August 31, 2021
Once you have set up your social media accounts and have gotten a feel for your audience and what content is working best, you may want to consider using a social media management service. I want to make sure you understand the distinction between a social media or digital agency and a web-based software management product.
The agency is going to function similar to a traditional advertising and marketing company. You will be billed on a monthly basis for a set amount of hours. It’s not going to be cheap and unless you are a larger operation, this will be out of your budget.
A do-it-yourself option is using SAS (software as a service) companies that offer tools to speed up and automate the tasks you should be performing to get the maximum value out of your pages.
Depending on which software you choose, you may need more than one to accomplish all the tasks you want to do. Some programs are designed for small businesses and others for large.
In addition to software that focuses on a few tasks, there also are programs that are considered all in one. In most cases, whatever you choose can be customized to fit your company’s needs.
Here are some of the services SAS can help you with:
Content. How good your content is determines how many followers you acquire and how much they interact with you. There are templates and tools to help you create stories and repurpose existing material. As your content library grows, you also need to manage it to make sure you are not repeating the same information too often on the same channel. There are a variety of aids to do this.
Creating a calendar. Hand in hand with creating content is putting together a weekly or monthly social media content calendar. I wrote three articles on this topic. See links below to reference.
Why You Should Create A Social Media Calendar
How To Create A Social Media Calendar
Choosing The Best Buckets For Your Social Media Calendar
Scheduling. With content created and planned out in a calendar, this tool is one of the most important, because it’s not practical to post on a variety of platforms up to three times a day. With this type of software, you can post across all of your social networks with one click. And there are handy features that allow you to review posts in a simple calendar view.
Managing multiple channels/platforms. In past articles, I talk about carefully choosing which social media outlets to participate in. You should be present only if you have customers who are active there, and if you will promote and maintain the account. But more than one account gives you exposure to different audiences, and it allows you to focus on specific topics as opposed to trying to engage everyone at once.
By making use of tools offered in social media management programs, instead of copying and pasting the same content in more than one place, it allows you to post simultaneously with one click. You also have the capability to modify the content to better fit the channel. For example, edit down a post you created for Facebook to Twitter’s shorter word allowance.
Team management. When you have more than one person working on the same account, coordinating their assignments and activities is essential. This is especially true when someone is waiting for a task to be completed before doing their part. With software, you can invite anyone to work together whether they are in the office or working remotely, and whether they are on staff or freelancing.
Visual collaboration tools. When you have a meeting with a group, you often use things such as a white board, sticky notes, and a projector to show charts, diagrams and photos. There is now software that imitates these tools and processes.
These will include a shared space, which acts as a white board; templates that can be filled in for planning, designing and strategizing; video chatting; and labeled cursors.
Analytics. To understand and improve on how your social media platforms are doing, you have to capture data and analyze it. With analytic software, you can collect and receive reports on deployment, ROI, campaigns, performance metrics, social media monitoring and website analytics.
(For those who do not know, social deployment is the process of implementing social media management software to manage a company’s social presence and activity.)
Many programs have a dashboard to make it easier to find what you want and see the results. Some programs also transform data into easier-to-understand charts and graphs so you can understand at a glance what the numbers mean.
Improving engagement. Social media engagement is an important metric to consider when building an online presence. While most want to increase the size of their audience, they often fail to increase their engagement as well. When you interact with your followers, you can turn them from fans into customers.
Tools are available to help you build and track engagement. You can automate your posts, add hashtags, shorten links, add graphics and track how many likes, retweets, and mentions you get.
Listening. Another word for listening is monitoring. The only way to continually improve your results is by tracking conversations, not only on your own pages but elsewhere online. Social listening tools help companies gather and analyze customer data from a variety of social media and online review platforms allowing you to use it to improve marketing, operational and business metrics.
With this type of feedback, you can respond to conversations and use tones that will most strongly resonate with your audience. It also gives you valuable information as you make strategic decisions that will best benefit your company.
Sharing. One of the tricks of the trade to ensure you have a steady, fresh stream of content on your social media is to share other’s posts. When it is relevant, it can be every bit as valuable as original content. There is software that simplifies content curation, and you can even have a shared post link back to your website to drive traffic there instead of away from you.
This list is simply a starting point for finding out about some of the powerful software and tools available to help you make your social media as effective as possible. The more you dig into social media management, the more you will discover. There are many providers to choose from. But investing the time to pick and choose which tools best serve your needs and learning how to use them can have a big payoff in sales and new opportunities.
Deborah Sexton is the former editor of Impressions Magazine, where she worked from 1981 to 2001. She now owns her own company, Saracen Communications, doing digital media marketing, copywriting, and public relations for companies in the decorated apparel industry. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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