Most social media managers start out with one or two networks for one or two clients. At the time, it’s easy to manage the page directly and respond to people as comments roll in. However, as the number of channels, campaigns, and clients increase, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Some social experts spend so much time posting and responding that they don’t have time to actively grow the brand or connect with influencers.
If you feel overwhelmed by your social media obligations, then it’s time to take back your content management. Check out these six social media tools that make scheduling, connecting, and analyzing easier. With a little help, you can start to confidently manage your social channels in a way that benefits your brand.
Image via Flickr by Jason A. Howie
Buffer continues to be one of the best social media management tools on the market. More than 4,000,000 marketers use this tool for their campaigns in order to keep their posts organized and scheduled in advance. Buffer’s tools allow marketers to plan their social campaigns ahead of time (or post over the weekend when they’re not near a computer), reply to customers to keep the conversation going, and create images that generate shares. It’s a great place to start if this is your first time managing a social media account.
Basic, individual accounts with Buffer are free, or you can upgrade to a professional individual account for $10. This allows you to manage 10 different accounts (creating 100 managed posts each) across six social networks. Additionally, Buffer has agency level accounts where you can spend $400 monthly to manage 150 accounts and 2,000 posts. Whatever your size needs, Buffer is flexible with different prices.
BuzzSumo is a great tool for tracking content performance across social networks, finding content to share with your audiences, and identifying influencers in your field. Social media isn’t just about broadcasting messages, you have to engage. With this tool, you can find interesting pieces of content to share, and the people who created them to engage with.
To test it, consider sharing a piece of blog content and tracking its social friction. Then, find the main influencers who shared the content and drove the most traffic. You can then reach out to these people and thank them, or ask if they want to collaborate on another piece.
Buzzsumo’s content plans start at $80 per month, but the company has enterprise levels for $500 per month with multiple alerts, analyzers, and features that make the investment worth it.
If you’re looking to join the conversation with other brands in your industry or region, consider testing Social Clout. This tool analyzes conversations across a variety of channels and helps brands answer questions and engage with potential customers. One of the best features of this tool is the Keyword Search option that tracks keyword mentions and can send alerts. Some brands track their name as a keyword so they can respond to statements or criticism even if they’re not tagged. There are also sentiment reports to let you know whether the majority of statements about your brand are positive or negative.
Starter plans for Social Cloud are $50 per month, but there are enterprise levels for more than $100 monthly. These plans allow users to analyze keywords and competitors across five social networks, creating a clear view of your social media sentiment.
Oktopost specifically works with B2B social media managers to curate content and share it with potential leads. Oktopost has an employee advocacy option that allows people to engage with their employer and share brand news that they find interesting. It also has listening features that help brands understand the pain points of their customers to better market to them.
Successful sales and content managers develop pieces around their audiences. They learn what frustrates or confuses them and answer accordingly. Without the ability to listen and respond, your brand is likely yelling into the void.
Brands need to contact Oktopost about pricing and can discuss their concerns and specific industry needs with sales teams who understand what they’re going through.
If you’re looking to create engaging Snapchat and Instagram stories that your audiences will love, consider managing them through Storyheap. This tool makes it easier to schedule and publish your messages while providing analytics on user behavior. It’s an ideal option if you’re active on both of the social media channels and want to compare their performance against each other. One of the best features is the ability to track story performance over time, so you can see if your stories are considered more engaging for viewers or if a larger percent of your audience is watching them.
Pricing for Storyheap starts at $50 per month for 100 monthly uploads and expands to $200 per month for unlimited uploads.
If your company is looking for an alternative to traditional email newsletters, or if you want to connect with audiences on social media that might not engage with your brand in other ways, consider sending newsletters through Facebook Messenger. The Botletter app boasts an 80 percent open rate for Facebook Messenger newsletters and a click-thru-rate that’s four to 10 times higher than most newsletters. Brands can also segment their audiences to make sure they target specific demographics or active users.
Brands can send 1,000 messages per month for free. So, you could send five messages to your audience of 200 each month without having to pay. The prices then scale up to 50,000 messages for $85/month. This could mean sending one Botletter to an audience of 50,000 or five Botletters to audiences of 10,000 each. Brands that need more can contact Botletter directly to come up with a plan.
You don’t need to use all of these social media tools to successfully manage your digital campaigns. Consider testing a few or signing up for a few free trials to determine which ones you can’t live without. Remember, the tools you use aren’t meant to make your life harder. Pick the options that reduce your work burdens the most.