Using the right set of tools can help you maximize your returns from Social Media management and help influence business outcomes – increase revenues, retain customers, direct your development/design/production efforts etc. We found it useful to align the selection of tools to our Social Media management strategy.
In order to do that you have to understand the various pillars of social media management and tools that can provide great support for them.
#Social Media Publishing
As a brand, you need to create a following of engaged users. One of the key aspects towards this is the effective creation and dissemination of quality content. There are multiple aspects that need coverage here including content planning, creation and publishing.
It is imperative to maintain a content planner whether it is for blogs or for social media posts. Good content planners provide you with a planning calendar, facilitate collaboration amongst your team and some may even take care of publishing.
– CoSchedule: Ticks most boxes for content planning (however it works just for WordPress). You can easily plan, assign tasks and even publish posts. What’s great is that it even works as a WordPress plugin, so you can directly schedule publishing to your blogs.
The actual process of content creation not only includes written content for blogs and posts, but also visual content for them. Visual Social Media is gaining huge popularity in recent times.
– Draftin: Provides easy blog editing, collaboration and creation capabilities.
– Canva: Provides you a ton of templates and easy editing facilities for visual content/images for virtually all social media formats in existence. *Highly recommended!*
Finally, you need to be able to publish your content to create an engaged audience.
– Buffer: Helps you keep your social media channels alive by easily and consistently scheduling your posts. Recent features also help you fill in the gaps by tapping into RSS feeds or content suggestions to supplement your generated content for greater engagement.
– RebelMouse: Provides the capability to create “Brand Pages” from your social media posts (and other sources as well) very easily. Brand pages allow you to consistently repurpose older tweets and bring them back to life. And nobody does it better than RebelMouse!
#Social Media Monitoring
This aspect covers the “listening” and responding capabilities. While there is a wealth of information, the ability to be able to cut through the noise is very important.
– HootSuite: A complete social media suite, Hootsuite also has one of the best monitoring capabilities. You have the ability to configure multiple streams with various criteria such as hashtag, lists, keywords, geolocation to monitor and respond to relevant social timelines.
– SocialBuzz: Provides some great consolidated listening capability. You can easily configure a number of streams with specific keywords and other intelligent filtering such as sentiments to monitor.
#Social Media Analytics
While monitoring and publishing are fun tasks, they are also so involving that you might often lose sight of your larger goals. A good analytics tool can help you with tracking, measuring and improving your Social management efforts.
– Fanpage Karma: Offers analytics for a wide range of Social Media networks. You can review single fan pages or even compare multiple side by side. There are a ton of relevant analytics available making this a fairly complete analytics tool.
– Social Bro: A Twitter Certified Product, is rich in features and can offer tremendous insight into your twitter account and your twitter audience. Some of the highlights include “best time to post”, followers/influencers insights and competitive analyses.
It is relevant to note that many of the tools straddle across these various areas, for example HootSuite has publishing and analytics capabilities as well. Where possible, it is good to identify the tools relevant for your goals and use multiple tools if necessary.
Another point to note is that many of the tools above have free versions that allow you to go a fair bit. However, the good analytics tools have very limited abilities in their free versions. Where appropriate, do not hesitate to take a paid plan. They can go a long way in accelerating your Social Media management strategy!