Social media managers have large shoes to fill and it seems the list keeps on growing: advertiser, planner, customer service and content creator are just a few tasks that will fall under your responsibility if you manage any social accounts.
The good news is that there is software that streamlines all (or most) of the tasks you need to complete to improve your productivity.
Great social media software integrates all your managerial tasks into one platform.
Remember the first iPhone, released in 2007? What made the iPhone special is that it combined a phone, an iPod and the internet into one easy-to-use device.
Think of social media software as the iPhone equivalent to your social accounts. Once you have it in your life, you can’t imagine a world without it.
There is an abundance of social media software available on the market today. And, just like every new car should have airbags, seatbelts and a radio, all social media software should have certain features that you shouldn’t go without.
Image source: Apple
So, what is social media software?
Social media software is best explained as programs that allow brands to engage with their audience through one platform. The software allows you to manage multiple accounts from one dashboard. For example, you can view and post to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts all at once, from the one dashboard.
You may already be using social media software, it has several name variations:
- CRM Software (customer relationship software)
- Social media marketing software
- Social network software
- Social media planning software
- Social media customer service tool
Why you need to be using social media software
Social media software puts you in control of your accounts. Not only can you streamline everything, you can collaborate with team members and allow them to work with you on projects.
Below are some benefits of using social media software:
- Streamline your accounts
- Increase time management
- Invite team members to collaborate
- Listen to what is being said about your brand online
- Find Leads
- Search keywords related to your brand
- Manage your advertisements for all socials from one place
- Access to analytics
- Schedule your content (never forget to post again)
If you want to improve your social media management and streamline your accounts, then you should seriously think about using social media software.
Below are 10 must-have features for social media software.
Social Media monitoring and listening
Social listening allows us to discover information about our brand that analytics can’t show us.
We can see how people engage with our brand online across all platforms. This is done by tools crawling social media sites for queries, mentions, keywords and other data.
Scheduling content is a necessity for any social media software. Your social media strategy should include a social media calendar so you can plan for important dates ahead of time.
Being able to visualise your content a month or so in advance will help you curate your content and optimise it best to reach your target audience.
You can see our blog on Instagram scheduling platforms here.
Social media is a two-way street. We can’t just put out content and drop off the face of the earth. It’s important to respond to our audience online to build trustworthy relationships.
Most social media management tools allow you to set up streams to allow for easier engagement. You can choose to see new followers, comments and shares on Facebook, or mentions and retweets for Twitter.
If you have the same questions that are regularly asked on your social media channels, you can save time by using approved suggested replies.
Without analytics how will we know how our content is performing? Your strategy should include goals of what you want to achieve on each social media channel. Analytics provides quality data to determine if we reach these goals.
Most analytic tools for social media software provide easy-to-understand visualisations that give you a succinct summary of your social channels.
Also, you can track the performance of your team. See how long it takes your team to respond to comments or tweets. Set response goals and monitor them to ensure your team is working efficiently.
Image source: Sprout Social
If you have multiple people working across your social accounts, it is important to make sure the correct permissions are allocated to each member.
This allows your team to avoid publishing any content that hasn’t been pre-approved, and it makes everyone accountable.
Security features are also a great way to be alerted of any suspicious activity on your social media channels.
Collaboration tools are a must if you are working in a team. Increase response time and make sure no tasks are being double handled. Your team can view all your social messages from all channels in one stream.
A great feature that most collaboration tools have is live activity updates. You can see when a team member is responding to a message in real-time so you don’t double up.
Track keywords associated with your brand to make sure you are staying relevant. Many social media tools allow you to set up a stream with allocated keywords. This is perfect if your social media strategy requires you to source user-generated content.
Tracking keywords is a great way to find followers that are more likely to be interested in your brand.
Social Media Ads
A big part of many social media strategies is advertisements. If you can’t manage your ads with your social media software, you are wasting your time.
Accessing your paid advertisements next to your organic posts is a handy feature to have, it allows you to cater your ads around your best performing content and track the success of your posts.
Make sure whatever social media software you choose allows you to discover new fans and create custom audiences. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are two social media tools that do this well.
A content library is ideal for managing your brand’s identity. Create libraries with pre-approved messages or images that can be allocated to certain team members or groups.
Let’s say you have a “how to” post that gets published every week, you can upload approved images that are on brand for that topic. You can also add graphic elements to further strengthen your visual identity online.
As social media continues to evolve, so will social media software. Make sure the software you decide to use has appropriate support available should you encounter any problems. After all, this software is meant to make life easier, not complicate things.
A quick way to see if the software has great support options is to have a look at their contact section. Look for help articles, FAQ, forums and chatbots.
Here is an excellent example of support services that will put your mind at ease.
What do you look for in social media software? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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