What’s in your social media tool belt? 4 tools rated

Social media management can be such a lot of work, especially if you are managing several accounts at a time on several different social platforms as we are. Taking a mindful approach to social media and how you work means finding ways to streamline your workflow, focus on engaging and creating value for your network, curating or creating content and maybe, just maybe, even have a life!

The right tools for the way you work is crucial, and you may not find a one-size fits all unless you spend tons of money on custom options. If that isn’t in your budget though, never fear, there are affordable options.

I saw this infographic from iag.me with data from G2Crowd and wanted to share it with you as a breakdown of some affordable options. Each has their own secret sauce, and I’m not going to tell you which one is best for you and your situation. I suggest you try a few different services to find one that feels good for you.

The tools
The tools listed here were ranked by their own users for usebility, cost, their market preseense and whether they met the needs of the users. I also have a list.ly list of some of my favorites here.

The way we use these tools has changed over time as theiy adapt to the market, and we’ve tried many more, here are the qualities we look for at Tatu Digital:

Curation
We set up searches for keywords relavant to the individual accounts so we can find the best links to share with our networks. Client blogs and those of our partners show up in the feeds to be easily scanned and shared so we don’t miss important posts.

Engagment and monitoring
You sure don’t want to miss a question, a mention of your brand or your compeitors or an opportunity to engage with the community. Having a dashboard that shows you what’s going on is a godsend.

Team management
For each account we manage the administrators can see what posts are scheduled and also what is coming in from the social networks. This allows us to delegate customer service questions to the right person to answer them and see issues coming up early.

Security
If you have temporary staff or interns you can give them access to accounts through the tools and never have to give up your login information. You’ll also have a track record of who posted what so everyone understands there is some accountability in the system.

Scheduling and bulk uploading
Now, I’m not a fan of set it and forget it, but there are often opportunities when you will want to schedule multiple posts over a time period. Sharing your videoor podcast schedule, upcoming events and announcements, cycling older posts back into circulation, these things can free up your time for finding or creating great content and actually engaging. Hootsuite is great for this. You can upload a CSV file with your posts and the days and times you want them sent andnot worry about the message not getting out.

Reporting
This is obviously huge. Not only do our clients want to know how successful campaigns are, we need to see which posts are performing best so we can do more of those and fine tune messaging so we stay on track. For me Sprout Social is the best of these. We get great reports to share with customers and can really drill into the history of our Facebook insights to see how the page is progressing.

The Top 4 Rated Social Media Management Tools of 2015 Infographic brought to you by Seriously Social and G2 Crowd