There's a lot of challenges to effective social media management. Even with basic scheduling tools at your disposal, you still need to check the accounts’ mentions regularly, respond to them, engage with users, and generally, be both active and on alert.
Because of this, there are often multiple people working on the same social media accounts - and that brings about its own set of challenges:
- Workflow issues - In order to avoid any blunders on social media, it’s good practice to set up an approval workflow – mostly, so the editor or moderator can check every update before it’s officially scheduled or posted
- Lack of consistency - This can be in tone, in strategy, and so on. You need to make sure the right tone is used at all times, that only approved content gets posted, and that the methods of dealing with mentions and customer service issues are the same, no matter who's answering
- Confusion - This can stem from not knowing what to post, or where to find something, like a visual that has to be posted. More people means more complexity on this front.
So how do you avoid these challenges, and build the ideal social media team?
It starts with your strategy - everyone on the team needs to know what the approach is for each account they're managing, and platform they're posting to. You also need very clear brand guidelines, specific notes on what is and isn’t allowed, what the tone is, what types of content are needed, and so on.
And beyond that, it’s all about the tools you use to facilitate the collaboration of your team.
Here are some of the best team collaboration tools for social media marketers:
If you’d rather use one tool for all things social media-related, Social Report is a social media management tool with several useful collaboration features - meaning, you can both collaborate and manage your social media accounts from one place.
To start with, you can add as many team members as you want, each with their own specific user permissions.
For example, you can make sure they only have access to certain accounts, and you can control exactly what actions they're able to take:
Additionally, you can also put together a publication workflow - which means you can set up certain users to check other’s posts before they are scheduled or published.
Finally, you can check how each team member is performing, including how many comments they've responded to and how many posts they've scheduled.
Slack has a very intuitive system - you can add everyone in your team to your account and create different channels where you can collaborate, share files, and assign tasks:
You can also send direct messages if you want to hold a private conversation, and you can call people (both voice and video calls). Plus, you can integrate your Slack with the other tools you use, such as Dropbox, Zendesk, and Salesforce (there are over 1000 apps that can be connected).
Another key element of Slack is the ability to keep everything you need in one place - conversations, tasks, and files. So whenever you need something or have a question, you can quickly search through conversations and files to find what you’re looking for.
Trello is a great alternative to Slack - it’s a task management and planning tool which also enables you to communicate with team members.
Trello is particularly great for planning your social media:
You can create a separate board for each social media account, and you can add as many lists as you want - for example, one for each day of the week.
Your team can add their ideas to each list, while the rest of the team can then discuss each update by clicking on it – plus, users can upload any content they want.
Wrike is a work management software and collaboration and planning tool, with solutions for all kinds of different teams (such as creative teams, marketing teams, and product development teams, among others).
Basically, you can use it to plan and manage all of your work and projects:
You can set tasks for each project, and assign them to the appropriate users, then track the progress of everyone on your teams.
For each task, you can set up multiple subtasks, upload any files that might be needed, and you can even track any edits or changes made by different team members, in real time.
And, since Wrike can track all user activity, it can also generate reports, both for whole projects and for your individual teams.
5. Evernote Business
This is where everyone on your team can share their ideas, and you can also collect ideas, materials, and information.
Once you add someone to a Space, they'll be able to see everything in there, so that they can find any information they need by themselves.
You can also use it as you’d use the regular Evernote – i.e. to capture and collect anything you want from online, such as articles, videos, and so on – as well as to track and manage all of your different work projects.
For social media marketers, Evernote is particularly great at helping you research ideas and content as a team and for planning your social media content and collecting great articles to curate on your social profiles.
The tools in this list are all great at what they do, but the question is, what do you need them to do?
The answer to this question can depend on the size of your team, the number of social media accounts you're managing, and also on the way you like to work.
It’s worth trying out different tools (that’s why I love free trials) to see which suits your teams’ needs the best, but also so you can see which tool you feel comfortable with.
The idea is to find something that helps you save time as a team, and that also helps you generate better results for your time.