There are literally hundreds of ways to post to and monitor social media sites out there today, and they have a pretty wide variance of capabilities. How are you supposed to know which one is right for your business? The good news is, you don’t have to try every one out or do a year-long study to narrow the field down and decide on one that will best serve your company. All you need to know is which questions to ask and what to look for, and I’m about to tell you what those are. Lucky you.

What’s the Learning Curve?

For most businesses, learning the social media ropes is plenty of learning curve to handle. When you are choosing a social media dashboard to help you with your marketing, you certainly don’t want or need it to make things more difficult. Sophistication doesn’t have to equal difficulty.

Sendible is extremely simple to use, despite the incredible power it packs. There is a downloadable user manual as well, but you aren’t left hanging with pages to wade through. If you need help you can contact us by telephone, email, and through multiple social media channels. There are also instructional videos on the site to help you navigate features, as well as the Sendible Insights blog that keeps you up to date with changes, new features, news, and how-to’s.

How Broad and Integrated Is It?

Unbelievably, many social media tools are still stuck only posting to Facebook and Twitter, with little else in the way of social integration. This shows the obvious lack of insight and forward thinking that many companies have when it comes to the medium they purport to help you with. For example, Pinterest surpassed Twitter in number of users earlier this year, yet it still isn’t integrated with most dashboards.

Another misconception by many is that social media marketing is a separate entity that doesn’t fall into the same category as older mediums like email and blogs. Why would you want to have to manage these things separately and use more than one tool if you don’t have to?

In terms of integration, posting a status or a tweet barely scratches the surface. Can you post to LInkedIn groups (if it includes LinkedIn at all)? Facebook pages? A quality SMMS will integrate deeply with networks, allowing posting and manipulation in different subsets of the site as well as tapping into social media analysis.

Sendible supports email marketing campaigns, blog posting and monitoring, review site monitoring, sms responses, RSS integration, link sharing and bookmarking services like Instapaper, Delicious, Read it Later, and Diigo, and more on top of integrating with deeply with every major social network. Post pictures to Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest, videos to Youtube, slides to Slideshare, and a lot more.

Does It Work Both Ways?

Posting without monitoring is like sending letters to sea in a bottle. How will you ever know if anyone reads them or is paying any attention to you at all? Likes and shares only tell part of the story. You also need to know if someone is talking about you, especially if they aren’t happy.

Monitoring the social web is absolutely essential for brand reputation in an age where reputations can be damaged very quickly. Sendible lets you monitor the entire web for brand names and whatever keywords you like, to let you know right away if damage control is needed or if there is a potential customer that you can contact.

How Sophisticated is the Reporting?

Or, quite frankly, does it even have reporting? Is it customizable? Sendible has Google Analytics baked into it’s reporting, so you don’t need a separate tool to get the information you need. It gives you detailed reports on social activity, allows for exporting the raw data in CSV form for further analysis, and will track clicks if you use a url shortener such as

Is it Growing?

You need to know that the product you are using is supported by a company that cares about social media marketing and isn’t simply creating a basic product for a quick buck. The perfect example is PInterest, as I mentioned earlier. As the second largest social network in the U.S. with the highest sales conversion rate of any network, does your dashboard of choice support it? If not, why not?

Sendible is constantly growing and adding features for our customers, and we are determined to be on the cutting edge of social media marketing wherever that road leads. Twitter, for instance, just added the ability to post animated GIFs to their site. Sendible was ahead of them, having the capability long before Twitter made their decision. It’s this kind of forward thinking as opposed to reactionary measures that sets us apart from the field.

Does it Have Good Support?

Can you get in touch with the company if you have a question or problem? Some companies only have a Twitter address for support, and that isn’t acceptable. Sendible has phone numbers for the U.S., U.K., and Australia listed right on our home page, along with email, support forums, and accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram. If you need us, you can get us.

Is it Scalable?

Your business may be small right now, but I’ll bet you don’t want it to stay that way. You need the ability to scale your dashboard to the needs and size of your business. Sendible offers everything from a basic plan for managing up to eight services up to a comprehensive plan to cover unlimited services for even the largest of companies.

Whether you only need posting, monitoring, and reporting services or you want customizable branding, social CRM, collaboration tools, workflow features, or even a dedicated support channel, Sendible has what you need to make the most of your social media marketing campaigns.