Professional social media managers know that their position isn’t a 9-5 job. Fans don’t stop checking their feeds when the workday is done, and maintaining constant contact is vital for promoting interaction and fan base development. But, instead of chaining themselves to their phones and computers,the social media team at EPIC Creative® relies on a few nifty tools, apps and features to help improve their capabilities and ensure our client’s fans stay entertained. They may not agree on the best tools of the trade, but here are their thoughts on which programs they like and how they help make their jobs a little easier.
Sheri Kirchoff – Senior Social Media Specialist
I have never been a huge supporter of third-party apps for scheduling purposes. In my personal opinion, unscheduled content posted straight to the platform is ideal in the social world, but it certainly isn’t always doable. That’s why we rely on third-party platforms when appropriate. Sprout Social is my favorite because it’s easy to navigate and user friendly.
When it comes to Facebook, I rely on the source itself. Facebook has its own built-in scheduling platform, and some big high-fives went around the office when that happened. It eliminated the need for a third-party platform for posting purposes. For my Facebook ad campaigns and ad creation, I rely on Power Editor, a browser plugin created by Facebook that allows you to perform additional audience and placement options, which the standard Ads Manager doesn’t have.
Some of my other go-to third-party apps are Facebook Pages for mobile management anywhere, anytime, and, of course, picmonkey.com for FREE and easy photo editing.
Andy Parmann – Social Media Specialist
I’m not a fan of using third-party management systems for scheduling
posts on Facebook. It’s not natural, and the post doesn’t always publish the way you intended. You probably post on Facebook one to two times a day, maybe three if you have some breaking news. Facebook will feed this to users for about 24 hours, depending on how much interaction the post gets. Tweeting is much different. According to this study by MOZ, a tweet has about 18 minutes of potential RT fame before crawling into the Internet’s black hole. This makes the idea of scheduling your posts alluring.
For the past three years, I Goldielocksed my way from tool to tool, trying to find one that would help manage content flow and offer insightful analytics. Early in the game, I used platforms like Hootsuite and TweetDeck. They had nice scheduling abilities, but the analytics were poor. Radian6 was a great tool for monitoring large brands, but the UI was boring and unintuitive. Then, I tried Sprout Social, and it was just right. It monitors conversations, provides analytics and the scheduling platform is nicer than any others I’ve tried.
Cindy Lee – Social Media Specialist
There are so many different social media management tools that you can use. Many of them have released mobile apps so you can manage your social accounts on the go. However, it’s okay to use multiple free sites. Most services offer free tools, but will require you to pay in order to gain access to their analytics. Different sites offer different free services. If you’re on a budget, find all the free sites that offer what you need. Personally, I like Buffer for scheduling content, and I use Hootsuite to organize Twitter content via lists.
Scott Covelli – Social Media Specialist
By definition, a “social media tool” is something that should make your job simpler or easier, or both. I don’t need the next new app, but there are a few that make my job a lot easier. I place helpful apps into two categories: ones that help me with MY limitations, and ones that help me with SOCIAL MEDIA’S limitations.
To handle my limitations, I use Sprout Social and Short Stack. Sprout Social helps me schedule Twitter content so I’m not a slave to my Twitter feed, and Short Stack helps me with managing social media giveaways and contests. For tackling social media’s limitations, I use Bitly to shorten links and track interaction, and Twitter’s desktop helps me better manage multiple accounts.
Apps and services don’t need to reinvent the wheel. They just need to make social media easier and make the social media professional feel like a super hero. Up, up and away!
The Final Word
As you can see, our social media specialists know what they like and know how to maximize their efficiency. Whether they’re using a free program, trying out a new app they discovered or relying on the built-in tools offered by major platforms, they maintain contact with our client’s fans, keep an eye on their effectiveness and post content late into the evening. If you need your social media platforms professionally maintained, then let a group of true professionals handle the work. They know just the right tool to get the job done.