With so many great social media monitoring tools out there these days, how are you supposed to know which one to pick to monitor your social media marketing efforts? Social media is without a doubt gaining ground as a powerful marketing platform with 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users being more likely to buy products of the brands they follow on each of these social media platforms (Aabaco). Because of this important growth, it is vital to pay attention to your brand’s reputation on social media and also use it as a means to attract social media users to your brand, services, products, etc.
Already, we have talked at length on Microsoft Social Engagement as a prominent social media monitoring tool (If you’ve missed any of these posts, a few to check out would be: Why Microsoft Social Engagement Could be a Gamer Changer, What’s Missing in MSE, and What’s New in MSE). Today we’re going to take a look at Social Engagement lined up with Hootsuite to compare their prominent features and the pros and cons of each.
Within Social Engagement, you have the ability to directly publish posts from within Social Center as Facebook statuses or tweets. Additionally, you can respond to posts from virtually anywhere in the application – whether you are viewing a post in the Social Center, Analytics, Activity Maps, etc. Linking social profiles for posting is easy and intuitive, and multiple social profiles can be added through Settings.
Hootsuite also offers the ability to directly publish posts from within the application. Social profiles can be added directly within the Publisher and multiple profiles can be added quickly and easily.
Here, Hootsuite has a leg up on Social Engagement. Hootsuite allows direct publishing from more social media platforms than just Twitter and Facebook (included is Google+, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Instagram, and YouTube). Additionally, Hootsuite offers the ability to schedule posts which has been a functionality that we may see in Social Engagement in the future, but has not been realized yet.
Social Engagement and Hootsuite do Analytics a little differently. In MSE, Analytics is your home page and is a clickable interface that allows you to drill down into your search topics to understand insights such as location, sentiment, source, etc. Any piece of the Analytics page can be clicked to show more insights on the specific facet that you identify. For example, I could choose a specific topic that I have set up a search for and click on the red piece of the sentiment to widget to show more information on the negative posts of this topic. On clicking the red piece, the entire Analytics page will update to only show Analytics on the negative posts of the selected search topic.
Hootsuite has a fairly different approach to Analytics than Social Engagement. Instead of a single page for Analytics, Hootsuite offers multiple report options that you can create based on the insights you want to gather. Reports include a Twitter Profile Overview which essentially shows your profile, follower growth, and most popular links. Others summarize engagement on Twitter or Facebook along with insights from LinkedIn and several other sources. One of the downsides of the Analytics within Hootsuite is that you are limited in the insights you can gather to the reports available for creation. Additionally, certain reports require you to have certain plans with Hootsuite which can further limit the insights you gather depending on your status with Hootsuite.
In terms of navigation, Social Engagement and Hootsuite are both fairly intuitively designed to allow for easy maneuvering amongst features of each tool. However, both are fairly different in their actual offerings. Social Engagement follows a fairly logical progression. Search Setup is the first blue tile which allows you to specify search topics that you want Social Engagement to gather and display in Analytics. Social Center is very similar to the Streams feature in Hootsuite, which allows you to view, favorite, and respond to posts from within a stream that you designate. Activity Maps provide insights into the geographical spread of posts, and the Message Center provides the ability to set up post alerts delivered straight from your inbox.
Hootsuite’s navigation follows a similar progression to Social Engagement with a few differences. In Hootsuite, the Publisher is its own piece of the navigation whereas it is a part of the Social Center within Social Engagement. Additionally, Assignments are an integrated part of Social Engagement, but Hootsuite has its own separate space to manage them. Next, Campaigns are a cool new piece of Hootsuite that will be interesting to watch develop. Here, you can create sweepstakes, Instagram/photo contest, video contests, Twitter contests, and more!
Since Social Engagement is already a Microsoft product, is seamlessly integrates with Dynamics CRM to allow you to import valuable post authors as leads or cases. Once your Dynamics CRM is linked to Social Engagement through configuration in Settings, any post can be imported to Dynamics CRM as a case or a lead. Additionally, in Settings, you can select more record types than the default case or lead if you desire to create other record types such as Contacts, Opportunities, etc.
Just announced at the end of 2015, Hootsuite now has the ability to integrate with Dynamics CRM through downloading the Dynamics CRM app in the App Directory within Hootsuite. From here, you can import a post author directly to your Dynamics CRM instance in a similar fashion to Social Engagement.
Trying to figure out the right social media monitoring tool can be tough, but if you’re looking into implementing Social Engagement for your social media marketing efforts, check out our guide on how to Listen, Understand, Connect, and Know using Social Engagement!
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