Are you looking to manage your social media more efficiently? There are business owners who feel they may be wasting too much time on social media, but haven’t got the time to look into how to do things differently. If that sounds familiar, we’ve created the perfect blog for you.
Before you commit to any particular tool, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. Do you want something that helps you plan and schedule your posts or a platform that lets you manage all your accounts from one place? Need analytics to see how your posts are performing? Or an app so that you can manage and post on the go? What about adding images or creating new content for your accounts? Working out what you need will allow you to choose the best social media management tool for you.
Before you start… free or paid?
Most versions of the best-known social media tools have free versions and paid-for versions. As with most packages, you’ll get less in a free tool than you will if you pay, but the free versions might give you everything you need for now. You can always upgrade to a paid version if your business grows, or you need to add extra accounts. Whilst you’re choosing though, take a look at the features and benefits of both options, so that you’re making an informed decision.
Most businesses choose tools to manage social networking that allow them to schedule posts. There are certain times of day and certain days of the week where your audience is online and receptive. These days and times will change depending on your audience, so it’s worth doing a bit of research to see when your target market is most often online.
Scheduling tools allow you to create posts and then allocate a date and time for posting, and most allow you to:
- Schedule and post for accounts on multiple platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
- Choose the date and time of posting
- Add media, images and links to your post
- Devise a content calendar
Benefits of scheduling include:
- Time saving – write and prepare your posts in one go, making efficient use of your time
- Planning – work ahead of time to post on key dates or to promote certain products and events
- Consistency – writing all your posts at once gives a consistent approach
- Visibility – scheduled content keeps your account busy and in front of your customers
The most popular scheduling tools include Buffer, Hootsuite and SocialOomph. All these sites offer more than just scheduling, but are a great place to start.
Analytics and reports
One of the best features of social media marketing is real-time reporting. You can see instantly how well your post is doing, allowing you to repeat, modify or completely change your approach quickly and cheaply. To do this well, you need a management tool with a good analytics or reporting system which offers:
- Statistics on a post-by-post basis
- Easy to understand reporting data
- Ability to export data elsewhere, such as Excel or PowerPoint
- Useful analytics, including likes, followers, shares, interactions, click-throughs and more
- Keyword tracking
- SEO tools
Tools that offer good analytics include Raven Tools, Agorapulse and SproutSocial.
In addition to posting your original content, using your social media pages to share content from others is a great way to boost interaction, demonstrate your areas of interest and connect with other users. Trawling the internet to find good re-usable content is incredibly time-consuming, however, so look for a social media management tool that can help you out:
- Discovery features – suggests who to follow so that you’re seeing content that’s relevant to your account
- Ideas libraries – draw your attention to recent, relevant content
- App tools – some tools have an associated app which lets you re-post useful content when you’re on the go
- Content planners – schedule further ahead by using the integrated content plan to work out when your posts will be most relevant and powerful
If what you’d really like to do is get some help bringing your social media marketing up to scratch, then it might be worth looking into hiring an internet marketing virtual assistant. Advantages include:
- Only pay for the time you use
- Access to an experienced resource that already understand the strategy and tools
- Ability to integrate with your existing systems
- No need to worry about holiday or sick leave – your tasks are always covered
Taking the next step
Choosing the best social media tools for business success can take time so we’re always happy to discuss how using them, and choosing us, could save your business time and money. To find out more about the ways a virtual assistant can help take a look at our social media services for small business, or to ask about our UK virtual assistants feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.