It’s only been a few calendar years since software for social media management became available. What was largely a crisis-management tool that monitored brand mentions is now a full-blown method for listening to your customers. If you’re about to acquire an SMMS, here are five items to look for before you buy:
1. Easy navigation
Think about what you want to accomplish. It’s easy to be led astray by a pretty (inter)face. But like beauty, bells and whistles don’t necessarily lead to a relationship that will last. Be sure the SMMS you select lets you:
- Schedule content - Not everything has to be written on the fly. In fact, most things shouldn’t be. Be sure your package lets you set up a schedule for your content. Then stick to it. Your content will improve. So will your working hours.
- Post easily - Be sure you can easily get your message out to all the obvious names in social media. Most tools available do the job nicely. But it always pays to be sure.
- Upload multimedia - More and more brands are adding video to their posts. If your software can’t handle video, you’re defeating the purpose of buying a management tool. Be sure the tool you select enables this important task.
- Geo-target - Some tools allow it, some don’t. Remember, a happening in one city is going to leave the rest of the country out in the cold. Used properly, geo-targeting gives your marketing efforts pinpoint accuracy.
- Tag posts - When you tag each post, you not only simplify report generation, you spare yourself the job of revisiting each post at month’s end
2. Easy analytics
If the dashboard of a prospective management tool doesn’t offer strong analytics, move on. At minimum your software should allow you to:
- Match Facebook and YouTube Insights - You should be able to get that information on the same platform you use to post. It’s an available function, but not a universal one.
- Analyze Twitter - Yes, it’s a complex function. But basic Twitter data, such as impressions and clicks, should be accessible.
- Analyze the competition -Some tools make competitor’s Facebook data available. It may not be critical information, but it’s certainly valuable.
3. Reliable performance
An unstable tool is an unreliable tool. Your readers won’t put up with double posts and broken links. There’s no reason why you should either
4. Mobile performance
Does your mobile device play nice with your SMMS? If it doesn’t, it soon will. Or it should. Unless you never leave your computer, consider this capability very seriously.
5. CRM compatibility
Merging customer and social content data can be useful. It’s another function you may want to consider.
Your choice of an SMMS tool can make your job a lot easier, or considerably more difficult. Base your selection on these parameters and you’re likely to pick the tool that suits your requirements.