With an array of social media management and risk tools on the market, many marketing managers confess that in the early days, they entered into licence contracts with social media management software providers before they properly understood the questions to ask in order to undertake due diligence thoroughly. They identified the key features and functions that were needed for their organisation, however once the ink was dry on the contracts, gaps started to appear and as a result they were forced to sign up to multiple licences with a number of suppliers.
A good example of this was seen across public sector organisations in the UK in 2013 when many realised that by signing up to a US contract provider for social media management software (SMMS) that they were in breach of their own governance policies. They were forced to quickly retreat, discontinue use of their products and make additional investment. A financially painful experience that no marketing manager wants to present to their executive team.
As a result, we have heard a number of directors trying to sell the virtues of multiple licences. Having got themselves into a hot spot why wouldn't they? So to provide the balance we would like to put forward the benefits of investing in a single platform.
1. Time saving
With only one platform, employees will be more efficient as they only have to log in to one system. Although this seems a small issue, having to change from one system to another can be frustrating and time consuming. It is much easier to have everything you need in one place.
2. Robust reporting
Reporting is the necessary evil that most marketing teams will confess to dreading. Add multiple systems, with the challenge of combining stats makes this process even more time consuming, if not frustrating. Many systems charge extra for additional reports so you could end up paying twice for virtually the same information should you have more than one system.
3. One dashboard – no gaps
The immediacy and visibility of social media is its strength, but it is also its main risk. One dashboard minimises the risk and at the same time ensures that no customer service interactions are missed. Reputation is paramount and it is important not to jeopardise this by missing some posts or tweets because they were on a system that was not open or checked at the time.
Most teams now operate social media as a ‘collaboration’ across multiple departments. Multiple software providers means multiple training and expensive duplication of user access licences.
Risk factors are critical to consider. Locking down passwords and having rigorous protocols in place are paramount. Spreading your data across multiple platforms increases the security challenges of protecting the brand. More passwords, more access, more due diligence to keep on top of the security. Keeping up to speed with penetration test results across multiple platforms is most definitely cause for a headache!
So the next time that you hear the marketing director ‘selling’ to the board the reasons why an investment was made into several platforms – perhaps you can play devil’s advocate and present the counter argument.