For many brands, social media is a full-time job, to the extent that teams of experts are brought in to assist with brand positioning on these platforms. From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest to TikTok, the list goes on and on. While some businesses make the smart decision to focus on a handful of sites rather than all of them, it can still be overwhelming to manage a social media program.
This is where social media management tools come in. Though initially developed with a focus on scheduling social media posts, these services have evolved over the years. This is to accommodate the growing needs of social media and marketing teams.
So what are the social media management tools your business can use? And what best practices can you follow for your social media program? Read on to learn more about these platforms and how they can help you.
There are many different options when it comes to managing your social media profiles through a third-party vendor. These include Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer. Over the years, these platforms and others have scaled with changes to the social media landscape. For example, once Instagram had established itself as a leading network, Hootsuite integrated it. This allowed brands to easily schedule and share content on Instagram.
Launched in 2008, Hootsuite is a cloud-based social media management tool used by many leading brands. It allows you to monitor social networks, schedule content, collaborate with team members and view your performance analytics.
Hootsuite also offers an additional solution, Hootsuite Amplify, to enable employees to safely and easily share approved social media posts. Whether you are a small, mid-sized or large organization, it’s important for your employees to be on board with your social media program. Their reshares of your content can help you reach a wider audience and capture new leads and sales.
If you’re looking for a do-it-all solution for social media, check out Sprout Social. It helps you improve social listening, publishing, engagement and analytics. This holistic approach to social media is key because social listening can help guide your content. Publishing tools enable you to send out messages, images and videos at the optimal times. Responding to comments and questions quickly drives greater engagement. And lastly, reviewing your results can uncover trends and lead to improvements.
Spotify, the Denver Broncos and The Seattle Times are just a few of the many organizations that rely on Buffer to oversee social media. In fact, Buffer has more than 75,000 customers. Just like Hootsuite and Sprout Social, Buffer offers several different plans. You can select whichever plan best matches the number of profiles you manage and the volume of posts you distribute.
Before you choose a platform, it’s important to vet each so you understand their capabilities and the key differences. While there may not be a clear-cut winner in the social media showdown, you’ll learn about various features and feel better knowing that you did your homework. As part of this process, you may also want to trial each product for a week so that you can test them with your team.
Thankfully, if you’re a beginner to social media management platforms, you can quickly master them. Consider the following best practices as you become more acquainted with running your social media program with a third-party tool:
Review your streams regularly so that you see mentions, questions and comments and respond in a timely manner. Social media should be a two-way conversation rather than a one-way funnel of information. In addition to monitoring what conversations are taking place on your channels, keep an eye on trending topics and hashtags. This will give you the opportunity to quickly put out any fires that may arise and jump into relevant discussions.
Posts with imagery yield better engagement rates than those without. Whether you’re promoting a product or service, sharing an industry update, posting a company update or celebrating a holiday, use images, videos or GIFs with your copy. Social media platforms make it easier than ever to upload custom or stock photos, added a Vimeo or YouTube link or embed a GIF from GIPHY.
While your social media management platform is incredibly helpful for scheduling your posts, it’s still the responsibility of you and your team to make sure that your posts are grammatically correct. Spelling and grammar fails can live forever via screenshot. Project professionalism by always proofing your content before you press schedule or send.
Review the analytics section of your platform to see which links are getting the most clicks, the total number of engagements and how your follower count is growing over time. You can see these results for a day, week, month or another custom range. Identify trends in your metrics so that you can increase or decrease certain types of posts to improve engagement.
Every brand wants to increase its following on social media to boost awareness, credibility and loyalty. One way to grow your social media presence is to regularly share high-quality content. As brands expand the number of social media accounts they manage, it can become increasingly complex. Thankfully, social media management platforms make it easier than ever to schedule all of your posts. These third-party solutions enable marketing departments, human resources professionals and even sales teams to schedule and distribute approved content.
From Hootsuite to Sprout Social to Buffer, there are numerous options available on the market. Thus, you’ll need to research which tool is best for your business. Once you have your accounts integrated into the platform of your choosing, you’ll find that this approach makes your social media program much more organized. This frees up time for you to focus on creating great content that will engage your followers.
Get your social media program on the right track with help from social media management tools and Mulberry Marketing. Contact our team to learn how we can take your B2B brand’s social media posts to the next level.
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.