While reading an excellent blog post by Chuck Hemann on A Buyer's Guide to Social Media Management Software I thought it would be great to write a follow up post with a check-list of what an agency should look for in a Social Media Management tool .Social media is becoming increasingly important to brands and therefore even more important to the agencies that help shape, manage, promote and grow those brands.
As Chuck notes the way to manage social media for clients is constantly evolving as technology and innovation advances in social media. Agencies need to have a social media management tool in place that allows them to manage all their clients ever changing needs from one Dashboard.
10 things agencies must have in a social media management tool.
- Ability to plan and schedule posts to a large number of social networks. Don't choose a tool that limits you to just posting run of the mill Facebook and Twitter messages. The tool should be able to support multiple formats such as Facebook notes, images, milestones, offers as well as a long list of other social networks.
- Ability to filter and respond to incoming posts for multiple clients on social media at once. A large brand will get hundreds or thousands of incoming posts a week so the ability to filter out the irrelevant is extremely important. Your platform should also provide you with any available information on that person who has posted on your network.
- Ability to manage multiple clients efficiently from one dashboard. It should easy to toggle between clients from one log in. It should also be possible to share access with team members without needing to disclose passwords.
- Work flow approval. Once a post has been made on social media it's out there and can be sent across the universe in seconds. So to ensure you are getting the right message across for your client your social media management tool should have the ability to have clients approve social posts before they are published by the agency.
- Ability to re-brand, customize and/or white label the social media dashboard. If you are going to allow your clients log into the dashboard then it's important that they are logging into your own branded dashboard. If they log into a 3rd party branded dashboard they might just think to themselves "why don't we just used this tool ourselves and cut out the middle man". If you are not going to give them access yourSMM tool should at least have the ability to replace the "via" tagline on social media updates for each client, creating more brand awareness for clients.
- Reliability - consistency and security in your SMM tool is extremely important. As we all know sometimes minor outages cannot be avoided but you must be able to trust that your scheduled messages will go out in time and that your analytics are up to date.
- Highly customizable analytics and reporting - a key to agencies proving their worth to their clients is with their analytics. Your SMM tool should have in-depth analytics that also stores historical data. You need to be able to compare success month by month or even day by day. Also extremely important is to be able to customize and re-brand the reports with the analytics that are relevant to each clients.
- Mobile access. You should be able to manage all your clients social media on the go and therefore a Mobile app that supports any device is critical.
- 360 Degree Social Media monitoring. You may be surprised to know that most tools (including Hootsuite) only track mentions on Twitter, but a SMM tool that your agency select must be able to support all social networks, blogs etc.
- Excellent Support. As agencies are always working to tight deadlines quick support is essential. Event better them quick support is live chat support which is invaluable if something goes wrong or advice is needed. Support also means customizing your dashboard and having the ability to add custom integrations via an API.