Top 10 tools for executing your Social Media Marketing strategy

The daily active social media population is 42 per cent of the entire globe’s population- which amounts to 3.2 billion people. This is the reason that dropping Social Media from your marketing strategy has become impossible. Social media has moved way past the stage where it was an option to explore and has become a mandatory medium to maintain a presence in the online world. It is a certain and powerful tool for businesses globally and across industries.

The way businesses leverage social platforms has been rapidly evolving. This dynamic state indicates that you need to continuously upgrade your social media marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition.

The way users consume information, make buying decisions, interact with people, and socialize, has completely transformed how businesses approach them.

If you are a business owner or social media marketer looking to expand your reach or create a buzz around your products or services, you have social media platforms at your disposal, waiting to be leveraged.

Seventy-three per cent of marketers believe that a social media marketing strategy is very effective or somewhat effective for their business.

However, with the multitude of social media platforms available for businesses, it can be hard to manage your brand presence across all. To help you with this, here is a list of the top social media marketing tools.

Content Curation Tools

Hootsuite

Most companies use at least three social media accounts and find it difficult to manage content and reach across them. Hootsuite is a social media marketing tool that can help you efficiently create and manage presence across social channels.

The key features include:

  • Schedule hundreds of posts across platforms at once.
  • Secure all login information for various social channels.
  • Organize and save all shareable content in the cloud for access from anywhere.

Buffer

Buffer is one of the most popular and recognized social media marketing tools for scheduling content. With Buffer, you can schedule any content format across any platform. Moreover, you can choose to automate posts, such as for every day or every weekend, and so on.

A key feature of Buffer is its follow-up tool to evaluate how your posts are doing across channels, analyzing which were the most effective and why.

Monitoring and Sharing Tools

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a one-stop-shop social media marketing tool for managers to get more control over their efforts. The tool features multi-level access, making it easy for managers to delegate tasks to team members and oversee them.

Sprout Social also comes with post scheduling capabilities, an in-depth analytics platform, and a social listening tool. All of these features help optimize content and gain a deeper understanding of your demographic audience and their interests.

SocialOomph

SocialOomph might look more basic than the other apps on this list, but look close enough and you see its rich functionality for social media marketers.

The tool makes it easy to upload multiple posts at once and schedule when each goes out. You also have complete control over when and where the content goes live. SocialOomph also allows intuitive follower analysis features and tools for improving audience engagement.

For all these critical features, this tool is a keeper!

Graphics Creation Tools

Canva

Promptly add this to the list of much-needed tools for social media marketers. Canva helps you create stunning graphics for your social media campaigns. Use Canva to jazz up the images to get more traction from your social efforts.

You don’t need to have expertise in graphic designing to work with Canva. You can readily use templates and graphics out-of-the-box. If you are looking for a little more than a drag and drop editor, use Canva for Work which has premium collaboration tools and costs only USD 12.95 a month.

Animoto

Videos are huge for social media marketing these days. Animoto allows you to create professional-quality videos on social media. It’s a great tool to create engaging and compelling videos that go viral on the social.

Use storyboard templates and drag and drop designs that help you create videos within minutes. For marketers who want to get creative, Animoto offers a blank canvas so you can go ahead and create videos from scratch.

Content Ideation Tools

BuzzSumo

Creativity forms the core of any social media marketing strategy. If you are stuck on ideas, use BuzzSumo. The tool lets you discover new and popular content making rounds on social media. Type in a topic or a selection of keywords and view all trending posts in those categories.

BuzzSumo also gives you a list of influencers who share relevant content. You can use these to ideate your next social media marketing campaign and connect with top influencers in your domain.

Tagboard

Tagboard is a listening tool for social media content. Plug in a term or topic or hashtag and monitor how people are talking about it on social. Tagboard provides an advanced way of discovering how people are discussing a certain topic, your brand, or something that concerns your business.

You can use these insights to come up with ideas and engaging content as trends develop and surface.

Analytics Tools

CrowdBooster

CrowdBooster provides real-time data you can access and use quickly. Create reports using your Key Performance Indicators and export insights using graphs and tables. This information helps you adapt social media marketing toward your audience effectively, and work on engagement and content improvements with in-depth, real-time analytics.

Analisa.io

Growth hack your marketing campaigns on Instagram using Analisa.io.

You can use this tool to snoop on your competitors, monitor campaign performance, tweak profile engagement, and connect with influencers. Use the basic free research tool for all these features.

Or, you can go for the premium subscription that costs USD 59.35 a month and gives you better and more tools for connecting with influencers and researching markets. This tool is a must for marketers looking to overhaul their Instagram strategy.

 

Although vast, this list of Social Media tools for businesses is not exhaustive. For you to align some of these tools to your digital marketing strategy, you need to first identify the pain points and bottlenecks you need to resolve using an appropriate tool.

Once the requirement is clear, test a number of tools to see which one fits best to your existing system and solves the required purpose. No tool can be deemed best as it varies with the type of business and it’s requirements. 

If you are interested in taking up Digital Marketing as a career, read about the job roles you can pursue in this domain here. Take the first step towards your digital marketing career with Great Learning’s PG program in Strategic Digital Marketing.

 

Digital Is Not a Strategy

 

Digital is not a strategy. Social Media is not a strategy. Google is not a strategy. Mobile is not a strategy. Yes, you heard that right. Digital and the various mediums that it offers are not a strategy but mere channels to achieve the objectives of your marketing strategy. Before jumping onto tools or channels, one needs to define the problems that need a solution. One perhaps already have a marketing strategy and list of objectives, often defined by the board; you can achieve those more effectively using unique attributes of digital channels i.e. measurability, cost-effectiveness and better targeting.

Let us take a scenario. Your CEO asks you to generate ideas and build a strategy to reduce cost per acquisition by 20%. A quick look at sales funnel will tell you that it can be achieved if you increase lead to sales conversion ratio by 25% and a look at your CRM dashboard will tell you that leads which have higher lead scores and the leads which are organic (inbound, a fancier term) convert better. Lead scores are a direct function of lead demographic & engagement; the more a prospect visits your website, reads and replies to your emails, engages with quizzes/ contests on social media, talks to your sales representative for long, etc. i.e. higher engagement, higher the lead score.

So you define marketing strategy objectives as

  1. Improving customer engagement (in turn lead scores)
  2. Generate more inbound/ organic leads. And note that it doesn’t have Google, Facebook or digital as part of it.

To achieve the desired objectives, you can list out the activities using digital or social channels. To increase customer engagement:

  • Generating higher engagement through Facebook posts or quizzes (using Facebook)
  • Creating short videos with sneak peek of product usage or customer stories (using Video/ YouTube)
  • Sending important information through e-mailers (using email)
  • Doing regular webinar with industry professionals or (using webinars)
  • Sharing customer testimonials on your website, (using the website)

To increase the number of organic/inbound leads you can:

  • Write for leading blogs or magazines of your industry (using affiliates)
  • Work on spreading the word of mouth digitally (using Facebook/ LinkedIn)
  • Create referral schemes using customer advocacy platforms (using referrals)
  • Provide avenues for visitors to leave their contact details on your website (using website)

Remember what you do with Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, affiliates or website are tactics deployed to achieve objectives outlined in marketing strategy.

More often building strategies around tools are what gets marketing teams in trouble. Marketing executives decide to do something with Facebook or Google or Video because everyone is talking about it or because it is working for a competitor and HOPE that it works for them too. And as a wise marketer once said – ‘Hope is not a Strategy’.

So next time you speak to your marketing team or the agency don’t get into the discussion on how Facebook or Google can work for you rather focus on what needs to be done and how can that be achieved by using either online channels or offline channels or a mix of both.