Most students have done this throughout the years whether it was for their internship, a part time job or their own company: maintaining the Social Media channels and analyze its performance. Well this can be quite a hassle and very time consuming. A lot of companies use multiple platforms in order to connect with their customers or (potential) target audience. It makes sense that a company values consistency in their posts but at the same time values authenticity of postings and whether they are up-to-date and responding to real time events. Luckily there are several, free, tools in order to create a more effective workflow for you as a Social Media manager.
Communicating through Social Media
I think that it is essential for a company to have consistency in their communication through Social Media. This not only stresses consistency in their style of communication but also by means of planning and organizing the communication. Social Media are great platforms to connect to the right (potential) target audience or the existing customer base. The writing style and behavior on Social Media displays a certain image which can be perceived as favorable by its followers. Paying attention to the planning of Social Media postings is really a major point in the marketing strategy.
Nowadays there are a lot of different platforms that are used all over the world. Businesses have seen the importance of Social Media and jumped on this boat as well. However it is not always easy to maintain several channels when you have a small marketing team. In order to show that there is a more convenient and effective workflow related to Social Media planning I will highlight a few important planning tools
Social Media platforms and its tools
Let’s start with Facebook. This is the major channel that is used by companies. Luckily Facebook is quite easy to use and it already offers the possibility to target, schedule and analyze your postings. This is definitely a big advantage of this network. Obviously Facebook does not only mean pushing information or one of your crazy deals that you have going on this week. It means two-way communication. Creating posts, answering on comments, complaint management and more. Therefore it is nice that it gives you the ability to schedule your daily postings, which might come in handy in busy periods. Since Facebook is just one medium I would like to elaborate more on other free tools that are offered online. Of course there are paid tools as well but this might be a threshold for some companies that have a low budget for online marketing.
This is a quite well known tool which is for Twitter only. In general it provides you with an interface where you can check your news feed, interactions, mentions, direct messages and other activities. It is very convenient that you can see everything related to your company in just one screen. In addition to that it offers you the possibility to schedule tweets, which is what this blog post is about. This is great if you want consistency in your postings when not being able to log on to Twitter every hour.
A great tool that can be used to manage multiple Social Media accounts at once. Just link your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ account to Buffer and you can post to the networks in just a few clicks. It allows you to schedule 10 updates at once when using the free version. In comparison with Tweetdeck, Buffer offers much more possibilities. Besides scheduling you can also include media in your posts which is not possible for Tweetdeck. Furthermore it offers both a desktop and a mobile version of the app.
This is definitely a big player in social media management tools. Hootsuite helps you to post, monitor and analyze the company’s performance on the active Social Media channels. One can save updates as templates which reduces the amount of time that is needed to spend per update. Besides regular scheduling Hootsuite has a feature called Autoschedule. The times for postings are then based on previous social history. Another great feature is the fact that you can target your postings as well based on location, language and demographics.
One note has to be made and that is that the free edition only allows one team member using the package. However for smaller businesses this will be just fine.
Why is it interesting for companies?
As mentioned in the introduction of this blog post: maintaining Social Media channels is very time consuming. An efficient workflow is very important for businesses. Nowadays having a strong brand presence on Social Media is becoming more and more essential. It is important to have a basic idea on when to promote your content to the target audience. This can be made a lot easier by using one of the scheduling tools. Consistency and two way communication are the main elements that make your Social Media usage worthy. So when a company chooses for the use of scheduling tools it is important that they decide on the right time of communication, this really is essential in reaching the audience. All tools that have been discussed in this blog post can be used for major social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.