It is estimated that more than 70% of the internet’s population, which is growing everyday, use at least one social network, with many using more than one. 42% of these social media users have at some time engaged with a brand using a social network. This means that not only do social media networks represent a significant marketing opportunity for brands, but that there is no single social media channel that can hold all the conversations that you will wish to have with potential clients. For this reason, an increasing number of brands are hiring social media managers to formulate, implement and oversee a multi-channel social media engagement program that will best capture and hold the interest of key demographics and turn them into customers.
Social media management remains reasonably new, and the budgets of marketers and companies for managing social media accounts is often relatively small, as social media is still viewed as “free”, despite the cost it represents in resources. The onus on marketers and brands is, therefore, to find ways to maximize their energy and time without requiring a big spend. Here are some tools that can make social media management more effective and less time-consuming.
1. Tweet Deck
Tweet Deck is used by many social media managers despite its focus on one social media network – Twitter – because it is highly effective in enabling users to sift through the thousands of tweets and posted content to identify meaningful conversations, important users and opportunities. Users can create topic-based lists which enable them to monitor real-time conversations on topics relevant to them and the brand. Any user of Twitter familiar with the ordinary layout will appreciate the order that Tweet Deck brings to the social media experience, making it easier to interact with customers and collaborators.
2. Postano (www.postano.com)
Postano is the ideal tool for any media and content curators using a number of social media networks to hold conversations, find and post content, and monitor the kinds of discussions occurring across multiple sites. It aggregates feeds from a wide range of sources, including blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter lists, hashtags, and Google alerts, enabling you to monitor the content that is valuable to you. Postano unpacks digital content and presents it in a pleasing visual format that makes navigation quick and easy.
3. Postling (www.postling.com)
Intended for small business use, Postling provides easy-to-use alerts and tools to help you to get the most out of your social media marketing across numerous channels. It enables you to publish media and content to all of the most important social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr, WordPress, and others – and to schedule when this content will be posted. This makes multi-channel customer engagement much quicker and easier to manage. In addition, it aggregates all of the comments you receive on your profiles and content across these sites so that you can respond quickly.
4. Buffer (www.bufferapp.com)
Buffer is an excellent tool for scheduling engagement. Its tools allow you to post frequently throughout the day at times you schedule in advance. Its basic package is free to use, with upgrades available to enable more accounts or scheduling tweets further into the future.
5. Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com)
Hootsuite is an invaluable tool for social media marketers. By consolidating all of your social media activities into a single dashboard, it enables you to manage multiple social media networks, schedule posts, tweets and messages, analyze all of the social traffic you receive, and decide which forms of customer engagement require the most immediate response. The tool also provides customized reports that provide information about brand sentiment, growth in new followers and customer engagement, and likes and dislikes amongst users engaging with your brand. You can also incorporate other sites, such as Facebook Insights and Google’s Analytics, into your dashboard display.