Making sense of the social media technology forest
I have argued on a few different occasions that we are dealing with a social media bubble, not just when it comes to actual platforms (Pinterest still has yet to figure out how to make money), but also when it comes to social media management platforms: every time I look over my shoulder, someone has launched a new one, that is really not that different from what is already out there. The reason why I am suggesting there is a social media bubble is because it seems to be that vast amounts of cash are being poured into social media (management) platforms, with very little rhyme or reason behind the amounts being invested. Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion is a fine illustration of the bubble for me, as is Pinterest, which to this date hasn't made any money yet, and I am not sure how it enables lasting value add and interaction.
Although I don't think any major disasters will result from this bubble (except for, maybe, the investors) - I think we are already seeing the consolidation that will take care of the current situation. In the mean time, the challenge for marketers lies in selecting platforms that get as close as possible to addressing specific business needs. So here is a list of platforms and tools, organized by the 5 major goals we believe marketers are looking to accomplish when looking for these tools:
- Monitoring of a brand, a specific topic, specific keywords, industry trends etc
- Google, Bing, Social Mention
- Analyzing your social media presence, using metrics such as engagement, influence, interaction...
- Omniture, Sysomos, SAS Social Media Analytics...
- Engaging your target audience, generating comments, likes, shares...
- Community creation and growth using social web sites
- Manage your online presence
- Yammer, SalesForce Chatter, HubSpot
Please feel free to add your own tools and comments to the comments section below. We always love to learn about new technologies.