With more than half the world’s population now active on social media, social channels are a critical way to build brand awareness, contact customers, drive traffic, and even sell products and services.
That’s a lot of functions for one communications channel. Social media management tools increase efficiency and allow social teams to get more done.
Social media management involves a long list of tasks spread over multiple social media platforms. These can include scheduling social media posts, replying to comments, tracking the success of social strategies, and much more.
Social media management tools can reduce the amount of time and effort required for those tasks. At the same time, they increase performance, security, and data tracking capabilities.
Social media management software streamlines processes and creates better collaboration across teams. They’re particularly useful for complex organizations. But they can also be a lifesaver for small teams and freelancers that have to wear a lot of hats.
The best social media management tools meet a variety of needs. They simplify everything from marketing to customer service to social selling.
1. Save time
For smaller brands and solo social media managers, this is likely the biggest benefit of a social media management platform. Stop opening apps or tabs and logging in and out of accounts. Instead, you can manage all your social accounts in one place.
You can also save time by preparing social media posts in advance and scheduling them to post later. You won’t need to interrupt your other work to post throughout the day.
if your diary isn’t full of 5 min appointments to post are you even a social media manager?
— WorkInSocialTheySaid (@WorkInSociaI) November 28, 2021
This allows you to better plan content and improve your posting consistency. It also frees up time to work on other aspects of your social media presence.
Another time-saving benefit of social media management tools? The ability to manage your organic and paid social posts in one place. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers have completely integrated paid and organic social media marketing efforts. This is much easier with a social management tool.
2. Plan a cross-platform content calendar
It’s important to plan your posts—both created and curated—in a social media content calendar.
Many social media professionals use spreadsheets to plan and organize their social posts. But it’s more effective to use the planner built into a social media management platform.
Social media management tools with planners allow you to:
- Balance different types of social messaging
- Publish posts when they are likely to receive the highest engagement
- Curate compelling content to share with your followers
- Plan for seasonal and release-specific messaging
A built-in content planner allows you to schedule posts at the right times. In most cases, you can adjust your schedule with a simple drag and drop.
3. Automate social listening
You need to know what’s said about your brand, your competitors, and your industry. In fact, 48% of marketers strongly agree social listening increased in value for them in the last year.
Social listening allows you to monitor conversations across channels from one central dashboard. You never need to switch between browsers, and you never miss relevant conversations.
Social listening is also a powerful content curation tool. Use appropriate industry keywords and hashtags to source great third-party content. Share that content to complement work created in-house.
4. Centralize creative assets
Keeping content consistent across channels and teams can be a challenge. A content library can help make it easier.
A content library makes it easy for teams working in various locations to share appropriate, pre-approved content. This ensures all your social channels remain on-brand and on point.
5. Streamline permissions
It is a truly terrible idea to share passwords among members of your team. A social management dashboard creates unique passwords for each person who needs access to your social accounts.
You can control permissions for each team member based on their role. It’s easy to revoke that permission when someone leaves your team. And the appropriate stakeholders can sign off on social content right within the posting workflow.
6. Unify analytics
It’s important to use real data to test your social media strategy.
Social media metrics tell you when your content strategy is performing well. And where it might need reworking. A good analytics tool helps crunch the numbers that matter to measure performance.
Most social platforms offer native analytics. But these don’t give you the full picture of your social successes (or misfires).
A social media management platform shows you cross-platform analytics. You can see which content works best on which social network. Then, create custom reports based on your business needs, not network-specific stats.
7. Improve customer service
Have you tried calling an airline’s customer service number recently? Hold times can still be many hours. Customers are fed up, and have turned to digital channels. So it’s no surprise that 59% of respondents to the Hootsuite Social Trends 2022 survey said social customer care has increased in value for their organization.
Customers who reach out on social expect a customer service response. But often, the person monitoring the social channels is not a customer care rep.
Social media management tools can help ensure the right messages get to the right teams. They also create a unified view of the customer. They merge messages across channels, and even connect to your CRM.
As artificial intelligence improves, chatbots have also become invaluable for social customer care. They provide answers 24/7 to basic customer requests like package tracking and order status.
8. Simplify social commerce
The global social commerce industry is worth more than half a trillion dollars. And it’s expected to keep growing.
Social media management tools can help your brand sell more through social, automatically. AI-powered chatbots help guide shoppers to the products best suited to them.
We’ve already mentioned that social media managers wear a lot of hats. Just for reference, here’s a look at some of the tasks Hootsuite social managers are responsible for, and their favorite tools to make the job easier.
Freelance social media managers
Freelance social media managers may wear the most hats of all. They manage tasks in multiple social platforms for multiple clients.
Social media management platforms are especially useful when working with clients, because they minimize the risk of accidentally posting to the wrong account.
Halfway through week one of being a social media manager and I haven’t posted a panda to the wrong account… yet… pic.twitter.com/nv3zRtI5aS
— Ant (@anttheeditor) September 3, 2021
One-person marketing teams
One-person marketing teams may not be juggling multiple clients. But they’re certainly juggling multiple tasks.
When you’re running the whole show, you need to automate and simplify as much as possible. You need time to think about strategy rather than just the day-to-day tasks of content creation and posting.
When you’re on your own, it’s also easy to let engagement with your target audience slide. Social media management tools can help carve out more time to engage in conversations that build relationships and lead to sales.
Small but growing brands
Small business social media management tools offer major benefits for growing teams. In particular, a social media management platform allows your team to collaborate effectively and securely.
Social media management software also allows you to function like a larger team. Post content anytime your audience wants to see it, even if you don’t have the person-hours to bring staff in every day.
You know, a lot of people ask us why we don’t post on weekends. The short answer? We social media managers need rest too 😎🌴
— Linguistic (@LinguisticApp) November 21, 2021
In a medium-sized company, your social team should be collaborating with your customer service team. Social media management tools can help coordinate the handoff from social media to customer care agents. They also integrate all customer interactions with your CRM.
Teams at this level will get a lot of benefits from using social media management tools for analytics. Social listening should also be on the table for customer and competitor intelligence.
At the enterprise level, social media can become a little complicated. There are just so many stakeholders involved. You may also have to deal with industry-specific concerns like compliance and security risks.
Social media management tools help protect your brand reputation. Permissions controls, approval pipelines, and compliance checks keep your organization safe.
1. Social media dashboard
Hootsuite’s social media dashboard allows you to manage all your social media accounts from one screen. View, post, and engage with your social channels with one simple login, with no need to change tabs or screens.
2. Calendar and scheduling tool
Hootsuite’s simple calendar view allows you to schedule posts for all your social networks with a few clicks. You can review your scheduled posts at any time, and make changes with a simple drag and drop.
The Best Time to Publish feature suggests the best time to publish for your audience to maximize engagement.
3. Bulk posting tool
4. Social listening tools
Hootsuite custom streams track all the important conversations in your field. Stay on top of your own business—and one step ahead of the competition. You can filter by keyword, hashtag, and location. Streams are laser-targeted to your needs.
Other great social listening tools include:
- Hootsuite Insights Powered by Brandwatch: To incorporate Boolean search logic and monitor brand sentiment.
- Adview: To monitor conversations on Facebook and Instagram ads.
- Talkwalker: To incorporate conversations on blogs, review sites, news sites, and more.
- Mentionlytics: To track mentions, keywords, and sentiment in multiple languages.
5. Content library
Hootsuite’s content library is a home base for approved content and marketing assets.
Social media teams can store and organize images, videos, and message templates. You can also integrate the content storage solutions you already use. (For example, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive.) This allows you to access a wide range of content and resources directly from the post composer.
6. Permissions management tool
Hootsuite allows you to control passwords and set specific permissions levels. Every team member has the access they need. When someone leaves your team or changes roles, you can remove or adjust permissions immediately.
7. Analytics and reporting tools
Hootsuite Analyze provides metrics and reports for multiple channels in one dashboard. Measure team performance and share custom reports to prove the return on investment (ROI) of your social efforts.
Other great social media analytics tools include:
- Google Analytics: To analyze the traffic social channels send to your website.
- Brandwatch: To track engagement and benchmark against your competitors.
- Hootsuite Impact: To analyze organic and paid social posts together and track how they impact real business goals.
- Panoramiq Insights: To analyze Instagram performance.
We’ve also created a free social media analytics report template you can use if you’re not yet ready to invest in analytics tools.
8. Social customer service tools
Hootsuite Inbox consolidates messages, mentions, and comments across channels into a single dashboard. You can assign messages to appropriate team members, and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
Sparkcentral automates, prioritizes, and triages customer inquiries across social media, messaging, and chat. Connect Sparkcentral to your CRM to give customer care agents a full view of all customer interactions. This allows a better service response.
Other great social customer care tools include:
- Zendesk: To create customer service tickets from Facebook and Twitter.
- Freshdesk: To convert social conversations into support tickets and track their progress.
- Automat: To incorporate artificial intelligence bots for customer care through messaging.
- ClickDesk: To convert Twitter inquiries into a live chat.
9. Social commerce tool
Heyday’s virtual sales assistant can provide product recommendations through social messaging. This is an easy way to increase social conversions.
Heyday also uses AI-powered chatbots to resolve more than 80% of customer queries. It intelligently passes the customer on to a human agent when a more personal touch is required.
Save time on social media with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can manage all your accounts, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.
Easily manage all your social media in one place and save time with Hootsuite.
What do Meta’s New Safety Initiatives to Protect Women Really Mean for Women in India?
Meta, formerly Facebook, announced a series of initiatives aimed at the protection of the women users on the company’s social media platforms. The initiatives include the launch of stopncii.org in India — a platform that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII) and Safety Hub for Women that will enable more women users to access information about resources that can help them make the most of their social media experience. Meta has also appointed the first Indian members in the company’s Global Women’s Safety Expert Advisors.
“Safety is really core to our mission at Facebook,” Karuna Nain, Director of Global Safety Policy at Meta Platforms told reporters on Thursday, while announcing the initiatives. She further elaborated that the social media behemoth works to keep the platforms safe in three segments — by implementing clear policies, building cutting edge tools and technology, and by working with organisations on the frontlines on the issues around the world.
How does stopncci.org work?
According to Meta, Stopncci.org empowers victims who are concerned about their intimate images being abused, and gives them control over such content.
“If someone threatens you, you can report it so that we can take action on that content,” Nain said. Stopncci.org has been developed in partnership with the UK Revenge Porn Helpline and 50 other organisations around the world. Stopncci.org has been built with feedback from victims, victim advocates, and privacy and safety advocates.
What is striking though, is that despite the large number of teen users on Facebook and Instagram, stopncci.org is not accessible for users under the age of 18. If you are under 18 and want to register a case, the platform displays a message saying, “We are sorry, but we cannot help with your case,” and leads the user to a list of NGOs that can be contacted for help.
Also, at this point the Stop NCII platform is available only in English, and Nain said that it would take a few months more before the platform supports Indian languages. Given the widespread use of Facebook in a number of Indian languages, this will limit the scope of its impact, something that has been seen in the past with the company’s efforts to combat misinformation as well.
A safety hub for women
Women’s Safety Hub is a part of Meta’s Safety Centre. The Women’s Safety Hub is a centralised resource where the company tries to capture all the information that women would need to be able to navigate the social media platforms in a safe and secure manner so that they’d be empowered to know what tools they have at their disposal.
The Women’s Safety Hub contains information including Meta’s policies around different issues, tools, and on-demand training. The hub is available in 12 Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Gujarati, and Assamese, among others.
Meta has a Women’s Safety Experts Group in place, who the company consults on an ongoing basis regarding their policies, product, and resources that they should be offering on the platforms.
Bishakha Datta, Executive Editor, Point of View — a Mumbai-based non-profit and Jyoti Vadehra, Head of Media & Communications, Centre for Social Research — a Delhi-based advocacy group for women — are the first Indian members in Meta’s Global Women’s Safety Expert Advisors.
The group comprises 12 other non-profit leaders, activists, and academic experts from different parts of the world and consults Meta in the development of new policies, products and programs to better support women on its apps.
Would women be safer on Meta’s social media platforms now?
Nain said that Meta has invested over $13 billion (roughly Rs. 97,640 crore) in tools and technology to keep the platforms safe and give people security since 2016 and are on track to spend more than $5 billion (roughly Rs. 37,555 crore) on safety and security in 2021.
“Our commitment to making our platform safe and secure isn’t just something that we talk about. We put real investment behind these efforts. We have around 40,000 people who work on these efforts across the company.”
When asked about the specific initiatives the money was spent on by Meta, Nain only said that the money is being spent on, “…people who work on this space, the technology that we are building, for example, the initiatives that we will announce today or that would come as part of this.”
What do you do if someone is threatening to share your intimate images?
- Go to https://stopncii.org/
- Click on the Create Your Case button
- Confirm if you are 18 years or older
- Provide details about the image including who is in the picture by clicking on the drop-down list.
- Select the image(s)/video(s) on your device that you would like to protect
- A unique “hash,” or a digital fingerprint is generated and shared with the participating companies (Facebook and Instagram)
- Create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use to check your case status
- Check the box consenting to your hashes being shared with the participating companies.
- Click Submit.
WhatsApp Beta Testing Skin Tone Combinations for Couple Emojis on Android, Sticker Store on Desktop
WhatsApp has started beta testing skin tone combinations for couple emojis on Android. The update comes a long time after the instant messaging app has allowed iOS users to pick their preferred skin tone combination for couple emojis on the iPhone. Separately, WhatsApp has reportedly started testing a new feature to let users explore the Sticker Store and find relevant stickers for their chats directly from the WhatsApp Web or desktop client. Stickers are already an intrinsic part of the messaging app and are gaining popularity among users.
As initially spotted by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has started rolling out skin tone combinations for couple emojis to select beta testers on Android. The change is a part of WhatsApp for Android beta version 188.8.131.52.
Gadgets 360 was able to independently confirm the rollout on the latest WhatsApp beta release, though it may take some time to reflect for all beta testing users.
If you are on the eligible beta version, you can look for skin tone combinations on the couple emojis by tapping one of them on the app.
WhatsApp was initially spotted testing skin tone combinations on WhatsApp for Android beta 184.108.40.206 that was released in October. Beta testers were, however, not able to see the change.
On iPhone, WhatsApp has allowed changing skin tone for the preloaded couple emojis for some time. You can tap one of the emojis to pick your preferred skin tone.
The exact timeline on when we could see skin tone combinations for couple emojis has not yet been announced. Nevertheless, considering historical records, WhatsApp may bring them for regular users in the near coming future.
WABetaInfo has additionally reported that WhatsApp is testing a new feature on its Web and desktop clients to explore its Sticker Store. It will appear once you tap the plus icon on the sticker tray, the website notes.
WhatsApp has been spotted testing a new feature for desktop and Web users to explore Sticker Store
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo
The Sticker Store on WhatsApp Web and desktop will work similar to how you can explore different stickers on your mobile devices, though you cannot download a sticker pack from the store and can only pick a specific sticker from the available packs to send it in a chat.
WABetaInfo reports that the feature is initially available to beta testers on WhatsApp Desktop version 2.2147.9, though it is planned to reach users through a public release soon.
Clubhouse Adds Support for 13 New Languages Including Bengali and Marathi, Rolls Out ‘Topics’ Feature
Clubhouse has rolled out support for 13 new languages on the social audio platform, bringing the total number of local languages to 26. Support for two more Indian languages – Bengali and Marathi – is now rolling out to users along with 11 other languages as part of the latest update. Clubhouse has also announced a new ‘Topics’ feature that users can pick from to show their interests on their profile. The platform pioneered audio social networking that has now been replicated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Clubhouse announced via a blog post that it was adding support for 13 new languages – Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Farsi/Persian, Hausa, Igbo, Marathi, Nepali, Somali, Thai, Turkish, and Yoruba. Users who want to use a localised version of Clubhouse should be able to switch to one of these languages. The Clubhouse app for iOS currently lists around 130 languages to choose from.
In November, Clubhouse had announced the rollout of support for 13 languages on the social audio service. That update brought support for French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Tamil, and Telugu. The latest update to the app brings the total number of Indian languages supported on Clubhouse to seven, with the addition of Bengali and Marathi.
The new ‘Topics’ feature announced by Clubhouse appears to be a rebranded ‘Interests’ feature and allows users to pick from thousands of topics, including cities, universities, sports, or even music genres. These will be featured on their profile, so followers can see what a user is interested in. Clubhouse says that users will be able to keep their favourite topics private by hiding them from their profiles.
The ‘Topics’ feature will also appear on other sections of the app, including Topics pages, which will show users related rooms, clubs, and other users who are related to that topic. Similarly, rooms can also display Topics to explain to participants what the room is discussing, and creators will be able to add and change these even when a room is live. Clubhouse may soon begin testing the ability for users to create Topics of their own on the service, according to the company.