Starting up a social media campaign is no small task. Some may think it is as simple as setting up a Twitter and Facebook account and posting. Those that follow this route will soon begin to wonder why they are not seeing any returns. There are many factors that must be accounted for in order to use social media effectively. One of the most important aspects of social media is determining when your target audience is online. Your tweets and posts cannot work for you if your followers do not see them! It also pays to know which of your followers are following you and to have the ability to schedule tweets and posts for times outside your usual working hours. Last, but not least, analytics tools to prove that your efforts are working.
As professional social media managers, we use a number of tools to give us all of these functions and more. Below we list some of our favorite social media tools, and detail what they have to offer to your campaign.
Social Bro is an excellent social media tool for Twitter and Instagram users. One of our favorite features of Social Bro is the ability to identify when your audience is online. This information is essential as it allows you to optimize your tweet schedule. Social Bro will help ensure all of your carefully crafted tweets make their way in front of your customers.
This particular platform also offers tools for a direct messaging campaign. Direct messaging is fantastic for inviting people to webinars or creating targeted promotions. The features of this application are numerous, and it is for this reason that we use Social Bro in all of our social media campaigns.
Another tool that works well with Twitter and Instagram is CrowdFire. Formerly known as JustUnfollow, CrowdFire is used to help manage your audience. In the social media world, there is an unspoken expectation. If you follow somebody, they ought to follow you in turn. If somebody does not follow you back, then you will need to locate this person and unfollow them. Using this tool you can quickly locate those guilty of this social media faux pas and take action. The tool also helps you find additional people to follow based on who your competitors are following.
Not strictly a social media tool, but a more general tool that you will find incredibly useful for all of your social media applications. When working in any campaign, one quickly discovers there are certain tasks that are time-consuming, and often annoying. IFTTT (short for: If This Then That) is an automation service that allows you to tie multiple platforms together and coordinate actions.
Some examples of how we use IFTTT in our social media campaign include taking an image we post to Instagram and tweeting it as an embedded image. You can also use this tool to publish content across multiple platforms at the same time. Say you want to publish something to both Facebook and have it post to Google+ automatically? Using IFTTT makes it possible.
One of the hardest parts of managing a useful social media campaign is in keeping up to date with industry news. Setting up Google Alerts gives you a daily feed of headlines based on your most relevant key terms. This gives you plenty of content to talk about that is relevant to your target audience. Google Alerts is a useful tool not only for your social media campaign but also for your general use.
A very well regarded social media tool, Buffer lets you schedule tweets and posts in advance. This tool can work with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even LinkedIn. Combined with a tool like Social Bro is when Buffer shines. By using the analytics data generated by Social Bro, you can schedule posts through Buffer to take place on the weekend or after work. This ensures that you do not have to change your work schedule to get content in front of your followers. Buffer also provides analytics for your tweets so you know what works and what does not.
These are five of our favorite social media tools, but many more exist. Using the above, however, will get you started on your social media campaign. This will ensure your success online and get your brand in front of a wider audience than would otherwise be possible. If this all seems a little overwhelming, just remember we are always here to help with any of your social media needs.