Tuesday, September 4, 2018

YOUR Social Media Content Planning Tools?

Four planning tools to improve the efficacy and impact of your social media content..

“Work smarter, not harder” might be an awful cliché, but it’s true.

As social media has matured and advanced, whole hosts of marketing technology platforms have risen to keep pace with and meet the needs of agencies, brands and influencers.

And it makes sense. Public relations and marketing professionals should seek out the best possible tools for their agencies because they can do better work for their clients if they can work more efficiently.

Having a solid content strategy for each social media platform that each client uses is critical to successful growth (since what works on Facebook won’t necessarily work on Instagram). And the tools you use can give you an edge and make executing your stellar strategy more measurable, scalable and organized.

Like many of you, our agency has tried our fair share of different platforms and content planning tools over the years, so we wanted to share what works best for us and our clients, especially when it comes to navigating an ever-changing landscape.

Accurate, Accessible Analytics

When planning your social media content, it’s important to be able to measure the goals that have been set for a client.

In my experience, I've found it important to find a tool that gathers data on how social content drives web traffic as well as conversions, both of which affect a client's bottom line.

And that way, if you ever need to make the case for how your social media efforts directly contribute to clients’ business goals, you can have that information readily available. For this type of tracking, our team uses Google Analytics, which, for many, probably isn’t the first tool that springs to mind.

Cross-Platform Scheduler For Social Media

With having multiple clients across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, investing in a cross-platform scheduler is key for efficiency. Find a product that can help you schedule content for multiple accounts and that also provides valuable reporting tools. Some platforms even connect with Google Analytics, which allows you to view your reports all in one place.

While we tend to prefer Schedugram specifically for Instagram because of its visual elements, the reports and ease of use make Sprout Social our go-to tool for social media. To get the most out of Sprout Social’s robust reporting metrics, I recommend syncing up all social channels for a given account to the platform, even if you’re also using another tool that's specific to one social channel.

If you do sync up a social channel to Sprout simply for reporting purposes, be sure that you’re checking in to ensure that the account remains connected at all times. Things like password changes can disconnect the account, and if you’re not publishing to that platform from Sprout, this can easily go unnoticed until it’s time to pull reports. Nobody wants missing data points.

Instagram Scheduler

For image-heavy clients, we use additional tools that are designed to help draft and schedule content exclusively for Instagram. While there are a handful of products to choose from, we wanted something that would allow us to upload videos and image carousels, as well as Instagram Stories and Highlights.

Do your research, and find which tools make sense for your own needs.

One of our favorite features about Schedugram, the tool we use, is the ability to drag and rearrange posts while viewing an account in “grid” mode. You can view your upcoming scheduled posts on a monthly, weekly or daily view, in addition to creating drafts you can choose to schedule later. The platform also offers geotagging and the ability to add hashtags within the first comment of your post.

Other tools for Instagram scheduling include Later, Planoly, Iconosquare and more.

An Editorial Calendar

You should never underestimate the value of a good old-fashioned editorial calendar. Whether you prefer to plan content out two weeks at a time, a month at a time, or for even longer stretches, having an editorial calendar can ensure that you account for any upcoming events, holidays, new product releases or monthly newsletters. No matter the format you use -- Excel spreadsheet, Google Docs, Canva document or a third-party program like Divvy -- creating an editorial calendar gives you a big picture look into what, when and how you create content for a client.

While this covers some of the tools we’re currently using and loving, we like to stay open-minded. This industry is in constant flux, and the platform you may have disliked in the past could become the next best thing as features expand and improve.

Guest Authored By Allie Danziger. Allie is the Dynamic founder of Integrate, a Houston-based, full-service communications agency specializing in public relations and social media. Follow Allie on Twitter.

"Ultimately, choosing the best content planning tools for your business depends on your unique needs and personal preferences. If you want your employees actually using these tools to work smarter (and occasionally harder) on behalf of your clients, do the research into what’s right for you, and your clients will definitely appreciate the results.." -AllieDanziger

    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Salt Lake City, UT. where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
    Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram

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