When to Switch From Free to Paid SMM Tools

I sit on the fence between Sales and Marketing at DigiMax, and one of the things I spend my time doing is talking to folks who are trying out our platform. Most of them are business users who are considering upgrading from one, or a hodgepodge collection of, free tools.
The folks who decide it’s time to upgrade have certain things in common. Here are the three reasons that most often tip the scales towards businesses deciding it’s time to make the move towards a premium social media management platform.
1. Your Social Audience has grown to 1,000 – 2,000
This seems to be the range when social media managers start to feel a little like they’re drowning without a solid social inbox.
Social Audience has grown
Instead of signing in and out of different tools that do different things, a unified inbox will save you valuable time, ensure that you’re able to interact with everyone in your community. As a bonus, tools that have archival capabilities allow you to see what previous interactions you’ve had with your audience to help you build trust.
2. You Want to Prove your Social Media ROI
It’s time to get in the analytics game, and you know it. You might be reporting on how many new ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ you have at your monthly meetings now, but those kinds of soft metrics aren’t going to prove that you deserve a raise when it comes time for your annual review.
Prove your Social Media ROI
The marketers I talk to have experimented with social for a year or more and are ready to make it a significant part of their digital marketing efforts. But in order to “go big time” they have to prove they have the reporting in place to measure the impact that social is having on their bottom lines.
You’re probably already using Google Analytics to see web traffic patterns, and a link shortener to see how many clicks a particular link got. But with a paid tool, your links can be automatically appended with analytics parameters. This makes the social piece of your GA pie more accurate and track success back to the original social campaign.
3. Your social team is growing
Three years ago, there was only a social media intern. Then, there was the Community Manager. Now, companies I talk to are increasingly making social media a big part of their marketing, sales, and customer service strategies. Whether the marketing team is ramping up a new content team, the sales team wants to respond to leads sourced from Facebook, or customer service is responding to questions via Twitter, companies are realizing that everyone needs to be using a single, unified platform.
social team is growing
But it doesn’t stop there. As a company with a growing focus on social media, you need to give employees the tools to effectively work together. Every company has different social goals, but these are the three that seem to matter the most to businesses and bosses that actually get a social media tool approved in the budget! If you are ready to begin considering a paid tool, this paper will help you identify what features you need in a tool, and what you don’t to help you be the best social media guru you can be!
What made you realize that YOU needed to step up your game and start paying for a premium Social Media Management tool?

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