Over the past couple of years I have demo’d a number of social media marketing platforms including: Shoutlet, Spredfast, Vitrue, Buddy Media, Argyle Social, Hootsuite, and others. Each has great features and might be a good fit for many of you. With that said they are all enough different that, besides the obvious considerations, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I work in a regulated Industry? – If the answer is yes then make sure you cover this with the vendor and check references of current customers who are in the same boat. This will help you hurdle some objections or concerns that might come up.
- What features do you need vs what would be nice? – There are some killer features in many of these platforms. Of course they also come with a price. Really think through your objectives and goals then compare the platforms based on needs. One thing I did was list out my goals and for each platform I assigned the features to a goal. I found that some features were great but really had no short-term application.
- Who will use the tool? – This is a big one. Again many of these platforms have really robust features but based on who within the organization is using it there could be overkill. This goes back to your goals and what you are trying to accomplish.
- How do I measure success? – Make sure the platform you choose will fit with you measurement goals. Make sure you spend time on the reports and analytics they show so you can best determine how you show ROI for both the tool and your social media efforts.
I did actually pick one of these tools that we use with clients on a daily basis. Who I picked is not really the point of this post (ping me privately and I will tell you) because they are all great tools, but have a wide spectrum of cost and features. Once I realized they were all good tools and met the basic need of efficiency then I had to start looking at what works right now for me.
Question: Have you used any of these tools (or others)? What made you pick the one you did?