One of the most important aspects of a social media strategy is the tools you're using to stay efficient. It seems that there are new tools coming out every week, so we wanted to share a list of our favorite social media tools. These are literally the 6 tools we use every day in order to make the most of our time managing social for ourselves and our clients.
We can't give Buffer enough praise. While the Buffer blog is on point, today we're recommending the Bufferapp scheduling tool. We use this tool to create social media schedules, schedule posts, and track post metrics. Whether you're managing a couple profiles or dozens (like us), this tool will save you time. Buffer even offers an easy-to-use app so we can check on our schedules from our phone or tablet.
COST: $50 - $250 per month / 7-day free trial
*We especially love Buffer's transparency when it comes to pricing.
Feedly is one of the best ways to find new content. In a previous blog, we talked about creating the right content mix for your audience. Your audience will quickly lose interest if you talk about your business too much. No one wants to follow a page that feels too "salesy." 80% of your content should be non-promotional content and should purely serve to entertain, educate and/or engage your audience.
So the question is, where are you going to get this much outside content? Well, we rely heavily on Feedly. Feedly allows you to compile news feeds that are personalized to the industries you choose. For example, if I'm looking for social media content before Feedly, I'd have to separately visit Moz Blog, Buffer Blog, Social Media Examiner, etc... Feedly brings all of these feeds into one and saves a ton of time.
COST: Free or Pro Version for $45 per year
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is our secret best friend. Sometimes we can't believe how much we learn from this tool, and we can't believe the how many business owners are not using it. Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed data about your website's traffic. Reviewing this data will allow you to make real-time adjustments to your strategy, which is vital to staying ahead of the game. Check out a recent blog where we highlight the areas of the tool that we find most useful in assessing what's working and what's not.
While we wouldn't label this a "social media tool" per se, it sure does do "wunders" in helping you stay organized. Wunderlist is a task manager that allows you to manage your tasks from any device. We especially love the Share tool which allows our team to collaborate on projects and assign tasks back and forth. There are several tools similar to Wunderlist (like the popular Evernote), but we appreciate the simplicity and accessibility of this tool.
COST: Free or Pro Version for $5 per month
5. Facebook Ads Manager
With Facebook's latest restrictions, even though users "Like" your page, it does not mean that they will see your content. Facebook serves up content to users based on the individual's interests and activity history. The only way to guarantee that your audience sees your content is to pay to target them directly. The best part, it's pretty reasonably priced.
At any given time, we have several Facebook ads running on behalf of our clients. This can be a lot of keep track of. To keep the results organized, we touch base with Facebook Ads Manager every day. You can access your Facebook Ads Manager by visiting your company's Facebook page, then clicking on the drop-down arrow next to 'Build Audience.' From there, just click 'Ads Manager' and you're in! We use this page to compare ad results in order to make improvements in future ads.
6. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a social media management system with functionality for multiple person teams and a focus on engagement, publishing and analytics. While we don't use Sprout to publish content, we do rely on it for their in-depth analytics reporting. They offer tons of reports and analytics that are useful in reviewing our client's social media success (and making strategy improvements based on the learnings). We find that many businesses forget about this step all together.
A social media strategy is a living, breathing entity (Tweet this!). It should be something you are constantly changing and evolving based on what's working, and what's not. In today's world, real-time analysis and adjustments need to be made in order to stay on top of the game.
COST: $59 - $500 per month / 30-day free trial