Tying into my last post about running a successful holiday promotion, I’m going to discuss 3 social media management tools that can be used by your company. Each of these social media management tools will help you monitor and analyze your social media campaigns/promotions.
Regardless whether you are a mom-and-pops shop, a medium sized business, a fortune 100 company, or an agency, you’re aware that social media is valuable to your marketing efforts in this day and age. It’s a “buzz word” discussed on blogs, business meetings, coffee shops, and anywhere else business conversations arise. Everyone seems to have their own opinions on how to deliver the most from social media but most marketers and business owners can agree on two facts; (1) social media isn’t “free” or “cheap” and (2) the biggest obstacle is monitoring and participating across all the relevant social media channels.
So how do you as one person (or a team hopefully) manage your social media on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and every other “hip” social service that exists? Easy. Take advantage of social media management tools to concentrate your communication, monitoring, and reporting in one place.
Below are 3 social media management tools that are used by the majority of businesses who participate in social media marketing:
Sendible incorporates not only social media and email, but it also integrates SMS technologies to benefit your social marketing efforts. Sendible includes your standard expected social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, while some how managing to bring in photo/video sites (Flickr and Instagram), Blogs (WordPress and Blogspot), Microblogging (FriendFeed and Plurk), and location-based services (Foursquare). Not stopping there, just toss in SMS messaging, RSS, autoresponders, email, and analytics to the mix, and you got yourself a package as well rounded as Santa’s belly. I personally have never used this tool but from surface level research, it appears to offer a grip of features that will benefit any marketer.
Price Options: Solo= $9.99 per month, Marketer= $29.99 per month, Business= $69.99 per month, and Corporate = $99.99
Most people will consider Hoot Suite to be the go-to social media management tool for business. It is less robust than Sendible but still gets the job done but integrating with your main social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google + Pages, Foursquare, Myspace, WordPress, and Mixi. One of the best features of Hoot Suite is the custom analytics. The analytics allow you to pull data from your social networks and also create visually appealing, branded reports for your managers, clients, or your own lunch room.
Price Options: Free, Pro= $9.99 per month, and Enterprise (I believe $2,000+ a month)
SproutSocial is a very common social media management tool that is garnered by some as a very reliable platform for their brands. The application integrates with Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, Linkedin, and a handful of other social channels. In your dashboard you can see real time engagement, follower demographics, publish messages instantly across multiple networks, and find perfectly targeted customers. To ice the cake, sprinkle on a mobile app for Android and iPhone and a help desk when you are struggling to create an amazing social media management desert.
Price Options: Premium= $39 per user/month, Deluxe= $59 per user/month, and Premium= $99 per user/month
Even though social media management tools don’t cover every channel, there are a number of benefits to using a social media management tool rather than logging into each respective social media service on its own domain. You can find those benefits below:
Increased Efficiency for Messaging and Content Publishing
Let’s face it. As easy as copy and pasting across multiple browser windows is, it isn’t the best use of your time. No matter how gifted you are with keyboard short cuts. Social media management tools enable you to distribute a post across multiple channels at one time so you spend less time on tedious work and more time crafting an effective message to entice your social communities to engage.
Increased Exposure to Target Markets for Engagement and Communication
Engagement and communication are the most important goals to achieve in a social world. Sure other metrics apply, but for the most part, if people are digging your content, they will share it. So using a social media management tool allows you to see what each of your social communities is saying about your brand, product, or service. After you see what they say, you can get involved easier.
Increased Understanding of Marketing Efforts Through Analytics/Metrics
This is key for all social media marketers whether in-house or out of house. What good are you as a marketer if you can’t deliver a return for your social media marketing efforts? That is a great feature of many social media management tools. They provide you with reporting metrics and other data to help clarify if your efforts had an impact on your social communities.
Decreased Margin of Error
All humans make mistakes. It is inevitable. However, there are ways to decrease the margin of error of your employees by taking advantage of social media marketing tools. By allowing you to post updates and content to multiple channels from one location, you can eliminate any typos or other publishing errors that would normally occur. No one wants to be the next Olla Condoms(although I love this stint).
Be sure to understand what your needs are when deciding on the best social media management tool for your business. If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles then don’t opt for them. Stick to your goals, stay focused on your marketing efforts, and you are headed in the right direction.
If you are aware of other tools please share them with others. Thanks and enjoy the holidays!