23 Jan Need a Social Solution, But Not Sure Where to Start?
The social software landscape is in somewhat of a metamorphosis state. Not only are new products entering the market all of time, but each new system utilizes slightly different terminology to describe functionality. What one calls “social contact management,” another might refer to as “social relationship management.”
This is primarily a result of vendors wanting to differentiate themselves in the industry; but for the buyer, these variations make it difficult to know which products address what pain points. While organizational leaders know they need to enact more social-enabled support, marketing and sales processes, they are unsure where to even start investigating the market. As a software analyst (who often writes about social software), it’s a struggle buyers talk to me about daily.
Early last year, I set out on a mission to address this challenge by creating an interactive tool companies could use to quickly navigate the market. My goal was to define the primary social software types, and the 3-4 features that are most-common within each. Last month, I finally released the results in the guide called The Social App Map.
How it Works
Simply click on any logo to learn more about that system. A box will appear with information on pricing, features, target customer size and market differentiator. Or, users can click on the filter and check off only those features you are most interested in evaluating. Once you hit “Apply Filters,” all logos will disappear except for those products that have the features you are looking for.
To find systems worthy of including in the map, I spoke with 10 experts in the field. Then I emailed eligibility forms to more than 120 top applications (including Moxie software), ultimately choosing 68 to include in the project.
Systems were evaluating against several criteria, including the breadth and depth of features offered and the overall value of the product for the price. The finalists are listed in one or several categories, including:
- Social Media Monitoring: Systems in this category commonly provide tools for streaming feeds from several social profiles, as well as notifications of brand/keyword/competitor mentions. These systems can also send automated alerts when mentions of a certain type are received, as well as provide data on mentions/keywords/sentiment, and the performance of social profiles.
- Social Media Management: These products typically enable users to publish to several profiles simultaneously, as well as schedule posts ahead of time. Some can identify the best days and times to publish to social media, while others enable users to respond to messages on social directly from the app. A community manager might also be able to tag posts and triage them to another person or department to respond.
- Social Media Marketing & Advertising: Solutions in this category often offer templates for creating social marketing content, such as contests or polls. They can also publish paid ads and sponsored updates that create leads. Some have tools for audience targeting with social ads, and many will provide data on the performance of these activities.
- Social CRM: These products often stream the social activity of people in your data base and store social profile information in contact profiles (including social influence). They might also suggest opportunities to engage with a contact, based on something they posted in social media and/or uncover a customer service question on social and triage that to the appropriate responder. These system often also integrate with a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
- Social Communities / Business Collaboration: These systems are social, but not necessarily in the traditional social media networks capacity (Facebook, Twitter etc). Instead, they often create internal social networks for collaboration and content management purposes. Or, they create external social communities for peer-to-peer support. They often include features for hosting discussion threads, managing internal content, forming groups with clients, customers or employees and rating and/or liking post features in the internal newsfeed. Often, these tools will also include reporting on activities taking place in the application.
Moxie Chosen as Standout in the Market
Moxie was selected for the project for a few reasons. One, they offer features in four out of the five social categories. Also, at a starting price of $3 per user, per month, the program has an extremely low cost of entry.
In addition to offering nine of the most-desired social features, it also includes a few more unique offerings. This includes security and access controls that allow users to set access rights for individuals or groups; as well as social knowledge sharing that allows users to recommend and promote content from the collaborative application to the knowledge workflow, where it an be certified and published to employees or customers. The result is an acceleration of innovation through better knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Ashley Verrill is a Managing Editor for Software Advice. She has spent the last seven years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been featured or cited in Inc., the New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, GigaOM, TechCrunch, Wired, CIO.com, Yahoo News, the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal, among others. She also produces original research-based reports and video content with industry experts and thought leaders.