Gangar’s Guide To Social Media Success Part IV
This is the fourth in a 5-part series of weekly articles that will tell you everything you need to know about how to run a successful social media campaign.
If you didn’t see part three last week, have a look at it here to find out about some of the most successful brands on social media and how to learn from them.
If you missed out on part two, then follow this link to find out how to run a successful campaign on Facebook.
If you missed part one, then have a look at it here for a more broad overview of what to consider when starting out on social media.
Part Four: Social Media Tools
This week’s guide will talk about a few of the most helpful tools that you can use to increase the efficiency of your social media campaign.
Whether you want to create an automated schedule for your posts or to find out more about what people are saying about your brand online, you can be fairly certain that there is software available to help you do that.
The 5 Top Tools:
Bronze Membership – $9/month
1 Facebook + 1 Twitter + 1 User + 50K Followers
Silver Membership – $49/month
10 Accounts + 8 Users + Unlimited Followers
Gold Membership – $119/month
30 Accounts + 30 Users + Unlimited Followers
Crowdbooster is a fairly unique social media tool. Unlike many other pieces of software out there it is focused on gathering information from your Facebook and Twitter feeds. By doing this it aims to bring you enlightening pieces of data that should hopefully give you insight into the general behaviour of your followers on social media.
This piece of software will show you when your followers are most active, what type of content they seem to prefer and who your most influential followers are. One brilliant feature of Crowdbooster is its ability to identify Twitter users that may have interests in things similar to your brand. This allows you to target these users and reach out via engagements; helping you to grow your fan base and online community.
Crowdbooster also supplies its users with a fairly basic, but helpful, analytics feature. This feature allows you to map out the strengths and weaknesses of your social media campaign. It shows you statistics such as your follower growth and your most successful types of post. By using this information well you can quickly see which areas you are doing well in and in which areas you could improve.
Deluxe Membership – $59/month
Premium Membership – $99/month
Team Membership – $500/month
Sprout Social is a good tool for businesses that want to creating lasting conversations with their followers. It also has an extremely helpful feature that allows you to manage many different social media profiles from one place. In addition to this it allows you to reply to numerous messages across many platforms at once.
One of the best features of Sprout Social is the way in which it helps you manage messages and conversations from your followers. It presents you with a universal inbox for all of your social media profiles which you can then filter according to your needs. This feature is brilliant at allowing you to connect with your followers in a personal yet manageable way. Doing this regularly is likely to increase the level of brand loyalty that followers hold towards your brand.
Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial which allows new users to come to terms with the service. After this trial Sprout Social is fairly expensive so it’s worth thinking long and hard before signing up to a membership. Having said that, it is a great tool for businesses that are extremely active on social media and may pay for itself in the long run if it is used efficiently.
TweetDeck is an application developed by Twitter. It offers its users a chance to manage their Twitter account with more detail than the standard Twitter interface does. This app can be a great help to small businesses with a limited social media budget and only one active profile.
One of the best things about TweetDeck is its simplicity. The app is laid out in a series of columns with each displaying a specific set of information – from your timeline, to follower activity. It has an extensive set of help guides and the deeper you delve into the app, the more uses you will find for it. It also has a very helpful “tweet shrink” option, this will take any sentence you write and shrink it to the smallest number of characters possible – allowing you to stay within the 140 character limit of a tweet.
The fact that TweetDeck is offered for free as a desktop, mobile phone or tablet application means that there’s really no reason not to test it out. There may be more extensive tools on the market but most of those require a monthly membership. This makes TweetDeck an attractive option for those who are just getting started with their social media campaign.
IFTTT stand for “If This Then That” and it is one of our favourite tools. IFTTT has many uses for social media but can also be extremely useful in day to day life. This web based service lets its subscribers build a series of conditional statements that create knock-on instructions for other applications. Sound confusing? It’s not.
Each series of instructions is known as a “recipe” and has a specific function. You could use a simple recipe that tells IFTTT to post any pictures that you post to Instagram to be saved to your Dropbox. You could go for something more complex such as inviting any new contacts that you save to your iPhone to connect on LinkedIn. The possibilities are literally endless and, with roughly 20 million new recipes being added daily, you are sure to find one to suit your needs. If in the unlikely event that you can’t find a recipe to suit your needs, you can simply create your own one.
IFTTT is an app with millions of uses and it’s free. Of all the apps that are included in this list, this is the one that we would most highly recommend. The long list of possible recipes means that you will almost certainly find a chain of commands that will help you in one way or another.
Personal Membership – Free
Pro Membership – £6.99/month
Enterprise Membership – Price On Request
Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management tool and there is a reason for this – it is probably the best. It allows you to manage a large number of social media campaigns from a single dashboard. It also allows you to track conversations and schedule upcoming posts. Hootsuite also allows you to measure your campaigns results and plot the metrics into presentable graphics.
One of the best things about Hootsuite is its in-depth analytics reports (available on all paid for memberships). The information provided on these reports will enable you to target your audience much more specifically because of its ability to show you your follower demographics and behaviour patterns.
Hootsuite offers a fairly decent free service which would probably prove adequate for a small start up company or for personal use. After this it goes up to a pro membership which is priced at a very reasonable £6.99/month. There is also an enterprise version which is aimed at big businesses or even governments.
Do you have a favourite social media tool that we have missed out? Or have you had any experience with the ones we have discussed? If so then let us know in the comments below!