Tools have played an important role in the history of man ever since it dawned upon our ancestors that rubbing two sticks together could help them survive the biting cold.
As mankind began to march towards the establishment of what we know as civilization today, it fashioned an assortment of hammers, knives, and other such instruments along the way, allowing it to build, destroy, and accomplish feats that would be otherwise be difficult to achieve with only its bare hands.
From carpentry to communication, countless tools – physical or virtual, manual or electronic – shorten the amount of time we spend trying to complete tasks while ensuring that we do them correctly. Indeed, the use of tools is applicable practically anywhere; naturally, social media monitoring is no exception.
Countless social media managers — newbies and seasoned pros alike — swear by social media tools, greatly helping with time management and letting them accomplish more during their day.
Now, you might be thinking – “Why would I need to use a social media management tool? Can’t I just do all of these things – posting, curating, monitoring, and the like – manually?”
Well, the following reasons might be enough to make you think again.
1. Checking Campaign Results
To gauge the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategy, you need to have a system that accurately measures your results. Thus, social media tools that offer analytics play a critical role in ensuring that managers’ efforts won’t go to waste. With social media tools, you can get reports showing what you’re doing right, as well as which parts of your strategy need tweaking.
In fact, recent studies show that 61% of marketers use social media tools to generate analytics reports. Whether for campaign monitoring, brand analysis, or studying the competition, these tools allow social media managers to focus and pinpoint on the parts of the strategy that require immediate attention, simply by pulling up relevant data and doing all the calculations for them.
Analytics for social is highly meticulous and mathematical – a process that you certainly wouldn’t want to do manually!
2. Community Monitoring
Wanting to know what your customers say about you isn’t paranoia; it’s good sense. How your audience perceives you can make or break your brand, which is why it’s important for you to be aware of their opinions about your products and services.
The right social media tools can help you keep track of discussions that are either relevant to or a direct result of your brand’s activities and promotions. This way, you can plan your next steps accordingly and tailor the way you engage with your customers to build stronger connections and leave the right impressions.
3. Content (Curation, Scheduling, Posting, and Quality Control)
Beginners and pros alike would agree — a significant chunk of the time allocated for social media management goes into content curation, creation, and posting. Thankfully, many social media tools come with features that help you curate content, schedule posts across multiple platforms, and even create the content that you’ll share.
Apart from eliminating the need to stay glued to the PC at late or inconvenient times just to reach out to customers who are in an entirely different time zone, the ability to schedule posts is useful for another reason. Think about how you would feel if you accidentally shared the wrong link or a poorly worded update to your audience.
It goes without saying that there’s quite a bit more at stake when you’re handling your brand’s social media account — a simple spelling error can be seen by all your followers and may even go viral.
However, by using social media management tools to post your updates, you’ll be able to check your post before you give it the go-signal for posting on the various platforms where your brand releases updates and promotions.
A good number of social media management tools worth using offer the option to create and customize a dashboard — one that can help you manage not just your tasks, but your clients and teammates as well. If you’re working with a team, a dashboard optimized for (and accessible to) multiple users makes brainstorming and implementing campaigns a breeze.
Additionally, the dashboard may have features that let you stay in touch with the people you work with, helping to build camaraderie and thus making the process of working together a lot easier.
Social media tools can help you complete your work faster and more accurately, which of course has bearing on your budget and how you spend your resources.
Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, mistakes on social media can have serious repercussions on your brand and take a good amount of time and effort to fix — two aspects of your life that you could have spent doing something more important or meaningful. Thus, the fewer the mistakes you commit on social media, the lower the costs you’ll incur in trying to fix them.
Regardless, if you were to sum up the reasons why you should use social media tools into a single word, it would be “convenience.”
If you happen to find a social media tool that has a dashboard with features that help you complete your management tasks faster and more accurately, it would eliminate a lot of the guesswork in estimating the effectivity of your campaigns, save you a lot of time (and clicks), and basically just let you breathe easy and not stress over whether or not you’re doing enough monitoring and engaging.
Every social media manager needs to have great social media monitoring, analytics, and engagement tools within reach. And believe me, there’s no shortage of options.
What should you look for in your social media management tool?
Now that we’ve covered why you should be using social media management tools, let’s look at what you should look for in your ideal social media management tool. I think it’s a bit like finding your soulmate or life partner. You can never be too picky!
Liz Azyan is a digital consultant who helps public organisations and businesses add value to their products and services through smart digital solutions. She has been awarded the Google Fellowship Award for her work and initiative in the arena of technology, politics and social entrepreneurship. She has also been listed on several lists around the web as a top digital expert by her peers and industry leaders.