Social media management tools are not just about posting and replying on social media. Companies are not driving leads only by curating a few posts a week on social media. If you're a social media marketing manager, your job is much more than just posting and replying on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a marketing manager, you are responsible for delivering a social media strategy that includes engaging with your audience, increase follower count, plan campaigns, measure various social media metrics. Before all this, the marketing manager needs to select the best social media management tool.
Social media management tools have occupied an important space in the marketing strategies of many businesses. With the growing importance of social media for marketing, the popularity of social media management tools has increased. This means more marketers have started to realize the worth of social media management tools.
But unfortunately, not many marketers know how to choose the right social media management tool that fits their business needs. Not all tools have the same features and metrics.
As much as 86% of marketers do not know which social media marketing tools they should use.
Cannot blame the marketing managers as there are several great social media management tools available. The task of selecting one tool for your brand is not easy.
Our honest advice is to be selective when you search for the best social media management tool. Several key factors should be included in all social media management tools.
To help you evaluate the different tools, we listed out the top 8 factors that should be considered for choosing social media management tool.
Here are Top 8 Factors for Choosing the Best Social Media Management Tool
1. Compatibility With Multiple Social Media Platforms
The most important factor of any social media management tool is compatibility. When your brand has a presence on multiple social media platforms, it only makes sense to buy a tool that is compatible with all the major social media platforms.
It makes no sense to have a tool when it can manage only a few selected social media platforms while you still have to struggle for the other platforms. So, you may end up using multiple tools to manage different social media platforms. Investing in a tool that only gives you partial returns is not the best way to go.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that is compatible with over 35 social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, making it one of the most widely supported apps. There are also other tools such as Buffer, SocialPilot and SproutSocial that are easy and thereby helps manage multiple social media accounts with just a few clicks.
2. Social Media Monitoring
Social media management is all about responding to tweets and messages within a few minutes. Social media marketers can't keep track of all the conversations on social media. How do you know if your customers are talking about you? Many times, users don't directly tag the brands nor mention them in their comments. This makes it tougher for brands to track user responses. Is it possible to manually check the social media for the feedback and comments? Humanly impossible.
Artificial-Intelligence based social media tools allow you to track your brand name, keywords, hashtags, competitors that you wish to monitor.
Hence social media marketers lookout for tools that alert them when people talk about them on social media. This is called social media monitoring.
Some tools offer advanced features such as sorting features with which you can sort the numerous mentions based on dates, locations, handles, etc. For social media monitoring, you have a tool to catch what you missed while you were busy with other marketing activities.
BuzzSumo is a social media monitoring tool that comes with features to keep track of brand mentions on social media as well as blogs and articles. It also can identify the people who share your content or any content that has your brand mention. BuzzSumo comes with alerts. The alerts notify you when there is a brand mention on the blog or article or social media.
3. Options to Engage with Audience
One of the best social media strategies is to engage with the audience and appear to be a two-way, easy-to-communicate brand. Therefore, you must invest in a tool that lets you listen to your customers and their needs.
It is impossible to manually catch all the conversations due to the high volume and the speed with which the conversations happen on social media. Therefore, if you want to capture all social media conversations happening about your brand and your industry, then investing in a tool that offers various engagement options.
Options such as follow your relevant audience, reply to your audience, monitor mentions, and reply to your engaged audience, and much more, will be a must-have factor in your social media management tool.
Cloohawk is one such social media management tool that offers multiple consumer interaction options. Cloohawk gives a list of people to follow based on the interest of the audience. It shows suggestions to engage with your audience on a particular topic or a tweet. It also suggests increasing engagement by liking and replying to posts at the most appropriate time when your audience is most engaged on social media.
4. Content Scheduling and Content Calendar
One of the reasons for investing in a social media marketing tool is to save time spent on logging into individual accounts and posting content. Your chosen social media tool should have easy-to-use calendars and schedules.
Your social media management tools should be able to perform a host of activities:
- Schedule your content
- Queue up posts
- Repeat posts
- Curate content
- Manage social media posts at the preferred time
- Assign team tasks
All of the above in one single dashboard.
Scheduling content ahead of time with the help of a tool allows you to plan and publish your content as per the rules that you have set. It should have the option to organize all your to-do lists and also be able to put it into practice effortlessly.
CoSchedule is an editorial calendar. You can schedule blog posts, manage social media posts, and assign team tasks - all from one single dashboard. You can schedule 60+ social posts in bulk, and share content to their calendar from anywhere on the web.
5. Generate Performance Reports
Creating content and publishing the content on social media is a very important part of every social media marketing strategy. But how many know how a piece of content performs on social media? How many retweets did your post get on Twitter? Which kind of content is performing well and is liked by your social media audience? Tough questions, right?
The only way this can be done is by analyzing the reports on social media performance. This report can be generated with the help of the right social media analytics tools.
Sproutsocial is a data-driven social media analytics tool that helps you to generate reports on the performance of your brand. The tool will allow you to compare paid advertising versus organic impressions. You can calculate the impact of advertising spends on your company page growth. With Sproutsocial, you can also analyze page and post level data that includes engagements, audience growth, impressions, and all other demographics on your social pages.
6. Easy-To-Use Interface
A marketer is basically looking for a social media management tool so that it can simplify all the marketing activities. The tool may have loads of features, but if it is not an easy-to-use tool, it does not serve the purpose. When a user is not able to find the basic functions, it can be frustrating. When a tool offers a seamless interface with a great experience, it will ensure that you can carry out all functions without delays.
A social media management tool with a good user interface refers to a tool that allows the most flexible view. This means that the tools should be flexible to be customized as per the needs of the user. For example, a small company might just want to monitor a few social channels. Whereas, a big corporation wants a far more robust tool that can keep track of the multiple social media networks. A tool should be the proper fit to meet the needs of a user. The tools should be easily modified to the changing requirements of the client.
A marketer has to consider the easiness of carrying out the following tasks:
- Scheduling content
- Posting content
- Finding and running reports
- Engaging with followers
When you decide to buy a social media management tool, wise is to find out if the existing users have a good user experience. For this, you can read online reviews to assess how other users feel about the tool. You can also sign up for the free trial and experience the tool by yourself.
TweetDeck is one such tool where you can create a customized interface for your Twitter account. With this tool, you can monitor your audience, various hashtags, multiple lists as well as your own channel.
7. Competitor Analysis
Social media management tools should be able to assist not just in posting and scheduling content, but help analyze the competitors and their social media activities.
Marketers should be able to identify key competitors and analyze them to know various aspects of their competitors, such as:
- The content they publish
- Their best performing content
- The frequency of their posts
- The influencers that they are engaging with
- The campaigns that they are running
Social media management tools should be able to assess follower counts, likes on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and so on. The tools should be able to give you complete details of a competing brand messaging, the frequency of their content publishing, posts that are doing well, unhappy customers of your competition, etc.
With the features offered by these tools, you can effortlessly compare your own growth with your competition.
SEMrush is a competition monitoring tool that can be used for tracking multiple aspects of your competitors. You can find out where your rivals concentrate most of their marketing efforts, discover their website traffic, audiences, and lead gen sources. You can also conduct an in-depth analysis of your competitors' backlinks.
Cost is one of the biggest factors that most of the companies consider before shortlisting a social media management tool. There are a lot of social media management tools. Many of these have different features and different pricing strategies.
The cost-effectiveness of the tool should be assessed. Check if the tool offers you enough features at a reasonable price. If two tools provide the same features but the pricing is different, how would you make a selection?
A lot of tools offer a free trial for 30 days. Check out the features and assess if the tools offer your desired features for the cost. Based on the cost and benefit analysis, you need to make a wise and cost-effective choice.
Once your marketing strategy is ready, choosing the right social media marketing tool will address your biggest pain points. You can enhance your social media marketing efforts by making use of some remarkable automation tools built based on Artificial Intelligence.
Before choosing a social media management tool for your company, you need to consider the vital factors discussed above. Picking the right tool for your social media marketing activities will enhance connection with your social media audience, and convert more of your leads. When you invest in the right tool, you can save yourself and your team a lot of time and energy.