There is an assortment of social media tools available for major networks like Twitter or Facebook, and, for those who are not too familiar with their functions, they may all sound the same.
As a social media manager, you may find that trying to figure out a difference between a sentiment analysis and an online influence tool is taking up the time you could be spending mapping out a successful social media strategy for your business.
To help you sort through all the variety and pick the tools essential for social media management of your brand, we came up with this handy list.
Here are 10 essential social media tools for social media managers
A successful social media strategy is built on quality content. To help you figure out what kind of social media content to plan for your followers, start with the question, “What interests my social media audience?” If your brand has thousands of followers across several Twitter accounts, gaging their areas of interest could be tricky. Nexalogy is a good social media tool to jump-start your search. This app analyzes your social media audience’s most talked-about topics. You can choose to view the results in form of a list of top 10 hashtags in your Twitter network, or a tag cloud that demonstrates connections between topics. The tool also helps you learn more about your network, including a ranking of most engaged, most retweeted and most active users.
Rankspeed can also be used to discover relevant topics in your network. However, it uses a different method to sort the topics: it filters your brand’s social media feed by sentiment, which can be neutral, positive, or negative. You can also track all mentions of your brand on social media, and analyze the sentiment behind the posts, to see which ones resonate with the audience and how. Just remember, even negative comments deserve a response!
Time is of the essence for social media managers, and having a source of diverse, interesting content to engage your social media followers is crucial. Undoubtedly, there are many web resources that contain information you frequently share with your audience. Instead of growing that list of bookmarks in your browser, set up an RSS feed to get instant updates from your favorite publishers. You can streamline the process further by setting up an RSS reader to deliver content directly to your social media management client. If you’re using Hootsuite, the Hootsuite Syndicator is a robust feature that provides rich filtering, monitoring and tracking social media tools. Added bonus: The Hootsuite Syndicator helps track which stories you’ve shared in the past to avoid repeats.
As we already established, a great selection of engaging content is half of a successful social media strategy. Now that you have something to share with your audience, you have to figure out the best times to do so. In order to save yourself time and stress, it’s good to plan for the week ahead (especially on a Monday). Hootsuite’s Bulk Scheduler feature allows you to upload spreadsheets with up to 350 messages for your social media networks. If you are too busy to work on a spreadsheet, the Hootsuite’s HootBulk tool makes the process even easier—all you have to do is fill out the appropriate forms for date, time, and message.
After you have found and scheduled a week’s worth of interesting social media managing, the next step is increasing the reach of your posts. The best way to do this is by figuring out your brand’s influencers, or users in your network with the highest activity, communicativity, and popularity rates. twtrland helps you find highest-ranking Twitter users in each of the three categories, and makes suggestions for improvements on your own Twitter profile. You can also search influencers by skill: for example, you can search for influencers in social media management by combining “social media management,” “SEO,” and “digital marketing” categories.
Identifying the influencers in your network is important, but what about the rest of your follower base? Where do they live? What languages do they speak? SocialBro is the perfect social media tool to help you find out more about your social media audience, and help you identify potential customers outside of your network.
Another part of your network you shouldn’t ignore is your competitors. Getting the skinny on what the competing brand is up to can take a lot of sleuthing, and SocialBro saves you time by running an analysis between your brand’s account and up to two competing accounts using the “Accounts comparison tool.”
Whether your brand has a dedicated video team to create promotional videos or a Snapchat Stories campaign to tease the latest product launch, it’s important not to leave out the biggest video-sharing network from your social media strategy. The YouTube Analytics tool offers a detailed breakdown of engagement with your brand’s video content. You have the option to view analytics for individual videos, or the overall channel statistics. Channel data includes an overview of subscriber activity, a breakdown of geographic locations of the view, sharing analytics, and many more. Individual video data includes insights on discovery to determine which source brought you the most traffic, as well as keywords that led to the video.
Instagram has contributed to the social media success of many businesses, with many discovering original uses for the popular image-sharing app. Instagram’s native mobile app makes it easy to manage the account on the go, but if you are managing more than one account, tracking vital statistics and likes across several accounts can take up a lot of time. To help address this issue, you can use an Instagram client such as Iconosquare for Instagram. This tool helps you set up multiple feeds, as well as track followers, likes, and comments on your photos.
An essential part of your brand’s social media presence is the ability to interact with your customers in real time. Zendesk helps consolidate and manage all help requests in one place, including those coming from social media channels—the app creates “twickets” from Twitter and tickets from Facebook posts. Those tickets can then be given a title and a priority level, and then assigned to a group or an individual member of the support team.
Hopefully, interaction with your customers on social media doesn’t only revolve around problem-solving. Give your social media followers more reasons to follow you on social media as opposed to other channels—reward them with a contest or a social media-exclusive campaign. Don’t know where to start whenorganizing a social media campaign? As with most things, there’s an app for that: Hootsuite Campaigns, the newest Hootsuite product. This social media tool guides its users through several steps to successful creation of contests, user-generated galleries, and sweepstakes.