While the Marketing Cloud name changes announced received attention, there was no sign of Social Studio in the vision. Has it been “canned like tuna”?
You may have missed the end-of-life announcement for Marketing Cloud’s first ”product”. Social Studio is being retired, scheduled for Nov 18th, 2024. Evidently, this is a significant change that won’t happen overnight, but it’s big news – in more ways than you may initially think.
Social Studio is a solution to create, schedule, and monitor your social media efforts. You can organize social posts by brand, region, or collate multiple teams in a unified interface. Social Studio’s powers include real-time engagement, rich engagement, and search engine analytics.
Social Studio’s Legacy
I introduced Social Studio as Marketing Cloud’s first product – which is true when we look into the acquisition timeline. Salesforce had set its sights on the marketing sphere after establishing itself as a leader in sales and service. Their entry point to digital marketing was through social media. Salesforce acquired Radian6, a social listening platform designed to help brands monitor what was being said about them on social media channels.
In hindsight, a hint was when the Social Studio Specialist certification was pulled. When this happened circa 2019, I thought it made sense, “sure, social is one part of a spanning platform”, also assuming that the content of this certification would be absorbed into other Marketing Cloud certifications.
There’s a saying: “you don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone”, suggesting that we often take things for granted. There are Social Studio specialists who are passionate about working with the tool (even before acquisition). Hearing from some of them reminded me: at the time of acquisition, Social Studio was at the top of its game.
So, what happened? That’s up for speculation, and something I am not in a position to comment on. Rather than dwelling on the post, what’s more important is the future…
What’s Next for Social Studio?
Another piece of news that skipped my attention, was the partnership between Salesforce and Sprout Social (thanks, Marketing Champions, for this pointing out!)
“Sprout Social announced a global partnership to make it easy for Salesforce customers to manage their full social media presence – engagement, publishing & scheduling, analytics, listening, advocacy and platform integrations – through Sprout’s industry-leading social suite.” (source)
Sounds very similar to Social Studio’s role in the SFMC suite.
Then, there’s more:
“Sprout enables Salesforce customers to better connect with their audiences, streamline publishing workflows, deliver excellent social customer care, and turn social data into meaningful insights—at scale.” (source)
Let’s not be fooled – Salesforce didn’t just pull Social Studio to be left without a plan for how to better serve their customers’ social media marketing needs?
Sprout Social’s Market Cap. is circa $3.3B. So, why would Salesforce not make moves towards an acquisition? The quotes from the press release suggest there’s something (positive) brewing.
Let’s wait to see what unfurls. Could the Sprout Social partnership be the reason behind ditching Social Studio, or did Social Studio (formerly Radian6) run its course naturally? Signs point to a possible acquisition – this is my speculation. What is certain, is that I’m looking forward to trying out Sprout Social to see how it compares to Social Studio.