Why Read This
Marketers spend billions of dollars on social media every year, and they're increasingly turning to technology vendors to support their social programs. But for many marketers, the social technology vendor landscape verges on indecipherable. To select the right tools and technology for their social plans, marketing leaders must classify and choose vendors based not on the characteristics of their technologies but instead on the distinct business value those technologies offer. To aid in that process, this report introduces the four categories of social technology that marketers should consider: 1) social listening platforms, which help companies plan social marketing programs; 2) social reach platforms, which allow marketers to deliver messages to audiences beyond their fans and followers; 3) social depth platforms, which help marketers add social tools and experiences to their sites; and 4) social relationship platforms, which help companies engage customers on social networks. This report, originally issued to clients in August 2013, serves as the tools and technology component of our social marketing playbook; it has been updated to add specifics about relevant Forrester Wave™ evaluations and with a new Recommendations section.