By Caitlin Brennan

March 20th, 2017

Think of your company’s social media presence as a modern jet aircraft. Dozens of discrete pieces must work together for the whole vessel to get off the ground. Imagine that a pilot had to rush from the engines, run back to the rudder and reach over to the wings just to make a right turn. That pilot needs a cockpit where all the systems can be monitored and manipulated from one place. In social media, management tools are your cockpit.

As competition for consumer attention intensifies, each of the major social media platforms are introducing new tools and functions to help marketers reach users. The Walker Sands State of Marketing Technology 2017 Report named social media marketing tools as the most popular tech acquisition of 2017.

The solution is to invest in social media management software that can help simplify the process of building and executing a multi-platform campaign. Here are our top 8 reasons why your business needs to make the step up to a full management system – or risk falling behind to your competitors.

1. Just…so…many…channels!
Native advertising tools provided by social networks function on their own, but the process of posting to multiple channels can become arduous. When you’re posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ multiple times a day, you won’t have time left to do any other tasks.

Using a social media management tool streamlines the posting process by removing the need to shift between platforms. Plan everything in one place to get the messages straight, then post all at once, or tweak and send as needed.

2. If you’re not listening, you might not be heard
A key reason why you need a social media management tool is that as well as understanding your customers, social media is a great place to see what competitors are doing. What are they talking about? Who are they talking to? What are they saying, and how are they saying it?

These kind of insights are easily available with a social media management tool. With the power to see virtually everything that happens across the major platforms – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – it’s relatively easy to see how your competitors are responding to trends and developments within your market sector.

Armed with this insight, it becomes easier to define a strategy that builds on the successes of your competitors and avoids the mistakes they make. This kind of research also helps to ensure your campaigns are unique.

Using social media listening, you can narrow and broaden the focus of your understanding. Targeting communications and deals at specific individuals is highly effective and is the main concern of most social media marketers.

3. Avoid being the next hashtag horror story
Like any customer-facing communications channel, social media is effective for connecting with customers and spreading your brand message. But it’s also incredibly easy to make a mistake that threatens to tarnish your brand message.

 

This is what can happen when you’re trying to jump on trending topics before they stop trending. In exchange for a millisecond of attention from people looking at something unrelated, DiGiorno took a gamble that the hashtag they saw wasn’t about victims of domestic violence and was instead something fun. DiGiorno lost. The lesson: slow your roll, collaborate and get different perspectives.

The Federal Student Aid Twitter account mocked financial aid applicants by taking a tone that was too casual. Between friends, this might be funny, but when you have responsibility as a large enterprise, the rules are different. The lesson: don’t mock everyone who needs your services because … they need your services.

It is much easier to prevent these kinds of accidents when you use a social media management tool to implement a governance system. When all corporate social media updates are sent via dedicated platform, it becomes much harder for users to tweet from the wrong account, as they don’t need to sign in and out to switch between personal and corporate accounts. They can tweet business content from within the social media management tool, and personal updates from the native web interface or app provided by the social network.

Advanced features even allow you to limit which of your employees can perform certain tasks. For instance, you may want to allow the whole social team to prepare content, but restrict publishing permissions to a smaller group. Social media management tools give you the control you need to ensure updates fully adhere to your brand guidelines and create a consistent image for your followers and fans.

4. Helping to prove ROI – show them the money
In a metrics-obsessed world, everyone is expected to prove the return on investment of every activity. The ability to measure and analyze results is vital.

Each social network provides some tools to assist with activity analysis, but obtaining a holistic view of a multi-platform campaign can be a major headache. Data needs to be exported from each platform before being collated and analyzed in a spreadsheet or similar.

A social media tool makes the process much simpler by accessing the relevant information directly. This approach streamlines analysis and helps to avoid the common mistakes that can skew your figures when exporting and importing multiple data sets.

5. Cut costs and add more bang to your buck
A social media management tool is designed specifically to simplify your operations to cut costs and labor time. In a multichannel world, your business needs content for a variety of  social networks. There is usually a fair amount of overlap, so economies of scale are there for the taking.

Falcon.io’s Publish content calendar allows you to plan out your social content across networks and campaigns. By centralizing the content creation and publication processes, you can reduce the time and effort spent on each update exponentially.

6. Simplified content management – clean up the content chaos
A comprehensive social media campaign uses dozens of assets, each optimized for specific platforms to drive customer engagement. You probably already have a pool of such resources available – but they are not likely integrated with all the social channels you use.

A social media management tool that includes a content calendar enables you to seamlessly connect your content and social accounts. Adding assets to your campaigns is as simple as drag and drop, ready for every social channel your business uses. The effort required to post content is reduced, giving you more time to spend on creating it in the first place.

More time saved means yet more money saved for reinvestment into other aspects of your campaign.

7. It updates your CRM for the modern age
As mentioned, Walker Sands named social media software as the most popular martech addition of 2017. Ideally, you should pick one that can sync with your existing CRM so you can keep static CRM entries evergreen with social media data. As marketers we tend to throw the term ‘agile marketing’ around a lot. This is a big step towards making that a reality.

8. You get a falcon’s eye view of where you’re heading
Perhaps the biggest benefit provided by a social media management tool is the ability to control and monitor your campaigns as a whole. Viewing top-level metrics allows you to assess overall performance and use your learning to make adjustments and further boost engagement/click-throughs/sign-ups/etc.

And when your boss asks about progress, you can show them exactly how well you’re doing. And how much return you’ve already generated from the investment.

With social media management software as your cockpit, there is nowhere you can’t fly.

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