Social networks are not going to fade away anytime soon. Almost 42 percent of the world’s population already have at least one social media account, whereas most businesses maintain between 4 and 10 profiles – and these numbers are likely to increase.
With so many profiles to manage, it’s hardly surprising that the majority of marketers (85%, to be exact) use social media apps to support their marketing efforts. As a matter of fact, such tools can help you streamline your workflow and thus, let you save time and money. The only issue here is to choose your own toolbox wisely.
Nowadays, businesses have a range of marketing software at their disposal – yet, not everyone seems to be taking advantage of that. Actually, to cut costs, marketers still look for a “one tool fits all” solution. The bad news is: A single best social media assistant simply doesn’t exist – and trying to save on social media strategy and its execution this way will eventually cost you more.
If you think about it, it’s pretty straightforward. Social media marketing revolves around a variety of tasks (content creation and management, analytics, social listening & monitoring, and community management, just to name a few), which is why it’s extremely difficult to find a tool that does everything for you. Basically, a jack of all trades is a master of none – and it applies to simple social tools as well (and social media marketers too, for that matter).
Nonetheless, many employers still seem more willing to invest in the additional workforce rather than to trust some social media tools. These are not substitutive, though. Some of the tasks can easily be automated to take less time and effort from your social media marketers. Not to mention that simple social tools can really make a difference for your whole team.
“One tool fits all” is not a solution anymore
Even though seasoned social media marketers should still remain in charge of the strategy and its execution, taking advantage of social media tools have become an important part of their job. Top social media apps are not a luxury anymore – actually, they are more affordable than you might think.
It’s essential to know which tools are best for your business. Most likely, you will be using multiple social media apps at the same time – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, before you start researching and testing out different solutions, establish your needs first. Then, compare pricing, usability, and integrations with your existing software, if possible. You can take advantage of software review sites once you’re at it.
Keep in mind that an all-in-one social media management tool doesn’t exist. That is why it’s important to know what to look for when doing your research.
1. Content ideas & curation.
Let’s be honest: Great content is now more important than ever before. That is why there’s no point in posting on social media just for the sake of it. Actually, if you don’t have a well-thought-out content plan, you’re probably missing out on seeing any results from your social media marketing efforts.
At the same time, constantly coming up with new content ideas can easily get tiring. Especially if you have to do it all by yourself. This is where content curation comes in useful. You can look for content ideas and keep an eye on the most popular trends with BuzzSumo or Google Trends, for example (check out content curation definitions if you’re unsure).
2. Content creation – copy & visuals.
It’s not only creative ideas that matter, though. To have an attractive social media profile, you have to take care of the copy and visuals as well. If you work in an agency or have a dedicated social media team, you can probably count on skilled copywriters and graphic designers.
If that’s not the case: Luckily, there are some tools that can help you out, and you don’t need to become a top-notch copywriter or an actual graphic designer to be able to use them. These include Grammarly (for writing flawless copy), DesignWizard (for designing high-quality visuals), and Biteable (to animate your content).
3. Social media management – collaboration, approval, scheduling.
Once you have your copy and visuals figured out, it might be difficult to keep track of all your content across social networks. That’s precisely why you should invest in a powerful software to make your collaboration and approval process flawless.
Take Kontentino, as an example. It can easily become your social media assistant and streamline the whole social media management process for your team. In fact, it has plenty of useful features – such as internal & external post approval, unlimited storage and task progression, just to name a few.
4. Social media analytics.
Having an attractive content all planned out thanks to a social media management tool is one thing. Tracking the results of your social media marketing efforts is a completely different story. Actually, when you’re developing a social media strategy, you should decide in advance how you’re going to track the effectiveness of your activities.
Setting relevant KPIs will allow you to measure your progress, and optimise your social media content in the long run. These examples of social media tools are likely to help you gain some useful insights: Socialbakers (optimising social content and measuring its impact) or TweetDeck (for keeping an eye on Twitter).
5. Community management.
It might not seem like it at first, but community management is one of the most important activities for brands that use social media. Basically, it’s all about gathering and fostering an active community around a certain product, service or brand.
Nowadays, it can easily be done with posting user-generated content, creating social media groups and being ready to offer customer support via social media. Social Blade, as an example, can help you track user statistics and find the right influencers for your campaigns, while Grytics will analyse your Facebook groups.
6. Social media monitoring.
Social media monitoring is all about finding information important to your business. That means brand mentions, any new updates from your competitors, general trends within the industry, as well as relevant hashtags.
With dedicated tools, you don’t need to constantly browse social media by yourself in order to find out what your target audience has been talking about. Brand24, for instance, monitors social networks for you.
Social media evolve constantly. Hiring a new employee every time there’s a new trend or significant change in marketing practices is not the answer. It might soon leave you with a large team of individuals specialised only in single tasks and repeating them constantly (instead of getting equipped with the right tools). This can easily affect the team’s morale and thus, productivity.
Actually, even though social media marketers have a lot of responsibilities, many of their tasks can easily be automated. And some of them definitely should be! Take social listening, as an example. Endlessly scrolling social networks in search of brand mentions might not only be tiring but also ineffective. The same applies to social media analytics and scheduling. It definitely wouldn’t be that simple and powerful (or even possible) without the right tools.
More importantly, however, it’s also a proper software that facilitates team communication and collaboration. The bigger the team, the more difficult it gets to keep an eye on all the updates and work with one another. Instead of running around, asking questions and trying to have everyone on the same page, it’s much easier to exchange ideas with all your team members, as well as have the workflow and task progression in one place.
There’s no need to do everything by yourself or to hire and train additional team members for specific tasks only. That’s essentially the reason why social media tools exist – to make it easier for you to do your job. Since there’s usually a free trial available, just give them a try and see for yourself what difference they can make in your day-to-day work.
As can be seen, there are plenty of top social media apps you can use – and many of these simple social media tools are available for free. Due to the rapid development of new technologies, however, their number is only going to increase. It’s worth to keep this in mind, especially if you’re faced with the choice between hiring more people and investing in more tools.
Before you make any decision, you should be able to reflect on the tools used by your team. They should always meet the needs of your business and, above all, be effective. It’s more than fine to use various tools at the same time. In fact, growing your toolbox will most likely turn out cheaper than growing your social media team. Plus, if selected carefully, you’ll end up with social media toolbox filled with only the best tools.
If the above-mentioned social media apps are not enough and you’re still looking for more examples to take advantage of, download our social media toolbox.