Which Social Media Tool Should I Use For My Business
Individual businesses approach brand social media in different ways, but for all organisations, having a solid management strategy is vital. Helping to simplify social schedules and reporting procedures, implementing the right social tools will save your business a lot of time and energy, plus will enable you to better track and analyse your social progress on multiple networks.
Choose your network(s), and plan your strategy.
When creating a social strategy, any business will want to see a return on time being invested, though profiting from social activity is an inherently long term process. No matter the size of the business or the complexity of the strategy, implementing the right social media tools is just as important as using the right social network for your brand, so before choosing either:
- Have a clear idea of why you want to use social media, who your campaigns will target and where your targeted demographics are active. This helps you establish which social network to use and what to report on. You can then choose a social media management tool that suits.
- Do not immediately join all social networks or use every tool you can think of - this will take up too much time. At first, it is better to establish and successfully manage one network rather than juggle multiple accounts and management strategies.
- Decide how much time/ resources to dedicate. For smaller or home businesses an extensive social and reporting strategy may not be immediately accessible or fit to budget - you can always add more networks later on! Start small, and choose tools that can help you build towards a main goal - whether you want to prove an increase in following, engage more with your audience, or establish a presence in a certain space for example.
You may also want to consider the viability of outsourcing social account management. This may require additional budget, but can provide fully managed expertise in social account and reporting practices.
Key social management tools to consider for your business
Helpful when scheduling social activity, tracking strategic process across social networks and proving ROI, social media management tools to consider implementing include:
- HootSuite - An umbrella management system with both free and paid availability, HootSuite enables individual and team administrators to schedule posts across all the major social networks and manage and respond to audience engagement in real time. HootSuite also offers an in-built reporting and analytics feature.
- Tweriod - Any social strategist knows there are key times to schedule posts on twitter. Tweriod helps determine those times for your unique business and audience, and does so regardless of the general rules on optimum activity times.
- Sprout Social - With comprehensive (and good looking) reporting and analytics, Sprout Social (like HootSuite) allows for multiple network management, post scheduling and comparison, plus allows multiple administrator use; notifying those administrators of relevant audience engagement and activity.
- Buffer - Allowing you to maintain continuous activity across your networks, Buffer enables posts and tweets to be scheduled quickly and ahead of time, minimising social effort with maximum results.
- Twitter counter - In it's free form, Twitter Counter is ideal for tracking or comparing follower increase (or decrease) and tweet frequency over a set date range.
- G+ search - Specifically for Google+, this 'social search engine' allows you to search for publicly available Google+ content related to your chosen term, then share or engage with it as you wish.
- TweetDeck - If you want to search twitter and engage with your audience based on key terms, TweetDeck may be the tool, allowing you to set your parameter streams, view and respond to relevant tweets.
If you are using multiple social channels, ensure each has definitive objectives, its own strategy and a unique content development plan. You should choose tools suited to those networks and use them in conjunction with any inbuilt reporting systems - e.g. Facebook's own page insights, or LinkedIn's skills and expertise filter pages.
Lastly, don't be afraid to experiment with new tools! If you find a new method or management platform that may work for you, test it out - new tools are being developed all the time, so regularly evaluate and evolve your strategies.
Alastair Kane is a digital marketing executive at Strategic Internet Consulting a B2B Digital Marketing Agency.