As we mentioned in a recent blog, social media marketing requires analysis just like any other marketing campaign. The solution for many businesses and brands is using a social media management tool. But what should you look for when choosing such a program? Here are a few crucial elements to consider.
Problem: Dana lives in Albuquerque, but her brand of portable speakers is most popular among affluent twenty-somethings in Japan. She’s noticed that her flash sales events have gotten a lot of traction with her domestic customers, but her overseas customers are not informed of the sale until it is almost expired. She can’t really afford to extend the sales, so just posting everything earlier wouldn’t help. Dana needs a way to schedule her posts so that they reach all of her potential customers in time.
Solution: A good social media management platform will enable you to schedule your posts for specific times. With such a tool, Dana can easily arrange for certain time zones to get the message before others. HootSuite and SproutSocial are two of the most popular scheduling apps available.
Problem: Josie is a Baby Boomer who runs an online record store specializing in vintage blues albums and opera recordings. Thanks to some tech-savvy friends, she understands the basics of social media marketing. However, she still needs to know how her marketing campaign is affecting her sales. Josie needs a clear way to track and measure engagement, conversions, and other data.
Solution: Josie should look for an analytical tool that gathers all of the relevant data in one dashboard. These tracking tools are great for both social media marketing experts and novices! Google Analytics is a free app that covers multiple metrics.
Problem: Carlos runs a website that aggregates the latest in science news. He focuses mostly on climatology and environmental issues, but the eruption of Kilauea has sparked an interest in geology among his subscribers. His husband’s recent cancer scare prompted him to post more articles regarding epidemiology and cancer research. Carlos is worried that he just won’t be able keep up with the news he wants to cover.
Solution: A news or trends aggregator application would help Carlos immensely. Not only would he be able keep track of multiple subjects, he would also be able to see trending topics. That would help him better tailor his material for each day. Carlos should look into Google Alerts (free) or Feedly (not free).
Problem: Tamika’s bookstore is flourishing, but her social media profiles have been somewhat neglected. She has accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter–and she’s lucky if she can get around to even one of them every week! She needs a way to post to multiple social media networks simultaneously.
Solution: Tamika is in luck: most social media management tools feature the ability to post to multiple networks at one time! While she would have to keep track of differences between platforms (e.g., not using Twitter handles on Facebook), this feature would allow her to optimize her limited time working on her digital marketing strategy. Buffer is a good possibility, as is HootSuite. (Note: HootSuite works with most platforms, but will not post to personal LinkedIn or Google+ pages.)
Problem: Cecil’s podcast and blog on local politics exploded in popularity after he uncovered a major scandal involving the now-former mayor. He wants to engage with his audience, but he doesn’t know how he can now that it has grown so large. Cecil still works full-time, so he can’t just continuously monitor the site. And while he hasn’t had much trouble with trolls, he still deals with some negative feedback.
Solution: Until artificial intelligence becomes a bit more refined, Cecil’s best option is hiring a social media manager, or a social media firm. A social media professional will be able to monitor his accounts and respond to his audience. A good social media manager is skilled in public relations, too: he or she will be able to handle any online audience. If, however, all you need is an away message, you can set those up on most sites.
As long as you keep these elements in mind, you should have everything covered! From rookies to veterans, marketing professionals swear by these applications. Remember: when in doubt, ask an expert.
Do you want to take your social media marketing to the next level? We can help! Contact us today for a free consultation!