Social Media management tools help you plan, schedule and monitor your social media posts, to ensure they are timely and well-executed. These tools can also be used in a variety of ways beyond just scheduling your content, from tracking topics using tags to providing data and analytics. There are several types of social media management tools, with a variety of costs, offers and capabilities.
Using a Social Media Scheduling Platform
The first step in using a social media management platform is to determine what you want to get out of it. Which social media platforms will you be posting to? How detailed of reporting do you need? How many pages or clients are you managing? How many people on your team need access? Do you want it to track your advertising as well as organic posts? There are bare bones management tools and ones with all the bells and whistles so having a list of what you are looking for will help determine which tool is right for your company.
Creating a Social Media Management Tool Strategy
Once you’ve determined which social media management tool is best for your needs, you should set up a strategy on how to proceed with the tool to maximize its efficiency. Here are some questions to ask:
- Who needs access?
- Which social platforms will you connect to the tool?
- What metrics do you want to measure?
- Do you want to set up competitor analytics?
- What keywords and hashtags do you want to track?
- Do you want to utilize tags to monitor comments on outgoing posts and incoming messages?
- Do you need to set up an approval workflow with the posts?
Social Media Management Tools Benefits
For social media managers, planning upcoming content is crucial to a brand’s success. Scheduling content ahead of time and allowing others to review the content before it is posted, are a few of the benefits of a management tool. Social media management tools provide a variety of benefits to companies looking to streamline their social media process. Below is a list of benefits these tools provide:
- Multiple team members can use the management tool at the same time.
- It provides the ability to schedule posts ahead of time, put a post in draft mode or set a post for approval.
- You can view your content by the day, week or a full month.
- It saves time – if a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram post will have the same copy, you can upload as one post rather than 3 separate posts. You can also duplicate a post, adjust the copy and repost it at a later time.
- Messages and mentions are visible in one inbox, reducing how many times you have to log in to each individual social media account, if at all.
- It allows you to engage with posts and mark the posts or comments as “completed” so your co-workers don’t also engage with the same post.
- If you get a lot of the same questions and feedback from fans over and over, you can create saved replies to use again later. Additionally, you have the ability to edit the saved replies before responding which allows for a personalized touch so the replies don’t sound canned and impersonal.
- You can set email and mobile push notifications for warnings when there are higher than normal incoming messages.
- Some management tools allow you to boost (put money behind) social posts directly from the platform.
- You get full reporting capabilities allowing you to measure engagement, followers, competitors and more.
- You can see fan demographics, such as age, gender and location, by social platform.
- It provides optimal times to post, taking some of the guesswork out of what time of day you should post.
- You have the ability to tag outgoing posts and incoming messages with keywords, allowing you to pull a report focusing on those keywords. This report can give you insight into what is being said about your brand in the social space, what type of content performs well and which social platforms are most utilized by your fans. By tagging incoming messages, you can monitor any positive or negative sentiments and respond accordingly as well as keep track of customer photos that you might want to use (with permission).
- It offers the ability to add hashtags to the first comment when uploading an Instagram post.
- It provides Shopify, Hubspot and Salesforce integrations.
Social Media Management Tools Cons
While social media management tools are beneficial in streamlining your process, there are some downsides.
- The analytics available may not be as robust as the data that each social platform provides.
- Social media management platforms vary in price, with some versions being a bit expensive.
- The management tools don’t cover everything on social. For example, you can’t post to Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels and some don’t offer capabilities on all the platforms
- While management tools all have overlapping features (they may all post to Facebook, for example) they don’t all do everything; you might have to choose one preferred feature at the cost of losing another.
- Uploading large videos can sometimes be challenging.
- When tagging others in posts, you will probably have to upload each post separately since a brand’s social media handles may differ by platform..
- The tool might not be mobile compatible.
- Customer service responsiveness may vary.
- Some tools limit how many posts you can schedule in a month.
Social media management platforms are advantageous for someone managing multiple social media platforms and for multiple brands or clients. The ability to schedule posts ahead of time, monitor conversations and pull data and analytics all from one dashboard is of great value to social media managers. While there are many considerations when choosing a social media management tool, many platforms provide free versions or trial periods that allow the user to test out the platform features.