A social media management tool is essential for a strong digital marketing game because managing your social media campaigns can be challenging. If you have accounts on multiple different platforms, going in and manually creating your posts individually on each site can take up a lot of time. Even if you’re posting the same (or similar) content to multiple platforms, it’s not always a good idea to post to all of your social accounts at the same time. Since different platforms cater to different demographics, each social media site tends to have its own days and times when more users are active on the site, and this is ideally when you should post. However, remembering to log in and post during that window can be tricky when you’re busy running a business.
Then, once your content is up, it’s necessary that you reply to comments quickly, thanking customers for their positive feedback and addressing negative feedback in a professional way. This kind of rapid response is what users have come to expect from companies; in fact, 42% of customers who contact businesses through social media expect a response in under 60 minutes.
It can be tempting to give up on social media because it is so demanding, however, given that 70% of the adult American population has a profile on at least one social networking site and that 59% of the Americans believe that social media has improved customer service, giving up just isn’t an option. If your social media game isn’t strong, you’re missing out on engagement, reviews, and reposts that could improve your rankings and draw in customers.
Why You Need A Social Media Management Tool
Many successful marketers turn to a social media management tool to save time and improve their social media presence. One big advantage of these tools is you can often link multiple accounts from different platforms, allowing you to see all of your posts and engagement from every platform in one place. From this dashboard, you can control your whole social media presence quickly.
Perhaps the biggest advantage is that these tools allow you to schedule posts. This means you can set aside a few hours at the beginning or end of the week to set up content for the next week. Or you can even schedule posts months in advance. Most management tools will mirror the look of the actual social media site, so you know exactly how your content will display there without ever having to log in to the actual social media site.
More advanced social media tools allow you to create multiple users on your account with different levels of admin. This is handy if you hire someone to manage your social media for you because it allows them to create posts through your account while you retain ultimate control over the content. You can even set your account so that scheduled posts won’t appear until you have approved them. Another handy feature is that you can send assignments to employees through your social media management tool. For instance, if you want seasonal posts for Christmas, you can assign that content to an employee to make sure it gets done.
Finally, one of the best features of these tools is the analytics. A good social media management tool will show who is engaging with posts on each platform and when. It will even tell you what kind of engagement the posts have (likes, smilies, frowns, reshares, comments, and so on). You can even reply to this engagement from the tool itself.
Top Social Media Management Tools of 2020
There are many social media management tools to choose from, and there’s not a single best tool on the market. Most of these tools offer the same key features, but vary in the details like how many users an account can have, how many different social media accounts can be linked, and what information is tracked for analytics reporting. The user-interface can also vary widely, and you may find you prefer the appearance and functionality of some sites over others. Below, we provide a brief overview of four of the most popular management tools available today.
- Hootsuite was one of the earliest of these tools, and by constantly introducing new features, it has remained a popular choice for many marketers. You can use it to schedule posts and pull detailed reports on post performance, and its teamwork features allow you to collaborate with coworkers. It does offer a very limited free plan that restricts you to one user, but there are many levels of pricing to choose from so you can easily find a plan that fits your company’s needs. Paid plans start at $29/month for 1 user, 10 social profiles, and unlimited scheduling.
- MavSocial is another popular choice. Like Hootsuite, it offers scheduled posting, easy replies to engagement, and detailed reports on performance. You can also filter information by type of post or type of engagement. MavSocial offers a free trial and different levels of pricing with a slight discount if you pay the subscription annually instead of monthly. Annual plans start at $19/month or $190/year for 1 user and 10 social profiles.
- Sprout Social enables users to schedule posts and manage engagement, and it handles most major social media sites. The analytics data it provides is top-notch, even providing detailed keyword reports. Another bonus is that it offers a mobile app for on-the-go management. One downside is the pricing. Although this tool is one of the most robust on the market, you will have to pay per user. There is no free plan, although there is a free 30-day trial. Plans start at $99/user/month for 5 social profiles.
- Bufferis another well-known social media management tool. It offers the same major features as the other tools on this list, but with an emphasis on collaboration like Hootsuite offers. You can use it to produce beautiful reports that will even include information about audience demographics. Buffer offers many plans, with prices as low as $15/month, as well as free trials of each plan. (The more expensive the plan, the longer the free trial lasts.)
Do your social media posts represent your business the way they should? Do they have a clear voice and purpose? If you’re not sure, or if you think you could be doing better, check out our post What Is A Brand Identity And Why Does It Matter? to learn how to make your content unique, professional, and effective.
Still feeling overwhelmed by the demands of social media? Need an expert who can deliver engaging content that will surprise and delight your followers? Contact TracSoft and learn about our digital marketing services. We can help you set goals, craft customized content, and increase your traffic.