For social media managers, time is a precious commodity. The online world never sleeps, and in order to be successful. it's essential to be on the ball, to as great an extent as humanly possible.
Trying to maintain high levels of productivity, while simultaneously juggling the tasks of creating and distributing content, developing your brand’s marketing campaign, promoting said brand across multiple channels, and setting your goals and objectives is no mean feat - and that’s just the beginning. If your business is on the larger side, you may also have the added complication of motivating staff and upholding your respective standards across the board.
It can be an undeniably daunting role, but fortunately, there's a wide range of tools out there which can make elements of the process easier. Whether you’re aiming to manage your own time more effectively, set a more structured schedule, or maximize your team’s efficiency, here are some tools that can help you optimize your social media marketing process.
Canva For Work
Quite possibly the most important duty of any social media manager is that of creating the content itself. Enter Canva for Work, an easy to use tool which will guide you through every step of the process.
Whether you’re a novice, or a seasoned veteran, Canva has a bit of everything - and it all works via a simple drag and drop system which enables you to create flashy graphics to show off your brand to your heart’s content. You can tinker with fonts, colors, sizes etc. You can also choose from one of Canva's built-in templates, or create your masterpiece completely from scratch, if you’re feeling confident.
The capacity to establish a uniform style across all of your designs can really help to formalize your branding, while the eye-catching animation tools can help bring a certain sense of flair to proceedings.
You can take advantage of the generous 30-day free trial to ensure that this is the tool for you before making any commitments, but if you do decide to sign up, all of this and more can be yours for a respectable $9.95 per month.
If you manage a workforce of any size, Zoho Cliq, a communication and collaboration tool for teams, is an excellent starting point for any social media manager.
Team communication is very much the order of the day here - the objective of Cliq is to enable your colleagues to communicate with each other easily and efficiently, with minimal fuss. The simple interface includes an instant messenger system - not unlike the gone but never forgotten MSN - where team members can discuss any ongoing strategies, updates or anything else in real time. The drag and drop system makes it easy to share files with each other, and the inclusion of emojis can helps to bring a more light-hearted touch to proceedings.
Another handy function of Cliq is that it comes with its own app, which will give you and your team 24/7 access, wherever you are. Admittedly you may not be thanked for asking them to talk shop outside of office hours, but in an ever-moving industry, that kind of flexibility truly can be the difference between failure and success. Add to that a fully searchable chat history, and completely unlimited storage, and it’s pretty handy all around.
There is a somewhat restrictive free version (mostly in terms of storage space), but if you’re looking to go the whole hog, there's a tiered price structure, dependent on how many users you require.
A one-stop shop for all of your social media needs, Agorapulse provides a comprehensive dashboard which simplifies the entire process for you.
Keeping everything under one banner can, in itself, be an incredibly effective way to boost productivity, and with all the features at your disposal here you should be all set.
One of the standout features of Agorapulse is the ability to monitor all the social media conversations related to your business. You can compile a report which shows you, at a glance, who's talking about your brand (and what they're saying about it), who your biggest repeat ambassadors are and every time you're hashtagged. Another handy time-saving feature is the ability to schedule posts.
Agorapulse also features several team collaboration tools, enabling you to manage your social media as a team, and set up clear and effective social media workflows.
Agorapulse offers a tiered pricing structure, again dependent on how many people are going to be using it, as well as the number of social profiles required.
Particularly useful if your social media presence spans across multiple platforms, Cyfe brings everything together onto a single, easy to use dashboard.
Analytics are very much the key element of this one - Cyfe gives you the opportunity to track websites, SEO keywords and domains, amongst various other vital pieces of data. You can also keep tabs on your social media demographics, followers and brand mentions over a set period of time, to give you an idea of how you’re performing on the whole.
Cyfe also boasts a range of inbuilt widgets which enable you to pull data from existing services, such as Google, YouTube and Salesforce. With the ability to run every one of its many, many dashboards simultaneously you can transform your desktop into 'Mission Control', and ensure that you never miss a thing.
You can sign up to Cyfe for free, but if you’re looking to make the most of what it has to offer the premium version is a pretty good value for money. For $29 per month, you can access the full shebang, including unlimited dashboards and widgets, historical data over a 30-day span, a raft of custom themes, and the ability to schedule an unlimited number of posts to your social media accounts.
Being a social media manager is an often challenging, exhausting and thankless task. Do it the right way, however, and it can also be an extremely exciting one. Remember that you don’t have to go it alone - make use of the tools available to give you a head start and your brand, and business as a whole, is sure to reap optimal benefit.