Practical tips and the best tools to manage social media in 2023
While it can bring enormous sales and awareness to your business, social media management is complicated. With so many different social media sites to post, run contests, and track analytics, doing everything manually seems to be exponentially difficult.
Whether you are a skilled professional or newbie, learning how to be in constant interaction with your following across all major channels is a huge topic. Lucky for you, SleekFlow has rounded up a range of useful tips and tricks that are perfect for your marketing strategy, together with the 10 best social media management tools that can help to achieve your goals for social media. Let’s get started!
What is social media management?
Social media management refers to a comprehensive system of creating, posting, and analyzing the published content across social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter, as well as engaging with users on those platforms.
To truly leverage the power of social media, one must go beyond just posting updates to your business’ profiles, the more important tasks are to engage with your audience and look for new opportunities to improve reach and visibility. Today, with the help of both free and paid tools, along with the professional services offered by agencies, businesses can easily streamline their social media management in a much more organized and straightforward manner.
What are the advantages of social media management?
Too often, businesses open too many social media accounts and neglect to maintain an active presence, causing failure in reaching social media’s full potential. When managed correctly, social media is definitely a powerful and effective marketing tool that should be included in every business strategy. Here are several benefits of using social media management to market your business.
1. High cost-effectiveness
Staying within a tight budget is challenging for many small companies. Social media, however, is able to reach a massive target audience without the need of investing a ton of money. According to Fourth Source, social media might not even cost a business anything at all, while being very effective in enhancing exposure and complementing a fruitful marketing campaign. The claim is synchronized with Buffer’s research, in which over 70% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective”.
Social networking itself is free, together with its posting, sharing and engaging functions. Not to mention there are many other tactics to legitimize and attract people to know more about your products or services.
2. Wider reach
Statista’s latest figures revealed that there are 3.6 billion social media users worldwide by the end of 2020. Going forward, the number of social media users will continue to rise, rendering businesses an opportunity to expand their online global network much easier.
Unlike traditional marketing and advertising, with only one click on a button, brands can reach at least thousands of people all over the world. If you are interested in a specific group of people, you also have the flexibility to reach these niche audiences according to their common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors.
In order to capitalize on this wider reach, you need to establish strong advertising campaigns that pair with your organic posts. No matter what social media platform you choose, these companies cater to the “pay to play” crowd first and foremost. It’s been proven that social advertising adds value to your organic posts, so coming up with a strategy where your posts work in tandem with one another is crucial.
3. Have influences on consumers’ purchase decision
Incorporating social media into your marketing strategy allows you to align your marketing initiatives with user behavior. Research has shown that more than 70% of people were more eager to buy something based on social media referrals, whereas 74% of consumers admitted they relied on social networks to consider and evaluate their options before deciding to purchase a product or service.
Social media is proven to be highly productive when it comes to convincing consumers to purchase, businesses should therefore make good use of different social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage potential buyers.
Wondering how to use social media to sell? Read our guide on Everything you need to know about advanced social selling tools for businesses.
4. Drive traffic to your website
Social media is considered to be the primary source for generating e-commerce traffic, it leads ahead of the traditional media in gaining website visitors and getting referrals.
Monetate has published a list of data based on 500 million visits amongst their clients, and they discovered that social media such as Facebook and Pinterest played a very important role in driving e-commerce traffic. Although it can be a process that requires a lot of effort, time, and hard work, it is a crucial element of digital business growth.
What are the platforms to be covered?
If you want to better allocate your time and resources, you have to know what social media networks are the most valuable to your business. Below is a brief overview of the different platforms and what advantages they can offer.
Facebook is the #1 social media platform used by businesses. With over 2.70 billion active users each month, it isn’t hard to imagine why so many businesses, large and small, have chosen to use Facebook as a means of interacting and engaging with their customers.
Demographics: As of October 2020, nearly 10% of global active Facebook users were women between 18 and 24-year-old, and male users between the ages of 25 and 34 years constituted the biggest demographic group.
Pros: Facebook ad formats and Pages are designed to capture attention and prompt action. They offer creative flexibility, work across devices, and are built to help you reach your goals.
According to Statista, Instagram’s social media presence currently brings with it over 500 million active users on a daily basis. With that many available eyeballs, there is no limit to the success a business can reach with a dedicated Instagram strategy.
Demographic: The gender mix on Instagram is quite even – 52% female and 48% male. Meanwhile, Gen Z takes center stage as the largest user base, followed by millennials who have also made a massive impact in shaping what the app is.
Pros: Instagram has evolved over the years, and now there is a greater emphasis on making money through product placement. With the launch of “shoppable posts”, businesses can now tag their products in photos with links that include a product description, price, and the ability to “shop now,” which will lead the user to your online store. With this new service, it’s simple for a business to attract actual sales from the site.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media sites in the world today and it positions itself as “the world’s largest professional network”. Given its more formal and professional image, a LinkedIn strategy can differ greatly from that of other social media sites.
Demographic: With reference to Oberlo, in terms of global usage, the majority of LinkedIn users are between 25 and 34 years old, whereas 35 to 54 year-olds account for 30% of the platform’s total user base, followed by 24% of users in the age of 18 to 24. It has also been stated that the group of 18 to 24 year-olds make up a quarter of LinkedIn’s overall advertising audience.
Pros: By receiving recommendations and having followers on LinkedIn, a company presents a great opportunity to grow its business. After all, a business is much more than just sales, it is also about connections and networking on a professional level. LinkedIn offers numerous opportunities to increase businesses’ referral and knowledge base, including but not limited to prospecting and attracting new business and quality employees, increasing credibility and exposure of products or services.
Youtube is one of the most popular search engines in the world with a staggering 2 billion users. From a business perspective, it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of video marketing. Businesses of all sizes can adopt a video marketing strategy as part of their inbound marketing strategy so as to cover the content in a more in-depth, engaging manner.
Demographics: Generally speaking, YouTube’s usage by gender leans more towards men. It can be considered as the perfect platform for reaching a teenage and young adult audience, as 91% of users aged between 18 and 29 are using the platform. Interestingly, YouTube is popular across other age groups as well. There’s an 87% usage among US internet users ages 30 to 49, 70% among ages 50 to 64, nearly 40% ages 65 and older.
Pros: If you create engaging podcasts, YouTube is again here, due to the popularity of shooted podcasts over the past few years. In short, YouTube makes it extremely easy for you to promote a podcast by sharing it with others through other channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and other websites.
Elements of Social Media Management
Social media management is in fact a vague term, thus, it is very normal for you to question what are the key elements included. Usually, you can focus on the following 5 processes:
1. Managing multiple accounts
It’s no secret among marketers that jumping between different tools and accounts can be exhausting. Quite frequently, social media managers have to end up managing several accounts based on different branches of the businesses, and all of them are on different platforms. Some accounts might be dedicated to sales while others are used for customer service or digital marketing. As a result, in today’s state of social media, one of the hardest aspects is to keep up with the sheer number of accounts.
Still, managing multiple accounts on different social networks is necessary for your business growth. With social media management, all those accounts get narrowed down into a single platform. You can now be able to post on every single in one click, saving you plenty of time. In addition, with the ability to post the same content on multiple accounts at once, Consistency across all channels can be guaranteed.
2. Building your content calendar
Social media content calendars are the best way to plan and organize upcoming content. Whether it’s a simple grid with a few links or a bespoke dashboard that can plan out dozens of feeds, the calendar can be as simple or complex as your brand needs it to be. Apart from preventing minor panic attacks, a content calendar also helps to increase your organic reach. Whether you’re trying to increase your Instagram likes, your YouTube subscribers, or you’ve implemented social media KPIs, the key is to post consistently. Via showing up in your audiences’ feeds more often, your posts get shown to new eyes, and new people will therefore start following your brand, ultimately, lifting your conversions.
A comprehensive content calendar also comes in handy if you want to schedule posts in advance. Scheduling offers you the freedom to post at “peak” engagement days and times, even if you’re not available at those specific moments. You have more time to worry about other meaningful responsibilities and less on logging into social media to upload a post.
3. Creating platform-specific content
A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach never works in social media marketing since every social media platform has its own rule, namely the algorithm. When you’re communicating a message across multiple channels, creating platform-specific content is key to maximizing your impact.
For example, you might write medium-length captions with a light-hearted tone and lots of hashtags on Instagram, while on LinkedIn, you’ll go for a formal approach, lengthy captions, and only a couple of hashtags. On the other hand, each social media site operates its own bubble, the audience has particular expectations for the content they anticipate and want to see on a specific platform. Hence, it is important for marketers to tailor the way of presentation across platforms based on their audience’s demographics, interests, and expectations.
4. Responding to your followers
There is one crucial rule in social media management that should never be broken: you must interact with your followers and respond to all commenters. As said by Sprout Social, social media is the second more preferred channel for customers to seek refunds, discount, log a complaint, or raise awareness about an issue. Given that customers nowadays are using social media as their prime source for connecting with the brand and business, it is of utmost importance to ensure the smooth delivery of a positive experience.
With customer service being a key driver in the modern competitive business world, listening to what your customers have to say via social media is essential. And sometimes the little nuggets they give you on social media can even help you to identify gaps in your product and service, which you may have overlooked. As a matter of fact, almost 70% of millennials pointed out their loyalty towards brands was impacted by the speed of the response they receive in return, showing how responsiveness on social media could drive customers’ loyalty.
5. Monitoring your social media performance
Every social media platform has its own native analytics, for instance, Facebook has Facebook Audience Insights, a tool specifically designed for marketers to learn more about their target audiences; whereas in Instagram and Pinterest, a business account is needed before seeing information about users’ geography, demographics, purchase behavior and more. If you are a social media professional, social media metrics are the indicators to demonstrate the value of your work, as well as the impact of the decisions you have made. Not only does the right data assure their investment in social media is paying off, but it also allows marketers to keep making smarter, more data-driven decisions in the future.
In addition to this, marketers should consider on-site factors across their websites and landing pages, given their outsized impact on the performance of social media campaigns. This can lead to much-needed corrective actions such as optimizing WordPress for faster load times or reducing the amount of ads, or unnecessary elements on the site that distract visitors, among other things.
Simply put, great marketing requires analysis and measurements. For every goal, you need a related metric, which will help to determine if your social strategy is hitting the mark or not. Apart from giving your chance to showcase the impact of your work to executives, consistent social media metric reports can also lead to major shifts for your social team, including budget increases and increased access to resources.
11 best social media management tools
Managing multiple social networks presents new challenges. Fortunately, there are tools to help, depending on your business needs.
Buffer is one of the longest-running social media tools aimed primarily at scheduling posts. It supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and Pro users can schedule Pinterest updates from one simple dashboard. For basic free plan users, you can connect up to 3 social accounts, including Facebook Pages and groups.
Coschedule is an editorial calendar and social media marketing tool. Users can use it for planning, organizing, and executing content marketing. The drag-and-drop calendar interface makes it easy to collaborate and schedule all projects in one place, allowing you to plan projects, collaborate with your team, and keep your content calendar organized in an all-in-one platform
Crowdfire works with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, WordPress, Etsy, Shopify, Medium, and many more platforms. Users can analyse multiple social accounts, download analytics reports and schedule an export for weekly or monthly reports. Also, it allows users to replay all social mentions from one single dashboard, saving tons of time and effort.
Hootsuite is free for up to 3 social network profiles, whereas switching to the PRO version can manage more accounts and access additional features including the mobile Inbox. It allows users to create and publish content, edit drafts, and schedule posts to all social profiles from the palm of their hand. Users can also use AutoScheduler to publish posts automatically when there are gaps in your content calendar during peak times.
HubSpot is a complete CRM platform with all the tools you need to grow better – whether you want to increase leads, accelerate sales, streamline customer service, or build a powerful website. Hubspot pricing is straightforward and easy to understand. The Marketing Hub feature is tailor-made for social media management, it helps users to attract the right audience, convert more visitors into customers, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale on just one easy-to-use platform.
MeetEdgar is specifically made for professionals who want to manage their social media with more consistency and in less time. It can automate content for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts. Another stand-out feature is the recurred posting queues for ever-green content. These queues post on selected channels on a loop. If there is no more content added to that queue, it will start back from the beginning until new content is added.
Sendible is a social media management tool that helps agencies, companies, and individuals boost their productivity on social media. Using the all-in-one dashboard, users can schedule messages, engage with the audience, and measure performance across all social media channels.
SocialFlow takes a data-driven approach to social media posting and optimization. It provides a social commerce platform that facilitates sponsorship opportunities. For example, via the AttentionStream feature, it automatically matches brands with content, allowing them to reach a new audience through sponsored posts.
Plann is a comprehensive social media management solution that enables individuals and businesses to efficiently manage their social media presence and provides tools for scheduling, organizing, and analyzing social media content across multiple platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. With Plann, users can plan and curate their content, track engagement, and optimize their social media strategies for growth and success.
Later is the leading visual marketing platform for businesses on Instagram, and it’s not limited to just Instagram posting, it also works on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter as well. It favors businesses and brands that need to manage multiple accounts and platforms within one integrated hub.
Zohi supports 6 social media channels: Facebook Page, Twitter Profile, Instagram Profile, Google My Business Listing, LinkedIn Page, and LinkedIn Profile. Its feature includes scheduling and publishing content in multiple ways, creating intuitive reports, and responding to what matters, helping brands to establish a strong presence on social media.
5 tips on social media management
1. Both quantity and quality matter
When it comes to quality and quantity, it is not an “either-or” proposition, every business needs an appropriate mix of the two.
Studies show that the quantity of content does matter when it comes to web traffic. Researches at HubSpot discovered a positive relationship between posting frequency and inbound traffic. Quality, on the other hand, is critical for search visibility and conversions. Since Google heavily weighs the quality of the content and how well it serves the people online, creating high-quality content can genuinely bring your business long-term benefit.
This means you’ll need to edit your written and visual content using software or other tools. For example, you could use Picsart’s background remover to highlight a focal point in your visuals or place your image on top of a different background, or remove the background entirely.
In short, there doesn’t need to be a trade-off between content quality and quantity. With the right content strategy, you can have the best of both worlds.
2. Always keep track of social media analytics
The unique information provided by the analytics can benefit your social media marketing in so many ways. Media analytics brings to light your marketing strategy which has the best impact on your brand’s online campaigns. For instance, you get to see what kind of content has a higher impact than others, allowing you to streamline and maximize your marketing efforts to the fullest.
By investing in analytics tools and services, tracking the leads and converting customers through social media efforts can be achieved. In addition to that, you’ll not only save money and gain higher profits for your business, but you also get to know your audience for long-term healthy customer relationships.
3. Reduce manual tasks with tools
The suitable marketing automation tools can significantly minimize the need for manual input, automating many of the time-consuming processes that are still essential for creating a successful marketing campaign.
By utilizing the social media management tools such as those listed above, you’ll find it easier to free up your valuable internal resources for further productivity and profitability, leaving you with more time to develop and grow your core business.
4. Have a strategy, plan, and goal
Having the right social media strategy is vital to the success of many businesses. It is well-known that today’s customers expect companies to be very good at engaging through social platforms, responding in a timely fashion, and adding value to the core brand. Failure to be responsive can have a destructive negative impact on the business.
Establishing and documenting your social media strategy will help focus your efforts, understand your objectives and goals, and plan the steps you need to achieve them. This focus and planning will minimize wasted effort and improve your social media marketing productivity.
5. Never stop learning
Social media is getting more complicated and faster than ever, with its fast-moving feature, it has also brought a fresh tech layer to marketing. New technology is driving consumer habits and these new habits are pushing the technology to evolve. Thus, marketers have to stay tuned with these trends and be bold enough to embrace the new changes.
In the age of online tutorials, webinars, and interactive demos, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to learning. Always make good use of the free available resources online and build off that knowledge with an accredited course to go deeper, after that, practice what you have learned until you manage to demonstrate that knowledge to the benefit of your works completely.