It would be difficult to imagine how any business today would be able to remain competitive and relevant within their industry without harnessing the benefits of social media. Ask anyone you come across today — man or woman, child or adult, student or employee, CEO or small business owner — and you will have a hard time finding someone who hasn’t signed up for at least one social media platform, or who does not know what they are or how they work.
And companies count on this fact to work to their advantage, as it is deemed a necessity for businesses and organisations today to have social media accounts for the purpose of communicating with their audience, marketing their offerings, and building up their brands.
Of course, managing social media accounts takes work, just like any other marketing operation that a business can employ. Regularly posting status updates on Facebook and Google+, photos on Instagram and Pinterest, announcements and promotions on Twitter and articles on LinkedIn can be a full-time job (on top of responding to comments and enquiries from Web users), so you need the best available help from the right digital tools.
Here are seven excellent tools that you can use to manage your social media accounts and that can help you reap the benefits of an effective social media marketing strategy:
Perhaps the most popular social media management tool there is, HootSuite utilises a single Web-based dashboard for executing campaigns across different social media networks. Users love its built-in custom analytics system and the way it can measure campaign results, enable posts on various platforms to be scheduled, and track conversations. Individual entrepreneurs, small businesses and larger companies can use its free, pro and enterprise versions.
Like HootSuite, Buffer allows you to successfully schedule posts on your social media platforms so that you can stagger content throughout the day and maintain consistent updates on all feeds. If you find it easier to schedule posts ahead of time, this tool makes it possible. You can also find out your posts’ reach and the relevant analytics regarding engagement. It comes with a short trial period, after which you can pay a monthly fee to post as much as you need to and use up to 12 social profiles.
This tool lets you schedule tweets for a whole day, and it also enables you to autofollow any new followers on your account. You can opt for its free version or a paid professional one that gives you access to additional helpful tools.
There’s plenty you can do with this tool: schedule posts, monitor and reply to messages, access analytics, and search for content across all your social media profiles. After a free trial, you can take your pick from different packages that will help you maximise your reach on social networks.
This is helpful if you want to effectively manage your social media accounts while helping your team collaborate better to meet that objective. The tool lets social media managers assign tasks to individual team members, or the entire team, through instant message. This function is essential whether you have an in-house team, a virtual team of freelancers, or a combination of both.
If Twitter plays a big role in your social media marketing strategy, this tool will come in handy. You can manage multiple accounts, schedule posts across different time zones, sort followers or following lists into different criteria, track keyword mentions, and find new people to follow, among others.
This is a creative tool to explore when it comes to social media management automation. IFTT stands for If This Then That; it’s a service that allows users to create a “recipe” — a combination of a trigger (if this happens) which launches an action (then do that). An example recipe would be: If my business is tagged in a Facebook post, then “like the post” or “send me a message.”
Is there anything you think we have missed? We’d love to hear about your favourite programmes.