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6 Essential tools for managing your social media activity

Keeping on top of your social media activity can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a dedicated resource assigned to the task. Luckily, there’s a number of specialist tools and technologies available on the market (many of which are completely free) to help you use your time as efficiently as possible.

Here are 7 essentials social media tools you should consider using:

1.  A social media content editorial calendar 

Out of all the tools on this list, this is probably the most important. Planning and mapping your social media content in advance, as opposed to doing so on an ad hoc basis, will ensure you’re treating your social media activities in a strategic and goals-driven way.  Your editorial calendar should include all key content pillars, topical events and other themes that are relevant to your brand. Don’t have a template? Get started with this sample social media content calendar from Hootsuite.

2.  A scheduling tool 

Enlisting a social media scheduling tool is the best way to make sure you’re posting consistently on all your channels. Set 30-minutes to an hour per week (depending on the volume of content you’re producing) to schedule everything mapped out in your social media calendar. There are dozens of scheduling tools available on the market, with different price points and features. Low-cost tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer are perfect for beginners and professional social media users alike.

3. A cross-sharing/automation process

 If you only have limited time/resources available to produce and manage social media content, a good idea is to repurpose the same content across multiple channels (as long as it’s relevant). Use an IFTTT recipe to automate cross-sharing – there are plenty to choose from! That will save you time saving your images and copy-pasting your text after each update.

4. A content curation tool

As a rule of thumb, a third of the content that you share should come from third parties – this includes external high-quality articles, infographics and images that provide value to your audience. To avoid extra research, make sure you always have a bank of third-party content to choose from. Create a system for curating these, such as by setting up specific Feedly feeds or saving content on an ongoing basis into Evernote. Bear in mind that some scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite provide content ideas based on your preferences and past activity – Hootsuite will even compose tweets for you.

5. Community management software

The point of social media is to be social – so don’t forget to engage with your audience! Depending on the size of your brand pages or pages, keeping on top of messages, comments and post likes may be overwhelming. Consider using an external tool such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social to keep track of your customer enquiries across each platform and never miss a comment again.

 6. Monitoring and analytics technology

In order to assess whether your social media efforts are working, you need to be constantly monitoring and analysing different metrics, such as growth, reach and engagement. While most social media networks feature their own native analytics capabilities (such as Facebook Insights), ideally you want all your data in the same place. Most scheduling tools will offer access to analytics and reporting as well. For more intricate reporting and monitoring capabilities, consider investing in a comprehensive analytics platform such as Social Bakers or Fanpagekarma.

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