Whether your business is in healthcare recruiting or website design, you likely employ a social media marketing strategy in order to get the word out about your business, improve customer loyalty, and share current news with fans of your work.
Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are all wonderful ways to connect with your audience, but as new social media avenues arise, a business can start to feel as though it’s difficult to keep up.
You know you need a regular presence in the major social networks, so how do you streamline these efforts so that it is not all consuming?
We’re here to give you five ways to do just that!
HootSuite is a fantastic dashboard where social media accounts can be consolidated.
You can not only manage comments and posts from all sites in one place, but you can also track analytics on all posts in a pretty sophisticated manner. Really nice reporting formats also exist for review and presentation purposes.
HootSuite offers a free option that allows for up to five social media sites to be consolidated. The Premium, unlimited-use package costs $8.99 per month with a free 30-day trial. It allows for up to 50 social media profiles to be managed within your account.
MediaFunnel is another social media dashboard that consolidates your social media accounts.
MediaFunnel allows for the advanced scheduling of your Facebook posts and tweets — you can either select specific dates for the specific posts, or select the time-release option.
This allows you to set a specific cadence by which messages are posted to the different social media outlets.
MediaFunnel will alert you when there are comments to which you need to respond. Internally, you can then assign the different comments to anyone with the domain expertise to answer the question. It will also alert you when your business or any keywords you select have been mentioned in the media anywhere.
The basic plan costs $5.95 per month per user, and it’s $29.95 per month per user for the premium plan.
Sprout Social is another great method for consolidating your social media messaging and efforts.
You can see in-depth reporting on everything from the demographic makeup of your audience on different social networks to the level of engagement your customers had with different posts. This will help you evaluate which types of posts are most successful for your business.
Photo Credit: Cristiano Betta
Just like HootSuite and MediaFunnel, Sprout Social allows you to schedule social media posts in advance, and to manage comments on those posts in one single location.
Keyword monitoring is also available so you can stay informed about what the media is saying about you. Sprout Social is also available for your mobile team.
Sprout Social is a bit pricier than the others mentioned in this post, at $39 per user per month for the Standard license, and $59 per user per month for the deluxe option (which allows you to manage up to 20 profiles).
The Premium version, which allows you to manage up to 50 profiles, is $99 per user per month. We’d recommend starting with the Standard license and upgrading from there as needed.
Write and schedule your posts in advance.
It can be stressful trying to come up with a new set of posts on the spot for the different social media sites you utilize. Instead, sit down for a few hours, perhaps with your team, and brainstorm ideas for posts. With most social media sites, you can schedule these posts in advance. This means that if you want them to be posted at an hour at which you won’t be awake, that’s fine!
Customer service is key—try Zendesk.com.
There is no point in maintaining your presence in social media if you don’t have someone managing and responding to the threads of questions and comments that inevitably will come via social media domains. Social media is a new way for customers to ask questions and engage with customer service.
Use a tool like Zendesk.com, which helps you to consolidate all inbound messages from multiple avenues into one place, and creates support tickets for them. This allows customer service to work within one interface with your customers, rather than having to go to the different social media venues to first see if there are any comments that need responding to, and then responding to them.
Marketing and customer service management through social media have quickly become the norm for businesses and their customers to use for communication purposes. Because of the vast number of social media sites a business will be associated with and use consistently (to ensure you are reaching your target demo), it’s important to have some strategies and tools in place to consolidate your efforts.
The tools and tips we’ve provided should help you save your business both time and money in your social media efforts!
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