Managing social accounts is not a walk in the park. Sometimes, it felt like you’re defending yourself with a single arm in a boxing match.
In today’s world, social media is a great source for building more followers, traffic building and increasing brand visibility. You may even use it to engage with your (potential) customers.
You are faced with only one problem … and that’s the biggest problem known to mankind.
“Social media never sleeps. And there’s no way for you be online 24/7.”
According to Neil Patel from Quick Sprout, social media is the new SEO. If you want to succeed in your business, you got to start doing at least a little social media marketing!
There are dozens of social media platforms; namely Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. How do you manage multiple social media accounts at the same time?
Logically speaking, you can’t-do that effectively and efficiently unless … you seek assistance from various social media management tools (or having a virtual assistant for that matter).
You have time constraints, two hands, one mind but several BIG goals in social media to accomplish for your business.
Believe it or not, this is driving half the world population nuts or at least, for those who are in the digital marketing industry.
But before you even go down that deadly, treacherous and lonely road of social media marketing, you can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the availability of social media management tools.
What is a social media management tool?
Social media management software helps online marketers to manage social media campaigns effectively.
“Imagine managing various social accounts under one roof. How does that sound to you?”
These social media tools allow you to manage all your social media activities at one place and indirectly, eliminating the need to manually go into each account for managing.
A good social media management tool would allow you to connect to major social platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Social media is the next big thing in marketing and it is definitely your lost if you are not involving yourself in social media. One of those good social media resources is from Ana Hoffman from Traffic Generation Cafe; Weekly Marketing Skinny @ August 30, 2014.
What are the benefits of using social media management tools?
- Analytics has done easy
Managing all accounts under one program allows you to analyze and get statistic reports.
Instead of comparing each report manually, you would be able to find all the reports under one roof. This is an excellent way to take the process of social media analytics to the next level.
Besides analytics, these tools could also be used as monitoring tools (for example tracking mentions and keywords)
For example, I would get an overview of all my social accounts right after linking them to Sprout Social.
- Increase productivity
People say that they are able to boost productivity when they use social management tools.
Most tools allow users to integrate and connect various social media accounts at one place. Imagine the ability to manage social media accounts with just one program.
A great example here is Hoot Suite allows users to manage multiple streams or social activities. This makes managing several social media accounts much easier.
- Tracking social media performance
It is not an easy task to keep track of multiple social media performance, plus tracking the performance of your competitors is even more challenging.
You could easily obtain such information using various social media management tools.
Imagine the power and the simplicity to manage everything you need about social media marketing in one place.
- The power of scheduling
Your readers are located all around the world and you can’t be awake 24/7.
“Your biggest problem?”
The Internet and social media never sleep.
Introducing, social media scheduling and automation.
Using social media dashboards like Hoot Suite, you are able to share your tweets during the time that matters most; the time where the majority of followers are online.
Publishing social updates at the right time would help you gain maximum exposure and as well as increasing the chances of social engagements.
3 powerful social media tools that help in social media management
- Hoot Suite
National Hockey League (NHL), The Dallas Morning News, Virgin Airways and Sony Music are among the thousands of corporate companies using Hoot Suite to manage their social media accounts.
Is Hoot Suite really that good when it comes to social media management?
Hoot Suite has over 6 million users and Hoot Suite is really popular as it is available in 13 different languages.
It stands out from the crowd thanks to its ability to create multiple streams and tabs.+
Hoot Suite makes it really easy to integrate multiple social media accounts under one roof and indirectly making any management projects easy.
It integrates well with major social media platforms such as:
Besides that, it has a huge range of third-party apps to integrate alongside to make any social media marketing project a breeze.
“Hoot Suite offers an auto-scheduling feature which it will publish scheduled updates at the most optimal time (maximum of 10 posts per social account).”
If you dig into social media analytics like me, generating multiple reports using Hoot Suite is really easy.
For those who work in a team, Hoot Suite also allows collaboration among team members. This helps to delegate multiple tasks to different team members.
Advantages using Hoot Suite:
- Multiple streams to separate different social media tasks
- Easily integrate with various social media platforms
- Provides basic and advanced social media analytics
- Ability to schedule manually and automatically for maximum reach
- Smartphone accessible
- Easy integration with Bit.ly URL shortened (you may use Hoot Suite’s inbuilt shortened as well for analytics)
- Affordable as low as $8.99 per month (free version available)
- Team collaboration ability
- Sprout Social
If you are an avid social media strategist or managing social media accounts for your clients, Sprout Social is probably the best tool to manage social media accounts under one roof.
Similar to Hoot Suite, Sprout Social is used by thousands of brands worldwide. For example E! Online, Yammer, Mail Chimp, Yahoo. Razorfish and Hyatt.
What makes Sprout Social so popular among top brands for social media management?
Sprout Social integrates well with major social media platforms such as:
For me, Sprout Social focuses on engagement, publishing, and analytics. In social media marketing, I truly believe these are the 3 things anyone should need to do to ensure a successful social media campaign.
“What I totally love about Sprout Social?”
Smart Inbox (new feature) allows you to monitor mentions, replies and even new followers in real time.
Among all the auto scheduler I have used, Sprout Queue feature is probably the most advanced one I ever was seen. The algorithm is set to allow you to publish social updates at the optimal time.
What makes Sprout Queue unique is the ability to schedule the post as the ‘Next Post’ or straight into the queue and filling up the last spot.
In terms of social media analytics, Sprout Social offers more options such as :
- Group stats
- Level of interaction
- Influence ranking
- Number of unique users
- Number of impressions
For those who are into digital marketing, you know exactly how important these stats are for your campaigns.
Sprout Social also allows collaboration between team members and each social interaction could be assigned to specific team members.
Lastly, it doesn’t have streams like Hoot Suite but it comes to groups. Each group can consist of different platforms and projects.
“If you are running a digital marketing agency or handling multiple social media accounts for various clients, Sprout Social is definitely a must-have tool!”
Advantages using Sprout Social:
- Easy integration with multiple social media platforms
- Advanced social media analytics
- Ability to use Sprout Viral Post feature (auto scheduling at optimum time)
- Unified Inbox (Smart Inbox) to view all social channels or filter to focus on specific channels
- Sprout Social works well with other CRM programs (example storing of customer’s records)
- Live chat with customer support team
- Ability to integrate Helpdesk features
- Task collaboration between team members
- Multiple paid plans to fit various needs
If you are just an average blogger or do not require advanced social media management tools, Buffer is a great alternative.
Buffer doesn’t have fancy features when compared to Hoot suite or Sprout Social. The interface is very straightforward and it doesn’t look like a full-fledged social media management tool.
“But what makes Buffer such a popular tool? It gets the job done and in most cases, perfectly well!”
The buffer is easy to use and you can easily setup it up less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is:
- Authorize Buffer to access your social media accounts
- Select scheduling time
- Schedule a post
Yes, there are only 3 steps for this.
“Social media scheduling increases the chance of visibility on various platforms such as Twitter.”
Buffer integrates perfectly well with major social media platforms such as Facebook Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and App.net.
Buffer also provides analytics but it is much simpler compared to Hoot Suite and Sprout Social. You can check on the number of reach, clicks, retweets and likes.
The advantages using Buffer are:
- Easy to use
- Clean interface and dashboard
- Straightforward analytics
- Mobile applications available
- Affordable price (free version available)