There’s almost nothing that marketers and social media mavens love more than creating new buzz-words and phrases. So, it’s not too surprising that a new term has emerged in the space -- social performance software. Social performance software sounds pretty important, but is it really just a new name for an old trick?

What Is Social Performance Software?

Social performance software describes tools and services that helps marketers analyze social media activity and automate or streamline delivery of targeted ads and content. The term was coined by Altimeter Group, a research advisory firm that specializes in new technologies, after analyzing feedback from several software companies and marketing agencies. The goal of this new category of software, according to Altimeter, is to create higher levels of engagement and user responsiveness by directly appealing to user’s interests, wants and needs. Several products are available in the space such as:

There are many others. Many of these companies claim their platforms can improve click-through rates and increase sales by optimizing who marketers should target, what content they should provide and when they should publish. These are very attractive benefits to anyone concerned about achieving a high return on investment.

Social media can provide an enormous number of queues about leads and customers. So, it makes sense for marketers to want to use as much of that information as possible to build their brand. The ability to monitor and analyze this data combined with the introduction of new self-service advertising options for the major social media networks creates an opportunity for technology savvy marketers to completely automate their social advertising.

A Holistic View of the Customer is Required

Social performance software is not a bad thing, but it’s unlikely it will be the thing that dramatically transforms digital marketing. Social media is widely used, but it is still just one channel. Ultimately, organizations need tools that will allow them to look across channels and develop a holistic view of their leads and customers.

Firms that focus on social and businesses that are beginning to experiment with social media may find social performance software attractive. However, for most companies, these tools will only provide a peek into what their audience wants. A peek is valuable, but it’s not enough to drive end-to-end marketing strategy. Platforms that look across all channels and integrate content management functions will likely be a better fit for the needs of most organizations.