The best agencies understand the importance of streamlining and automating processes. Getting a handle on the effectiveness of different campaign strategies means the difference between success and failure.
Social media can eat up a lot of your promotional time. Fortunately, dozens of useful social media management tools mesh with social media platforms, so find the ones that save you time and money.
Most people have at least one social media account. Statista predicts around 3.43 billion social network users by 2023. They are split across different sites, though. With so many people on varying channels, you’re probably wondering how you can improve your social media marketing.
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You can’t afford to invest in every tool, so it’s crucial to understand what each one offers. We’ve narrowed the list down to the top types of social media management tools you need for effective management.
Collaboration tools are a must. When working with any size budget, there is a lot of back and forth about the best strategies for marketing. When you include the client in the loop, you have a record of their requests as well as a faster process. At each milestone in the project, everyone on the team sees what work still needs completing and what’s finished.
Look for a platform with an intuitive interface. You also want a tool that’s accessible from desktop and mobile devices. Some of your staff may wish to complete work on-the-fly via their cell phones. You can also check in on progress in the middle of a client call by simply pulling up the platform on your smartphone.
Of the social media management tools you can utilize, communication is arguably the most vital. It sets the tone for everything else you do and keeps everyone on the same page.
Popular communication platforms include:
Store all your communications in a central location. You can access conversations from any site, making Slack perfect for remote teams. Slack also has security features many small business owners don’t have on their local networks, keeping proprietary data safe from competitors and hackers.
A project management and communication tool in one. Set task deadlines, map the touchpoints and deadlines on a project, and keep communication tied to each item for easy searches. The platform also serves as a light version of a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
The pandemic forced a lot of companies to move to remote work and digital meetings. Zoom is often the tool of choice for video conferencing. Use Zoom for breakout team meetings, daily standup gatherings, and to interface with clients. You can record meetings for future reference or get a transcript of the event.
Similar to tools such as Asana, Monday.com is a less expensive alternative to project management with built-in chat features and storage. The system lets you set up workflows and collaborate with people across the country. Receive reminders and make sure everyone stays on task.
Most digital communication tools offer a free trial period. Take advantage of the free time to test out each platform and see which one works best for your team. Take note of the features you like and the ones you don’t.
Your ideal tool fits within your budget but also meets your needs as a small business owner. Some features are must-haves, such as a record of past conversations. If you can live without an element and save money, it might be worthwhile to add on free options such as Zapier or If This Then That (IFTTT).
You can utilize nearly any type of communication or project manager. The key is allowing people to check notes and understand what’s been completed and what is still yet to be done.
Use a Social Media Ad Dashboard
When you’re managing various social media accounts, the logistics can become a nightmare. No one wants to log in to each separate account repeatedly just to post a few tidbits. Fortunately, various tools allow you to manage your advertising on Twitter and other social media sites.
Choose an option allowing for multiple accounts. Some solutions charge for each account. The costs add up quickly as your agency grows and you take on new clients. Seek out a system authorizing you to see all your clients’ calendars from one dashboard and make changes accordingly. You also need a program enabling more than one agency staffer to complete scheduling tasks.
Some of the social media management tools you can use to schedule posts and streamline your efforts include:
SocialBee is one of the fastest-growing social media management tools for agencies, which helps you manage your customers’ social presence at a fair price. If you’re someone who thrives on being organized, you’re going to love SocialBee as it allows posting on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google My Business.
Manage most of your social media engagement from a central dashboard. Hootsuite is compatible with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. Schedule posts and track mentions, and engage users from the platform.
Most of the social media ad dashboards offer similar services. Buffer integrates with Instagram, Facebook, Shopify, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The tool lets you see a visual plan of your marketing campaigns to ensure the images and schedule work for your brand image.
This tool is the gold standard for social media management because it offers more than just a scheduling platform. If you’re looking for a full-service solution and have the budget to invest, you’ll appreciate the combined CRM software plus marketing and sales platform. They offer in-depth analytics and automation to save you time and ramp up your digital growth.
If you mainly promote on Instagram and Pinterest, Tailwind is an inexpensive social media marketing solution. You can schedule posts based on the best time for engagement per your analytics, create pins within the program, and find other content to share.
You might also check options such as DashThis, Meet Edgar, and Sendible. One of the best things you can do to improve your productivity is schedule posts ahead of time. You’ll find numerous online tools for managing social media posts across multiple platforms.
Look for a solution offering the ability to post on the social media platforms you use most. Some don’t sync well with Instagram, while others won’t work with Pinterest. Think about the options out there. You may even need to use more than one and break your clients into segments, depending on which social media channels serve them best. You also want a system allowing multiple employees to log in and schedule changes.
Each platform has its own features. Take advantage of free trials and figure out which tool works best for your agency and workflows.
Automate DM Replies
The time it takes you to respond to someone’s private message makes a big impression on consumers. If you’re managing your clients’ social media accounts, this may include responding to messages about different sales campaigns or answering questions. If you’re a one-stop solution for your customers, consider automating the initial response to direct messages.
On Facebook, you would hook into tools for Messenger, for example. Seek out software offering smart answers catered to the person who sent them. At a minimum, you should greet the user by name and let them know you have their message and will respond within 24 hours.
Some systems are more advanced and use artificial intelligence (AI) to guess the topic at hand. Pre-selected scripts may start the buyer on a journey, and you can then tweak the response when a human is available.
Set up automated responses in a variety of ways, including creating your own SaaS scripts. Here are some social media management tools to help you with automated DMs on popular sites:
Send DMs to new followers, everyone or custom lists. The automation bot interacts with targeted audiences on Instagram. Be aware that the social media platform changes its algorithms, so how Instazood works may change over time. However, it is still a valuable tool to expand your reach on Instagram.
Set up a Twitter automated DM, follow-back, and auto-welcome. You can schedule posts on a variety of networks in addition to Twitter. SocialOomph also works with Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.
Send automated welcome messages to Twitter followers. See a list of your followers. You can easily follow them back or remove accounts that aren’t returning the favor of being a fan.
Use the messaging response assistant on your page to automate replies. Use Creator Studio to turn instant messaging on or off. You can set up responses to common questions, acknowledge a message, or share business hours and contact information.
If you answer the same questions over and over on social media, come up with a script to answer them quickly. Anything that saves you time makes you more productive.
Curate RSS for Newsletters
Another useful tool for marketing agencies is taking content from RSS feeds and creating a newsletter. Look for email service solutions that pull from an RSS feed. You’ll have the initial HTML setup to brand the newsletter, but the content gets self-populated.
You can also plug content into your social media calendar, so you aren’t always self-promoting and offer valuable industry insights from other sources.
Email newsletter services offering RSS options save agencies time and money. You won’t have to copy and paste. You merely use the RSS feed code once and then indicate how often you send the newsletter. The software automates the process, so you never have to think about it again, and users get a weekly email from the company you represent.
Although not technically a social media management tool, many of these RSS email newsletters integrate with your social media accounts. When the newsletter goes out, you can set the program to post a link to your pages at the same time.
Some of the programs available offering RSS integration, either from your own blog or aggregated from a variety of sources, include:
Businesses on a budget can get started with Mailchimp for zero cost. You can send messages to up to 2,000 contacts with their free plan. As your mailing list grows, you’ll need to upgrade to a more extensive database. The pro plans come with additional templates and capabilities for automation and tracking.
For companies with more than 2,000 customers on their lists, MailerLite offers a less expensive option with plenty of templates and capabilities. Set up an auto-response chain or send out a weekly newsletter based on your RSS feed.
16. Constant Contact
Create branded emails and gain access to automation tools. The platform offers additional options to gather all your tasks in one third-party site, such as website building, landing page creator, and shopping cart system.
Another service-as-a-software option for your newsletter needs is SendInBlue. They are cloud-based and offer custom form builders, split testing, and a drag-and-drop interface. Their free account lets you add as many contacts as you’d like and send up to 300 emails per day. The next package gives you 10,000 emails and adds A/B testing and advanced analytics.
You may need to read about the coding and figure out where your RSS feed appears on your blog, but setting up an automated weekly newsletter is rather simple and will pay off in ongoing promotion for your brand.
Measure Video Advertising
The latest State of Video Marketing Study showed that 75% of millennials watch videos every day. Not only should your efforts include video marketing, but you also need to track how well the target audience responds to your client’s releases. One of the best things you can do for the growth of your clients is tracking their results.
There are dozens of tools to measure the effectiveness of video campaigns. Look for tools showing not only how many people click on the video, but also how long they watch it and any action they take after, such as visiting your site. Are they sharing the video on social media and with family and friends? How viral is each offering in your campaign?
Some tools to check out include:
18. YouTube Analytics
If you post your video directly to the social media video platform YouTube, they have built-in statistics to show who views your videos and how effective they are with your target audience.
Study the performance of videos on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in one central location. You can even gain insight into your live videos. Automate reporting and check out the return on investment (ROI) calculator to ensure you’re getting excellent results from the effort.
The site not only hosts your videos but also gives in-depth feedback on how effective your efforts are and keeps you informed on ROI.
21. Sprout Video
One of the things we love about this tool is checking out the heatmaps to see what parts of the video are most viewed. You can also analyze what users do after they finish watching the clip.
Taking the time to dig into data on video performance helps you improve your efforts over time. Whether you promote your own agency or a client’s business, the data that drives results makes a significant impact.
Add Easy Order Options
Sites such as Instagram are looking for ways to help businesses turn their sites into e-commerce stores. Instagram currently has more than 1 billion active monthly users. The possibilities to advertise and secure sales on the platform are endless.
Look for ways to automate the ordering process so you don’t have to complete additional steps to gain and fulfill orders. On Facebook, you can add a shop button taking the user directly to your shopping cart on your website or set up a Facebook store.
Shopify allows you to easily integrate social media into your e-commerce store. While the process still isn’t 100% streamlined, look for options for your store that make ordering a simple, one-step process for users.
While there aren’t dedicated social media management tools for incorporating social media and e-commerce, many tools out there allow you to trigger a reaction. For example, if someone makes a comment, clicks on a product link, or places an order, you can trigger a response. Try:
Gain access to a central inbox managing all your social media interactions. You can collaborate with others for social media scheduling and tap into trends and insights about your brand and industry.
If you’re looking for ways to save time, Zapier serves as a productivity and automation tool. You can integrate it with some of your favorite apps. For example, you can set up a landing page lead collection funnel and integrate with Gmail via Zapier to notify you of any new signups.
If This Then That also gives you the power to tap into automation. Add new contacts to your mailing list automatically and set reminders to complete tasks. Use recipes already created by others or develop custom solutions.
Looking to automate your customer service support? Build a no-code chatbot in minutes with a drag-and-drop interface.
Look for ways to simplify your engagement with customers.
Users don’t always love chatbots, but they have a place and can help smaller agencies respond immediately to commonly asked questions. Think of your ‘bot as the first step in an interaction with the customer and not a final step.
Make a list of the top 10 queries you get from your target audience. Which three or four do you answer over and over? You probably already have a standard response for those queries. These are chatbot gold. Write out your answer and the various ways users ask the question.
Not all social media sites are suited to work with chatbots. You can use them on Facebook and Twitter, though. You should also add a live chat to your website and integrate the questions and answers there.
Some options for chatbot tools on social media include:
26. I Am Dave
Artificial intelligence capable of having a human-like conversation with your customers. It integrates with most existing software. Set a personality for your bot to match your brand voice.
27. Facebook Messenger Chatbot
Program your chatbot with automated responses. If the user asks a question, you can offer to get in touch via SMS or phone.
Create a Twitter DM workflow for chats with customers. You can also set up SMS messaging with pre-programmed responses to common questions.
Choose from many options to create chatbots, including coding your own. Think about the features you want and choose what fits your agency’s budget and meets your needs.
What Privacy Regulations Should You Consider?
As a marketing agency, you’ll handle sensitive data for both your clients and customers. You must be aware of privacy concerns and knowledgeable about regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Twitter found itself in hot water over some of the third-party access they allowed to sensitive data. They are now under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for the way they share information for ad targeting.
Keep in mind that users have a right to say who and how other people have access to them. Err on the side of the consumer and study laws so you know what you can and can’t do legally.
Figuring out which management tools are right for your agency requires experimenting with available options. Take advantage of free trials and see how your target audience responds. Before downloading any tools, check whether your cloud computing is up-to-date. Your cloud infrastructure provides a reliable foundation on which all other functionality and data mobility gets built.
The best thing you can do for your social media management success is to get as organized as possible. Stay on top of which clients need campaign refreshes and make sure they have posts scheduled regularly. Your clients pay you to make sure their online presence is consistent and strong. Do your part by staying on top of scheduling.