Social media has become an integral part of businesses and marketing strategies. But let’s accept it social media marketing is a hard work to accomplish. With more than 500 million updates per day on Twitter alone, it’s a challenging task for marketers to keep track of what’s happening in the social sphere.
Today we live in a world where everyone wants to engage socially with fellow users. In a situation like this, it is natural to be flooded by social media data. It is also essential to surf the wave and take only what’s required for your business. But the question is, how do you do it?
Let’s identify the problems here:
- The Internet never sleeps and there are scores of social media platforms where your target audience is likely to be.
- It is humanly impossible to be online 24/7.
- Small businesses and bloggers hardly opt for hiring staff for social media management due to budget constraints.
- Even those who can afford it do not always go for this option.
Statistics indicate that less than 5 percent of small business marketers outsource social media marketing management whereas 40 percent of them would rather outsource their TV/radio advertising and 35 percent would do the same with SEO.
So how are you going to interact and engage with your target audience as well as stay on top of things on each of your social media accounts?
Enter social media dashboards.
What are Social Media Dashboards?
For an avid digital marketer, social media dashboards are nothing new. They have been around for quite a long time now and are great options for helping you combat social media’s time-sucking vortex. These tools make managing various social accounts super-easy by syncing all your accounts in a conveniently accessible place.
Besides, a social media dashboard displays all your social media analytics together, eliminating the need to go into each account and check them manually. With a robust dashboard, you can access all major social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr, Tumblr and Evernote.
Here are some dashboards that are used for different kinds of social media tasks.
1. To Schedule and Post on Various Platforms
This is one of the most popular social media management tools out there. Hootsuite currently has more than 10 million users and it is available in 13 languages. This dashboard offers both free and premium accounts and users can sign in via their Twitter, Facebook or Google account.
Once you have created an account, it’s time to sync all your social networks within Hootsuite. It allows you to add ‘streams’ such as Home, Wall Posts, Mentions, Sent tweets, Retweets, and so on. To keep different social media streams separate, add tabs to group streams in relevant columns. This way, you can create tabs for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn etc.
It is also very simple to schedule your posts with Hootsuite. It also features an app directory that includes scores of third-party apps, both free and premium.
This tool helps you to publish on multiple channels and also tracks the effectiveness of those posts. Try Buffer for its clean and super simple user interface; it’s too easy to sign up where you have the option to login using your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email account. It offers a free trial account where you can sync all major social platforms.
The ‘Suggestions’ tab of Buffer provides a list of posts in different categories such as inspiration, marketing, lifestyle etc. that you might like to share on your social accounts. Better yet, you can even attach a Group or a Page instead of attaching your personal profiles.
At present, Buffer has more than 2 million registered users.
2. Engagement, Reach and Influence
Klout is a great tool to determine your social media influence. Brands can use this tool to identify the industry influencers and engage with them to leverage upon their social reach and power. According to a Nielsen report, 92 percent of global consumers trust recommendations from their peers over any other form of advertising. It is therefore imperative to identify and target influencers, and get them to speak genuinely for your company in the social space. And Klout helps you to do exactly that.
This robust platform also helps you to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. It claims to track more than 400 metrics on a daily basis from eight major social networks, giving you a detailed report about your social reach, amplification probability, engagement, and influence. While Klout scores calculation is apparently complicated, the simple graphs and diagrams make its reports easy to comprehend.
You can even compare your score with that of your competitors to understand where you stand in the social sphere.
A simple tool to use, SocialMention tracks all mentions of a product, brand, or hashtag across social channels. It also tracks blogs, comments, forums and photos for mentions. This online tool monitors more than one hundred social networking channels and is said to be one of the best free listening tools available on the market.
It provides in-depth and real-time data analysis and measures influence for 4 categories: Strength, Sentiment, Passion and Reach. Using this tool, businesses can get a snapshot of the social sentiment or opinion about their company apart from measuring the overall influence of their posts across the social sphere.
3. Competitor Tracking
As the name suggests, it is a competitive research tool which allows users to add their business and their competitors to a landscape. Rival IQ compiles your social media data and that of your competitors’ into one dashboard so that you can compare the figures. It helps you to measure your performance across various social channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.
This tool also provides regular email updates alerting you about top content on social web. Rival IQ offers a free 14-day trial with complete access to the social media dashboards and competitor tracking. Businesses can gain in-depth insights about the industry as a whole. The Day of the Week chart, for example, allows you to see when content related to your particular industry is more likely to go viral.
4. Analytics Dashboards
This is an advanced business analytics tool that allows you to connect not just social media but all your online activities. Cyfe offers a Forever Free plan and signing up is easy for this tool. Simply enter your name along with your email address and password and your account is ready.
Cyfe offers a wide range of widgets that serve different purposes. These include:
- Social media
- Web analytics
- Sales and Finance
Each widget supports various services and syncs with other tools. The Sales and Finance widget, for example, allows you to add tools like Paypal, Freshbooks, Salesforce and Xero. In addition, you can add a Competitor Dashboard to monitor your competitors’ social media and SEO efforts and growth via widgets.
Cyfe is more than a social media management tool; it is truly an integrated dashboard.
Even a few percentage points on a social conversion metric can make a world of difference for businesses and marketers, determining the success and failure of their campaigns. These social media management tools, which are designed to help you create outstanding reports and gain in-depth insights about industry trends, should therefore be used to gain every advantage you can. While many of them offer free versions, the premium plans are valuable options for getting enterprise-level details.
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