Social media management tools and software allow you to manage different social media accounts in one place. There are many tools with different functionalities and features, including:
Content creation: Creating and curating ideas and content, e.g. Canva.
Scheduling and auto-posting: Automated sharing and publishing of the content on different channels
Social listening: keep track of what your audience is saying about your brands, products, and services and engage in conversations with them. Stay on top of trends to create relevant content
Content analyzing and comparing: Observing metrics and KPIs to know if you are getting closer to your goals
Some tools combine some of these capabilities. You need a tool that helps you achieve your business goals on social media. To avoid getting bogged down with myriads of social media tools when researching, follow the steps below:
Define your social media goals
Start by outlining your social media goals. What is the point of finding a tool if you don’t know what you want to use it for? Spelling out the specific social media goals helps you understand what to look out for when choosing a suitable social media management tool. To set your social media goals, define your business goals, think of how you can use social media to achieve these goals, and outline what metrics you want to track.
Your social media goal could be to run an awareness campaign, establish your authority as a thought leader, and communicate with customers.
Determine your must-have features
You can use your list of social media goals to identify the features your social media marketing tools must have.
Must-have features: these are the key features you must have to execute your social media strategy effectively.
Nice-to-have features: these are other helpful features you may want to use in the future, but are not nearly as important.
Remember to ask members of your team to write the features they need. This way, you’ll avoid overlooking some crucial features. Make a list of your activities. What do you do monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly? How often do you want to publish? What routine tasks will help you meet your goals?
Say you need to publish three times a week on Tiktok, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. You need a social media management tool that can schedule images, videos, carousels, stories, and reels.
If you’re not entirely sure what your ‘must-have’ features are yet, ask yourself: How important are these things?
- Post scheduling
- Team collaboration
- Best time to post
- Image cropping and editing
- Hashtag suggestions
- First comment scheduling
- Supported file formats
- Bulk uploading posts
- Social media listening
- Supported social media platforms
- Social media advertising
Do some research to find the best options
Now that you have a list of essential features you are looking for, It’s time to search for the best social media tools. Researching for the best social media management tools helps you create a shortlist from which you can find one that suits your needs. What is perfect for you depends and your goals and activities. That is why clarifying your goals and must-have features is super important.
Create your shortlist of social media tools
As you explore the features of the tools on your list, select the ones with features you cannot do without. Then, choose between 2-4 of them. Keep your workflow in mind while shortlisting the best social media marketing tools.
Any social media marketing tool that lacks some of the features on the must-have list should not make it to your shortlist. Don’t overlook it. A missing feature can become a clog in your team’s workflow in the future.
Evaluate and test drive the tools on your shortlist
Evaluate the shortlisted tools. Test them to ensure they are effective. You can sign up for a free trial and take note of your likes and concerns about the tool.
Also, ask your team members who would use the tool to test it. Team members should try out all the tasks they intend to do on the social media tool. Since different team members need various features from the social media tool, consider the feedback from every member of your team.
This might seem like a lot of work, and sometimes you might end up grabbing two different platforms to cover all of your bases, but it is worth the time in the long run. That being said, a lot of this can be circumvented if you end up hiring a social media management agency as they will already have all of these tools. If that is the route you want to go down, you can always reach out for a free consultation.