Social media management: Tools, tactics ... and how to win

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In a world where the customer is constantly connected to social networks, understanding that space and the tools that help drive support, engagement, leads, demand, brand awareness, and more is imperative.

What you can expect to get from this report:

  • What is SMM, and what can it do for you?

  • The best solutions for each type and size of business

  • The techniques, tactics, definitions, and metrics that matter

  • Features of 28 major SMM tools, and how their users score them

  • How well SMM tools deliver on their promise, and whether they drive value and return 

  • The future of SMM: predictions on what is next

  • An objective view of all major SMM tactics, and how top brands use them

In addition, we’ll go in-depth into each solution, revealing what SMM proponents use them for, how they are priced, how satisfied users are with them, how they score for each major feature, and what types of business use each product.

Why social media management matters

As stated in our report on how consumers complain to brands on social channels - Digital Pitchforks - consumer groups expect you, and your business, to react to them as quickly as their friends and family do.

“SoMe natives were born and raised on social media. They're young, and social media is their native environment, making them skilled in its use.”

“For a SoMe native, collaborative creation is practically the reason the Internet exists. Social platforms such as Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Reddit, Pinterest, and more allow SoMe natives to create, consume, remix and republish content in ways not seen before. SoMe natives expect your social presence to be as immediate and engaging as they enjoy with their friends and connections.”

Millennials are the trendsetters that sit back, collect experiences, catalog favourite products and then tell others what to do and buy. Gen-X do more research online and via social networks than other generations, which means they will be armed to the hilt with data, information, opinion, and knowledge of your competitors. And ‘digital silver foxes’ are the fastest growing demographic among social networks and have a higher net worth than those younger than them.

Choosing the right SMM tools and tactics, therefore, is a ‘must do,’ not a ‘nice to have’ or something that can be ignored in favor of other marketing channels.

Who's winning, who's losing, and what you need to do

So who is winning, who is losing, and how can you get the most from the available tools? To find out, we:

  • Surveyed 1,133 social media managers

  • Analyzed 250,966 tweets sent by 1,600 top brands via 198 tools

  • Combed through vendor websites, pricing structures, and capabilities

  • Scored and ranked 28 SMM tools across five key indicators

  • Interviewed vendors to understand the ‘now’ and the ‘next’ of SMM

  • Defined 10 tactics across four categories of SMM product

How to use this report

At over 17,800 words and 120+ pages, this report has been split into five distinct sections.

  1. Introduction
    We recommend you read the first part in full - it includes an introduction to SMM tools, techniques, tactics, and definitions, helping you understand the scope of this report.

  2. Big brands
    Part two will give you full details of our analysis of how big brands use social networks, and the tools - both bought and built - that drive the millions of status updates seen every day. We discover how many use social media as a broadcast channel versus those that use it to engage with prospects and customers.

  3. Social media managers' wisdom
    Part three will give you a full breakdown of our survey, which took in responses from over 1,100 SMM tool users. This is your view of SMM for the ‘rest of the world’, and shows the big differences between those that use SMM tools at the top of the tree versus the ‘Fortune 30 million’; those SMEs, mid-sized businesses, and large organizations that make up the majority of the US business landscape.

  4. Top vendor guides
    Part four includes 28 full vendor profiles, drawing on data from our own survey and that of our data partners. This is your reference guide, helping you understand the available solutions in the SMM space. We’ll go in-depth into each solution, revealing what SMM proponents use them for, how they are priced, how satisfied users are with them, how they score for each major feature, and what types of business use each product.

  5. The future of social
    And finally, we’ve taken a look at the future of SMM from various perspectives; how vendors view the future, what that means for both users and consumers. Regardless of how you read or refer to the other sections, we recommend you read this section in full.

At almost 18,000 words and 120+ pages, this is one of the most extensive studies of SMM tools ever created.