Best Social Media Apps for Managing Your Business Accounts
There’s no denying the fact that social media is perhaps one of the easiest ways to reach and connect with almost any target audience nowadays, and for wholesalers, it can be a really valuable way to keep your brand and products at the forefront of both your retail buyers’ and end customers’ minds. But let’s face it, we’re all busy, and we don’t necessarily spend tons of time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Luckily, there are various social media management apps out there that will help make sure you can keep your social media presence up, while also ensuring your time is spent wisely. These social media apps allow you to schedule your social posts in advance, mine trending topics in your industry, and follow your customers and potential customers on their platforms of choice. While you can certainly accomplish these things using the standard interface provided by each social network, it’s hardly the most efficient way to get things done. On that note, here are some of the social media apps that we recommend to help make your work-related social media presence more effective.
Social Media Apps: 5 For Managing Your Business Accounts
Hootsuite is perhaps the most popular social media management application for businesses of all kinds, and for good reason. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and over 30 other social accounts easily on one platform, schedule updates, and monitor conversations from one centralized location. It’s available as a free basic application, or a paid account that can run you $9.99 to $69.00 per month (there’s also enterprise pricing for larger organizations). In addition, you can check out what your audience is up to and see their Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and other social media activity in your streams, which are simple to set up. You can also set up streams for individual hashtags––ideal for trade shows and other events related to your industry. Staying on top of these interactions is key to knowing what people are saying about your brand. If you have heavy social media traffic and multiple people on your team managing several accounts, Hootsuite’s “team member” features also allow you to delegate social media responses to different people or collaborate within the app by sending private messages.
TweetDeck is a great option for heavy Twitter users. While Hootsuite allows you to monitor an extremely wide range of social networks in one place, TweetDeck focuses on offering a really in-depth Twitter management interface. While you can connect several Twitter accounts, you can’t manage Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ accounts from this interface. On the positive side...unlike Hootsuite, TweetDeck is 100% free to use. If your brand really focuses on Twitter engagement as its primary social strategy, it’s not a bad choice. With TweetDeck’s relatively clean user interface, you can keep track of several topics and accounts at once, filtering interactions by content type (link, video, image, etc.), user, or engagement level. You can also schedule tweets, set up alerts, and organize the people you follow into groups or lists. TweetDeck also allows you to delegate access to others without sharing the account password.
3. Sprout Social
The great thing about Sprout Social is that it’s really optimized for businesses. The interface is extremely easy to navigate, allowing you to draft, schedule, and post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, create a record of social interactions for your customers, and assign tasks to various members of your team. Each team member’s account is associated with specific publishing and reporting permissions, so all of your accounts stay as secure as possible. Like Hootsuite, you can see all of your social media activity in one centralized interface. Sprout Social sends all of your social messages and alerts to one stream that can be filtered by channel, time frame, or message type. Similar to setting a Google Alert, you can also set up custom alerts for certain keywords related to your brand, and be notified whenever someone mentions those keywords. All of your social media activity can eventually be condensed into useful reports. Another really awesome feature is Sprout Social’s “ViralPost” tool, which analyzes your audience “to determine the optimal times to deliver content based on usage & engagement patterns, content velocity and other factors.” If it’s always been a challenge for you or your social media team to know when to post content on social media for maximum effect, this could be a game changer.
Buffer is another great contender in the social media management horserace. This application allows you increase your social presence with relatively little effort, at least in regard to organizing your followers and automating your posts. You can stagger multiple social media posts and schedule them for the future, but you don’t actually have to manually set a date and time. They’re pre-set and ready to go, though the timing can be modified if need be. If you’re reading a relevant article or want to share a press mention about your brand, you can simply add a social share to your “queue” from that webpage, without having to sign into any social media accounts. An analytics tab will allow you to see how many comments, likes, etc. your posts have gotten, and you can use Buffer to reply in the app.
IFTTT (which stands for “if this then that”) is not actually a social media management application, but it’s a tool that can really help you manage your social media accounts like a pro and create a dynamic social presence. What IFTTT allows you to do is make “recipes” connecting different platforms, including your social media accounts, video/photo sharing sites, file sharing platforms, blogging platforms, etc. For instance, if you use Wordpress to host your brand’s blog, you can create a recipe to automatically share every new blog post on Facebook. In another example, you can add a photo to your brand’s Instagram feed and automatically have those images shared in your Twitter feed. IFTTT is a really simple, yet powerful tool that lets you connect your social media platforms, and makes sure you’re reaching your customers and end consumers on all the platforms they prefer. It’s also a great app for productivity, automating many of the processes you may already do manually. Any questions about the tools we talked about here? Let us know in the comments below. For more of our 'best business apps' posts, check out our features on receipt tracking apps, calendar apps, trade show lead capture apps, and route planning apps for sales reps.