When social media was recognized as the platform to support inbound and content marketing, many marketers thought that it was going to end there. But social media quickly outgrew the one-day wonder stage, and became one of the most widely used marketing tools. Everything happened so fast that many of us got caught up in the process and were only able to see the end result.
There are however several questions that still remain unanswered: what happened with social media marketing tools over the past 14 years? How did they evolve? How did they help shape social media marketing as we know it today?
We will answer these questions and try to shine some light on the evolution of the social media marketing tools.
If we are going back to the roots, then we have to mention dating sites and online forums that were an absolute hit back in the 1980s. But before the Internet could become a marketing tool, it needed something huge to happen.
Everything started withthe dot-com bubble inthe 1990s and the search engines entering the newly formed online scene. This included search engines such as MSN, Yahoo, and Google.
Companies soon realized that there are many online users and they started to see value in having an online presence and thus they implemented a search engine optimized online presence. As the search engines evolved, so did search marketing. Up until 2004, everything and everyone remained on a stable course until suddenly, the social media storm hit us all.
MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn were brought online and people went crazy about them. The Internet became a huge social network, causing companies to change their marketing preferences and play by the new rules of the social media marketing (SMM) business model.
Today, more than90% of marketers claim that social media marketing is important for their business. And to help them streamline and automate their workflow, numerous software development companies have created dozens of Social Media Marketing tools, bringing us back to our topic. Some of the best SMM tools are publishing, engagement, analytics and influencer marketing tools.
Over time, social media marketers identified their specific marketing goals and started using social media to:
To achieve this, marketers started to share informative, valuable, and relevant content. Planning a social media content calendar in advance for multiple clients is a headache, let alone staying active on different platforms and executing it day after day. Thus, Message Scheduling Tools were created to solve this problem.
The next big step for Publishing Tools was made possible by the invention of the Message Queuing Tools. This enabled marketers to choose a date and time to publish a post on their social media pages.
As it turns out, every platform’s audience is unique. And the best time to publish a post may not be the same for each specific case. Thus, this created space for Post-Time Optimization Tools. These smart tools are capable of identifying the best time to post on social media.
However, this wasn't enough for big companies doing business around the globe. To publish content relevant to a worldwide audience, they needed a brand new solution. And that solution was the development of Geo-Targeting Tools.
Engagement remains one of the most important metrics of social media marketing success. High engagement means that your audience is interested in your brand and you have a strong relationship. To keep up with the engagement, the social media marketing business needed tools to help it with comments, shares, and messages.
This is why, one of the first tools created was the social media inbox. This tool takes all the messages marketers have to respond to and puts them in one unified inbox. Another tool that adds really nicely to the previous one is inbox message completion. This tool makes sure that messages that have been replied to, disappear from the inbox, so that marketers don’t make any mistakes, such as replying twice to the same message.
So the social media inbox compiles all direct communication and puts it in one place. But what about all those people who indirectly mention a brand? The Keyword Monitoring Tool was developed to help marketers find all posts where a specific keyword is used.
Everything went fine for a while, until the first stakeholder or client came with a request to see the results of the social media marketing strategy. At this point, marketers needed a new tool. Their wishes were granted and the Social Media Analytics Tools saw the light of day.
These tools can be used to analyze all posts and assess how successful they were. This helps fine-tune current strategies, but also enables marketers to get ready for the future ones.
Individual network analytics reports are often used by companies that use several social media marketing platforms. Thanks to these reports, companies can easily identify the best performing platforms.
Companies focused on their competitors in the niche also use engagement reports. These reports help them see how frequently they are responding to social media messages and how long, on average, it takes them to respond. Comparing these metrics helps them compare their efforts to the ones of their competitors.
Creator.ai is not only the world’s first decentralized influencer marketing platform, but it also has a unique feature to help businesses find the right influencers. Thanks to being an official API partner of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Spotify, and Twitch, Creator.ai has compiled a huge database of influencers on these platforms.
Businesses can easily use the Search & Discovery feature to find key influencers by applying over 50 search criteria, including brand affinity, personality archetype, age, gender, and more.
Hopefully, we have helped you see the complete picture of the evolution of social media marketing tools. You learned why the social media marketing business model needed them and how these tools are used today.
The uses may even go beyond the ones that we have mentioned here. At this point, only one thing is certain – social media marketing tools will keep evolving and we are eager to see what the future will bring.