Whether you only run one account or 15, keeping up with social media can be a challenge. Every single day, marketers are met with changes to algorithms, updates to platforms, and new best practices that we have to take into consideration for the accounts that we manage.
I know firsthand how overwhelming it can be at times to keep your head above the choppy waters of social media.
That’s why I’m sharing three tools that I use to stay organized (and let’s be honest, sane,) and to stay in tune with our clients’ target audiences, as well as to see if my efforts are paying off.
I know your time is precious, so let’s jump right in.
Three Tools Every Social Media Marketer Should Be Using
Personally, I think that third-party social media management platforms are a life saver, but they’re not all created equal. That being said, as you could probably tell by the heading of this section, I’m a big fan of Sprout Social. First and foremost, it’s user-friendly and combines several social media channels into one convenient platform so you can easily schedule, monitor, and report on your work. There’s a multitude of reasons why I love this platform, but for the sake of not monopolizing your time, I’m going to highlight three:
- Publishing schedule – A key component to being a successful social media marketer is being organized. At any given moment, you’re working on more tasks than you thought you could handle with more continuing to being thrown at you. It’s a juggling act and if you aren’t organized, it’ll all come crashing down at once. That’s why Sprout’s publishing schedule provides so much value. It allows you to see a week’s or a month’s worth of content on one screen which helps fill in any posting gaps so you can be sure that you’re posting the right content to the right channels at the right time. I’ve found this feature to be extremely helpful because having the ability to see my posting schedule from a holistic vantage point helps me understand where I need to tweak my content strategy. Scheduling your posts in advance frees you up to work on other aspects of your work and keeps you and your team organized and on the same page.
- Collaboration – Speaking of teams, another feature that’s proven to be helpful and expedite the approval process is the ability to add team members to your client’s profile. So, no matter if you’re in the same room or in different corners of the world, you can collaborate, create, and approve content within the platform.
- Reporting – How do you show your clients that what you’re doing is helping move the needle for their business? Part of this equation is presenting them with numbers and examples of what you’ve done to help them succeed. Unlike other third-party social platforms, Sprout’s reporting is free and the tools provide you with a well-rounded view of your efforts in a given time frame. From individual platform reports to group reports and even competitor reports, Sprout’s reporting can help you understand your clients’ target audiences on a deeper level which will enable you to craft and implement successful marketing campaigns.
To me, social listening is synonymous with Twitter. I know a lot of people aren’t buying into Twitter’s marketing power, but I am and I think you should cash in too. Now, more than ever, there’s a shift in the way that brands use social media. It’s more than just pushing out content on a consistent basis. Social leans more in favor of engagement and for Twitter, in particular, it’s being seen as an extension of a brand’s customer service department. That means that brands are actually responding to comments both good and bad from their target audience and are showing through their content that they’re actually listening.
This is where Twitter’s Search functionality comes into play. I’ve talked about it before and it’s a feature that I think is worth mentioning again because it essentially gives you the chance to play Big Brother (in a non-creepy way) to better understand your target audience. Who are they? What do they like? What don’t they like? What are they talking about? When you deploy social listening on a consistent basis, you’ll be able to collect this information and leverage it to your advantage by creating content that directly addresses their pain points, questions, and opinions.
It’s not like I’m delivering earth-shattering news when I say that Google Analytics is a robust reporting tool that you should add to your social media repertoire. But just to drive the point home, I’m going to explain why. As social media marketers, we rely on data to tell us what social media platforms are driving traffic and conversions. Did we receive a lot of traffic from Twitter last month that resulted in conversions? Did we have a positive ROI on our Facebook ad spend? Google Analytics provides these answers, and then some, to help keep us on track and in tune with what’s working and what’s not when it comes to our social media campaigns.
Social media marketing is about more than just creativity. It’s about being organized, planning ahead, and understanding your audience on a deeper level so that you can create content that packs a punch.
These three tools help cover all of these bases and I highly suggest adding them to your overall social media strategy in 2018.
What’s your go-to tool? Let me know in the comments section below! ⬇️