7 Things to Consider Before Buying Social Media Monitoring Software

Get the most value for your investment by answering seven questions you should ask yourself before buying a social media monitoring solution for your brand.

Social media managers have a lot on their plates. Creating engaging posts, analyzing and optimizing the results, and monitoring social media all play important roles in meeting business objectives.

Fortunately, social media monitoring software can help. Chances are, you've evaluated at least a few of the existing tools. As you probably know, there are so many, that it’s not easy to pick just one. That’s why we’re here to help you make a decision.

Here are 7 Considerations Before Buying Social Media Monitoring Software

You know a good monitoring tool is essential to your business success. But with so many choices it’s tough. Will a simple automation tool work for you or do you need an enterprise-level to achieve your goals? Since all software tools are not created the same, here are a few considerations.

1. What Do You Want From Your Social Media Monitoring Tool?

If you don't know your social media goals, then it's hard to know what you need from social media monitoring software in the first place. Hopefully, you have an established social media strategy. If so, that will dictate a lot of what you'll need out of a software tool.

Social Media Monitoring Software

If you don't, then that's the place to start not with the software but with your strategy. It's important to have a documented strategy that entire teams can reference when determining next steps.

Know your goals. Talk with your social media and sales teams. What would help them do their jobs better? What’s on their wish list and what would be "nice to have."

While mapping out your goals and needs, don't be afraid to think big! Too much timidity is a huge obstacle to growth. As Neil Patel said, "If your goals don’t scare you, you are thinking too small."

Once you define your objectives, use those as guidelines to choose the social media monitoring software for your business.

2. Brand Mentions

Brand Mentions

These days, social media is utilized across a variety of businesses and departments. Sales, marketing, and customer service efforts of any size rely on social media for different reasons.

Take customer service for instance - if your social media team can receive instant alerts when a customer mentions you, then you can reach out right away reducing the response time and increasing customer experience instantly.

You're probably aware that prompt customer service can keep your customers happy, and a good first impression goes a long way in securing customer loyalty.

Social media monitoring software is also used to build strong connections with your customers. Frequent engagement helps position your brand in the minds of your customers and prospects.

What do you want to be known for? Define your brand position early with a strong social media presence and use information from engagements to create effective posts and campaigns.

3. Analytics and reporting

Analytics and reporting

Social media analytics and reporting are powerful. They can show you what’s working and can help you dig deeper into your customer’s profile.

While your reporting needs will vary depending on things like your company size and social media objectives, you'll want to make sure your monitoring tool tracks ROI. For example, if one of your goals is to use social media to drive more website traffic, then you want to be able to track your results. It's also important to have analytics that can direct your future activities. What's working well? Which types of posts or which platforms seem to drive the most engagement?

Good social media reports can help you track trends.

When evaluating social media monitoring software, consider what types of reports would be helpful. Some organizations want different types of reports depending on departments. Does the sales team want your monitoring tool to integrate with the CRM? Or does the PR team want to monitor the brand mentions and sentiment?

These are examples of how a larger business may use the reporting features.

4. Plan your budget

Plan your budget

How much can you afford to invest into social media monitoring software? With monitoring fees all over the map, your budget alone may eliminate some of them. Or, if your needs are in alignment with what the tool does, you may find that it’s worth paying a little more for the added insurance.

Every business is different. That said, you don’t want to choose software based on price alone but make sure it meets your needs.

5. Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis

As software gets more sophisticated, it incorporates Natural Language Processing (NLP) which is a way of detecting user emotion.

Emotions can run high on social media as you’ve probably witnessed. People use it as an outlet for great joy, anger, sadness, and everything in between.

When they interact with your brand, a software tool that can detect their emotions can help you gauge what they care about. It’s extremely helpful to know how they feel about your brand.

6. Does It Integrate into Other Applications?

Integrate into Other Applications

Of course, when choosing software of any type, one of the most important considerations is whether or not it will work with the other software you use.

With social media monitoring software, you want to make sure it integrates with the platforms you use. If you run contests, will it work with those tools? What about email marketing or your CRM?

Additionally, when you define your social media objectives and craft a plan, you’ll know which integrations you need.

7. Technical help or training

Technical help or training

What type of technical help will you need? Some organizations want to set up complex queries and run reports for different departments.

Most small businesses can probably choose a software solution ""off-the-shelf"" to get up and running with little onboarding. If you do choose a monitoring tool and you’re not happy with it, ask the provider for some assistance. They may be able to help you.

As you can see, choosing a social media monitoring software takes a bit of planning. You want to choose the tool that’s going to work for your needs and help you achieve your objectives. Social media marketing has evolved. It’s gone from a curiosity to a full-fledged role within savvy organizations. As you know, social media marketers have a wide range of skill sets that encompass sales, marketing, and customer service. Such a complex role requires good tools.

If you still have questions, take a look at HipSocial by 500apps. Small business owners love how easy it is to use. You can use it to discover brand mentions, display all your content across various platforms, and much more."

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