Back in April I published a report called Take Control of Your Social Marketing, which looks at the emerging market of social marketing management tools.  In it, I identified three groups of these tools: the social publishing platforms, the social promotion builders, and the platforms that focus on both. 

In the two brief months since that report came out, the volume of questions I get about the topic has skyrocketed.  I can’t say this is surprising, as our own research is showing that many marketers are reaching a level of social marketing maturity at which tools like these can greatly increase the efficiency and success of their programs. There’s also been a lot of press coverage of the moves, changes, and announcements coming out of the vendors in this space, which has undoubtedly raised the profiles of these companies with marketers. 

  • In January, Vitrue, a company that falls into the “concentrating on both” category and which wasn’t able to participate in the original report, announced the closing of a $17 million series C financing round.
  • In February, Syncapse Corp.  made its own financing announcement — an investment commitment of $25 million.
  • In March, SocialWare announced a partnership with LinkedIn that brings its regulatory compliance expertise and tools to the professionals’ social network.
  • In April, Shoutlet released its 4.0 product, which includes more contest tools and HTML5 features. WildFire Interactive also released a new tool set that adds social publishing capabilities to its platform.
  • In May, BuddyMedia acquired Spinback, a move that adds social commerce to its platform. And ContextOptional was the target of an acquisition, brought into the fold of Efficient Frontier.

I don’t expect the pace of change and improvement in this space to slow down any time soon, which begs the question — if you’re a marketer using these tools, how are they working out for you?  If you’ve got thoughts you’re willing to share, head to the comments below and tell us:

  • What aspects of the platform are turning out to be the most valuable for your organization?
  • Have these tools made your social programs more efficient?  More measurable?  More successful?
  • Do you have needs that are not yet being met by the existing tools?