And there are lots of tools that do all kinds of things: Manage social accounts Schedule content Centralize feeds between social networks Manage communities Respond automatically to messages You get the idea. If you have to do it on social, there is probably a tool to help. Cross-platform tools If you’re managing multiple social networks, it helps to centralize the notifications in one place. Two networks, one post. Sprout Social helps with community management, customer service, post scheduling, and analytics. It’s free for you to post up to 30 posts per month. According to Socialbakers, businesses can tweet up to three times per day before engagement starts to drop off. Identify what you want to track There are three types of things to monitor: your company or product, your competitors, or a specific topic (noted as “Anything Else.” Click on My Company or Product and you come to the search screen. Now it’s time to see the results. Social analytics tools help you understand what is working and what isn’t.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the advice I’ve given you for succeeding at your marketing objectives on social media, don’t worry.
It can seem unnatural — absurd, even — to be able to gain crazy amounts of followers and be present on all the social platforms at all times.
And creating content is demanding enough without thinking about community management.
You might be asking yourself: “When do I sleep?”
The social networks never do.
Take a deep breath.
Remember why you’re doing this. Social media is key for all businesses today.
Doing it right can provide huge opportunities.
So take a tip from the professionals.
Professionals don’t stay up all night biting their nails, worried about messaging and trying to survey every post that mentions their company.
The pros use tools. And there are lots of tools that do all kinds of things:
- Manage social accounts
- Schedule content
- Centralize feeds between social networks
- Manage communities
- Respond automatically to messages
You get the idea.
If you have to do it on social, there is probably a tool to help.
Some tools are free. Some are free up to a certain point. Some you have to pay for from the beginning.
All of them can help you in some way.
The trick is finding which tool meets your needs best since each and every business has different needs and objectives, depending on their industry.
- Fashion companies probably rely more heavily on Instagram
- News outlets might focus on Twitter
- A bakery chain could rely mostly on Facebook pages for each location
But the majority of businesses have multiple accounts on multiple social networks.
It’s a logical approach. Multiplying networks means reaching wider audiences.
Managing multiple social networks presents new challenges. Fortunately, there are tools to help, depending on your business needs.
If you’re managing multiple social networks, it helps to centralize the notifications in one place.
It’s much, much easier to manage each platform when you can see quickly across all of your networks.
But there is a hidden wrinkle that’s worth pointing out.
We all have our own personal accounts, too. And each time you check your company’s Facebook page, you can be bombarded by messages from Messenger and notifications from your friends.
One click, and down the rabbit hole you go.
Working with a tool helps solve that problem by helping you to focus on the content that you need to see for business goals while cutting out the rest.
By taking the content out of the context of social feeds, cross-platform tools let you focus on what really matters: your content and your community.
I’ve written a lot already about cross-platform social tools, but here are a few of the top options out there.
As one of the powerhouses, Hootsuite has been around for nearly a decade. Like its tagline says, Hootsuite can help you manage all of your social media in one place.
The dashboard centralizes different feeds and even lets you add feeds based on hashtags or topics. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop, Hootsuite is highly advanced in terms of functionality.
This tool is named after an acronym for “If This Then That.” IFTTT is a program that creates shortcuts to do multiple things at once.
To use IFTTT, you create recipes that rely on specific triggers and resulting actions. The trigger could be “post a photo to Facebook.” The action could be “post that photo to Instagram.”
This means that when you post a photo to Facebook, the post is automatically posted to Instagram.
Two networks, one post.
This is another do-it-all tool. Sprout Social helps with community management, customer service, post scheduling, and analytics.
There is a free trial to get you started.
Now let’s go deeper into some more tailored types of social management tools.
Content performs differently at different times during the day.
While most major companies tend to post during the workday, that creates an effect that drives down engagement.
As an example, here’s when Fortune 500 companies post to Instagram:
But here is when content has the highest engagement (all times EST).
It makes sense.
When there is more content posted on social media, fewer people will see each individual piece of content.
Plus, with the increasingly global nature of social, your audiences could be all around the world, which makes it extra difficult to properly schedule your posts.
Instagram has built-in metrics that show you when your audience is most active on the platform.
Your job is to optimize the timing so that the maximum number of people see your content.
Later is a post-scheduling tool for Instagram. It’s free for you to post up to 30 posts per month.
When you create an account, you are greeted with the dashboard and calendar view. The calendar view is particularly practical because you can immediately see which posts are scheduled for what dates and times.
The first thing to do is upload your media files. Later offers different syncing capabilities for ease of use with services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
Or you can use the standard drag-and-drop method if you’re using a desktop device.
Once your media is uploaded, you can decide when it should go out and sit back and relax!
And Later also will post to other social networks, such Facebook and Pinterest, too. Just click the Add Network icon at the top of the dashboard.
Post scheduling becomes even more important when you use Twitter to reach your target audience.
Tweets are by far the social content with the shortest lifespan, clocking in at just 18 minutes.
With only 18 minutes before a post disappears into oblivion, you need to make sure that a Tweet hits its target.
Twitter’s use has changed a lot over time. People have found success with different rhythms and frequencies that work better than others. You can check out my article about the 5 tools to boost engagement, which is focused specifically on Twitter.
According to Socialbakers, businesses can tweet up to three times per day before engagement starts to drop off.
And it matters when those three Tweets are sent. The windows for optimal engagement and reach are constantly shifting.
You need to find your windows of opportunity depending on your business objectives.
For example, social management platform Buffer found that Tweets posted in the early hours of the morning are best for gaining clicks.
You might also want to avoid the heaviest parts of the day when everyone else is Tweeting, too:
As you can see, that noon to 1:00 p.m. window might be enough to drown out your message.
Buffer’s data is no joke. It has emerged as the go-to tool for post scheduling on Twitter (and other social networks).
It lets you select the time periods that are most appropriate, and when you see something you want to Tweet, you can save it for the future.
The service then gives you the option of queuing that content for Tweeting at a better time.
It also helps you Tweet regularly even if you find a bunch of interesting content at one time.
Here’s how it works.
Step. 1 Create an account by linking in your Twitter