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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
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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
 
 
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.
 
 
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 is a cloud-based marketing automation solution for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include lead management, lead scoring, marketing list management, email builder, social media management, insights... Read More
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Net-Results is a cloud-based marketing automation solution for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include lead management, lead scoring, marketing list management, email builder, social media management, insights... Read More
 
 
eTrigue DemandCenter is a cloud-based marketing automation solution that caters to SMBs in various industries including advertising, healthcare, technology, transportation, utilities and B2B. DemandCenter's drag and drop interface... Read More
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eTrigue DemandCenter is a cloud-based marketing automation solution that caters to SMBs in various industries including advertising, healthcare, technology, transportation, utilities and B2B. DemandCenter's drag and drop interface... Read More

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ActiveDEMAND is a cloud-based marketing automation solution that caters to marketing agencies and helps them to create and manage their marketing campaigns. The solution includes marketing automation functionalities for small businesses,... Read More
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ActiveDEMAND is a cloud-based marketing automation solution that caters to marketing agencies and helps them to create and manage their marketing campaigns. The solution includes marketing automation functionalities for small businesses,... Read More
 
 
emfluence Marketing Platform is a cloud-based marketing solution that offers tools to create, track and run online marketing campaigns. Key features include email marketing, form and landing page builders, calendars, social media marketing... Read More
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emfluence Marketing Platform is a cloud-based marketing solution that offers tools to create, track and run online marketing campaigns. Key features include email marketing, form and landing page builders, calendars, social media marketing... Read More
 
 
Oracle Marketing Cloud is a software-as-a-service solution that meets the needs of both the B2B and B2C marketer. Oracle Marketing Cloud (previously Oracle, Responsys, BlueKai, Compendium, and DataLogix) is an email marketing automation... Read More
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Oracle Marketing Cloud is a software-as-a-service solution that meets the needs of both the B2B and B2C marketer. Oracle Marketing Cloud (previously Oracle, Responsys, BlueKai, Compendium, and DataLogix) is an email marketing automation... Read More
 
 
DivvyHQ is a cloud-based content marketing solution that caters to content teams in large agencies, media companies and publishers. Key features include audience targeting, brand management, multi-channel publishing, conversation tracking... Read More
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DivvyHQ is a cloud-based content marketing solution that caters to content teams in large agencies, media companies and publishers. Key features include audience targeting, brand management, multi-channel publishing, conversation tracking... Read More
 
 
OutboundEngine is a cloud-based marketing automation solution targeting small and midsize companies. It caters to real estate, insurance, mortgage, financial advisors, automotive, wellness, legal and marketing industries. Primary features... Read More
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OutboundEngine is a cloud-based marketing automation solution targeting small and midsize companies. It caters to real estate, insurance, mortgage, financial advisors, automotive, wellness, legal and marketing industries. Primary features... Read More

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SAM

SAM is a cloud-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 cloud-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
 
 
Fingrprint is a cloud-based B2B retargeting solution that allows businesses to display ads or send targeted text messages to their content readers. The solution can be used to display Facebook and Instagram ads to anyone using business... Read More
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Fingrprint is a cloud-based B2B retargeting solution that allows businesses to display ads or send targeted text messages to their content readers. The solution can be used to display Facebook and Instagram ads to anyone using business... Read More
 
 
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 is a cloud-based reputation management and social-media solution for organizations and businesses to collaboratively carry out campaigns across various social networks such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It lets... Read More
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Hootsuite is a cloud-based reputation management and social-media solution for organizations and businesses to collaboratively carry out campaigns across various social networks such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It lets... Read More
 
 
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

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Marketo offers a cloud-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to manage and monitor engaging customer relationships. The solution features integrated applications that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing... Read More
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Marketo offers a cloud-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to manage and monitor engaging customer relationships. The solution features integrated applications that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing... Read More
 
 
Planable is a cloud-based social media collaboration and approval solution that caters to media agencies, freelancers and marketing teams. Key features include automated publishing, content management, multi-account management, multi-user... Read More
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Planable is a cloud-based social media collaboration and approval solution that caters to media agencies, freelancers and marketing teams. Key features include automated publishing, content management, multi-account management, multi-user... Read More
 
 
SproutSocial is a cloud-based social media management solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them to manage their audience interactions and marketing routines. Key features include automated publishing, conversation... Read More
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SproutSocial is a cloud-based social media management solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them to manage their audience interactions and marketing routines. Key features include automated publishing, conversation... Read More
 
 
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
 
 
eClincher is a cloud-based social media management tool that helps businesses manage social media accounts and marketing activities. eClincher provides a single interface through which users can manage brand awareness, publishing,... Read More
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eClincher is a cloud-based social media management tool that helps businesses manage social media accounts and marketing activities. eClincher provides a single interface through which users can manage brand awareness, publishing,... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: December 13, 2018


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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Marketing Automation Software Pricing Guide

 

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