What’s your social media management strategy? No one would have asked this question ten years ago, but over the last decade, social media has become more than a distraction or pastime; it has become an essential component of how we do business.
In fact, social media account options are now as prolific as the people who use them. Depending on the various social circles you are a part of, there’s a platform for that. Businesses have professional connections in more than one sphere.
If only there was a way for you to manage everything at once...
Constructing the Ultimate Social Management Multi-Tool
Social media management is big business. Users need to know what’s going on, when it’s going on, and they need to know when to say when; all on the world’s biggest multi-line communication device. These tools do all of that and more, if you pick the right combination.
Social media management has run into the same predicament as the outlet that precipitated it. Instead of giving users one straightforward all-inclusive option, developers have come up with 10+ management services to choose from.
Some are free; others are by subscription only. Some are exclusive to certain platforms or devices while some are open form. Our advice: mix and match. Configure the setup that works best for your business. We’ve reviewed several competitive options below:
Hootsuite: This is arguably the most popular and well-known social media management platform out there. It collaborates to execute campaigns across multiple social media platforms simultaneously. There are four levels, starting with the free version.
HubSpot: HubSpot's all-in-one marketing and sales software includes a robust social media management and publishing tool. The publishing tool is not only easy-to-use, but the way HubSpot has laid out their social monitoring mirrors an actual timeline, which makes it a breeze to retweet and favorite posts. HubSpot also has a strong reporting tool where you can actually see which people have become a contact from social media and your social media growth.
Buffer: Buffer is similar to Hootsuite. However, many users claim it has better scheduling capabilities. It has five levels, including a free version.
SocialOomph: Consider this your social productivity tool. It shows you things like: optimum post times, keyword tracking, mentions or shares by followers; it even automatically follows new subscribers and cleans up your platform inbox for you. It allows you to get the most out of your time online. However, its website is not as streamlined as some of its competitors.
SocialFlow: This is your ROI forecaster. It not only tells you who’s socially available in real time, it tells you when your contributions will gain the most traction and when to spend money on promotion strategies. While SocialFlow has been around for several years, it has continously (and quite recently) made huge updates to its platform.
Sprout Social: While more expensive than its rival Hootsuite, this management engagement platform offers superior analytics, better scheduling at optimized times and a more intuitive platform. It has three levels of solutions: Premium, Corporate, and Enterprise. Pricing starts at $99 per user per month — so, no free version.
This is the tip of the social media management iceberg, but it gives you an idea of how to optimize your chances of increasing traffic and generating more leads through social media.
Where Social Media Fits Into Your Overall Marketing Strategy
Remember the early 2010s, when every business owner knew social media was a big thing but no one thought they should use them? Well, those days are long gone. Today, most entrepreneurs spend more time on social media marketing than any other aspect of their marketing. The U.S. alone spent almost $27 billion dollars in social media advertising. That's a lot of moolah.
But before you invest all of your budget into Facebook ads or Instagram stories, keep in mind it's only one piece of the marketing puzzle. The right social media post won't make any difference to your bottom line if you don't have these pieces in place as well:
- A super clear message (especially on your website)
- Marketing automation
- Sales automation
These four things are the crucial components of the Business GrowthStack, the marketing formula big-name brands follow to get the best results. It's what separates the Nikes from the New Balances of the world.
If you've invested time, money, and resources into social media in the past without anything to show for it, it may be time to give your overall marketing strategy a closer look. And you can learn just how to do that in Steve Brown's book, The Golden Toilet.
To get even more bang for your marketing buck, get the Audible version for free when you sign up for a free 30-Day Trial Membership.
Editor's note: This blog has been updated for freshness and accuracy.