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Infusionsoft logo
 
Built for small- and medium-sized sales and marketing teams, Infusionsoft offers tools for managing customer relationships from contact to conversion. They serve users in a variety of industries from health care to hospitality.
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Built for small- and medium-sized sales and marketing teams, Infusionsoft offers tools for managing customer relationships from contact to conversion. They serve users in a variety of industries from health care to hospitality.
 
Marketo logo
 
Marketo offers a web-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to form and preserve engaging customer relationships. The solution features integrated modules that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing... Read More
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Marketo offers a web-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to form and preserve engaging customer relationships. The solution features integrated modules that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing... Read More
 
SharpSpring logo
 
SharpSpring is a fully integrated cloud-based marketing tool that offers customer relationship management, marketing automation, mobile and social marketing, sales team automation, customer service and more, all within one solution. SharpSpring... Read More
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SharpSpring is a fully integrated cloud-based marketing tool that offers customer relationship management, marketing automation, mobile and social marketing, sales team automation, customer service and more, all within one solution. SharpSpring... Read More
 
Act-On logo
 
Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and... Read More
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Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and... Read More
 
Net-­Results logo
 
Net-Results is digital marketing software built by and for data-driven marketers. The marketing automation system will work for companies of any size and offers multiple pricing scales. The system has native integrations with major... Read More
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Net-Results is digital marketing software built by and for data-driven marketers. The marketing automation system will work for companies of any size and offers multiple pricing scales. The system has native integrations with major... Read More

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inboundli logo
 
inboundli is a social marketing platform intended to improve the inbound marketing efforts of businesses across all industries. It is a cloud-based solution that can be used by small to midsize businesses. inboundli analyzes an organization’s... Read More
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97%
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inboundli is a social marketing platform intended to improve the inbound marketing efforts of businesses across all industries. It is a cloud-based solution that can be used by small to midsize businesses. inboundli analyzes an organization’s... Read More
 
ActiveDEMAND logo
 
ActiveDEMAND is a web-based marketing tool designed specifically for marketing agencies. Subscriptions are based on the number of contacts loaded into the application rather than the number users, so agencies are able to create sub-accounts... Read More
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ActiveDEMAND is a web-based marketing tool designed specifically for marketing agencies. Subscriptions are based on the number of contacts loaded into the application rather than the number users, so agencies are able to create sub-accounts... Read More
 
CallidusCloud Marketing Automation logo
 
CallidusCloud was recently awarded a Bronze award by the American Business Awards for Best New Product or Service of the Year - B2B - Software. Their Marketing Automation product is web-based and incorporates Sales Automation.
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CallidusCloud was recently awarded a Bronze award by the American Business Awards for Best New Product or Service of the Year - B2B - Software. Their Marketing Automation product is web-based and incorporates Sales Automation.
 
eTrigue DemandCenter logo
 
eTrigue DemandCenter gives businesses of all sizes the ability to create and execute demand generation campaigns using their existing resources. It enables marketing automation through a variety of web-based tools. This solution is... Read More
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eTrigue DemandCenter gives businesses of all sizes the ability to create and execute demand generation campaigns using their existing resources. It enables marketing automation through a variety of web-based tools. This solution is... Read More
 
Lead Guerrilla logo
 
Lead Guerrilla by 1CRM is a cloud-based all-in-one marketing platform for small to midsize businesses and marketing agencies. Key features of Lead Guerrilla are: lead activity tracking (website browsing history, form submissions, email... Read More
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Lead Guerrilla by 1CRM is a cloud-based all-in-one marketing platform for small to midsize businesses and marketing agencies. Key features of Lead Guerrilla are: lead activity tracking (website browsing history, form submissions, email... Read More

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SAM logo
 

SAM

SAM is a web-based, fully integrated sales and marketing system. The main features of the system include email marketing, social marketing, content marketing, direct marketing, SEO, visibility, marketing intelligence, and marketing... Read More
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SAM is a web-based, fully integrated sales and marketing system. The main features of the system include email marketing, social marketing, content marketing, direct marketing, SEO, visibility, marketing intelligence, and marketing... Read More
 
MailChimp logo
 
MailChimp is a web-based email marketing service with millions of users worldwide. The application allows users to share newsletters on various social networks and track customer engagements. The application provides tools to create... Read More
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MailChimp is a web-based email marketing service with millions of users worldwide. The application allows users to share newsletters on various social networks and track customer engagements. The application provides tools to create... Read More
 
Hootsuite logo
 
Hootsuite is a social media platform for organizations and businesses to collaboratively carry out campaigns across various social networks such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It lets users launch campaigns from a single,... Read More
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Hootsuite is a social media platform for organizations and businesses to collaboratively carry out campaigns across various social networks such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It lets users launch campaigns from a single,... Read More
 
Constant Contact logo
 
Constant Contact provides a range of intuitive marketing applications designed to help small businesses and nonprofits expand their customer bases and nurture relationships. Solutions include email marketing, event marketing, social... Read More
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Constant Contact provides a range of intuitive marketing applications designed to help small businesses and nonprofits expand their customer bases and nurture relationships. Solutions include email marketing, event marketing, social... Read More
 
Salesforce Marketing Cloud logo
 
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a part of Salesforce.com family that offers robust social marketing solution to help businesses create and manage the social presence on a variety of social media sites. The solution offers multiple functionalities... Read More
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Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a part of Salesforce.com family that offers robust social marketing solution to help businesses create and manage the social presence on a variety of social media sites. The solution offers multiple functionalities... Read More

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Brand24 logo
 
Brand24 is a cloud-based marketing solution that helps businesses of all sizes, across a variety of industries, with content discovery and distribution.  It offers an "online mentions" feature, which shows mentions across social... Read More
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Brand24 is a cloud-based marketing solution that helps businesses of all sizes, across a variety of industries, with content discovery and distribution.  It offers an "online mentions" feature, which shows mentions across social... Read More
 
SproutSocial logo
 
SproutSocial is a Web-based social media management solution designed for companies of all sizes. This system offers automated publishing, conversation tracking, social content management and social media analytics within a single... Read More
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SproutSocial is a Web-based social media management solution designed for companies of all sizes. This system offers automated publishing, conversation tracking, social content management and social media analytics within a single... Read More
 
Yotpo logo
 
Yotpo is a cloud-based content marketing platform that provides e-commerce sites with functionality for reviews, ratings, questions and answers, as well as other forms of user-generated content. Yotpo helps users manage the customer... Read More
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Yotpo is a cloud-based content marketing platform that provides e-commerce sites with functionality for reviews, ratings, questions and answers, as well as other forms of user-generated content. Yotpo helps users manage the customer... Read More
 
Agorapulse logo
 
Agorapulse is a Web-based social media marketing software that offers profile management, social influencer management and social media analytics in a suite. Agorapulse features a “social inbox” feature, which combines social... Read More
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Agorapulse is a Web-based social media marketing software that offers profile management, social influencer management and social media analytics in a suite. Agorapulse features a “social inbox” feature, which combines social... Read More
 
SALESmanago Marketing Automation logo
 
SALESmanago is a cloud-based, standalone Marketing Automation tool that is useful in virtually any industry. The program is iPad friendly, accessible on any connected mobile device, and applicable to both B2B and B2C businesses. Users... Read More
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SALESmanago is a cloud-based, standalone Marketing Automation tool that is useful in virtually any industry. The program is iPad friendly, accessible on any connected mobile device, and applicable to both B2B and B2C businesses. Users... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 21, 2017


If you're a retailer, your social media activities can have a huge impact on your customers. In fact, according to research from global marketing firm Epsilon, social media activities have a greater impact on consumers than any other channel—including search engines and the retailer’s own website.

As these activities grow more lucrative, the social media marketing software landscape is diversifying and expanding to meet the needs of retailers. There are now plenty of options in terms of software features and functionality. But this can also make choosing the right system confusing for first-time buyers.

This guide will help you understand social media marketing software and choose the best system for your needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Social Media Marketing Software?
Common Types of Social Media Marketing Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations

What Is Social Media Marketing Software?

Broadly speaking, social media marketing software is designed to help companies engage with social media users in the hopes that some of them will convert to paying customers.

These tools offer a range of capabilities to help companies:

  • Publish content to social media platforms
  • Locate particular social media users or conversations
  • Measure the relative success of social media marketing campaigns

Some platforms, known as social media marketing suites, offer a broad feature set encompassing multiple capabilities. ''Best-of-breed'' systems, on the other hand, offer one particular application that is among the best in its class.

Common Types of Social Media Marketing Software

Below is a list of common social media marketing tools. These may be bundled as part of a social media marketing suite, or offered as stand-alone, best-of-breed applications.

Social media management. Helps companies publish content to social media platforms and manage creative assets. Often includes some degree of monitoring and analytics. Allows users to establish a social media presence and maintain an active voice on social media platforms.

Social media monitoring. Identifies brand mentions (and/or words used in association with brands); locates where on social media platforms those conversations are occurring. This helps companies respond quickly to customer inquiries, target marketing messages to the most receptive social media users and understand how social media users feel about their brand.

Social media analytics. Provides the means for tracking, measuring and reporting on social media accounts and campaign performance. This helps companies understand what’s working and helps tie social media efforts to revenue.

Social influencer. Finds social media participants that are interested in, or influential on, a particular topic, then helps companies identify those participants’ spheres of influence. Once identified, businesses can reach out to these social media users and encourage them to act as brand advocates.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before evaluating social marketing software, it’s helpful to consider your type of business and social media marketing experience. We believe that most buyers fall into one of the following two categories:

Small business, or new to social media. Small businesses, or those just starting to grow their social media marketing operations, may not yet need the robust functionality of a social media marketing suite. Small businesses may want to consider starting with best-of-breed options, later combining that with additional platforms as they scale.

Enterprise, or significant social media presence. Larger businesses, and/or those with well-developed social media marketing operations, should consider a social media marketing suite. These better support organizations with more complex, diverse campaigns. Alternatively, consider combining multiple systems.

When combining multiple platforms, look for those that integrate well with the other systems and tools you’re using. For example, existing social media marketing, marketing automation, CRM (customer relationship management) or social CRM systems.

Key Considerations

There are some other things to consider as you compare social marketing tools. These considerations can not only affect which system is right for you, but also the price of your new software.

Choose which social channels to target. Some social media marketing systems support only certain social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.). Be sure to look for software that supports the social media networks you use.

Decide how many people will use the system. Social media marketing platforms are often priced by number of social profiles or number of users. Make sure to identify how many users will need to access the platform so you can accurately evaluate the cost of systems and compare vendor offerings.

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