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Here's the right approach to choose a social media management tool.

Updated: May 18, 2020

a girl using social media

Hello everyone. I hope all of you are safe and are doing fine. In this podcast, we are going to be talking about how you actually go about choosing a good social media management tool. And by good, I mean something which fits the current needs of your business.

Especially in the current crisis where businesses have been thinking very hard about tool choices that they are doing. People are switching to more affordable tools. And that's really the whole context to be doing this podcast is to help you to help businesses understand, or what are the typical features? What are their needs and go for the right tool? Remember, if you're looking at a customized recommendation, you can just head to our product. Put in answer to a few questions and you will get a shortlist right away. The link to the product is given in the blog post.

To begin with, if you're looking at just basic posting of content across a bunch of platforms, remember that is now kind of a commoditized feature. SEM Rush is actually offering it free of charge because of the current crisis to any business. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite have been offering posting for up to two platforms free of charge for some time now. A couple of platforms is not bad for a B2B business, say like a software company or an agency because they're typically active on Twitter and LinkedIn.

So what do you need to really look out for now? The first thing that I'm going to start with is having a good looking content calendar. Now, this might surprise some of you, but really having a visually aesthetic content calendar is important because that's something which you and your team are constantly going to look at and work on it and people need to be motivated to look at it regularly. In that regard, Socialpilot and Hootsuite do a good job of having a good looking content calendar.

social media content calendar
Example of content calendar

So we now come to the crucial thing of what to post. Now there are features in tools which help you to get RSS feeds from some of the sites that you follow. So, for example, as a business you want to feature in the articles from Techcrunch, or from any other news site which you think portrays what your business is all about, then you can pretty much do that with tools like Agorapulse. But remember that doing this is the easy social media management - that can be at the most 20% of your social media activity. That remaining 80% has to be original posts, it has to be contributing to discussions of others, retweeting what others are doing, sharing, you know, that, that kind of stuff.

So what ideally a small business requires with respect to helping them decide what to post is one dashboard which helps to track content from a bunch of Twitter accounts which are like influencers, competition feeds, and track certain hashtags and also certain keywords. By keywords, I mean - if anyone out there on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook is using a certain, is making a certain post with a certain keyword, then that should figure in. This is really the ideal solution that a small business needs with regards to helping them make the decision of what to post. And what I described right now is exactly what Hootsuite offers and that's why it is such a popular social media management tool.

Streams of Hootsuite dashboard
Hootsuite dashboard

Let's get onto analytics now. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, have their own native analytics features, but if you have a social media management tool, you can pretty much look at all the data from all these tools in one dashboard, and that of course saves time and we would like to mention ZohoSocial here, which has a brilliant user interface, which makes it very easy to look at the main engagement and interaction data from all these from, from social channels.

Zoho Social Analytics dasboard
Zoho Social Analytics

In the end, let's talk about add-ons. So add ons. These are things which typically you would not look at in a social media management tool. But yes, there are some businesses which have started asking for these add ons in their social media management tools.

The first bit is customer service, right? So if you're a business or brand where people are talking about you online, like mentioning you there, then all of that also needs to show up in your dashboard. So tools like eClincher do a very good job of this integration of social media management and customer service, and they have this called the social inbox feature which also Hootsuite has wherein basically if someone has mentioned you as a team leader, that you can actually assign that to your team member and that team member can actually go ahead and respond to that with regards

social inbox for task assigning

The social inbox feature also is useful for approval. So if a team member has an opposed, the team may do like and actually approve it, and then it goes online

So that was about the add on of customer service. There's also an add on of social media ads management. If you don't want to, again, log on to that ad panel you can get all that data integrated into the same dashboard of the social media management tool that you are using, there are tools like SEMrush, which allow you to do that.

So that's it. I hope that was useful in understanding what the typical features are for a social media management tool and we've also given out some names of tools based on other fantastic jobs in these features. Again, if you're looking at a shortlist for your business based on exactly your current needs, head directly to the product and the link of it is given in the blog post.

Thank you and see you again.

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