper promoting its product to multiple social channels as a result of social networks. The whitepaper is subsequently downloaded by a sharing. number of potential prospects. Content-centric analytics within the SMMP link the otherwise-anonymous downloads to named social media accounts. The leads are then assigned to specific • Increase the quality of leads generated through social account managers, who use existing CRM software and publicly available records to pinpoint contact information and follow-up in channels by examining influence a timely manner. scores. • Increase prospecting efficiency• Organizations that intend to use their SMMP for sales purposes by finding social leads faster. should ensure their vendor of choice offers integration with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the “business formal” of social networks, • Keep account managers in touch and is the network with the greatest proven efficacy from a sales with prospects and clients perspective. through social media. Social media is on the rise in sales organizations. Savvy companies are using social channels at all points in the sales process, from prospecting to account management. Organizations using social channels for sales will want an SMMP to manage the volume of information and provide content-centric analytics.Info-Tech Research Group 23
  24. 24. SMMPs allow marketers to hit all their birds with one stone• Have a marketing manager jointly responsible for the Joint IT/Marketing partnerships for SMMPs selection of an SMMP to realize higher overall success. This increase overall success of the platform will significantly improve customer acquisition approval , competitive intelligence, as well as the overall SMMP success. 0.51 0.50 Average Success Score 0.49• The marketing manager should be involved in fleshing out the 0.36 0.38 business requirements of the SMMP, in order to select the 0.33 most appropriate solution.• Once selected, the SMMP has multiple benefits for marketing professionals. One pivotal benefit of SMMPs for marketing is the capability for centralized account management. Multiple social pages and feeds can be rapidly managed at pre- Customer Gained Overall SMMP acquisition competitive Success determined times, through an easy-to-use dashboard. delivered intelligence improved from one source, Success Items Marketing Management Responsible - No• This functionality is especially pertinent for organizations with a wide geographic client base, as they can manage wide social Marketing Management Responsible - Yes media campaigns within multiple time zones, delivering their messaging appropriately. (i.e. contests, product launches, etc.) N = 37, Source: Info-Tech Research Group Managing multiple social media accounts on an Ad-Hoc basis is time consuming and costing your organization money. Lower your costs and get the best results out of your social media campaigns by involving your marketing team in the SMMP selection process, and knowing their functional requirements.Info-Tech Research Group 24
  25. 25. Leverage SMMPs to proactively identify & respond tocustomer service issues occurring in the social cloud• SMMPs are an invaluable tool in customer service organizations. In-band response capabilities allow Customer Service Representatives to quickly and effectively address Customer initiates process customer service issues – either reactively or proactively. Customer receives service• Reactive customer service can be provided through SMMPs by providing response capabilities for private messages or public mentions (e.g. “@AcmeCo” on Twitter). Many SMMPs Reactive service is customer-initiated. provide a queue of social media messages directed at the organization, and also give the ability to assign specific messages to an individual service representative or product expert. Responding to a high-volume of reactive social media requests can be time consuming without an SMMP. SMMP- enabled Monitoring• Proactive customer service uses the ability of SMMPs to monitor the social cloud for specific keywords in order to identify Proactive Resolution customers having issues. Forward-thinking companies actively monitor the social cloud for customer service opportunities, to SMMPs permit organizations to monitor the protect and improve their image. social cloud for service opportunities and provide proactive service in-band. Historically, customer service has been “reactive” (i.e. customer initiated) and solely between the customer and supplier. Social media forces proactive service interactions between customer, supplier, and the entire social cloud. Using an SMMP significantly improves reactive and proactive service.Info-Tech Research Group 25
  26. 26. SMMPs are indispensible for allowing PRmanagers to keep tabs on the firm and its brands• Public relations is devoted to relationship management: as Benefits of Sentiment Analysis for PR such, it is critical for savvy PR departments to have a social media presence. • Take the pulse of public perception of your brands (and competitors). • Mitigate negative comments being• SMMPs empower PR professionals with the ability to track the made and respond immediately. sentiment of what is said about their organization. Leverage • Identify industry and consumer keyword searches and heuristic analysis to proactively mitigate thought leaders to follow on social threats and capitalize on positive opportunities. For example, networks. sentiment analysis can be used to identify detractors making false claims over social channels. These claims can then be countered by the public relations team.• Sentiment analysis can be especially important to the PR professional through change and crisis management situations. These tools allow an organization to track the flow of information, as well as the balance of positive and negative postings and their influence on others in the social cloud.• Social analytics provided by SMMPs also serve as a goldmine for competitive intelligence about rival firms and their products. Use sentiment analysis to monitor the social cloud. They say that no publicity is bad publicity, however negative statements unaddressed can cause harm to an organization’s reputation. Use an SMMP to track what is being said about your organization; take advantage of response capabilities to quickly respond and mitigate PR risk.Info-Tech Research Group 26
  27. 27. SMMPs for recruiting is an emerging talent recruitmenttechnique and will lead to stronger candidates• Social media is an indispensible tool for targeted recruiting and A social media campaign managed engaging with prospective employees. via SMMP can…• Social media is taking over because it provides more direct • Increase the size of the applicant connections between employer and applicant. It’s faster and more pool by “fishing where the fish flexible than traditional e-channels. are.”• SMMPs should be deployed to the HR silo in order to provide a • Increase the quality of applicants by using monitoring to create host of features that will aid with recruiting top-quality candidates. targeted recruitment materials. Account management functionality can dramatically reduce the amount of time HR managers spend synchronizing content between various social media services. • Increase recruiting efficiency by having a well-managed, standing presence on popular social• In-band response capabilities flag relevant social conversations media sites – new recruiting and allow HR managers to rapidly respond to prospective campaigns require less employee inquiries. Rapid response over social channels gives “awareness generation” time. candidates a positive impression of the organization. • Allow HR/recruiters to be more• Analytics give HR managers insight into hiring trends and the job in-touch with hiring trends via market at large – sentiment analysis is useful for gauging not just social analytics. candidate interests, but also anonymous employee engagement. Social media increases the visibility of an organization’s job postings and brand. It connects firms with networks of qualified candidates. SMMP functionality compliments a social media recruiting strategy.Info-Tech Research Group 27
  28. 28. Incumbent CRM vendors are rapidly integrating socialmedia with their solutions as they realize its potential value• Rapid adoption of social media by consumers has driven most large vendors of CRM solutions to integrate social media CRM Suites with Social Media Integration functionality into their products.• Some vendors (e.g. Oracle) natively support social channels, while others (e.g. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SugarCRM) are dependant on third-party tools (e.g. InsideView) to enable social media functionality.• While social media integration has been proceeding quickly, it is still a relatively new direction for most CRM vendors. As a result, integration hasn’t reached full maturity yet. This is an area where further development and refinement can be expected. For now, standalone SMMPs remain the dominant force for managing social campaigns. Info-Tech Insight Due to the rapid adoption of social media by incumbent CRM vendors, the market for pure-play social channel aggregators and managers will be smaller than the market for similar Web 1.0 services.Info-Tech Research Group 28
  29. 29. The market landscape for social media solutions is split in two: Choose a standalone SMMP for social campaign execution• The market for social media management platforms is still quite Social Media Management Platforms immature. The features offered by most SMMP vendors have only been around for the last two to three years. The market can be Account/Campaign Management broadly segmented into two categories: In-Band Response  Standalone SMMP Vendors Social Monitoring & Analytics Standalone SMMP vendors have arisen due to the proliferation of challenges associated with managing social media. Standalone SMMPs focus almost exclusively on social media, eschewing more traditional features found in CRM suites. Some standalone vendors Standalone SMMPs focus purely on social, with do offer points-of-integration with existing CRM solutions (like few (if any) traditional CRM features. Salesforce.com). Select a standalone vendor when the primary goals are social media campaign execution. This research is primarily focused on standalone vendors. Customer Relationship Management Suites SMMP  CRM/Marketing Automation Vendors with Social Integration Functionality CRM vendors are also starting to get their feet wet in the social Account media space. Many CRM providers have realized that social Marketing, Management channels are here to stay, and are integrating social media Sales and Customer alongside more traditional features like customer databases and e- Service Databases mail marketing. Select a CRM or Marketing Automation vendor Campaign In-Band with social integration when the primary goal is proactive Automation Response customer service and/or integrating social media marketing campaigns into existing multi-channel marketing campaigns. Social Analytics Info-Tech Research Group 29
  30. 30. Free and “freemium” clients are a good way to get your feetwet with SMMP features, but don’t displace the paid vendors! TweetDeck • Hootsuite is a web app • TweetDeck is another • Cotweet is a subsidiary and also an Adobe AIR popular app available of online marketing and app that allows as an Adobe AIR app powerhouse aggregation of multiple that allows ExactTarget. social media accounts aggregation of multiple • Cotweet is a elegant from multiple services to social media accounts social conversation be monitored from a from multiple services manager with basic single window. to be monitored from a analytics. • Additional social single window. • Standard Edition is free accounts can be added • Services are currently and Enterprise Edition for a fee. free, but Twitter with advanced features • Elementary analysis of recently purchased is available for a fee. social traffic is free and TweetDeck, so The Enterprise Edition additional analytical Twitter’s future plans includes Salesforce.com tools are available for a for it have not been integration. fee. announced. • An iPhone app is • Mobile apps and an • Mobile apps and an available for the iPad app are available. iPad app are available. Enterprise Edition Free and “freemium” social media monitoring and management tools can be a great way for a small business or department to gain experience in social media management before investing in more functional social media management platforms.Info-Tech Research Group 30
  31. 31. SMMP vendors price by topics and seats, so choose thesolution that is most cost effective, based on overall needs SMMPs aren’t priced in a black box. The majority of vendors offer paid monthly subscriptions (occasionally with an annual commitment) to cloud-based services based on two primary factors: topics and seats. Topics are the number of searches and/or social content pages that can be managed simultaneously. Seats are the number of end-users who have access to the platform. Topics Seats Total (e.g. number of brands (e.g. number of end users Monthly being monitored) with platform access) Price SCENARIO: A mid-sized consumer goods company wants to track and manage 10 of its brands, and offer platform access to 15 brand managers. The chosen SMMP vendor offers 5 brands per user for $100/month. 10 Topics $3000/month($100 for a bundle of 5, so 15 Seats $200 for 10) ($200 x 15)Info-Tech Research Group 31
  32. 32. Select a Social Media Management Platform What’s in this Section: Sections: • Overview of the current market for Social Media Build a Strategy for Managing Management Platforms. Social Media • Examination of basic and advanced SMMP features. Select a Social Media Management Platform • Rankings and evaluation of key vendors in the SMMP marketspace. Implement Social Media • Scenario-specific selection advice. Management in Your Organization • RFP, demo script, and scoring templates.Info-Tech Research Group 32
  33. 33. Follow Info-Tech’s model for Selecting an SMMP Perform in- depth vendor Determine Determine review and business evaluation select a requirements criteria vendor Translate into Evaluate functional vendors requirements against criteria Before evaluating and selecting vendors, be sure to sit down with relevant stakeholders in the business (e.g. marketing, sales, customer service, etc.) to ascertain the necessary business requirements the platform must meet. For example, if a marketing manager expresses interest in gathering market research or competitive intelligence, the complementary functional requirement is the ability to execute advanced social monitoring and analytics. Even if IT is leading the charge on SMMP selection, the process MUST involve ongoing consultation with different departmental stakeholders!Info-Tech Research Group 33
  34. 34. Market Overview How it got here Where it’s going• The SMMP market was created in response to the • The market is generally fragmented between two exploding popularity of social media and the realization broad camps: SMMPs focused on social monitoring that it can be harnessed for a wide variety of enterprise and analytics, and SMMPs focused on in-band purposes (from consumer and competitive intelligence to response/engagement and social campaign marketing campaigns and customer service). management.• As the number of social media services has • Over the next two to three years, Info-Tech predicts expanded, and as the volume of content generated via that SMMP feature sets will converge significantly with social networks has ballooned, it became increasingly more platforms performing social monitoring and difficult to mine insights and manage social campaigns. analytics, response/engagement, and social campaign A number of vendors (mostly start-ups but some management equally well. incumbent players) began offering platforms that attempted to streamline and harness social media • Info-Tech also expects a significant amount of vendor processes. consolidation in the near future – the market is not big enough to support the myriad of incumbent vendors.• The SMMP market is still relatively immature, with little market consolidation or even convergence on • Integration with CRM platforms will continue to “standard” feature sets across platforms. increase in importance (with CRM vendors themselves adding SMMP functionality) to enable 360-degree views of the customer. As the market evolves, so do the features you need to evaluate. Pay close attention to the convergence between SMMP feature sets, as well as the absorption of SMMPs into the broader CRM ecosystem.Info-Tech Research Group 34
  35. 35. SMMP Criteria & Weighting Factors UsabilityProduct Evaluation 15% Architecture The solution provides basic 5% Features and advanced features/functionality. Features 50% The five year TCO of the solution is 30% Affordability Affordability economical. The solution’s dashboard and reporting tools Product Usability are intuitive and easy to use. 50% The delivery method of the solution aligns with Architecture what is expected within the space.Vendor Evaluation 50% Vendor is profitable, knowledgeable, and will Vendor Viability be around for the long-term. Viability Vendor is committed to the space and has a Reach 30% 10% Strategy future product and portfolio roadmap. 10% Channel Vendor offers global coverage and is able to Reach sell and provide post-sales support. 50% Vendor channel strategy is appropriate and the Channel channels themselves are strong. StrategyInfo-Tech Research Group 35
  36. 36. The Info-Tech SMMP Landscape Champions receive high scores for most evaluation criteria and offer excellent value. They have a strong market presence and are usually the trend setters for the industry. Radian6 Sprout Social Emerging players are newer vendors who are starting to gain a foothold in the marketplace. They balance product and Lithium vendor attributes, though score lower Syncapse relative to market Champions. Innovators have demonstrated innovative product strengths that act as their competitive advantage in appealing to niche segments of the market. Market Pillars are established players with very strong vendor credentials, but with more average product scores. Socialware Visible Technologies CymfonyFor a complete description of Info-Tech’s VendorLandscape methodology, see the Appendix.Info-Tech Research Group 36
  37. 37. Every vendor has its strengths & weaknesses;pick the one that works best for you Product Vendor Overall Features Usability Price Platform Overall Viability Strategy Reach Channel Radian6 Sprout Social Syncapse Socialware* Cymfony* Visible Technologies Lithium * Vendor declined to provide pricing information.Info-Tech Research Group 37
  38. 38. Info-Tech Value Score On a relative basis, Sprout SocialWhat is a Value Score? maintained the highest Info-Tech Value Champion ScoreTM of the vendor group. VendorsThe Value Score indexes each vendor’s product were indexed against Sprout Social’soffering and business strength relative to their performance to provide aprice point. It does not indicate vendor ranking. complete, relative view of their product offerings.Vendors that score high offer more bang for thebuck (e.g. features, usability, stability, etc.) thanthe average vendor, while the inverse is true forthose that score lower. Average Score: 55.3Price-conscious enterprises may wish to give the 100Value Score more consideration than those who 96 84are more focused on specific vendor/product 75attributes. 17 7 9 7 Sprout Social Radian6 Syncapse Lithium Visible Socialware* Cymfony* Sources: 1. To calculate the Value Score for each vendor, the affordability raw score was backed out, the product scoring reweighted, and the affordability score multiplied by the product of the Vendor and Product scores. * Vendor declined to provide pricing scenarios.Info-Tech Research Group 38
  39. 39. Most SMMPs offer a combination of basic features; useadvanced features to further differentiate between platformsBasic Features What We Looked For What Does This Mean? Ability to track and monitor popular social The products assessed in this Vendor Social Channels LandscapeTM meet the majority of the basic channels, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Basic monitoring and analysis: for features; deficiencies in basic features were Social Analytics example, frequency analysis and demographic penalized during formal vendor scoring and analysis. evaluation. Ability to interact with stakeholders over socialIn-Band Response Many of the vendors go above and beyond the channels using the platform itself. outlined features, some even do so in multiple Centralized Robust management of multiple social media categories. Account Controls accounts across multiple services. Ability to maintain a history of social Social Archiving interactions. Mobile Access Compatibility with popular mobile browsers. API access for social media service Platform integration. If Basic Features are all you need from your social media management solution, the primary differentiator for the organization is price. Otherwise, dig deeper to find the best price to value for your needs.Info-Tech Research Group 39
  40. 40. Beyond basic features, vendors were evaluatedon their individual advanced feature offerings Features What We Looked For Integration with social media services beyond simply the table stakes – for Social Channels example, integration with LinkedIn and YouTube. Advanced abilities such as sentimentAdvanced features scoring methodology: Advanced analysis, influence analysis and/or content- Social Analytics centric analysis.Info-Tech scored each vendor’s features Ability to engage social stakeholders from anoffering as a summation of their individual In-Band Engagement established contact list; ability to use analyticsscores across the listed features. Vendors for engagement purposes.started with 0.5 for each category. If basicfeatures were missing or deficient, points Advanced Account Advanced management of social campaigns:were subtracted (e.g. a rating of 0.3 and Campaign for example, ability to quickly create customassigned). If vendors offered advanced Management tabs on Facebook Pages.features on a given dimension, they wereawarded additional points (e.g. 0.7). Final Advanced Archival of Integration with third-party archival solutions.scores were normalized out of 10. Social Interactions Dedicated mobile applications for one or more Dedicated Mobile major mobile platforms (i.e. Applications iOS, BlackBerry, Android). Advanced integration with social media Platform services via dedicated connectors; integration with CRM suites.Info-Tech Research Group 40
  41. 41. Each vendor offers a different feature set; concentrate on what you need Sprout TNS Visible Radian6 Syncapse Socialware Lithium Social Cymfony Technologies Social Channels Social Analytics In-Band EngagementCentralized Account Controls Archiving Mobile Applications Platform = advanced feature available = basic feature available = basic feature available but limited Info-Tech Research Group 41
  42. 42. Radian6 is a champion in the SMMP market; a robustplatform backed by Salesforce that covers a range of features Champion Overview Product: Social Media Monitoring Software • Radian6 provides a full spectrum of social media management Employees: 300+ functionality – account management, monitoring, analytics and Headquarters: Fredericton, NB in-band response/engagement. Website: radian6.com • The firm was recently acquired by Salesforce.com. Founded: 2006 Presence: NASDAQ: CRM: US (subsidiary of Salesforce.com) Strengths FY09 Revenue: $US1.03B • Relative to its competitors, Radian6 offers the most (Salesforce) comprehensive feature set. This makes it a winner for organizations looking for one platform that “does it all.” • Radian6 also provides basic integration with Salesforce.com’s CRM products, which will only deepen. This helps to build a 360-degree view of the customer. Challenges • While Radian6 is a jack-of-all trades, some of its more focused competitors provide greater depth on certain features. • For example, organizations that are primarily interested in comprehensive social analytics (with little to no social Priced between $50,000 to $100,000. engagement or campaign management) may want to look at other vendors.Info-Tech Recommends: Radian6 is the clear market leader in terms of breadth of SMMP functionality. Organizations looking to conduct analytics, respond to customers, and manage social campaigns should look at Radian6.Info-Tech Research Group 42
  43. 43. Syncapse is an engagement focused platform, great formanaging large scale social marketing campaigns Champion Overview Product: Syncapse Platform • The Syncapse platform is strongly focused on customer Headquarters: Toronto, ON engagement and social campaign execution and management Website: syncapse.com for large enterprises. The platform is especially content- Founded: 2007 centric, with strong in-band response capabilities. Strengths • High integration with a variety of social channels, and utilizing multiple personas. • Strong social presence and property management, ability to create content from within the platform and engage with consumers. Allows organizations to execute marketing campaigns from within the platform. Challenges • Lacking in social cloud monitoring capabilities, means limited opportunity for proactive monitoring and gaining competitive intelligence. Organizations requiring strong monitoring capabilities in addition to strong social engagement tools Priced between $50,000 to $100,000 should consider pairing Syncapse with a vendor that excels at social monitoring.Info-Tech Recommends: Syncapse is best suited to organizations primarily interested in monitoring their own properties (as opposed to the social cloud as a whole), or who use social media for executing marketing campaigns. Adding cloud monitoring would make them a significant threat to Radian6.Info-Tech Research Group 43
  44. 44. Sprout Social provides small-to-medium enterprises witha host of features at a highly competitive price point Innovator Overview Product: Sprout Social Platform • Sprout Social is a new entrant to the SMMP market with a Employees: 20 strong focus on small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Headquarters: Chicago, IL • Sprout offers features for account management, social Website: sproutsocial.com monitoring and analytics, and in-band engagement. Founded: 2009 Strengths • Sprout Social does social customer engagement for small businesses very well. • The platform has an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand interface with high-level dashboards that provide a snapshot of social activity and customer engagement. • Sprout Social is priced competitively vis-à-vis other vendors. Challenges • Some monitoring features are absent, such as the ability to conduct cloud-wide sentiment analysis. • There’s presently no dedicated mobile application (although iOS and Android support is on the company’s roadmap). Priced between $25,000 to $50,000 • Given the focus on SMEs and client engagement, Sprout may not be ideal for companies with compliance restrictions.Info-Tech Recommends: Sprout Social is an innovator in the SMMP market. SMEs should definitely consider Sprout, given its relatively comprehensive feature set and inexpensive price point.Info-Tech Research Group 44
  45. 45. Lithium provides powerful and comprehensive analytics, butcurrently lags on social account management and engagement Innovator Overview Product: Lithium Social Media Monitoring • Lithium has traditionally been known for its e-community (i.e. Employees: 200+ discussion forum) engagement products. It has recently Headquarters: Emeryville, CA branched into social media with its Social Media Monitoring Website: lithium.com suite, acquired from Scout Labs. Founded: 2001 Strengths • Lithium demonstrated unrivalled ability to conduct cloud-wide monitoring and analysis. • The breadth of social media services it monitors is impressive, making it ideal for organizations that wish to conduct social analytics on services beyond table-stakes like Facebook and Twitter. They’re strong with photo and video services. Challenges • Lithium’s Social Media Monitoring is not strong on centralized account management and in-band response/engagement. • Integration with other Lithium products that provide response for traditional online communities and discussion boards is on Priced between $50,000 to $100,000 its roadmap, but has not been deployed at this point. Existing Lithium customers will benefit strongly from this integration.Info-Tech Recommends: Organizations needing social analytics covering a broad range of social channels should consider Lithium; companies needing strong social management and engagement can pass or combine with another vendor. .Info-Tech Research Group 45
  46. 46. Cymfony: A pillar in social monitoring and analytics Market Pillar Overview Product: Maestro • Established vendor experienced in monitoring brands and Employees: 26 500 (Kantar Group) reputations in all forms of online media. Headquarters: Burlington, MA • Was an early vendor to make the leap to social media Website: cymfony.com monitoring. Founded: 1996 Strengths • Strong focus on monitoring the social cloud, and analyzing results to produce a variety of social metrics. • Targeted well towards large enterprise usage, they also have a well established reputation for working with agencies (e.g. Advertising, PR, Marketing). • Highly scalable solution – supports large number of users. Challenges • Plays in the monitoring field, but not strong in managing a company’s own social properties or campaign execution through social properties. Vendor did not provide pricing information.Info-Tech Recommends: As a category leader in social monitoring and analytics, Cymfony is often deployed alongside social media management-focused tools from other vendors; however, it needs to add or acquire social media management features of its own soon to battle Radian6.Info-Tech Research Group 46