Social Media Management Tools: Pros & Cons
Social media marketing has quickly become the worst kept secret of a successful digital strategy.
In an increasingly synergistic online world, social media signals are increasingly said to influence a website’s search engine visibility. This has transformed social media from a sometime spontaneous medium to something far more tactical and commercially driven.
To that end, brand managers may now find that they have several different identities to manage rigorously, side-by-side. Posts need to be drafted, proofed, implemented and monitored for engagement.
When audiences start to respond, the positive must be acknowledged and taken further, to keep social at the very heart of the channel—whilst the negative must be handled swiftly and with a degree of panache, to demonstrate that the brand is all about great customer service.
The easiest and most effective way of managing multiple accounts or identities is to use an account aggregator, such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, which will present your accounts to you in one easy dashboard. Why do this? At a glance, you can monitor mentions across the board and also post from different accounts at the click of a toggle button. Crucially, you can also set up social media posts to go out at a defined time in the future, and you can even attach spend to these posts, for increased reach and engagement.
This all sounds like a time efficient, savvy solution to social media management—which it is, when executed with care. If you take your eye off the game, however, the consequences to your brand can be very damaging. Google now has direct access to Twitter’s firehose, which means that tweets from and to your brand will be readily indexed in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is great from a brand perspective, but potentially disastrous for tweet bloopers.
Here are some common pitfalls to avoid, along with our pointers on how to navigate them smoothly:
Posting from the wrong account: your management tool will always default to your primary account, so make sure you untick this before you select the alternative account. The last step doesn’t automatically perform the first.
Scheduling a post at a none-GMT time: there is no magic solution, short of calculating your time zones with an online calculator.
Forgetting to de-schedule a post: sometimes, your direction changes and your scheduled post ends up being published despite this. The good news is that you can manually access each social account and delete the post. Before you do so, consider if the post has already received some good engagement. If it has, and if it’s not off-brand, it’s perhaps best to let it run. Using content planners to map out all of your posts will help you keep tabs on all things pre-scheduled.
Pre-scheduled posts don’t end up posting: again, the only way to overcome this pitfall is to manually check. For this reason (unless your social media insights dictate otherwise), it’s advisable to pre-schedule yours posts at the same points in a day, so that you can implement a consistent time to spot check your accounts, too. Remember that post management solutions are third party and they won’t be held liable if they fail.
In conclusion, it’s absolutely OK to use the likes of Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to manage multiple online identities, along with the pre-schedule functions on Twitter and Facebook to manage your workflow.
However, if you want to enhance your social life in the digital world with these great tools, the onus is on you to double check your pre-scheduled posts when they go live, to be mindful of de-scheduling posts if your strategy changes and, above all, to check that the account from which you post, comment and otherwise communicate is that of your intended brand identity.