Social Media Management Tools: Your Guide

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The continued popularity of social media has undoubtedly led to a rapid increase in the number of social media tools available to help businesses and individuals analyze and manage their profiles. While choice is always a good thing, the sheer number of social media management software solutions may seem a bit overwhelming for many. So how should you go about finding the ideal tool for your business or personal profiles? 

Finding the right tool for social media management starts with understanding your needs and then moves to carefully investigating what each tool actually offers in terms of functions and features.

Social Media Management Tools

As we have already pointed out, there are many tools for social media management already on the market. The important question for many is what do you need to be aware of when shopping for tools. Should you simply look at price? How do you distinguish between tools that seemingly offer similar features? And what features are the most important to have? 

There are subtle differences between social media tools in terms of what features they offer or with what types of users they have in mind. What is absolutely essential is that you look beyond the broad product descriptions on the home pages of social media tools and find out exactly each tool does. For instance, while all tools claim that they offer competitor analysis, what they do in practice can vary from tool to tool.

To make the discussion about how to find the right social media tool easier to follow, we want to highlight the 5 core functions that a social media tool should perform. In doing so, we will talk about the different functions you should look for when considering all the tasks you want a social media tool to do. Social media management and analytics tools may say they offer many different features, but there are always some things to be on the lookout for. In the following sections, we will explain what you should keep in mind when shopping for a social media tool in 5 main areas: 

  • Research
  • Analytics
  • Community Management
  • Publishing
  • Monitoring 
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Research

When it comes to finding a social media management platform, you should make sure that you are able to discover trends, find competitors, and look for the top posts in your chosen country, language, or industry. There are a few primary reasons why this function is so important that we want to cover here.

First, understanding what is trending or popular on social media is important in order to make sure your content is fresh and is addressing trending topics. This is actually a little more complicated than it sounds. For the most part, you probably are not so concerned about overall global trends but rather trends that are happening within your focus country, language, and/or industry/topic area. Simply looking at broad trends, or even trends that happened in the past, doesn’t allow you to focus on the here and now in your industry or area of interest. A social media tool should be able to help you filter and pinpoint what exactly is trending in your industry, which is a function that serves as one of the pillars of social media research. 

Second, it is essential that you are aware of new voices or to be able to discover profiles that are relevant for you that you haven’t already heard of. One of the reasons that you are interested in using a social media tool is to analyze your competitors or other relevant profiles in order to learn from them. However, in order to effectively do this, you need to know what profiles to track and analyze. This is why people able to use a profile discovery tool that allows you to search for profiles by country, keyword, or topic can be helpful. Moreover, if you are using a tool that offers unlimited profile tracking, you can essentially add as many profile to you want to your analysis. 

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Analytics

When it comes social media analytics, benchmarking capabilities are one of the first things social media managers typically look for in terms of necessary functions. There are countless tools to measure social media performance, but the key to finding the right one for your needs is to look closely at the metrics these tools can actually track. We have provided an overview of what to look for in your benchmarking tool, but the key point to mention here is that you will be able to track enough profiles across important metrics to make your analysis meaningful.   

However, you will definitely want to find out more than just how your profiles compares to others in your industry across key metrics. You almost certainly what to better understand why some profiles are having success and while others are not doing so well. First, you should ask yourself what types of analytic insights you want. Other important questions relate to whether there are limits to the types of analytical insights each tool offers? Or, must you pay more to get features you need for advanced insights? 

Let’s go into a bit more detail relating to how social media analytics can help you to actually optimize and improve your content. We have highlighted a number of tips for social media content optimization in another article, but here we will give you a quick summary of some possible functions to look for. At the end of the day, content analysis in general is geared towards optimizing the content you are posting by studying past performance not only of your own profiles but also your competitors’ profiles. In reality, you can conduct a number of different analyses, such as looking at the top-performing posts across networks, looking at what content formats correlate with the highest post interaction rates, or even conduct a tagging analysis to determine what type of content you should post. Your social media tool should allow for you to adjust for different time periods, as well as choose from different charts, metric tables, and graphs to analyze the metrics that are important to you. 

Additionally, the best social media management software should excel in some specific forms of analysis. For instance, being able to find the best times to post across various social media networks is a must for social media tools. Moreover, hashtag research and keyword analysis are important features to have to help you identify trending topics. Remember, analytic features are especially powerful when you have many data points. This comes from being able to track an unlimited number of profiles, so you can be sure to add as many to your analysis as you want.

Community Management

These days, building and managing communities of social media followers is an important, but time-consuming, endeavor for many businesses and influencers. However, it is not just about gaining followers, but also making sure you are engaging with their comments so they keep following you. This means that you are active within the community you built by answering messages, user posts, comments as well as using these responses as a way to boost further interaction and engagement with your profiles.

The best social media management software will ultimately help your social media team to effectively deal with your community management activities across profiles. This can be done with organizational features so you can coordinate what team member is handling what conversations, as well as built-in features that allow you to respond to and manage conversations more quickly and efficiently. 

The first thing you should look for is a social media platform management tool that centralizes control of all your profiles. For instance, you would want it to be able to handle direct messages, comments, etc. on a variety of social media networks. This means that, instead of working in each individual social media network profile separately, you can do it all from a single platform. This saves time and, most importantly, allows for more effective organization and teamwork. Along these lines, make sure that the community management tool can do this for the social media networks you need, as well as has mechanisms for your team to organize all messages and conversations. 

Two people in dialogue boxes with pictures of people in the background with descriptions

The second thing that the best social media account management tool would excel relates to helping you with replying to messages and comments more efficiently. On the most basic level, your tool would allow for the creation of pre-written templates that are filled into the message field with just a click, as well as ways to automate simple tasks. However, with the increasing popularity of artificial intelligence, the integration of this technology into community management tools is a real game changer. Social media managers can use AI to craft and/or improve responses to various comments, posts, and messages. 

Publishing

Your posts are the voice for your business or brand. Making sure that they go out on time and are posted across different social media networks is a key feature of social media tools. At the core of their functions, social media marketing management tools should help you to schedule posts to be posted at a specific time, in addition to helping your team to curate posts across social media networks.

Successful in social media generally requires engaging content that is posted consistently and at the right times. While the analytic functions of social media management tools can mostly help you find out when and what to post, the implementation is another task. Make sure that, in addition to simply being able to schedule posts in the future, that you can add mentions, tag people, or insert hashtags from directly within the tool itself. 

Social media campaign management features are also an important part of a tool, since these allow you to better organize and plan your campaigns across various networks. However, campaign planning is just one small facet of the entire curation process for your social media content. The best social media tools will allow for an entire time to brainstorm ideas, assign tasks to each other, and curate content all within the tool. AI integration for image generation and caption creation are also important features to have. We have highlighted what these features should do in another article, but the main point is that the best publishing tools will have many features that make it easier for teams to create and plan their posts. 

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Social Media Monitoring

When researching various tools for social media management, you may notice that social monitoring is a feature that is often highlighted. Many companies may claim to offer social media monitoring but, as we have pointed out before, their tools do not offer true social media monitoring. Social media monitoring is about tracking mentions, comments, and posts of your company or related profiles that are not directed at your profiles. In these cases, you may not know what is being said about your company without a monitoring system.  

If social media monitor is important to you, then you should always closely inspect what a social media management tool actually does in this regard. Does it simply tell you when someone replies to one of your posts or sends you a direct message? Or will it monitor various social media networks for discussions related to your company, product, or brand and let you know what is being said? The latter is true social media monitoring and is a must for companies with a focus on brand management on social media. 

Key Features of Enterprise Social Media Tools

Before talking about all the social media management tools out there, we should mention the needs of businesses or social media agencies that may need specific features. Large businesses and agencies have very specific needs due to the complexities of their business. For instance, businesses may have main, international profiles across the major social media networks as well as several national and/or regional profiles. In these situations, there is a need to look for enterprise social media tools that are tailored for these specific uses. 

First and foremost, your enterprise social media management tool should allow for unlimited profiles tracking. Why? Most large companies will have profiles for their international business along with national, regional, and/or local profiles for specific markets. There may be many different competitors you want to track in addition to your profiles. This can easily mean you need to track hundreds or even thousands of profiles. If your tool does not offer unlimited profile tracking, you may be paying quite a lot extra to track the profiles you need to. 

Second, the best enterprise social media tools would be specifically designed for large teams. So what does this mean in practice? To begin, this means that your tool needs a community management feature that was designed so that teams can work together effectively and organize all the conversations they need to reply to. Moreover, publishing features that enable feedback, idea sharing, and task delegation in creating post content is important in this remote-work world. Your social media tool needs to be able to offer features that enable this type of work.  

Last but Certainly not Least: Pay Attention to Pricing!

Some tools may advertise a free version or highlight a cheap monthly subscription rate. Depending on what you need, these tools may be perfectly fine. However, you should also focus on what you are getting in return. A tool that requires many paid add-ons may ultimately cost you more money than a tool that, at first glance, seems more expensive. We have already written about issues related to the pricing of some social media tools, but the main takeaway is that you always have to carefully assess what you are getting.

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Fanpage Karma

What really sets Fanpage Karma apart from other social media tools is that it allows for unlimited profile tracking. This breaks down a major barrier for companies and marketing agencies. Imagine being able to track and analyze not only your own social media profiles, but also all of your competitors, industry leaders, and even niche influencers. As a result, you can develop data-driven strategies that keep you ahead of the curve and ensure your brand messages resonate with the right audience.

What’s more, Fanpage Karma does more than provide powerful benchmarking and content optimization insights. It also offers industry-leading community management tools that allow teams to work together and manage all messages coming in from various platforms. Moreover, its publishing feature comes with AI integration for image generation and caption writing, as well as enables teams to work together on content curation. Lastly, its discovery feature is designed to help you stay on top of trending topics or search for various profiles. 

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