Social media tools should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Brittany Berger shares 9 must-haves for your team in 2019.
A social media marketer’s job is constantly getting more complicated. Who knew when we got into this, we’d be living an Avril Lavigne song?
Between new platforms popping up, algorithms changing, and audiences changing their preferences on a rotating basis, oof…it’s rough. Keeping up with what’s happening in the industry is a job in and of itself.
If you and your marketing team are gonna succeed at the whole social media thing, you can’t trust yourselves to keep track of everything AND actually do it. Not without the help of tech, that is.
Tools, apps, and software are to a modern marketer what the birds and other woodland creatures were to Sleeping Beauty and the mice were to Cinderella…magical little helpers.
Here are the ones you need to run a smooth social media strategy in 2019.
9 essential social media tools for 2019
1. Project management tool
First off, get yourself a project management tool for you and your team. Don’t feed the Twitter stereotype that social media teams are still made up of disorganized junior professionals. Managing a current marketing strategy is going to be more complicated than a whiteboard or word doc can handle. (Not that a good whiteboard sesh doesn’t have its place.)
If your marketing team has constant vibes of overwhelm or stress, a project management tool will manage the chaos so that anything will feel possible. Look for one that your whole team can use to track what needs to happen and when. That way, no one has an excuse for not staying on top of things, from small recurring tasks like checking mentions to launching bigger projects and campaigns.
2. Communications app
The project management tool you use might have a chat or comment feature, but a dedicated place to talk will make your social team run so much more smoothly. Especially if you’re a remote team.
Picture it: you’re out for a long lunch (because #selfcare) and notice a tweet saying a customer is locked out of their account on your website and needs help ASAP. You don’t need to handle that from your phone if you can easily message the tweet’s link to a coworker still in the office to make sure your customer is taken care of quickly.
Pro tip: you can also use communication tools to talk to yourself to work out ideas…not that I do that.
3. Social media monitoring app
Once you’ve got all your internal, team stuff squared away, it’s time to tackle your social strategy. Let’s start with what other people are saying about you.
Oh, you don’t know what other people are saying about you? That’s exactly why you need a social media monitoring tool.
It’ll find and organize all the conversations happening about your brand on different platforms, which makes community management and engagement way easier. Whether you’re a one-person social team and you’re struggling to keep up with everything on every channel, a big team that needs to delegate everything coming in, or somewhere in between, a little organization will make it easier to prioritize social listening and engagement.
4. Social media scheduler
Especially if you’re a one-person social team, pressing “publish now” on your social media posts should not be a top priority. Spending hours a week coming up with spankin-new social copy should not be a top priority.
Instead, spend some time developing on-brand, human, personal social messages in batches once a week or month. Then let tech handle publishing and republishing them.
Yes, republishing them. Given how short the lifespan of a social media post is on most networks, you shouldn’t be publishing anything just once. My favorite explanation for this comes in the form of a single graphic from CoSchedule:
Plus, when you know you’re publishing and republishing your social posts strategically, you’re cool spending a little extra time making sure the copy’s fantastic, boosting results even more.
5. Content curator
But just like social media scheduling, curation can involve a lot of technical, tedious steps without the right tools in your arsenal. Without an organized system or process (and tools to go with it), it can be all too easy to spend hours searching for the right content to share. Then don’t get me started on figuring out just how to share it, finding the perfect hashtags, and so on.
But find tools to help you surface and share curated content so you can focus your time on adding your own voice to it.
6. Competitive analysis tool
Competitive analysis might be one of my favorite areas to use tools to help with. It’s no more time consuming or tedious than something like curation, but too many companies end up letting it fall off the to-do list. I get it, competitive analysis can feel intimidating…the name alone is intimidating.
But isn’t the thought of letting your competitors get ahead worse than figuring out how to use an analysis tool? With the right software, competitive analysis only needs to take a few minutes, and the insights you’ll glean will impact your strategy and workload big time.
7. Social media reporting tool
Speaking of intimidating, reporting and analytics might have competitive analysis beat in terms of how many marketers avoid it out of fear. And again, I get it, especially if your idea of analytics involves hacking away at a spreadsheet. But our days of needing to DIY spreadsheets are over.
There are tools to handle whatever parts of the measurement process scares you. You don’t need to collect data or calculate engagement rates yourself. You don’t need to figure out how to create your own scatter plot in Excel. Pick the right tools to pull the data you need, and you can focus on figuring out what the numbers mean and how to improve them.
8. Graphic design app
Before we part today, let’s talk about multimedia – because we can’t talk social media in 2019 without paying attention to visuals. There’s a strong chance your audience uses a visual social media platform like Insta or Pinterest. Even if not, visual posts on other channels are a must in a modern strategy.
Social moves too fast to wait 3-5 business days to hear back from the designer in another department to see if they have the time to create a graphic for you. So if your marketing team doesn’t have a dedicated graphic designer on call for social posts, blog graphics, and other day-to-day needs, you need to become BFFs with design tools for non-designers.
9. Video editing app
And finally, let’s cover the second “must” of multimedia: video. Videos are gasoline on the fire of social media these days. The reach tends to be amazing, so if you can find ways to easily and affordably create video content, you’re golden.
This is where genius video tools come in. Whether you’re looking to resize videos for different platforms, edit long videos into social-friendly clips, or create shareable memes, I guarantee you it’s easier than you think.
Use software to simplify
At this point in social media marketing, there’s not just an app for anything you can think of, there’s four. You have enough options to find the best social media tools for you. There’s really no excuse to spend tons of time struggling with something you could simplify through software.
Stop making things complicated – even Avril’s moved on from that era.