But with a diverse array of platforms, a multitude of ways to post and dozens of metrics to measure and analyze, it can be tough to stay on top of your social media channels without a little external help.
Luckily, there are hundreds of social media tools out there to help manage social media output, track ROI, measure engagement and generally generate a more consistent experience for your audience. We’ve whittled it down to just five of the best:
Hootsuite is one of the world’s most popular social media dashboards. This useful resource allows you to manage all of your social media channels from one intuitive hub, as well as gaining an at-a-glance overview of all of activity.
You can schedule posts ahead of time for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Wordpress and more – the Hootsuite App Directory even has support for platforms like Instagram, MailChimp, Tumblr and Reddit.
Hootsuite’s analytic features are also fairly strong. You can generate reports and view summaries, or go into more detail about the traffic and engagement your accounts are receiving.
Price: manage three profiles and access basic analytics with a free account. Other options include Pro, Business and Enterprise, with subscriptions starting at around $10 per month.
Reputation management is fast becoming one of the most important disciplines of social media marketing – and SecureMySocial has it covered. This tool alerts you in real time if any social media posts you’ve created violate your own set of social media security tools or even the law. You can set up real-time deletion of posts that might be deemed problematic, and send warnings out to the staff members posting them. Your firm will be shielded from legal action and investigation, and you can better manage your company’s online reputation for more professional, on-message output.
Price: customers must first request a demo of the software to receive a price plan tailored to their needs.
In order to better engage with other social media users, you need to know more about how your brand is perceived online. Brand24 delivers simple social insights about your brand and your business, allowing you to track in real time what’s being said about you and, crucially, what your audience think of your competitors too. Brand24 helps businesses to respond to both positive and negative comments on all social media platforms, as well as detecting sales opportunities and identifying potential influencers.
Price: prices start at $49 per month after a free 14-day trial.
IFTTT (If This, Then That) is one of those game-changing apps that will make you wonder how you ever coped without it. It’s like a Swiss army knife for social media marketers – and it’s totally free. The premise of IFTTT is built around Recipes; you can create your own Recipes, or use one of the thousands already generated by avid users across the globe.
Here’s an example: if you want your Instagram posts to also appear on your Twitter feed without having to manually share from one platform to another, you can set up a Recipe in IFTTT to automate the process. The Recipe would be along the lines of ‘if I post a picture to Instagram, then you post the image (not just the link) to my Twitter feed’. As you can imagine, the sky's the limit when it comes to coming up with interesting, exciting combinations and you can take a lot of the stress out of your social media management with just a few minutes spent setting up your IFTTT Recipes.
Follower Wonk is one of Moz’s many incredibly useful social media apps. Focusing on Twitter only, this app allows you to analyze your Twitter followers in new ways, gaining insights about how to better engage with them. It will also help identify new and influential people to follow. Seek out followers based on where they’re located in the world, as well as narrowing down the numbers based on what they tweet about and what’s in their bio.
Getting rid of fake followers or spam accounts is also easy – you can sort through your followers based on metrics like post count or days on Twitter to weed out the spammy followers that you might accumulate over time. The tool also offers an optimization feature which helps to ensure that your Twitter posts are the best they can be.
Price: free with basic features and a single account. More advanced packages are available from $29 per month.