As your social media strategy grows, the work it takes to manage everything online grows as well. You may have started with only one or two social media platforms, but as those initial accounts establish themselves, there are always new places you can reach out and explore. Eventually, checking and updating multiple accounts regularly becomes so inefficient you may want to throw the entire strategy out the window — but don’t go deleting your online presence so quickly! There are many tools that can help you manage your social media strategy without making you want to lose your mind.
Why Use Social Media Management Tools?
These helpful suites may look like more trouble than they’re worth at first — if you’ve already learned the different interfaces and tricks for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, the last thing you may want to do is have to learn yet another user interface and program.
The first thing you should consider is that most of these tools aggregate your social media accounts, which means that six out of seven days of the week you’ll only need to log into that management suite to do your social media business. Using this kind of tool also means that you’ll only have to check one place for notifications, as well; this helps you keep up with questions and comments from your audience easily and helps you reference questions that may have been answered on another platform.
These tools often come with additional capabilities that are just as valuable as their ability to streamline. Some of them can track keywords and search strings for you to help you improve your content; others help by scheduling posts ahead of time. You may find new ways to do things on sites you thought you knew by using one tool to manage your content instead of logging in to every account manually.
Social Media Management Tools: Posting and Scheduling
The biggest benefit of a management tool is having one central place from which you can create and distribute your content. Here are some aggregation tools that can help you succeed:
HootSuite lets you manage multiple social media platforms – all from one single dashboard! Hootsuite also lets you bulk-schedule updates and comes with a limited free version you can try before investing.
Buffer does much the same as Hootsuite. Buffer allows users to schedule posts to different platforms; the paid versions also include analysis and collaboration tools.
Agora Pulse is similar and includes competitor analysis and other useful social media tools at a low price point.
MeetEdgar focuses on scheduling content posts based on category, but it’s also recognized for its ability to auto create content as well as recycle your older posts.
Most of these streamlining tools start at reasonable price points for growing businesses. You should expect to set aside some money for a monthly fee as you grow your social media presence.
Social Media Management Tools: Images
Posts that include pictures and images are far more likely to be shared on social media — but maybe you’re not a photographer. Luckily, not everyone is – there are solutions that will help you add visual content to your posts if you’re not an expert at graphic design.
Canva provides the tools you need to make and manage visuals to go along with your posts — for free! Create and edit graphics right from your web browser.
PicMonkey contains photo editing tools as well as graphic creation tools.
Giphy shares animated GIFs for free use, including everything from cute dogs to brief clips from your favorite shows.
Social Media Management Tools: Specific Focus
Revive Old Post does exactly that — you can reschedule old posts to recycle your own content as you continue to add new content.
IFTTT – (If This, Then That) – is a free and easy tool if you’re looking for cross posting options. IFTTT lets you build your own set of triggers based on platform, content, and tags and is easily customizable.
Choosing a Tool for Your Social Media Campaign
There are dozens of other tools you can choose from that offer so many options and plans that trying to pick just one can be paralyzing. Remember that the key, central part of any successful campaign is your strategy, so use your strategy to help make your decision. For example, if you’re only focusing on a few major platforms, you don’t need a media manager that connects to fifty different social media sites; however, if you’re focusing on the biggest social media sites, you’ll probably want some analytical tools so that you can see how your posts are doing compared to your competition. If you want to have a presence on many different platforms, you’ll want a tool that can manage cross posting between sites as efficiently as possible. Define what you’re looking to do initially and pick a tool to help.
Keep in mind that your campaign – and your strategy – also need to evolve. You may start with a simple, straightforward social media management suite at first and then discover you need to move in a different direction. As your content grows, you’ll be happy you have a streamlined solution for your next step.
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