Social media is taking over. Most CIOs already know this startling reality. It's a major player in marketing, tech support, customer management and sales. In fact, it's hard to think of a piece of IT where social media does not have at least a presence - if not outright dominance.
In some ways, this change happened in a blink. Major companies such as PepsiCo and Merck now use social media to drive their brands and, in some instances, lead the charge for other marketing efforts. Companies such as McDonald's now use social media to launch new products. The one-on-one nature is an astounding IT effort when you think about how many people retweet a marketing message, asking questions and seeking support.
According to an IBM survey of CIOs, social media is second only to direct sales in terms of overall priorities within an organization. You can see why when you do a simple search and find, for example, 8,000 mentions of @FedEx in one afternoon or 5,000 mentions of the @NASCAR brand in one hour on race day. Social media is a broad category that involves public data, users collaborating and commenting, video sharing and even comments on articles such as this one.
Most large companies use an enterprise-grade social media manager. Fortunately, this market is bubbling over with innovative apps. These offer a unique blend of features. Keep in mind that, for each tool, pricing varies by the size of your company and the team members involved.
Gremln: Bring Process, Compliance to Social Media Management
Marketing departments, which tend to like to throw ideas against the wall and see what sticks, can use Gremln to make sure they comply with regulations such as the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council ( FFIEC).
Companies can restrict a search for social media chatter to a certain area. If there are other banks with the same name in other areas, you can restrict a search to a specific city. When you do, you can enter the conversation with people discussing that tops. The key feature is the capability to block certain keywords and phrases; a bank might block the word "promise" from being used in a post, for example. Finally, there's an approval process for all posts.
Gremln users can also track link clicks, right down to the actual sale of a product, with pieces of embedded code on a product page that show how that link performed in terms of actual sales related to Facebook and Twitter activity.
SocialCompass: Manage Social Marketing in Multiple Locations
Social media is a gold mine for technical marketing. SocialCompass lets you search for keywords and phrases, such as "tacos for lunch," and then engage the person who posted that phrase in a conversation. Like most enterprise tools, SocialCompass lets you focus on a specific geographic area so you can target ads appropriately. It's intended for large companies such as Starbucks, Best Buy or anyone who needs to manage social marketing in multiple locations.
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