Social media has not only had a major impact on how people communicate with each other, but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Co. have also radically changed the way that brands communicate with their target groups. With the right tools marketers save time and cut costs. We introduce you to four of these must-have tools.
HootSuite is the optimal tool for campaign planning. The interface enables a complete overview of all your accounts on social media platforms. The benefit: marketers can keep track of everything at a glance and don’t have to constantly switch from one platform to the next. Entries on all relevant channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram can be conveniently planned in advance. HootSuite also provides an excellent monitoring solution. It allows marketers to filter contributions based on certain keywords and hashtags or locations.
Tip: The various premium versions of the tool provide additional options for more in-depth analysis of follower development, interaction rates, social media ROI, team performance and much more. HootSuite also enables integration of popular analysis applications such as Liftmetrix or Crowd Analyzer.
In the meantime, everyone knows that visual content is extremely important for all forms of social media communication and is becoming more significant every day. But what happens if you aren’t a skilled design professional or don’t have the support of a graphics department? This is where Canva comes to the rescue: the tool offers a series of appealing templates, graphics and illustrations for everything from Facebook ads, infographics or Instagram photos. Of course command of basic design skills is helpful to take advantage of the tool’s full potential.
Tip: Appealing, high-quality and license-free stock image databases like Pexels or Stocksnap provide the perfect basis for working with Canva.
Sprout Social is also – just like HootSuite – essentially an all-in-one solution, which provides marketing managers with an appealing overview of all social media activities plus analysis functions. The strength of the tool is particularly in its Customer Relation Management options. To this end, Sprout Social provides users with all available customer data, the complete history of a Twitter conversation and notes by colleagues in regard to previous contacts at a single glance.
Tip: Using the Group Report function, marketers receive a comprehensive analysis report of all social media channels. This makes it simple to draw conclusions about the target group and the performance success of different campaign strategies.
Using Bitly, long links can be easily (and free of charge) shortened to create more visually appealing links. By paying an additional charge, it is even possible to individualize the links to correspond to the relevant company URL. In times where Twitter has doubled its character limit to 280, it is perhaps even more crucial to have the option of tracking the performance of the respective links. The Bitly dashboard includes displays of the number of clicks per URL and the most frequent click sources.
Tip: Bitly is ideal particularly in conjunction with Instagram, because a link can only be created in the bio section of an Instagram profile and it is visually unappealing to have a URL that is excessively long.
The list of social media marketing tools could, of course, go on forever. Ultimately, an appropriate software solution has been developed for (almost) all requirements in the meantime. But marketers who have been around from the start should always ask themselves: What information do I really need? And: How can I take my social media presence one step further in those areas where I need to? If a tool helps answer both questions, it should be able to do the job in everyday practice.