Simplifying Your Social Media Management
Today an estimated 81% of businesses are using social media to connect with their customers. Many of those businesses struggle with proper management of all those channels. If you’re one of them, now’s the time to start thinking about getting a plan in place. Your company’s social media activity also plays a role in search engine optimization (SEO), so it’s not something that needs to be ignored.
These tools for social media automation, content curation, analytics, and return on investment (ROI) arm your business with everything you need to successfully manage your social media and turn it into a true platform for customer engagement. A 2013 study showed 64% of businesses that spend just six hours a week on their social activities have seen an increase in lead generation, while half of those businesses report decreased marketing expenditures.
Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard for businesses. From here, you can monitor your social media, website analytics, sales, infrastructure, and more. Free plans limit the number of premade widgets you can apply to the dashboard, but it is possible to pull data from a number of sources, including: Salesforce, MailChimp, Freshbooks, InfusionSoft, and more. With this tool, everything you need to manage your business is in one place, saving time and improving productivity and efficiency.
Geckoboard allows you to choose the metrics you want to monitor. From here, you connect all the accounts to pull the necessary data. At this point, everything comes together to provide real-time data. You can share the dashboard with other employees who need access to the information, too. With the real-time data coming from all the sources you need to monitor, you have the freedom and flexibility to make adjustments immediately, rather than waiting for a manual report to see what’s going on.
Leftronic offers a single dashboard that allows you to monitor metrics and key performance indicators from all areas of your business. Leftronic will automatically update you on marketing campaigns, sales opportunities, servers, and more. Everything is in one place to save you time, and there’s no need to wait for a report. Because the data is given to you in real time, you’ll get the information as it happens, giving you the chance to make adjustments to strategy as needed to improve ROI.
Tools for Social Media Automation
B2B marketers and B2C marketers have different needs from social media, and as such should use different automation tools. The tools ensure you’re posting content for your audience to see regardless of what you’ve actually got going on in the business for the day. While it’s important to still actively manage those channels so customers see you participating, you can take a break from social media to focus on other important business tasks.
Oktopost is the only B2B social media automation platform on the market today. It not only helps you automate your social media posts for multiple networks, it takes things one step further to track the leads your social media activity generates, and then gives you analytics information to help you determine which networks are the most effective. With that knowledge, you can further fine tune your social strategy to reach more of your target market.
Hootsuite is one of many B2C social media automation platforms. The free version allows for multiple profiles and bulk upload of updates. Beyond scheduling updates, it makes it easier to track hashtags, searches, etc. so you can reach out to people who are talking to you and about you. Premium versions allow you to bring together a team of people to work on updates.
Buffer is another social media automation platform. The basic free account allows for a few social media profiles, including: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to be connected. Users can set a schedule or let Buffer automatically choose the ideal times to post for maximum engagement. With the browser extension, users can automatically add articles to the queue with just a few clicks. Upgraded accounts – costing $10/month – can add Pinterest to the mix, and store up to 100 updates per profile. The platform also includes engagement insights, but for analytics or teams, users will have to opt for the business subscription at $50 per month.
Facebook has social automation built into their platform. When posting an update to the page, page admins have the option to post now, or to schedule to post later. This tool is not as robust as others available, but it works.
One of the best ways to stretch your content budget is by curating content from other websites serving your niche. By properly crediting material from other sources, you’re not only saving time and money, you’re also showing your audience you are there to provide real value to them, not just to provide a constant sales pitch.
Contentgems is a content curation tool that lets you select niches as interests, and then pulls content from up to 200,000 sources. You also have the option to add your own sources so if there are niche websites you’d like to use that aren’t there, you can make it easy to share the content on social channels. From there, you can look at each piece of content, and then add it to your social channels for publishing. The free plan allows for up to two interests, while premium plans remove that restriction.
Scoop.It is a robust content curation tool. Beyond allowing you to feed keywords into it so it pulls content based on those phrases, you can create a topic, and “scoop” material to it, for others to find and share with their audiences. You can search topics to find articles, videos, etc. that are relevant to your audience, and add them to your social calendar. It not only gives you a platform to find content, but another place to share your own.
Pinterest is a social network that can be used to promote your business as much as it can help you curate content. You can use it to pin anything visual, for any purpose. Even topics that aren’t necessarily visual can have graphics attached to them to make them easy to pin. With Pinterest’s “secret board” feature, you can collect content to share across your social channels without anyone ever knowing you pinned it.
Pocket is a tool similar to Pinterest. When you come across something online you want to view later, whether it’s an article, a video, or infographic, you can “put it in your pocket.” It works with many apps so you can save directly from Flipboard, Twitter, Pulse, and even your browser. Once you’ve collected content to view later, you can read it and decide whether or not to share with your social media audience.
Tools for Social Analytics and ROI
To see just how much social media is affecting your business, and to learn more about your audience, analytics and ROI tools are a critical part of your social media management. If you’re consistently posting content and engaging your audience, but not watching to see the results it produces, you’re missing out.
PageLever is a tool specifically designed to provide better Facebook insights. While Facebook has their own platform for this purpose, PageLever goes a bit further to provide additional insights, including real-time Facebook page activity. This is particularly helpful for businesses that are using Facebook advertising to drive traffic to their websites, running ads to increase page likes, and more. With the insights from this tool, you can adjust your Facebook advertising and social content to better serve your audience.
HashAtIt is a free hashtag search engine tool. It shows data for any hashtag across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Users can segment the hashtag by network, or look at all the data available across all social networks. Once users sign up for an account, they can create hashtag boards, to help them keep track of all the relevant hashtags in their niche.
Searching “#pizza” reveals many pieces of content across all networks, which could then be used to find people to engage with on social media, learn more about what people are talking about to leverage it in a social campaign, or see the user’s own content is being used.
Some social platforms also have their own analytics built in. While it is more time consuming to approach things this way, you can find analytics for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Using this analytics data can help you then measure your ROI against your sales and conversion data.
Social media management takes time, and no matter the size of your team, needs to run smoothly and efficiently for the best ROI. There are countless tools available for marketing professionals to choose from, but using one to address automated posting, one for content curation, and one for analytics and ROI ensures your team has everything they need to make the most of social.
Screenshots: Taken 9/23/15 of each tool’s homepage
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