How is your social media strategy working for you?

Today many companies are using social media tactically by posting updates to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter, but few have a social media strategy which helps them use social media to support their business goals. Social media works best when it’s part of an integrated E-communications strategy where Social media works together with Search, Email and Content marketing.

When determining your social media strategy, you need to consider:

• How you are setting goals for ROI and performance from social media marketing?
• What is required to create an integrated social media marketing strategy?
• What are the tools and techniques you will use to start a social listening programme?
• How you can get more from your social media channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube”?
• What process will we use to review and decide on the changes you need to make to improve your online marketing results?

After you’ve found the answer to those question, you then need to ask yourself, “But how do I go about managing social media to help me and my business?”

Well, it seems to us as if many books and blog posts on managing social media are written by “social media gurus” describing how they have grown their social media following amongst social media marketers. While this is interesting, back in the real world, many businesses face the challenge of using social media to engage a less social media savvy audience, and to help grow their business while managing the reputation of their brand.

If you are struggling to manage multiple accounts or have trouble staying active, a social media tool might be just what you need to make the most out of your time while also keeping all your profiles updated.

Here are our top 10 social media tools for managing your social media accounts so you can work smarter, and not harder!

1. HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool for a reason. If you’re looking for the best, this is likely your top choice. Besides being able to execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one web-based dashboard, you can also manage social media, track conversations, and measure campaign results. HootSuite also offers a custom built-in analytics system and the capability to schedule posts on all platforms.

2. SocialOomph has the ability to schedule tweets for the entire day and auto-follow your new followers. You can also use the dashboard to combine Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your blog into one spot to schedule posts or monitor social media activity.

3. Of all the social media platforms, Twitter can be the most daunting. If that’s the case for you, Tweepi is just what you have been looking for. There’s a quick management tool which will allow to flush un-followers, clean-up inactive, reciprocate by following, and follow new interesting tweets. A simple, and sometimes brutal, way to keep your Twitter account tidy.

4. Spredfast is an outstanding tool if you’re looking to measure data gathered from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, such as being able to see how many people you’ve reached and whether or not your target audience is engaging with you. The data is clearly presented in formatted graphs. Besides the advanced analytics tools, there are other useful features, like a calendar that informs you of optimal tweeting times.

5. Buffer is one of the most popular social media message scheduling and sharing applications available. With one easy click you’ll be able to share content and schedule posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Basically, it allows you to stagger content throughout the day so that social media feeds have consistent updates – plus you can schedule ahead of time, which is really handy. And, there’s analytics about engagement and reach of your posts.

6. Sprout Social is another nifty tool that can manage, post, monitor, and analyse multiple social media accounts from one location, for example, you could search for content within its Feedly integration, schedule posts, and reply to messages on Facebook and Twitter. You can also monitor messages across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn personal profiles all through on streaming inbox. But, that’s not all. Sprout Social also offers analytics so that you can visualize important metrics.

7. Everypost is a handy app that allows you to post all of your updates onto the major social networks from one place at one time. Simply write your message, add photos or videos, and hashtags then send off to Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or via e-mail (even all at the same time, if you want). Another cool feature is the Twitter text shortener. This will automatically shorten tweets so they are under 140 characters. While there may be some glitches to correct, this is a useful, and free, app.

8. Bitly does a lot more than just shortening links to post on your social media accounts, which keeps them neat and clean. It also features real-time-analytics, bookmarking your favourite sites and pages, and the ability to track clicks. Bitly works across multiple platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and is free. Yep. Free.

9. If you run a business or an online marketing campaign, you already know how important it is to share content on social media. By utilizing its unique optimization algorithm that taps into your Twitter and Facebook data, SocialFlow takes into consideration three factors: “relevant message (which of your messages is most likely to connect), right audience (who’s online now), and right time (when’s the perfect moment to publish this content). ” In short, SocialFlow makes sure your message is sent out during the optimum time.

10. Unlike other selections on this list, Crowdbooster focuses on gathering data from your Facebook and Twitter feeds. While it will not compile different social media accounts into one convenient location, it will give you some vital information regarding your social media strategy, such as when people are most likely to view your latest images or video uploads.

Attempting to juggle each and every one of your social media accounts can be tricky, scary, and time-consuming, but ultimately engaging on social media is one of the best ways to build brand trust, extend the reach of your content, and even offer customer service. You just need to make it work for you!

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