Social media marketing via more than one channel can seem like a daunting task; these tools will help you manage your accounts with ease.
Most social media marketing strategies will involve engagement in at least three channels. While that may not seem daunting, it can quickly become tiresome to manage and monitor each one individually.
Fortunately, there are a few great social media management and monitoring tools that streamline the process. In addition to saving you time, these tools can also help you spot opportunities and risks early. Social media management tools allow you to
Monitor multiple social media accounts for trending conversations
Track mentions of your brand
Create and schedule updates across several social media accounts at once
Measure and analyze the success of your program.
These tools are generally quite intuitive to use, and either low-cost or free, making them good choices for small or newly started social media programs. Once your brand gains significant reach in the digital world, you’ll want to explore more powerful – and more expensive – monitoring and management tools.
Although not a social media management tool, Google Alerts is a must-have for digital marketers. It e-mails updates of the latest relevant Google results (Web, news, etc.) based on your search query. Alerts can be delivered continuously throughout the day or once a day. While it doesn’t help you manage your social media accounts or provide analytics, it’s a must for every digital marketer. Use it to keep track of what’s being said about your brand both on the Web and in social media. Free.
On to the social media management tools:
TweetDeck is owned by Twitter, but it enables you to monitor multiple social media accounts and topics from a single screen. The interface is organized into columns based on either the social media account or a particular topic. For example, you can set up one stream for your Twitter feed and another to monitor your brand name. You can schedule updates to your accounts days in advance, allowing you to “set it and forget it.” One of its key benefits is that it’s very fast, so you can monitor in real-time easily. Free.
Hootsuite offers a social media dashboard and is similar to Tweetdeck in that you can organize your feeds into columns. It also allows scheduling of posts and tweets. The app is actually built for teams, and that’s one of its key benefits. You can assign the task of responding to specific tweets or posts to other team members. Analytics, including links to Facebook Insights and Google Analytics are also built into the product. Although a basic membership is free, access to team features and analytics starts at $9.99 per month.
SocialSprout is a newer competitor to Hootsuite, and one that I’ve just started to test. It also offers the ability to post to multiple accounts at once, a dashboard, team collaboration, and analytics. In addition, there’s a discovery feature, which enables you to find people to follow and a CRM component. It’s a bit pricier – starting at $39 per month – but it has received some high marks from reviewers and is used by leading brands, including McDonald’s and Obama’s 2012 campaign. I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces.
Diane S. Thieke is the president and founder of Simply Talk Media, a digital media marketing consultancy. With more than 25 years in digital media and technology, she helps clients build stronger relationships with their customers and communities, using both social and traditional channels. Follow her on Twitter at @thiekeds or visit her blog at www.simplytalkmedia.com/blog.
Social Media Concept photo from Shutterstock.