The Forrester Wave™: Social Suites, Q4 2019 is live! We’re particularly excited about this report because it represents a culmination of years of Forrester research on social technologies. Since 2015, we’ve covered five distinct social tech categories:

  1. Social listening platforms aggregate and analyze social conversations.
  2. Social adtech buys, manages, and optimizes social ads.
  3. Word-of-mouth platforms identify and activate influencers and advocates.
  4. Onsite social tools embed social functionality onto brands’ owned digital properties.
  5. Social media management solutions manage organic presences on social media.

In the last four years, social tech has moved as quickly as that TikTok meme of a cat dancing to Mr. Sandman spread, with social vendors forging ahead to unite three or more of the above capabilities into a single social suite platformThese comprehensive solutions are compelling for companies looking to consolidate social tech capabilitiestrain employees on one platform, and gain efficiency on processes and costs. With a flurry of M&A activity and organic feature/functionality building, social suites are now going to market as a single platform for all social media needs.

But a word of caution: Social suites are still very much a work in progress. In our evaluation, we found social suites in different stages of cohesion and varying levels of capability. As such, it’s important to read each vendor assessment closely to weigh each social suite’s relative strengths and weaknesses compared to othersEvery company or brand has unique social media needs, and certain vendors will be able to deliver specifically to those needs in some or all areas. While everyone craves a one-size-fits-all magical solution, the reality is that potential buyers need to do their homework to find the right social suite vendor for them.