29 May Use Social Media Tools [Social Media Tip]
Unless you’re some sort of super human, you could benefit from using some tools to help shave time and effort from the ever so tedious social media marketing process.
There are countless moving parts to social media marketing. From gathering content (which entails concept-ing and creating- which can be daunting in itself) to putting together the right messaging in language your audience connects with to then finding out when to post on which network and finally analyzing everything is enough to make anyone’s head spin! A little help is always welcome when dealing with so much at once – and social media tools are the first step in helping you breathe a little easier.
Using tools to help you in the social media marketing process will:
- Aid in streamlining your process: Using scheduling tools may give you insight in how you go about things at the moment. For example, knowing it takes you 2 hours to schedule automated tweets for the next 2 weeks will help you plan when you need to have all those tweet elements created by.
- Tell you what’s working or not at a glance: This is more specific to analytics tools, but logging in and looking at a dashboard where you can clearly see what posts are doing well can help you decide if there is something you need to change.
- Help you improve current social media efforts: Are you posting at the best time for your Facebook fan page? Is that tweet going live when most of your followers are active? Tools will give you these answers.
- Free up time: Sign me up for extra time, any day. Now you can go source more content, analyze your audience deeper, create a campaign, schedule tweets, try creating a .gif – that extra hour means the world is your oyster.
Many of the tools with all the bells and whistles can get pricey, but there are lots of free alternatives to help you be more efficient. Here are a few I use regularly:
- Native analytics from each social network. In the past, marketers had to keep a lot of excel spreadsheets to track growth (and I still recommend keeping track of everything yourself). Thankfully, many social media networks offer native analytics to track your performance. Get to know them!
- Buffer App: I used Buffer in its earlier days, then stopped using it, and I’ve fallen in love with it again! It’s a great tool to find relevant content and schedule it to go live at an optimal time on each network you’ve connected. One of my favorite things to do is to schedule RT’s from some of my favorite Twitter accounts. Buffer also offers some analytics for tweets scheduled through the tool.
- Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is great if you manage multiple Twitter accounts or if you manage accounts with team members. The tool offers tweet scheduling, which your team members (with access to the specific account) can also see. The tool also allows you to display a multitude of feeds (notifications, mentions, searches etc.) in one dashboard in live time – which is quite the conversation starter for those who walk by your screen. Tweetdeck pretty much gives you the ability to be on all your accounts at once, on one screen.
- Hootsuite: I use Hootsuite when I am scheduling “repetitive” tweets (like cross promo) for the upcoming 2 or 3 weeks to few months. I prefer to use this over Tweetdeck because of the layout of the calendar and it is easy to find dates and edit tweets. Also, because old habits die hard – this tool is an old favorite.
- Topsy: This tool helps you “search and analyze the social web”. If you’re having trouble deciding on which hashtags to use in your tweet, log on to Topsy.com. It gives you statistics on how many tweets contain the particular hashtag word, or phrase. You can even search by tweet types (photos, links, videos and influencers). Problem solved.
- Likalyzer: Likalyzer analyzes your Facebook fan page and gives you a grade and suggestions on how you can get more out of your posts, and more engagement from your audience.
Like anything else these days, tools change and new ones are constantly coming out. I tend to try new ones – especially ones recommended by colleagues. Some I pick up, others I use for specific tasks but I end up sticking to the ones I’m accustomed to for the most part. Test a few and find what tools work best for you – in the end it’s about your needs, ease of use for you.
What social media tools do you use the most?