With its lightning-fast development, social media marketing (SMM) is a thrilling industry that makes us learn new tricks daily. Social media platforms advance not only in number, but also in new features. At the same time, we see growth in the number of software services designed to help social media marketers do their jobs better. There are four main challenges that every social media marketer encounters:
- How to schedule posts
- How to target content
- How to increase engagement
- How to measure results
Let’s consider the tools that help with each of these challenges.
1. A reasonable posting frequency is the groundwork of your SMM strategy
Posting frequency is a rather technical part of SMM but still is extremely important. Posting at the wrong time can nullify all your creative efforts. Studies showed that the most efficient post amount per day is three for Twitter and two to three for Facebook (but, of course, your success may vary). Regular and consistent posting takes a lot of time and effort. To make this work easier, you can appeal to some basic tools listed below:
Buffer is one of the most popular tools to manage social media scheduling. It is compatible with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. Buffer assists you in synchronizing of your social media accounts. It also optimizes your video and images for different social networks. You can even create images for your social media posts using their Pablo product.
PostPlanner is a Facebook scheduling app that also helps to curate content for your Facebook feed. It is a great tool for beginners since it has a clear, free tutorial and training. PostPlanner helps its users find viral content to curate, in addition to sharing owned content. If you decide to focus specifically on Facebook promotion, this app could be a great tool for you.
Edgar is a great tool for reviving your old posts. It sorts your posts by topic and targeted traffic. Then it chooses the best time to post your older, evergreen content so to best engage your audience.
2. Precise targeting becomes easy with special tools
To understand your audience better, you need analytics tools. For example, Google Analytics has a section called Affinity Categories. It categorizes the customers according to their favorite Internet activities.
Here you can explore the lives and loves of your customers, whether they are cooks, travelers or gamers. You can adjust your content to the needs and interests of your audience. There are yet more tools to help your content hit its target.
Nuzzel app sorts out the essential info about your potential customers by their social activities (likes and shares). Along with the info about their interests, Nuzzel gathers their contact and demographic data.
Social Clout is an analytics tool that helps to research audience sentiment. It works for Facebook and Twitter, and allows analyzing aggregated comments and posts from both platforms. You can apply a filter to track positive and negative responses separately.
3. Engagement is one the most important metrics
Along with poor customer care, ignoring social engagement can notably harm your business.
FoxNews gathered more than 120 million likes, shares and comments on its page in the first six months of 2016. Answering question of “how”, FNC VP of social media Jason Ehrich pointed out that they bet on the engagement strategy. One look at the FoxNews Facebook page shows you what Ehrich is talking about. They rotate posts of “softer” news stories with hard news on politics and the economy (which is the main FNC product):
Mixing amusing content with hard news makes the critical information more readable and discussable. To figure out what topics resonate the most with your audience you can use following tools:
BuzzSumo is one of the greatest tools to build an effective content strategy. It is another kind of search engine that helps you to see what content in your niche is the hottest at the time. It sorts the topics by date and popularity, so you can see the main trends across social media channels. It also helps to build out part of your SEO strategy, allowing you to search the best performing topics and keywords.
Sprout Social allows prompt answering of users’ comments and questions. That keeps your customers happy. It works as a multi-purpose tool for SMM management and even large companies can use it easily.
To maintain engagement, you should support your visual content presence on social platforms. Among the indispensable tools are:
Canva is a favorite tool both for beginners and experienced social marketers. It’s an incredibly easy to use tool, which allows you to create the nicest and optimized visual content for every social platform. Infographics, blog graphics, email cards – anything you can think of and all of it in the one place. It's also free, with a paid version available.
Adobe Spark is another free tool that will let its users create optimized visual content, graphic posts to animated gifs to video, for free. It's drag-and-drop simple, and has mobile app versions as well.
4. Your choice of tools for analytics depends on the social media channel and your purposes
There are several possible points for your analytics attention. Including general reports, analysis of competition, ROI calculating, cross-platform and engagement tracking. For each of these options, you can use a different tool. Many analytical software choices are designed for individual platforms. Among the most popular and multi-purpose are the following:
CrowdBooster is based on real-time metrics. It creates reports of your Facebook and Twitter accounts’ performance. It allows following the dynamics of audience engagement. Furthermore, it offers the recommendations on how to improve your strategy. It also provides a Twitter scheduling option.
Easypromos offers a set of apps that allows diversifying content by quizzes, contest, surveys, and more, as well as KPI reports.
Tailwind is designed specifically for Instagram and Pinterest. It emails the reports on main trends in the industry and on a company’s own performance.
All these tools ease the work of social media management in four directions: post scheduling, targeting, engagement boosts, and analytics. It is not a whole range of SMM tasks, these are rather basic. Before applying any of these tools, you need to prioritize your tasks, so the apps could show the maximum of their effectiveness. Read the guides and reviews for every tool carefully, so you can choose the one that meets your needs the best.
Of course, there is a huge variety of tools for social media marketers. There are tons and tons more. If I didn’t list your favorites here, please leave a note in the comments with your favorite social media management tool.