Understanding Different Types of Social Media Management Tools

Charlie Crespo - February 12, 2015

social-media-marketing-toolsTrust us; we feel your pain. As a marketer, you’re busy in a number of different areas, one of which is almost certainly social media. Within your social media umbrella, you’re likely running several campaigns, with each campaign utilizing separate platforms. It’s easy for things to get out of control.

Due to that, it’s crucial to find ways that can make running distinct campaigns as efficient as possible. One technique to achieve this efficiency is to use social media marketing tools. Once you discover social media marketing tools that work for you, you’ll look back on the days before you had them in your arsenal and wonder how you ever got by without them. Before choosing specific tools however, it’s important to understand the different categories of tools that are out there and how each can be helpful.

In this post, we’ll discuss three different categories of social media management tools and their advantages. In addition, we will provide a few specific examples from each category that you can test.

  • Listening station tools. As you know, social media isn’t a one-way street. Before, during, and after putting content on your social media platforms, you’ll want to listen for feedback and what people are saying about your brand. Listening station tools can help you search for anything people are saying that pertains to your brand, including mentions about promotions, comments about press releases, or general feedback. With that said, listening tools aren’t just about … well, listening, either. If what someone is saying is relevant, join the conversation and engage them.
    Examples: Hootsuite, Social Mention, Topsy
  • Content production tools. With social media increasingly putting emphasis on images, infographics, and videos, no longer is it enough to simply publish a tweet or a Facebook post that is only text based. Content production tools can help you design custom graphics, edit photos, or create videos, which you can then use in your social media content.
    Examples: Canva, Share as Image, PicMonkey
  • Scheduling tools. Once you’ve heard what people are saying about your brand and produced content for your social media platforms, you’ll of course want to publish it. However, if you’re running multiple campaigns on multiple platforms, it can get very complicated deciding what branded content gets published on which platform at what time. In order to plan ahead and organize your publishing schedule, use a scheduling tool. Remember though, there is a significant difference between automation and scheduling  when it comes to social media.
    Examples: Buffer, Hootsuite

Hopefully, by understanding these general categories, you can now choose specific social media tools that fit your needs. Don’t forget that the example tools we’ve listed aren’t the only relevant ones for that category. Give them a try, but don’t hesitate to search out others if necessary.

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