Are social media experts using social media management tools?
I find that posting on social media all the time and keeping all the channels active can be a drag. Personally, I also find that social media management tools like SproutSocial and HootSuite are falling short of what I hoped for. I wonder if it is just me or do others find the tools to be clunky to use, missing lots of functionality, and generally unusable expect on small scale. Am I using the tools correctly? Are there better tools out there or ideas to keep social media exciting?
My suggestion would be to take a serious look at HubSpot. It's an inbound sales and marketing platform. It's an all in one tool for building and managing your website, your content (blogs) inbound campaigns including landing pages, CTAs, social publishing, social monitoring, SEO, Keywords, CRM, workflow automation and so much more.
This one tool brings all of your digital marketing together in one fully integrated place to deliver a personalized marketing experience for each of your target personas.
On the surface, it looks expensive but if you were to cobble together all of the stand-alone apps like Hootsuite, Mail chimp, Wordpress, SocialBro, Buffer, etc. the material cost and overhead to setup, integrate and manage these Franken-systems is much greater in the long run.
I've yet to find one tool that answered all of my needs, all of the time. As a long time HootSuite pro (going back to the beginnings), I will say that it's the best in class, in terms of day to day tools for the price. But, with that said, I regularly find myself looking for additional tools to assist me.
This is the $64k question. What one tool does everything we need, in the ways we expect, and keeps us engaged while we work on keeping others engaged?
The most interesting tools I've added to my arsenal lately are SocialBro and GetStacker. SocialBro is pretty comprehensive and adds some interesting layers to the mix in the way you can analyze your Twitter universe, your followers, your lists, and that of others as well. Unlike Hootsuite, I really like the reporting features for SocialBro (Hootsuite's reporting functionality may be fine, but I balk at the pricing). The drawback: SocialBro is a Twitter only tool. Personally, I find Twitter to be the most engaging brand-friendly platform, anyway. But, it leaves you needing other solutions for other platforms.
GetStacker is like Buffer, only more fun (IMHO). It's a scheduling and content suggestion tool, with both web-based and mobile options. The web platform is awesome! I love the image preview feature and the way it integrates with both Firefox & Chrome. The content suggestion feature is what really hooked me. Unfortunately, the mobile app is good but not great - it doesn't automatically pull in the title of the link that you're going to share, so you end up doing double duty (or cutting & pasting, as I learned to do). They support Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
In a nutshell, I've yet to find one tool that's the end-all-to-be-all. There's a definite opportunity out there for some ambitious startup I'm sure the challenge is funding the resources and manpower that would be needed to maintain a platform that played nicely with all social networks, integrated nicely with all browsers & OS's, AND met the needs of all social media managers. Quite a tall order, if you think about it.
I have a process for streamlining everything, using about half-a-dozen tools, that works well for me. But it's work, of course, and requires a good deal of planning and attention. I think that's why social media managers and community management folks are in high demand these days.
Best of luck!
Use social media natively and correctly. Trying to automate it takes away the human factor and decreases the quality. People don't want to see just articles being shared. They want to hear from real people being social. More importantly, you need to engage with people on social media instead of constantly blasting out ads to them. Social media is not designed for traditional ads and doing so annoys people. Be creative and "human".
You probably need something more heavy-duty like Sysomos or Radian 6
Another vote for Radian6. However I haven't used it since the company got acquired by Salesforce.
It is right that all social media experts use social media managment tools for their campaigns because handling each and every social media accounts can be tricky and time-consuming. And tools like Crowdbooster, Bitly, Sprout Social, Buffer, HootSuite and many others help you to mangae social media marketing activities in a more efficient manner.
I can tell you that if you're serious about inbound marketing and understand that social media is one of many channels, HubSpot offers an application that lets you manage everything under one roof. I do understand your question refers to social media alone and if you remove SEO, content development and comprehensive analytics, I found Hootsuite to be somewhat helpful. Like you, I find it a bit short of everything I need.
Many of the freelancers I know doing content creation for social media as well as managing these channels inevitably have to do a lot of their work manually in order to better curate posts and to have more organic engagement. This shift from automation to manual focus leads to a need to charge more money as it's more labor intensive.
Tools like Sysomos and Radian 6 are def better than the more common freemium tools and provide an okay middle ground.
There are certainly a lot of players in the industry that provide social tools. Many of them have comparable capabilities and others have niche benefits. The fit will likely depend on the need. What are you looking for in a social media tool?
I find it social media just misleading and it is not accurate tool for anything professional to be dealt with. Social media is just for social, name itself says it all. It is nothing official, people make blunders and go philosophical and sometimes just Hippocratic opinion. There are some websites those effectively work for professionals, linked in is one of these website that has some professional contents.
I guess FB and twitter is not as reliable to post anything that important for any industry.
First define what is the “Social Media Expert” that is a title that can mean a little or a lot. Granted no one is coming out of an educational institution what a degree in social media. There are ton of tools that free, and some that are paid tools. Yes managing it on an individual basis is a chore. My advice is become an expert in one before trying to market yourself across others. Granted I had a conversation with someone who considered me a “Social Media Expert” and I was flattered.
David, the basis for picking tools should be an objective evaluation. this is obviously an evolving area. As such, you shouldn't be banking on it for the results you need in your business.
At this time, I am personally interested in Google+Hangouts. Check it out:
Thanks for bringing up this topic! Well, I myself use these social media management tools. In some point, it helps me to manage my social media sites more efficiently. I think its usefulness depends on how someone use these tools.
David, you have hit the nail on the head. You are doing something which not only is a drag on you but a drag on your business. There is a schism brewing right now.
On one side sits one group of "experts" - most of these will tell you that there is and can be no such thing as a social media expert - who believe that social media has been way oversold and this is dragging down businesses. I am one of these and an outspoken one - outspoken because I have the data and have measured what the over-sold ideas actually look like in terms of r.o.i.
On the other side sits another group of experts who believe that content marketing and social media are the magic solution to marketing, that either google+, facebook, twitter, linkedin, blogging is the one size fit all solution for every business.
What I would be happy to do with you David, is have a chat with you freely not about social media, but about your specific, unique business and what you are actually trying to achieve. From there we could look at how online & digital tools could be brought into play in such a way that they help minimize your time=money spent online while maximizing your bottom line.
All these online things are simply tools. Like any tools, misappropriate use can actually be very detrimental. That is what I read in your lines. It is something the side on which I sit see all the time. It annoys us immensely because we see the backlash coming, the social media fatigue has already set in, and that too will damage businesses unless nipped in the bud and a smooth transition to something more sustainable started.