No inbound marketing approach would be complete if it didn't include a solid social media strategy. After all, social media has become so much more than a network to connect friends and family, or a way to socialise online. It's an invaluable tool that allows your business to connect with your target audience, share content and improve your customers' experiences with your brand.
Among the many benefits social media offers your business are the following:
- It makes promoting your content easier
- It's a wellspring of potential content ideas
- It's a window into your target audience and personas
- It boosts your SEO
Taking these benefits into account, it's clear that you can't skip out on social media, and that it needs to be a primary focus in your business's marketing strategy and campaigns. But you probably already knew that. In fact, you've probably been doing social media for a while now, and you've seen the difference it makes. But maybe you want to take your social media game up a notch, to the next level of awesomeness. If you do, you're going to need some help. Fortunately there are some fantastic tools out there to help you reach new heights when it comes to social media.
Tools Every Social Media Manager Needs to Use
Being successful in your inbound marketing means having quantifiable data you can use to determine what is (or isn't) working, so you can improve upon your efforts. Social media for your business is no different, and Cyfe is tops at helping you analyse your social media performance with the help of some strong analytics tools. It offers you access to detailed reports relating to your SEO, Adwords and web traffic, and has a range of customisable dashboards that make it easy to store and review your data, and help you make informed decisions regarding your social media strategy.
If you're active across multiple social media platforms, it's likely you've had to become a dab hand at image resizing and creation. After all, each social media platform has its own image size requirements. Canva makes creating and resizing images a breeze – and if you aren't too keen on creating your own, they've also got a host of options available to you from their paid library.
As any inbound marketer knows, it's vital to share not only your own content, but also the content of others. But just because you're sharing other people's content doesn't mean you should be able to benefit off of the share, which is where Sniply comes in. It allows you to subtly direct visitors who follow a link to content you've shared back to your content, once they've viewed the outside content you shared. It also allows you to track this movement as well.
Feedly is a helpful tool that makes content curation easy, and helps marketers spot popular trends within your industry. You can spot key areas and talking points, and tweak your campaigns to reflect the information you glean.
Looking for more influencers you can connect with, or wanting to generate a more click-worthy headlines and content? Buzzsumo can help! It allows you to find popular content around specific topics, and acts as a great springboard for brainstorming ideas around trending ideas. It also allows you to create a audience tailored for Twitter by exporting a list of active users into Excel, which have already expressed an interest in a particular topic.
If you're looking for a social media tool that will give you greater insight into your activities, look no further. Sendible is a impressive tool that offers functionality like publishing, collaboration and customer relationship management. It also allows you to develop deeper insight into your social activities and reach by pulling your posts and relevant comments into a comprehensive dashboard where you can analyse, measure and boost your engagement numbers.
Constantly on the alert for mentions of your brand, or your competitors? Brand24 helps you spot them with ease by monitoring and delivering information regarding both the former and the latter, in real-time. This is invaluable knowledge, as it allows you to up your game when it comes to responding to both positive and negative comments, and boosting your brand's image.
If you need a little help recycling and re-scheduling old posts, MeetEdgar is a nifty little helper. Instead of doing it the old way (complex spreadsheets and constant importing of data from spreadsheets to scheduling tools), MeetEdgar helps simplify the process. MeetEdgar allows you to arrange and organise (as well as schedule) your posts by category. MeetEdgar automatically goes through your content and posts from each category. Once it has made its way through all your scheduled posts, it'll start recycling your older ones and re-posting them.
A link management tool, Bitly allows you to shorten URLs for your posts. These shortened URLs work across any channel and platform and make it easier to share links that are concise.
It's ideal for optimising your links. With social posts limited to a certain number of characters, having a URL shortener is crucial to ensuring your posts are the right length and can still contain a link to your content. Bitly offers tracking metrics that will keep an eye on how many people are clicking on your links. This is useful for gaining audience intelligence and measuring your campaign performance.
Social media has a strong visual component, and ensuring your graphics or imagery is optimised appropriately is important if you want to keep your various channels looking sharp. Visage is a tool that allows you to design social media graphics optimised for each platform.
Visage makes it easy to manage your brand's style and to ensure consistency across all your social media graphics. Editing can be limited to user roles, which means that your whole team can collaborate on the imagery and updating graphics, but within defined parameters.
One of the most well-known social media tools, Buffer allows you to manage your social scheduling across any platform you decide. Because consistency is important when undertaking social media marketing, the right scheduling tool can make a big difference to your results.
Using Buffer you can specify the pattern you wish to post in, meaning whether or not you want to publish every day, or just on weekdays. You can use Buffer to evaluate and follow up on your posts, pinpointing which ones were the most effective, and which ones were lackluster. This helps when it comes to deciding what to re-post, or what to rework.
Strictly speaking, HubSpot is more than a Social Media Marketing tool. It's a comprehensive CRM and CMS, of which one of the components is a great social media marketing tool. It's all-in-one. Whether it's scheduling posts, monitoring mentions and streams or analysing your posts' performance, HubSpot's social media functionality is comprehensive. You can do everything in one place, making it easier than ever to manage your social accounts. It's best practice-focused. HubSpot can suggest the best times for you to post for maximum effect. It's helpful when proving ROI. Because it can generate in-depth reports, HubSpot lets you compare your various platforms' performance. And because it integrates with your CRM, you can see exactly how many visits, leads and customers social media is bringing your business.
And there it is, several tools you should be using to take your social media campaigns and strategy to the next level! Have any tools you're using that you think we missed? Please let us know!