August 3, 2016
Common Tools for Social Media Managers
If you’ve already found out tips on how to become a social media manager from Birchbox’s Juliette Dallas-Feeney, you know that working with social media involves more than just a knack for posting funny memes. It also requires an understanding of the social media landscape and an analytical mind. Whether you’re applying for a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job, there are several tools that can help you measure stats accurately and consistently in the fast-moving world of social media. These tools can also help you maximize engagement across different channels and get the best results for your campaigns.
If you’re thinking about applying for a social media role, familiarizing yourself with these tools will help you demonstrate knowledge of the field during the interview.
Here are some of the most common tools you’ll need when entering this field.
1. Google Analytics
One of the best and easiest ways to track the performance of your social campaigns is Google Analytics. This free analytics service is easy to integrate into any website and offers comprehensive reporting for website traffic, including audience insights and geographic breakdowns of where your traffic is coming from.
Why it’s important: Social media managers use Google Analytics to keep track of which pieces of content are performing well on various social channels and how those channels are driving traffic to their websites. The service (which has a paid component with even more in-depth insights) is one the best ways to stay up-to-date on how your site and social media accounts are performing, making it easy to test different strategies and track results.
One of the most established tools for social media management, Hootsuite makes it easy to create, schedule and track social posts across different platforms. Hootsuite is most commonly used with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn although it has the ability to connect with a total of 35 social networks. This makes it a one-stop shop for social media management, letting you manage all of your accounts in one place.
Why it’s important: Hootsuite allows you to schedule and analyze your social posts as well as create custom reports that you can use to track campaign performance. In addition to making it easy to see all of your social accounts in one place, the tool also acts a social-listening device, offering you real-time information on trending topics that you can leverage to boost engagement.
3. Facebook Insights
A great tool for any social media manager, Facebook Insights makes it easy to measure things like reach, engagement, clicks and shares. The interface also lets you generate reports for individual time periods so that you can get an accurate idea of trends for a specific month or quarter. As an added bonus, Insights shows you pages similar to yours, making it easy to capitalize on new social trends in your specific field.
Why it’s important: Since Facebook is the single-highest traffic driver for websites across almost every industry, social media managers rely on Facebook insights to understand how audiences are engaging with their content and create strategies for maximizing the impact of their campaigns.
4. Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager is one of the most important tools in any social media manager’s toolbox. This service makes it easy to create, run and track ads on Facebook, ensuring maximum engagement with your target audience.
Why it’s important: Social media managers use Facebook Ads Manager to increase engagement and boost traffic to the company’s website. This can be done by boosting existing posts or creating sponsored ones to engage new users and increase visibility. Best of all, Facebook offers tools to manage spending and track ad performance.
Like Hootsuite, Buffer is a social media tool that allows you to schedule, publish and analyze posts on multiple social platforms at once. Another freemium service (that offers additional services for a premium fee), this is a wonderful alternative to Hootsuite, offering increased flexibility with scheduling and the ability to manage your social channels from one place. Buffer also has an innovative creative tool that lets you turn quotes into images, driving more engagement to your posts.
Why it’s important: Every expert has their preferred tools and some social media managers prefer Buffer’s interface and analytics tracking platform to the one offered by Hootsuite. The only way to know which one is right for you is to try both and see what fits your needs.
Pro Tip: Since different companies use different scheduling and tracking tools, having in-depth knowledge of several social media management services is likely to impress hiring managers and get you noticed as a serious candidate.
While Hootsuite and Buffer offer a multi-channel solution for social media management, TweetDeck offers a specialist solution specifically for Twitter. This is an awesome tool if you’re focused on your brand’s Twitter presence since it allows you track trends, measure engagement and post from multiple Twitter accounts at once.
Why it’s important: Owned directly by Twitter, TweetDeck offers a seamless way to manage Twitter accounts on a large scale while also providing the most accurate analytics for this channel.
Over the course of the past two years, images have become increasingly important on social media. Posts with images currently drive 94% more traffic than posts without images. As a result, many social media managers are finding themselves learning graphic design with services like Canva.
Why it’s important: Canva takes the guesswork out of creating great graphics by offering templates that are easy to customize and share. It’s also a wonderful first step to learning more complicated design programs like Photoshop and InDesign. Added bonus: Knowing the basics of design will give you an edge over other candidates.
Working in social media involves a unique blend creativity and metrics-driven strategy. In order to maximize the impact of your campaigns, and land a job of your own, it helps to have the best tools at your disposal.