Do you find yourself waking up in cold sweats, haunted by the question of which social media management platform is right for you? Don’t ruin your sleep; we’ve got you covered!
Jokes aside, as a small business trying to manage your social media accounts, you’ll soon realize that native platform functionality is simply not enough. At the same time, some social media management tools may feel like overkill and be prohibitive in terms of their cost.
So, what should you opt for? What kind of functionality would serve your needs without leaving you wanting more or (perhaps even worse) overwhelmed with too many options?
For one, any social media tool has to simplify and streamline your management activity. It has to provide you with the capabilities to spend less time on social media more efficiently. It must also allow you to quickly take care of communications with customers, plan and publish content with ease, or listen to mentions. Finally, it should enable you to measure and report on your performance and make decisions based on your results.
These are some of the essentials that your tool needs to provide you with. Want to know more? Check out the 7 features that you absolutely need to hit that social media management sweet spot!
The essential features of your social media management tool
When picking a tool to manage your social media presence, you need to consider the whole spectrum of activities it allows you to perform. Without a good grasp of a tool’s capabilities, you can’t determine whether it will serve your needs.
Below we’ve picked the seven essential features of a good platform. These will help you cover the whole social media ground with ease and grace.
1. An easy-to-manage content calendar
First things first — you need a calendar! Any useful tool needs to allow you to plan, schedule, and publish posts across all networks from one interface for days, weeks, and even months in advance. And you have to be able to do that without having to copy and paste posts for each account separately. It also has to provide you with a good overview of your content so that you can keep track at a glance. Ideally, you should be able to plan and pull off entire social media campaigns through the calendar.
PS: Don’t forget to make sure it has a content library that allows you to sprinkle your posts with enticing images and videos.
2. One inbox for all your messages
Much like you need to be able to post across all networks, you also need to be able to respond to any mentions or messages in the most straightforward way possible. Hence, you need an inbox that aggregates communications from all channels.
But responding to messages and mentions can get overwhelming, especially if you also use your accounts for customer support. Therefore, you should look for options that allow you to set notifications and customize your inbox in distinct feeds according to your priorities.
3. Social monitoring and listening to stay on top of the conversation
Okay, so you’ve got publishing and communications down. Anything else? Well, as in any conversation, it’s actually good to be there and listen.
In other words, your tool needs to be able to pick up not just mentions of your brand but also mentions of competitors, business-related hashtags, and industry trends. This is social media monitoring — it tells you what’s going on.
Social media listening tells you why it’s going on by taking the data and analyzing it for its context and meaning. Based on your findings, you can set new goals or objectives for your content and messaging in the short-term in order to exploit any arising opportunities.
4. A straightforward way to measure your efforts
Another vital piece of the puzzle that is social media management is your ability to measure your performance. How are people responding to and engaging with the content you put out? Did you nail it with your most recent post, or are there only crickets to be heard?
The tool of your choice needs to enable you to collect and analyze all relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) both on a post and channel-level. Based on such an analysis, you should be able to come away with clear and actionable insights about your performance and translate these into meaningful changes to your overall social media strategy.
5. Team collaboration to sharpen your message
If you’re not a one-person show, and you’ve got a team to help you with managing social media, you can benefit significantly from collaboration capabilities in your management tool.
With such capabilities, you can brainstorm together on how to execute a campaign or brief each other on upcoming tasks. Or you can draft posts and have someone review them to provide you with input about how they sound and what you might improve.
Collaboration options will allow you to distribute work among your team so that your social media activity becomes easy as pie.
6. Integrations with other apps
Whatever your social media management tool doesn’t have under its hood, it might be able to make up through integrations.
By integrating with other apps, you can expand your tool’s capabilities and make the management process smoother and more efficient. Integrations could include simply connecting your platform to your Dropbox or Google Drive but also to tools such as Slack or Trello, or analytics tools with even greater capabilities.
That way, if you need anything that the platform doesn’t cover, you can get help from outside without having to change tools.
7. An easy-to-use interface
Choose an intuitive platform. This may not sound like a big deal, but trust me, it makes a huge difference. You need to be able to focus on your tasks, keep your mind on the strategy, and tap into your creative powers. If you’re busy trying to figure out how to export a report or schedule posts, this just won’t work out. So, when you’re picking your tool, make sure you’ll enjoy using it!
Okay, time to pick your social media tool!
We just wanted to get this out there. You need a simple tool, not one that feels like you’re operating the Starship Enterprise. Rather, something more akin to the… Millennium Falcon.
What you really need is a tool that eases the burden that comes with managing several channels at once (frequently on your own). The above are the essential features of a good solution. They will allow you to cover all the main aspects of your social media activity and free up your time to think more about strategy and content.
So, curious to give Falcon Essentials a try? Check out Falcon Essentials to find out more about how we can help you manage your business’s social media!
About the author
Ilia has been writing about digital marketing for over 7 years. He occasionally shares his thoughts on his site. When not blogging, he likes to run and listen to audiobooks.