What would your social marketing operation look like if you didn’t have any third-party tools at your disposal?
It’d be a frustrating exercise in spreadsheets, walled gardens, data silos and multiple tabs.
Yep, third-party tools have become an indispensable part of even the smallest brand’s social marketing activities. Which makes new research from Sprout Social slightly alarming.
The social media management platform surveyed 2,000 social marketers to put together their 2018 Sprout Social Index, and found that just 33% of them were happy with the range of software they had at their disposal.
Perhaps this figure has something to do with the rapid rise of segments such as social customer service, employee advocacy and particularly influencer marketing. Organizations have been using social management and analytics tools since the dawn of time, but are they keeping pace with newer industry developments?
There is a mountain of tools specifically designed to help brands manage influencer marketing, customer service and employee advocacy programs, but they all come at a cost that not all organizations will be willing to meet in these belt-tightening times.
It’ll come as no surprise to most that social media management was identified in the research as a vital tool in a social marketer’s armory. In fact, perhaps the only surprise is that the figure is no higher than 39%…
With data being such a prevalent factor in social marketing you would probably expect to see more than 21% citing analytics tools as being essential – but that can probably be explained away by the fact that many social management platforms include analytics features.
Also prominent among the must-haves are visual creation tools. The market is flooded with social media graphics tools and for good reason: content accompanied by photos or Infographics see a 94% increase in page views versus content without images.
Are you one of the 40% who are lucky enough to have all your software needs catered for in your marketing budget? If so, spare a thought for some of your industry colleagues – a hefty 60% of whom don’t have the luxury of a complete toolkit.
When it comes to additional resources social marketers feel they need to do their jobs, dedicated content marketing tools lead the way.
More than half stated they needed analytics software, which underlines how data driven the industry has become in recent years. But even the most sophisticated analytics suite won’t be worth its price tag if it isn’t integrated into the bigger picture.
The savvy marketer will be setting goals and using their analytics to measure those, rather than churning out reports and retro-fitting their goals based on what the numbers say.