For most business owners, it’s impossible to find time to stay active on every social media platform while dealing with the stresses and surprises that come with running a successful business. It’s important to look for help wherever you can find it. Advances in technology and in our overall understanding of consumer behavior have led to powerful social media engagement tools that make the process of social media marketing easier than ever before.
But, a quick Google search reveals yet another problem: there’s an seemingly endless stream of possible solutions to choose from. It can be overwhelming just trying to choose a social media engagement tool from the growing selection available on the market. To make matters worse, not all solutions are created equal. Some tools are designed for Fortune 500 companies with thousands of employees and a massive base of followers, and others may not provide all the functions you need.
And so, our experts at HipSocial put together a quick and easy guide to help you choose the best social media engagement tool for your brand.
1. Understand Your Audience
Your first step in choosing a social media engagement tool is just like the first step of a cohesive social media strategy.
Your audience, whether they’re recent college grads on LinkedIn or fashion-forward women on Pinterest, has three foundational desires:
- They want to be acknowledged and valued
- They want to connect with like-minded people
- They want to be rewarded” Neil Patel
It’s all about the audience. So, define the objectives of your business and target relevant customers through these insights.
You’ll need to listen to your audience to determine their needs and desires. Most buying decisions (and decisions in general) are heavily influenced by emotions. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among many others, provides an excellent means to watch consumers engage with brands in real-time. These real life instances will provide you with insights and emotional triggers you can implement into your own campaign strategies.
Various social media engagement tools provide a variety of features and functions that will facilitate different strategies. In short, a deep and cumulative understanding of your audience is important for choosing the right software that can help you meet their expectations.
2. Comprehend Each Platform
You want to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each social media platform that your business uses or will potentially use to attract new customers or clients. Each social platform caitors to specific demographics.
B2B marketers looking for other business professionals likely find more success on LinkedIn or Twitter than on Instagram, while younger consumers may frequent Instagram and Facebook more. Some segments of your audience may use a number of the more popular platforms. Use the insights you gain from audience research to help you determine the platforms that will provide the best ROI. It’s never recommended to blast out as much content as possible across every social media platform you find.
3. Focus on Competitors
After selecting a platform and analyzing your audience you’re ready to conduct competitor analysis. Analyze your competitors, noting various elements of their ads on social media. This provides insight and inspiration you can implement in your own campaign strategies.
The SEO Competitive Analysis Checklist https://t.co/a4Dgnuhtl5 via @Moz | Nice! 👏🏻📝🌟— Mari Smith (@MariSmith) October 3, 2017
Competitive analysis provides invaluable insight that helps shape your overall social media strategy. It also informs you as to features and functions your competitors take advantage of, giving you a good idea of what to look for in a social media engagement tool for your own brand.
4. Focus on User Experience
In this case, user experience is directly linked to productivity. Consider your marketing team or members of your staff that will be using the software most often. Many social media engagement tools offer bells and whistles that are rarely used. And while these solutions prove to be more versatile, they’re also more complex. Ease-of-use should be a priority. Not only will this improve the productivity of your team, it’s also easier to learn and teach.
5. Become Mobile-friendly
Accessibility is another important, yet often overlooked element of a great social media engagement tool. Look for software that is optimized for mobile devices, allowing your team to access data and work remotely. This not only improves productivity, but it also shortens response time for social media users who send messages to your brand. Social media engagement has a lot to do with customer satisfaction, so give your employees the tools they need to interact with users around the clock.
6. Use SaaS-Based Software
The best thing to do when looking for this kind of software is to rule out any options that aren’t SaaS-based and which don’t save backup data. Not only does this free you of the need to maintain storage space, but it also eliminates the need to install and setup software on your company devices. SaaS-based solutions are more accessible and generally cost less than their traditional counterparts on the market.
7. Choose Automation and Integrations
Automation is key in a growing, dynamic marketplace. Social media engagement tools that automate tedious or monotonous tasks help to boost team productivity and free up time for your team to focus on other tasks and issues. Moreover, seamless integration into third-party apps and solutions is vital to a productive workflow. Never settle for a social media engagement tool that fails to integrate with popular extensions.
8. Leverage Analytics
Choosing a tool with powerful analytics features will help you maintain accurate data you can use to optimize social media campaigns going forward. These tools should also provide robust data security for storing sensitive company and customer or client data.
9. Performance Optimization
Productivity is not only important for your employees. Your social media campaigns can also be monitored. Find a social media engagement tool that collects data on the performance of your campaigns as well as your team’s social media efforts. This data can then be used to highlight strengths and weaknesses and optimize workflows and campaigns.
10. Customer Service
Test the product’s support team during your free trial. Focus on their response time and the effort they put into addressing any concerns you might have and meeting your needs. Also, check the type of channels you can reach them on to find answers quickly.
Boost your Social Media Marketing Efforts
FREE for 10 users
We have covered the 10 most important tips for choosing a social media engagement tool. If you’re in the market for a new solution, we encourage you to try HipSocial by 500apps. You can try HipSocial free for 30 days.