In this increasingly connected world where most people happen to get their news, updates and overall information on social media, it is important for businesses to use social media to their advantage. Not only must businesses be on social media, their presence must be active, engaging and unique.
To the layman, social media management might seem like making a few Facebook or Instagram posts here or there. But it is common knowledge now that social media management is so much more than that. It requires a great deal of time management, consistency, understanding of branding as well as trial and error. And without the proper knowledge, it can become overwhelming.
Luckily, there are many social media management tools and apps that can make scheduling posts and updates, following mentions and hashtags and interacting with audiences a lot more efficient. If you are interested in learning how you can improve your business’s social media presence, you have come to the right place. The team at VitalStorm has some recommendations on which tools to use when running your social media!
HootSuite is a more commonly used social media management tool, so you may have heard of it before. If you want to manage several accounts with a connection to over 35 social networks, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being the big ones, HootSuite is the tool to use. Here are some features of HootSuite that makes it so great and unique:
- Scheduling – HootSuite allows you to schedule any posts or updates at certain times. With the AutoSchedule option, you can easily queue up posts at prime engagement times. HootSuite allows you to easily upload posts for the entirety of your social media campaign. The Content Calendar function also allows you to keep tabs on any upcoming or outgoing posts and allows you to change up your post-schedule with a drag and drop function.
- Reporting and Analytics – If you want to keep tabs on the performance of your posts, HootSuite is a great tool for that. It provides detailed and helpful reports on social interaction and engagement and allows you to export them as Excel, PDF or PowerPoint files.
- Targeting – HootSuite can help you watch your social media for mentions, hashtags, keywords or new followers. If you want to narrow down your social stream to a specific location or word, you can easily do that, allowing you to target potential clients and customers.
Give HootSuite a shot either under the free plan which allows one user, 3 social media profiles and 30 updates. The Professional Plan starts at $29 per month whereas the team plan starts at $129/month. This great social media management tool is available on Chrome, Android, iOS and the Web.
Buffer is a great and affordable tool if you want to focus on scheduling posts throughout the day. When posting updates through Buffer, you have the option to click “share now,” “share next,” or “schedule post.” The last option allows you to select a custom time for your upcoming content. One of its great qualities is that it allows for consistency through its rigorous scheduling tool. You can schedule posts for various times throughout the day, on the most widely used social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This also allows you to keep tabs on your most interactive followers and the best times for audience engagement. Buffer also has an easy-to-use dashboard whether it’s through web extensions or on the iOS and Android app. When it comes to analytics, Buffer provides some information but doesn’t go into detail the way HootSuite does. You can keep tabs on overall engagement, impressions on each post and clicks on any included links.
If you want to focus on bulk post scheduling, Buffer is the tool for you! You can either get the free plan or the professional plan for $15/month.
MeetEdgar is an excellent social media management tool for not only scheduling posts but for automating these posts as well. If you decide to post or tweet something for a link to an article, MeetEdgar pulls quotable phrases or text from the article and comes up with several variations of the post. This feature isn’t available in other tools and apps and is incredibly helpful and efficient. It also has a manual option, giving you an option to come up with your own post instead of using an automated one.
MeetEdgar also allows you to look at the diverse categories and themes of your posts. You can divide your content up into different color- coded categories such as DIY articles, advertisements, video content etc. This helps you keep track of the different posts you make and whether you’re doing a good job of appealing to different demographics, customers and users. The only thing missing from MeetEdgar is that it is only a scheduling tool—there is unfortunately no analytics component that allows you to track the impressions and engagement on your posts.
If you like the idea of an easy-to-use, automated scheduling tool, MeetEdgar might be a good option for you. You can purchase this tool for $49/month!
4. Sprout Social
If you have a social media team looking to navigate social media management in a structured and communicative manner, Sprout Social might be a good tool to look into. You can see team interactions and replies happening live, collaborate and assign tasks, ask for permission on them, etc. This tool allows you and your team to collectively manage social media assignments and maintain a straight line of communication. Through Sprout Social’s team-friendly platform, your social media management team will be more efficient and will consistently maintain your brand.
In addition to it being user-friendly for teams, Sprout Social also has an analytics component. It provides detailed information on the impressions on your posts and tweets, your follower growth and the content your users interact with frequently. This information can be shared with the rest of the team through PDF exports.
Lastly, Sprout Social also allows you to post across multiple channels and networks; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn being the primary ones. Your interactions with your followers don’t have to be on each individual network—simply communicate with them through a singular inbox for your networks.
If you want an analytics-rich tool that streamlines communication among your social media team members, Sprout Social is the tool for you. You can get this great social media management tool starting at $99/month per user, making it a comparatively expensive option.
If you are interested in learning more about the various social media management tools available, the team at VitalStorm can help you out! To learn how these tools can help your business improve and interact engagingly with your customers, call us today at 877-311-5695.
For more information about how your business can benefit from structured social media management techniques, check out our free eBook, Social Media Marketing for Home Services.