Ask any marketer and they’ll tell you that replacing or updating a crucial part of your martech stack is no small feat. Having to source, replace and train your team on a new piece of software while business continues as usual requires time and teamwide effort.

But as organizations grow and goals increase, it’s worth evaluating your existing martech stack to see if it still works for your business—especially your social media management software. Social is fast becoming the primary channel for engagement, with 68% of consumers saying social enables them to interact with brands and companies. In other words, tools that only support basic functions like scheduling or publishing just won’t cut it anymore.

For enterprise companies, having a social media management tool that can scale and deliver the impact is critical for long-term success. Managing social media for a large, global business need advanced features like collaboration workflows, ticketing, analytics, and reporting. In this article, we’ll walk through the telltale signs you need a new enterprise social media management software and the considerations to think through before committing to a tool.

How to tell if you need to upgrade your enterprise social media management software

Aside from the obvious signs you need a new social media tool (things are breaking! Work isn’t getting done!), there are other indicators that your enterprise social software is in need of an upgrade. For example:

  • Your current platform doesn’t support a growing team. Maybe your software works fine when there’s only one person managing your social efforts, but what happens if you bring on more people? As your social team grows, tools that allow for seamless collaboration and workflows that everyone can access is a must-have. Sprout Social’s approval workflows, for example, makes collaboration on social content a breeze and even simplifies the onboarding process for new team members.
    Sprout Social Message Approvals Workflow
  • Your social data can only be interpreted by an analytics expert. Social data is a powerful source of business intelligence that can impact teams beyond marketing. But what good is that data if those insights can only be obtained by your resident data analytics expert? Platforms like Sprout Social democratize social data throughout the entire organization, offering a user-friendly interface that allows anyone to extract valuable insights from social. Sprout’s listening tool, for example, makes it easy for non-data experts to pull valuable information in real-time around things like consumer sentiment and much more.
    Sprout Social Listening feature, showing the summary of a sample topic
  • Your customer support team is siloed from social channels. Fact: 79% of consumers expect a response from brands within the first 24 hours of reaching out on social, making social an important customer support channel. The best social customer experiences rely on cross-team visibility and collaboration between your social and customer support teams. In the absence of shared enterprise social media management software, brands risk leaving consumer questions and messages unread.
  • Your software isn’t as secure as it seems. The last thing any enterprise organization needs is a security breach. With cybercriminals increasingly targeting social media accounts, brands need to ensure their social software is always up to date with the latest security measures. If your existing software doesn’t have measures like two-step verification, single sign-on or IP whitelisting, it may be time to shop around for another solution.

If you’ve determined it’s time to upgrade your enterprise social media management software, keep in mind you’re not only looking for a solution that addresses your needs today but can also grow alongside your organization.

What to consider when comparing social media management tools

As you embark on your social media software search, it’s important to keep your end user top of mind. Your social team will be using whatever software you select. If they aren’t confident or comfortable with that tool, it will be that much harder to see returns from your technology investment.

Get to know what tools and features your social team needs in order to do their jobs and ask for their feedback when comparing social media management tools. Look for social media solutions that offer a free trial or other opportunities to get your social team’s hands on the keyboard to try the software before making a purchase. At Sprout Social, we believe the best way for any social team to determine if our solution is the right fit for their needs is to walk teams through the product with an expert first. To help you get the most out of your personalized Sprout demo, check out this guide which walks through everything from setting up your profile to building your first report.

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In addition to bringing your social team into the decision-making process, here are other considerations to keep in mind when choosing a social media management platform:

  • Will this new solution centralize all the profiles you want to manage? Before committing to a new platform, double check that they actually support all the networks you currently use—and the networks you plan to use in the future. You might not have a Glassdoor profile today, but if you decide you need one a few months later, will your new software support that network partnership? At Sprout, we’re regularly adding to our list of network partners and exploring new integrations to ensure customers get the most value out of Sprout in all parts of their social media journey.
  • What will the deployment process look like? A common concern that comes with ripping and replacing your social media software is the business disruption this process can cause. For enterprise organizations, even a slight delay in productivity can lead to lost business revenue and hamper your competitiveness. Ask what the rollout process will look like and what (if any) momentum or insight you might lose or gain during this transition.
  • What new capabilities and/or efficiencies are we gaining? If you’re going to go through the effort of switching your social media software, look for solutions that not only meet your needs but also level up your strategy and results. When choosing a social media management platform, seek out tools that build on what you already have. Can you customize your social media reports based on your stakeholders’ expectations or unlock even more insights from your social data? The Sprout Social platform, for example, enables you to build custom reports, complete with widgets to provide additional context and shape your data narrative. And integrations with platforms like Zendesk and Microsoft Dynamics 365 make it easier for teams to deliver a unified, consistent customer experience.

It’s time to make the switch

Now that you’ve read the signs, done your research and gone through every single consideration imaginable, you’re ready to upgrade your enterprise social media management software. By investing the time and energy upfront to find your next management tool, you set your team up for success and ensure your organization has a solution that will grow alongside it.

Still stuck in the discovery phase or have questions about the features and tools you’ll receive with the Sprout Social platform? Reach out to set up your free personalized demo with one of our experts today.