All of this can be too much for one person to handle on their own, and it becomes exponentially more difficult when your company gets more exposure and more love from the social media sites.
That’s why we’ve done all the hard work, weeding through all the options out there, to come up with the best tools for social media managers.
Each of the tools mentioned below is outstanding as a general social media management tool, but they also have certain qualities that make them the leaders in specific areas.
Best Social Media Publishing: Sprout Social
When it comes to publishing, nothing can beat Sprout Social’s capabilities. While most other social management tools will also allow you to post to different social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn simultaneously, Sprout Social takes social media publishing to a whole new level.
With Social Sprout, you can save any thoughts that pop in your mind in the “drafts” section that can be posted later. As this section can be made visible to the whole team, it can also be used for saving content drafts that may be reviewed by other team members.
Another great feature it offers is the content calendar. The content calendar lets you see all the posts that have been scheduled by you and your team at one place. You can easily check out the entire schedule, review it, and if you’re not satisfied then you can easily change it too.
Sprout Social has a lot more to offer than just this. It lets you queue posts for automatic posting, it lets you boost your follower engagement with viral posts, and it has great analytics as well.
How it works
While Sprout Social has many other awesome functions, I’ll just be focusing on a few of its publishing features to give you an idea of what it’s capable of and how it works.
Saving Drafts for Peer Review
First you’ll log into your Social Sprout account, and click on “Compose Message”. Now click on the Draft button (the first icon on the left next to the Send button). Once you’re done, the Send button will turn into Save.
Write your draft, and save it for your other team members to review and approve it.
How to Schedule a Post
To schedule a post with Social Sprout, you need to click on Compose again. Write your post, select the time and date that you want to post your message on, select the media pages that your post should be submitted to, and finally click on the button to save it.
Once your message has been saved you can see them again from the publishing tab, and edit them too if you want. The content calendar will be displayed on the right side of the publishing tab, giving you an overview of the overall activity in a month.
Queuing Messages on Sprout
Sprout Social even lets you queue messages that will be posted later to your social media pages. For queuing messages, you need to go to the publishing tab, and select “Sprout Queue” from the menu on the left. You’ll see a series of informative messages by Sprout...just keep clicking “next”. Then you’ll come to this screen:
Here you can choose if you want to get an extension for your browser, so you can directly queue content. I recommend that you install it because it is very useful!
You can set up your queue by clicking on “Compose New Message”. Write your post, and select if you want to schedule it next or last, choose the social media sites that you want to post it to, and you will have scheduled your first post. Notice in the screenshot that the middle button on the left of save has been clicked. To queue your posts all you need to do is press that button.
Sprout Social has a lot more to offer, these are just some of the features I find useful for my own marketing campaigns. Try it out, and experiment with its other features to get an idea of the full potential it offers.
Best Curation of Content with Hashtags: Tagboard
Understanding how hashtags relate to different content is a science in itself. Some may say it’s even a full-time job ;). People misinterpret hashtags often, and use them incorrectly with their content. This can easily create what I like to call “social media blunders”.
Tagboard simplifies the task of understanding and using hashtags. It allows you to search for hashtags across different networks, and makes it very easy for you to understand the background behind each hashtag. It tells us when a certain hashtag was used, why it was used, and how it was used.
When you search for any hashtag, along with its use on different social media sites, you’ll also get to see different stats like how much it is trending, how many times it’s posted per minute, and what percentage of people associate it to positive sentiment, negative sentiment, or neutral sentiment.
Here’s how it works
To get started on #tagboard you’ll need an account on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
First, click the “Sign In” button at the top right.
Then choose the platform you’d like to use. Fill in your account details, and you’ll be ready to go.
Searching for Hashtags
Tagboard lets you search for hashtags on multiple networks, and displays the results in a beautiful, easy-to-read format.
Just enter your desired hashtag in the search bar. After a few seconds, you’ll be directed to page which shows you how that hashtag is being used as well as how it’s perceived by people.
For example, I searched for “socialmedia”:
Type the hashtag you want to search for.
The red box shows what the hashtag means. You can also see other stats being displayed by Tagboard, such as how much it is trending, and what are people’s sentiments towards it.
Creating your own Hashtag
Tagboard lets you create a tagboard page for your own hashtag as well. You can use that page as a brand manager, or a campaign organizer using hashtags for events like weddings, seminars, fashion shows, and marketing campaigns, to name a few examples.
To create your own hashtag, you just need to type it in the search bar.
Once you hit enter you’ll be directed to a page having different analytics and conversations about your hashtags. Simply click “Create a tagboard” on the top right.
A popup form will show up.
Now do your best to describe the purpose of your hashtag.
After you have written the description you’ll be directed to a page that asks you a few other details like your website address, the visibility of your hashtag, and an avatar. Just fill in the details and you’re done.
Tagboard will let you own a brandpage, and monitor how well your hashtag is doing, what are people’s sentiments towards it, and what can you do to maximize your reach. It’s free, so head over to Tagboard and build one for yourself today!
Best for Brand Monitoring: Mention
Major brands get thousands of social media mentions daily, and it is nearly impossible for them to deal with all that data in a way that makes any sense. It’s simply too many messages to screen through. This is partly because half of the data they receive is either spam or advertising, and most social media management tools are not capable of dealing with all that data efficiently.
Fortunately Mention has been designed to not only handle large volumes of data, but also to filter meaningful messages out of all the spam, advertising and other unimportant messages. It uses custom-built data crawlers to scan conversations and extract clean data from them.
It works quite well, and it’s designed to be very user-friendly.
Mention gives you tons of results on a daily basis, and by giving you a preview of all the pages and social channels where your brand is mentioned, it makes it easier to understand the context of the mention without having to visit the page itself.
It also has a statistics section which generates reports in which you can see your average mentions per day, and where your mentions are coming from. A sample report by Mention:
Here’s How it Works
Making your first Mention Alert
As soon as you sign in, Mention will show you a welcome message prompting you to create your first alert. On the welcome note, click the blue “Create your first Alert” button.
To create your first Alert you’ll need to fill out the following form:
We filled ours with the keyword “DoSocial”. After this step, you’ll be asked to link your Fan Page on Facebook as well as your Twitter account to your alert. This is so that Mention can post to your accounts, if you decide to let it automatically respond to mentions.
Click Save, and your first Mention alert is done. The newsfeed of your first mention will look like this:
In the “Get the Most out of Mention” note, you can learn about different functions of Mention. Now would be a good time to turn on your media monitoring by clicking on “All set, ready to get my media monitoring on” at the bottom of the page. Once done, you’re all set to go.
They give you a free trial for 14 days, no credit card required, so go for it. They have some killer analytics that you really should not be missing!
Best for Budgeting: TrueSocialMetrics
Most social media management tools just focus on managing social media, and the economic side of the equation is often ignored.
While the normal social media management functions of TrueSocialMetrics are pretty standard, it’s great for managing social media on a tight budget. It lets you compare the effectiveness of all your social media accounts and see which generates the highest return for you.
Here’s how it works
To begin, make an account on TrueSocialMetric with a username and password of your choice. Now add an account by first clicking on settings in the upper right corner, and then clicking on the Accounts tab. At the bottom of the Accounts tab you’ll find the “Create New Account” button.
Next you’ll come to a menu that asks you to enter an account name, industry, and location. If you want to place an account in a particular category, then type that category in the name box, and place a forward dash between its name and the account name. For example if we want to put dosocial in “Popular”, we’ll input “Popular/dosocial”.
Once you’re done naming the account, you’ll get to a dashboard with a lot of zeros. Don’t be scared! Now you just need to connect your social media accounts.
For example, if you want to connect Facebook, you’ll click on “Connect Facebook Page” and enter the URL of your Facebook Page. Once set up, all you need to do is click “Analyze”, and data will start building up on your metrics over time. You can use this data to see how well your pages are doing financially.
It’s also useful to connect your Google Analytics account (assuming you use GA for your website), so you can track the economic value of each visitor. Pretty powerful stuff!
There are plenty of more things you can do on True, so try it out.
Best for Getting Traffic: DoSocial
While DoSocial is a new entry to the social media management world, it’s one of the easiest tools to use, it works on all devices, it’s quite affordable, and new features are constantly being added.
The current features of DoSocial include:
- Posting to Facebook Profiles and Pages
- Posting to LinkedIn Profiles, Pages, and Groups
- Posting to Twitter
- Automate RSS feed updates to social channels
- Create Facebook Page tabs containing YouTube or Twitter content
- Statistics about your followers and fans
- Sharesly, a tool for promoting content with a Call-To-Action button
The idea behind Sharesly is that it allows you to share your pages with a popover call-to-action button that allows you to capture visitors that have never heard of your brand before. It also comes with a URL shortener which creates short links that you can share everywhere... social media, email, text messages etc.
Another advantage of these short shares.ly urls is that they allow DoSocial to collect various data about your links, like how many times they’ve been clicked, which countries are clicking them, what gender prefers them more, etc.
Here’s how Sharesly works:
To Set up Sharesly simply log into your DoSocial Account and click on “Sharesly Pages” on the blue menu at the left side of your screen.
On the Sharesly Pages tab, click “Add Page”. A form like the one below will show up:
Fill in the form with your details. If anything confuses you just look at the example picture on the side. Here’s how we filled ours:
The final outcome:
Pretty awesome isn’t it? It’s free to signup too, so give DoSocial a try, and start experimenting with Sharesly today.
Memuna Umber from DoSocial
Memuna is an MBA student who loves learning about online marketing, social media, and conversion optimization. She brings a lot of business and marketing expertise to the DoSocial team.