Mastering social media: Scheduling, monitoring & more

Social media is today’s megaphone, and people turn to it for everything from product reviews to dating advice. Businesses have incorporated social media into their marketing, branding, and promotional campaigns, and smart companies keep their fingers on the social media pulse at all times. That’s because missing a beat here actually translates to loss of revenue much of the time. So how do you monetize and maximize your brand through this potential goldmine called social media? Through constant posting, monitoring, and analyzing. Check out how it’s done with these cool tools.

Social media mentions monitoring tools

Unless your company has a dedicated social media expert manning the ship constantly, it is impossible to keep up with all the activity that happens in the social mediasphere. But failing to respond to feedback about your brand (positive or negative) greatly impacts your business, and not in a good way. Customers and potential clients want to be heard, and if they feel like you are ignoring them or not paying attention to their voice, they’ll simply take their business elsewhere.

Manually monitoring mentions is a superhuman feat that no individual can do on their own. So unless you plan on hiring a team to consistently monitor the web, monitoring tools are imperative to your business’ survival. What’s more, social media mentions monitoring apps can:

  • Keep track of social media mentions 24/7
  • Monitor at a fraction of the cost of a human counterpart (or for free)
  • Get on the spot notifications any time your brand is mentioned
  • Give you an easy format for responding automatically
  • Supply you with loads of intel on your target audience like what they like, how to improve, new features to consider etc. to help develop a better marketing strategy

In short, you need to be listening to what people are saying all the time, and monitoring apps are the cost and labor-efficient stethoscope to help you do that.

Listening apps

There are literally hundreds of apps that will help you monitor your social mentions. Here are some of the more popular apps, chosen for usability, accuracy, and features:

  • Hootsuite: Robust and easy to use, Hootsuite lets you monitor several social media channels via running feeds on one convenient screen. But that’s not all. You can post, monitor, and even analyze data all with this one tool. Hootsuite is a contender for best SM management tool out there.
  • Social Mention: Another fabulous app, Social Mention allows you to analyze your reach in different ways to show you how well a post is doing and what your fans are talking about.
  • Klout: This is a debated tool that you’ll either love or hate. Try it out.
  • IceRocket: IceRocket is a good option for blog monitoring.
  • Brandwatch: A paid app, Brandwatch is an excellent resource for keeping an eye on your company and the industry at large.
  • HowSociable: HowSociable has an interesting spin, measuring various social media platforms against each other so you can see how your company fares in different areas (helpful for targeting your most popular networks).

There are also site specific tools and apps, but with so many choices that support multiple platforms, it seems irrelevant to mention one-offers like Twazzup, TweetReach, and TweetDeck. Some people swear by these though, ad if you have a major Twitter presence, they can be extremely helpful.

Post scheduling apps

You want to make sure you’re listening to your clients or fan base, but you also need to respond and communicate with your audience. Companies can talk to their customers, as well as broadcast news, promos, and fun activities across the globe within seconds thanks to the right posting apps. The benefits include:

  • Scheduling posts to go out at specific times/interval during the week
  • Planning an ad campaign to go out for holidays, promotions, or special seasons
  • Instantaneous posting across multiple platforms
  • Convenience of only having to draft one message for multiple platforms
  • Spreading a brand’s message to every corner of the Earth instantly

Here are some great ones:

  • Buffer: Buffer is a tremendous resource that makes scheduling a breeze. They reach all the major platforms, have a mobile app, and let you schedule posts for intervals throughout the day or week.
  • Hootsuite: See the benefits above.
  • SocialOomph: This is a great app that schedules and monitors. It’s got handy tools like automated responses, user grading systems, a URL shortener, and more.
  • IFTTT: IFTTT is an automation-lover’s dream come true. This app literally lets you automate the entire posting process, giving companies the flexibility to post different messages or take various actions depending on the situation. If This Than That maximize the automation process with simple formulas that you define. Definitely worth your while to test drive.
  • SocialFlow: Post based on your users’ most active times. A little bulky on the offset, but a brilliant method for getting your users when they’ll actually read your posts. SpredFast and Sprout Social are based on the same idea for larger companies.
  • Tailwind, Everypost: These apps let you share multimedia files across platforms for a richer posting experience.

There are so many more. Which tools are the best? That’s hard to say. Since most of the tools mentioned here are free, it’s worthwhile to test out several of them and see which ones are the best fit for your team, brand, and product.

Start building the lines of communication between your company and your customers with these easy listening and talking apps, and watch the relationship (and ROI) grow!

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