As any seasoned social media manager will tell you, the right apps and dashboard programs can make a tremendous difference in the way you can handle your daily tasks.
For example, some tools offer the ability to post across multiple social media sites without having to log into each individual account. Others have advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, which are vital in telling you which aspects of your social media campaign work and which ones don’t.
However, the sheer number of tools available to social media managers can make the process of selecting the right one a gargantuan task. Sure, you can take the time to read reviews and recommendations or familiarize yourself with what each tool can do, but do you really have time to spend on that — and if you do, aren’t there better ways to spend it?
Choosing social media management programs, step by step
- Identify which features are most important for you by making a list of the management responsibilities you need assistance with.
- From there, find out which tools offer the service and functionality you require, and identify which tools best fit your needs (while taking their strengths and weaknesses into consideration).
- Download the free or trial version of your chosen program/software and try it out for a week or so.
- Compare your results (ideally with a checklist of essential features) and make a decision based on your findings.
Keep in mind that your primary objective here should be to find tools that will save you time and ensure accurate results. If a tool has everything you need but proves to be quite hard to learn or master, drop it and move on to a different tool.
Mandatory inclusions of social media management tools
At the very least, the following features should be available to you through your selected tool:
- The ability to publish content across platforms with a single click
- A notification service that informs you of new comments, messages, likes, retweets, or shares
- Permission settings that allow more than one user to access the tool and accounts
- Options for scheduling content, ideally with suggestions on the best times to post
- Mobile functionality for smartphones and tablets
- Comprehensive analytics and reporting
- Link shortening
- Automatic updating of data
The 8 essential tasks when managing your social media presence
Now that you know the basics on how to choose the right social media management tools, let’s take a look at the essential tasks that you need to execute on it.
Liz Azyan is interested in the ways new kinds of social data and technology introduce challenges and opportunities to society. Get involved with Liz’s latest project here.