Enterprise Social Media Management Software: A Marketer’s Guide
Finding the appropriate social media management tool for your business can be a challenge. This buyer’s guide provides a framework for deciding if you need and EMMS solution, details the capabilities of the leading platforms, and compares offerings from leading vendors.
The Benefits of Using ESMMS Platforms
With hundreds or even thousands of social media accounts to manage and millions of social conversations to monitor, social media marketing has become increasingly complicated and time-consuming. Automating social media marketing with an ESMMS platform can improve efficiency, compliance, and productivity by providing the following benefits:
Better legal and creative compliance across the enterprise. ESMMS platforms offer a unified interface for the integration of content development and publishing with a controlled user permission hierarchy. The result is greater consistency and compliance with style guides, as well as legal or regulatory guidelines for enterprises – particularly those with global offices or those operating in the financial, insurance, and healthcare fields.
Improved time management. The publishing tools provided by the majority of ESMMS platforms include calendars and scheduling features that automate social content posts, as well as auto-responses to audience posts or questions. By planning ahead and creating weekly or monthly content calendars, marketing staff can better spend their time being proactive and creative, rather than spending their days monitoring social network accounts.
Cross-channel reporting capabilities in near real time. Enterprises are marketing across multiple social networks, making cross-channel reporting in a single interface a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have” feature. ESMMS platforms provide sophisticated cross-channel reporting capabilities, many of which are widget- and wizard-driven to make reporting easy and fast for marketers.
Pricing and annual contracts
ESMMS platforms are a significant investment, with typical enterprise customers spending tens of thousands of dollars each month in licensing fees. Many ESMMS platform vendors license their technology on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis; the technology is hosted by the vendor and customers log into a web-based dashboard to utilize the system. Several vendors have moved to the cloud, providing customers with simplified data storage and more plug-in connections with third-party apps and software. Licensing fees can be charged by the number of users or seats; by the volume of social media networks or pages tracked; and by the number of locations, brands, or departments on the system. Some vendors offer monthly licenses, while others require an annual contract. Some licenses include more support features than others, so be sure to clarify what is included in the basic license.
- Structured workflow management
- Permissions and compliance tools that allow customers to monitor and control all social media content and campaigns emanating from the enterprise
- Enterprise SMMS platforms can be a significant investment, with larger organizations paying tens of thousands of dollars each month in licensing
- Certain platforms can require considerable training and integration with existing technology systems and additional premium services to run them
Does Your Company Need Social Media Management Software?
Enterprises deciding whether to license a SMMS platform or to upgrade from their existing freemium platform need to first consider the following:
- Do we have multiple social accounts and utilize multiple social channels, including Facebook, Twitter and blog publishing platforms such as WordPress?
- Do we operate in a regulated industry, such as insurance or real estate, where a lack of compliance can result in legal or regulatory problems?
- Do we rely on a sales network of local dealers, agents or franchisees that may be operating hundreds of Facebook pages or Twitter accounts not controlled by the corporate marketing department?