Fifty-three percent of business and technology decision makers and influencers tell us they want to better leverage social listening technologies to understand customer requirements and achieve their firm’s goal of addressing rising customer expectations.*

This shouldn’t come as a surprise; social listening platforms (SLPs) offer a unique window into customers’ lives, opinions, and preferences. SLPs are heavy hitters in the martech stack and are the backbone of not just social marketing practices but marketing in general, informing product and overall business strategy.

With use cases getting more sophisticated and platforms evolving and maturing, it’s worth reviewing what options the current vendor landscape offers. Our “Now Tech: Social Listening Platforms, Q2 2018″ report provides an overview of 31 relevant players today. Our statement from last year’s report still holds true: “You’ve Got Options When It Comes To Social Listening.” When choosing an SLP, consider three types of vendors:

  • Social listening-focused platforms. Ingesting and analyzing social media data is the bread and butter of these tools. Points of difference might include data cleansing, geographic coverage, or managed service offerings. 
  • Social media management solutions (SMMSes). These solutions help marketers publish, monitor, and respond to customers’ social network posts. They can also identify influencers, surface potential new sites on which to provide customer service, and reveal insights that aid with media planning.
  • General-purpose text analytics platforms. Solutions in this category address a broad set of text analytics use cases. Social data is simply one of many data types that contribute to these tools’ engines and is not necessarily embedded in or core to these platforms. 

To read more on our recommendations when selecting a social listening platform and to see the full list of vendors, read our full report here. And look out for our deeper evaluation of the largest vendors in “The Forrester Wave™: Social Listening Platforms, Q3 2018” report, publishing later this year.

*Source: Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Priorities And Journey Survey, 2017