Social Media Management Software: 5 years of trends, transactions and funding

We’ve just recently posted the latest MarTech Intelligence report, Enterprise Social Media Management Software, Fifth Edition. After five years, we thought it would be fun to do a lookback and see how social media management has evolved during that timeframe by looking at highlighted trends and activity.

Each of our MarTech Intelligence reports looks at a marketing technology both in the context of the vendor landscape, as well as the capabilities that the particular technology provides. Our guides are designed to help buyers better understand not just the technology and its capabilities, but the overall environment for the vendors in that particular category.

Our guide to Enterprise Social Media Management was first published in 2012, and we have been updating the report annually since, following the same basic structure.

In the third edition, we gave ourselves a self-imposed limit of three trends, mostly to keep the reports to a reasonable length – but also because these are buyers guides as much as anything else. Market trends are just one piece of the puzzle.

Note that the reports were published mid-year, so the transactions and funding include the year prior.

Fifth Edition, March 2016

Highlights:
Social media has become part of enterprise marketing – and it’s now being regulated. Video advertising (as opposed to video content) is the next big thing. Data management still being tackled, this time by machines. Despite widespread acceptance of social media marketing, only 11% of marketers have been able to demonstrate its impact.

Trends:
– Enterprise employee advocacy programs on the rise, prompting need for risk management.
– As visual networks grow, video advertising poised for growth.
– Machine learning and AI introduced to manage Big Data in social media.

Selected transactions (2015-16):
– Sprinklr buys Pluck, Scup, Get Satisfaction, Booshaka, Postano
– Oracle buys AddThis
– Adobe buys Digital Analytix
– Spredfast buys Shoutlet
– Cision buys Viralheat and PR Newswire
– Sysomos buys Expion and gazeMetrix

Selected funding (2015-16):
Sprout Social ($42 MM), Sprinklr ($46 MM), Spredfast ($24 million), Tracx ($18 million), Falcon Social ($16 MM)

Fourth Edition, May 2015

Highlights:
Facebook creates more ad options and spins off Messenger as separate app, mobile continues to push vendors to improve on existing technology. As social moves into the enterprise marketing team, data integration becomes increasingly important. More than half (54%) of marketers are using a social media management system, with 155 indicating they plan to.

Trends:
– Mobile usage forces improved user experiences.
– Market-leading Facebook courts business with new initiatives to monetize marketing investments.
– Platforms expand API, cloud access as marketers demand more integrated data.

Selected transactions (2014-15):
– Sprinklr buys TBG Digital, Banrderati
– Hootsuite buys BrightKit

Selected funding (2014-15):
Hootsuite ($60 MM), SproutSocial ($26 MM)

Third Edition, May 2014

Highlights:
Mobile is now an integral part of social marketing, and advertisers optimize across devices. Vendors continue to refine analytics, while images become more important in organic social. Google Wildfire closes, as does Syncapse.

Trends:
– Increasing emphasis on social media analytics.
– Multi-platform usage spurs mobile optimization of social media marketing messages.
– The growing dominance of images and video in social content.

Selected transactions (2013-14):
– Salesforce buys ExactTarget (which includes Pardot and coTweet)
– Sprinklr acquires Dachis Group
– Syncapse acquired by looksmart
– Spredfast buys Mass Relevance
– Hootsuite buys uberVU

Selected funding (2013-14):
Hootsuite ($165MM), Sprinklr ($72.5 MM), Spredfast ($32.5 MM)

Second Edition, May 2013

Highlights:
Marketers pay close attention to the opportunities in social media, particularly in light of the growth in mobile. Vendors improve on analytics and integration as enterprises see social media as a viable advertising outlet. Oracle acquires Vitrue and Involver and unveils Oracle SRM (Social Relationship Management).

Trends:
– Social Media Networks’ Increased Use of Visual Content and Media.
– Social Media Becoming an Integrated Part of Multichannel Campaigns.
– Expanded APIs, Analytics Seeking to Attract Advertising Dollars.
– Consumers Embracing Mobile Devices on a Global Scale.

Selected Transactions (2012-13):
– Google buys Wildfire Interactive
– Hootsuite buys Seesmic
– Oracle buys Vitrue, Collective Intellect and Involver
– Salesforce buys Buddy Media
– Syncapse buys Clickable

Selected Funding (2012-13):
Hootsuite ($20MM), Shoutlet ($15MM)

First Edition, May 2012

Highlights: Adobe launches Adobe Social, Hootsuite adds social analytics to its platform. GooglePlus is not yet a year old, and mobile is on every marketer’s mind.

Trends:
– An increasing number of prominent social networks, now including Google+.
– The emergence of “crowdsourcing” and the growing number of consumers using social media to make purchase decisions.
– The growing use of mobile devices to access social networks and content.
– The free flow of capital into – and the consolidation of – the SMMS market.

Selected Transactions: (2011-12)
– Adobe Systems buys Efficient Frontier and Context Optional
– Hootsuite buys Geotoko, What’s the Trend, TwapperKeeper, TwitterBar, and Swift App

Selected Funding (2011-12):
Syncapse ($25MM), Buddy Media ($23MM), Spredfast ($12 M), Vitrue ($17MM), Hearsay Social ($11MM), Hootsuite ($3MM)