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The Right Tool for the Job: Know Your Social Media Tools

Suffice to say, social media professionals do… a lot. On any given day, a social media manager will log into a handful of accounts, check out daily trends, pursue engagement opportunities, brainstorm new ideas, write content, watch viral videos, “listen” on social media, and so much more. It’s an ever-changing industry that requires quick-thinking, creativity, and organization.

Social media managers don’t simply write a tweet and send it out into the Twitterverse. Nor do they scroll through endless native mentions looking for engagement opportunities (some might, but that’s not the norm). In reality, social media is typically managed through various tool sets that keep track of engagements, mentions, and metrics, and offer content scheduling. More often than not, content is brainstormed, drafted, edited, and occasionally scrapped and reformatted before it sees the light of day. This is where tool sets come in handy.

Creating Content

Content is the heart and soul of social media, but quality content is difficult to come by. There’s no secret recipe for thoughtful, relevant content — sometimes it happens by chance, other times it’s through vigorous long-term planning. But regardless of where the idea started, chances are it was planned and scheduled through a content creation tool.

There are several platforms available for users to draft content, collaborate with team members, make edits, and publish posts directly through the platform. Some are dedicated specifically to content creation, comprehensive planning, and collaborative brainstorming, while others are a part of a larger, more robust toolset that offer additional capabilities like social listening and reporting. Selecting a platform is workflow-specific, but overall, they save time, promote collaboration, and provide a cohesive, big-picture look at an organization’s content strategy — which is invaluable to a social media manager.

Social Listening

One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make on social media is broadcasting but not listening to their customers. Customer success teams are built to track and handle incoming messages from customers, but social media and community managers are just as integral to the overall customer experience. Social listening is the practice of monitoring an organization’s mentions and sentiment on social media to gain insights, gather feedback, and pursue opportunities. There are tool sets built specifically for this practice that aggregate all of the organization’s mentions into digestible reports. This allows social media managers to keep track of potential opportunities or offer support to customers when necessary. Other tools out there allow users to create and view multiple Twitter feeds related to keywords, accounts, or hashtags in order to have more visibility around conversations relevant to the organization. Without toolsets, this particular function of a social media manager would be incredibly difficult and time consuming!

Monitoring, Moderating, and Engaging

Similar to social listening, organizations need tools to help moderate their social media accounts and engage with their followers. This function can be done natively through each social media platform, but some tool sets consolidate all of the comments from every platform into one easy-to-manage queue. That means social media teams can respond to incoming comments from every platform in real time without leaving the dashboard. In a nutshell, it’s invaluable. It increases productivity, allows for collaboration, and gives visibility to the organization on its various platforms. It also lets organizations keep a close eye on who is engaging with their accounts and what they’re saying, which is particularly important when community building is a high priority of the organization.

Analytics and Reporting

Reporting, tracking metrics, and data collection are a fundamental part of any social media manager’s job. While the majority of social media platforms offer insights and reporting, it’s incredibly time consuming to scour each individual site for past data. Fortunately, there are social media reporting tools available that provide detailed insights like audience growth, retweets, shares, likes, and link clicks. Not only do these insights help with the direction of future content creation, but they add significant value to social media initiatives by assigning real, concrete actions to each post. Additionally, there are exportable charts and graphs in these tool sets that help social media managers create consistent and easy-to-digest reports for their stakeholders, which adds validity to digital initiatives.

There are also reporting tools that pull data not only from the organization’s social media accounts, but from competitors, too. Users can pull reports on the top posts across any relevant industries or compare engagement numbers and audience growth with their competitors. 

Social media managers don’t work in a box. They’re dynamic and creative, but there’s no question that tool sets play a huge role in their overall success. A social media manager is lucky to have at least one, if not a few of these platforms in their arsenal in order to stay organized and keep their work streamlined.

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