6 Fundamental Tools For Social Media Success
Do you manage several company social media channels?
Are you finding it difficult to manage it all?
If you're the one responsible for sharing, tweeting, gramming, pinning, vlogging for a business, then there's a good chance you're overwhelmed by it all.
Audiences must be attended to, content must be created, and best practices must be maintained.
And now that a huge proportion of the world's population is on one social media channel or other, there's a level of social media competence that must be shown by a professional business.
I'm still surprised when I come across social media business pages that lack information, use unformatted images, have poor headlines, or are just plain terrible. Even if social media isn't a huge segment of your marketing strategy, proper management is simply good branding.
Most of the social media tools out there are optional and only provide marginal benefits depending on the type of company you run and your marketing KPIs, but there are tools that all social media marketers should be using no matter what.
In this article I want to share with you 6 types of tools that every social media marketer should be using to do their job - and more importantly, to cover their asses.
I'll suggest the type of tools you need, most of which are free, and leave the choice up to you.
Social Media Management/Scheduling Tool
If you're managing several social media profiles manually, if you're monitoring mentions, posting, sharing, and engaging all by hand, then you're wasting valuable time.
A social media management tool will save you time and allow you to manage all of your social profiles from a single web app.
You'll save yourself from having to constantly log into different accounts to share, post, monitor, and engage with your audience.
When looking for a social media management tool find one that includes the following features:
- Support for all the social networks you're posting on.
- Post scheduling to schedule posts in advance.
- Insights and reporting tools.
- Social brand monitoring.
There are several social media management tools on the market fit for the job. These tools differ slightly in features and price but all will make the process of managing your social media profiles much easier.
Image Editing Tool
Visual content has quickly become the most important type of content on social media. A 140-character tweet will no longer cut it in the world of social media, unless it's attached to some form of marketing visual.
Recent updates to the way your favorite social media platforms share the content you post has likely restricted the engagement that content receives. Luckily, we know that content which is combined with compelling visuals receives higher engagement than content without. It's as simple as that.
Every social media marketer should make it a point to attach optimized visuals to their content on each social media platform.
There are several web-based image editing tools out there to spice up your visual content. The tool you choose to use should include the following features:
- Optimized sizing for each social media platform.
- The ability to overlay text.
- A large selection of graphics and royalty free images.
- Fast and easy image building workflow.
- The ability to upload your own images and graphics.
If you're not constantly monitoring your social media channels 24/7 then you should consider adding some automation to your mix.
Automation allows for actions like automatic replies, instant tweets, and automatic data collection. In other words, automation can handle some of your menial tasks for you.
It might sound a tad advanced but simple automation tasks can be applied to a platform like Twitter. For example, I use IFTTT to instantly post tweets to my Twitter account when new articles are published to the Wishpond blog. Click here to see the exact recipe I'm using.
There are hundreds of recipes to experiment with on IFTTT that'll free up time for you to do other things (like make awesome content).
Note: Use social media automation sparingly and only as a tool to assist you with menial tasks. The last thing you want is for your business to come across as fake or being run by a mindless robot.
Content Curation Tool
If you're anything like me then you know how hard it is to consistently produce creative content. Sometimes it's just about finding an inspirational spark to draw from.
A social media manager can get a lot out of a content aggregation tool. These tools collect content from the web and organize it for easy reading. For example, I've added all of my favorite marketing blogs to my RSS reader (Feedly) so that I can keep up with industry news and new strategies.
As a social media marketer your environment is constantly shifting and new features and functions are being added to your favorite platforms on a daily basis. Use a content curation tool for some insight into what is popular and happening in your industry to create and share content that has maximum impact on your audience.
Link Tracking Tool
A marketer is only as good as the ROI they deliver. Reporting on vanity metrics like number of likes, shares, views, is good and all but it doesn't contribute to the larger ROI picture.
As a social media marketer, it's important that you're tracking the traffic you're sending back to your business' website. What good is social media for business if you can't track the benefits you're receiving, right?
An ecommerce website, for example, can't sell their product on Facebook but it can convert the traffic that's sent back to its website. An effective social media manager should be able to report on how many people are sent to the website from the link in their business' Instagram bio.
All of our favorite social media platforms are becoming much better at reporting on these metrics but there's still much to be desired. By using a tool that tracks your link clicks you'll be able to get much more complete data on how many people are clicking on the links you're sharing.
Social Media Calendar
If you're managing multiple social media accounts the last thing you want to do is "wing it". Having some type of organizational system in place for your social media efforts is absolutely a long term benefit.
A social media calendar will allow you to organize your content schedule a month in advance to be sure there aren't any surprises from events like holidays, promotions, breaking news, and seasonal changes.
You can download a basic social media calendar spreadsheet here for free. Click on the 'file' button in left hand corner, scroll down to 'download as' and download your own copy in the format of your choice.
Putting it all Together
There you have it, 6 types of social media tools every social media manager should be using.
At the very least, proper social media management is good branding. If you're ignoring your social channels then there really isn't a reason for your business to have them is there?
Poor social management only creates friction between your audience and the possibility of a sale.
There's no substitution for hard work, testing, and best practices but these tools will surely make life easier for you.
Main image via dustn.tv
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