What is Social Media Marketing Software?
Social media marketing software allows users to manage their social media presence across multiple social media platforms. The software facilitates the posting, scheduling, and sharing of content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Below, we will review social media marketing software and its advantages in streamlining the management of social media.
Social Media Software Overview
Managing social media accounts and posting content that is timely and on-brand can be complicated and time-consuming. Social media marketing strategies usually involve creating and posting content several times a week to different profiles on different platforms. Social media marketing software simplifies this process by consolidating social media marketing management into one application. Software features vary and may include scheduled or automated posting, social listening, and governance of brand guidelines, while also creating an organized framework for carrying out your social media marketing goals.
Benefits and Uses of Social Media Marketing Software
1. Scheduling Posts
Most social media platforms only allow immediate posting with no options for scheduling the content to be posted later. A key advantage of social media marketing software is it allows marketers to schedule posts in advance. Without management software, content must be uploaded to each social media platform separately.
The best social media marketing software enables you to schedule your content all at once for a given timeframe, like a week or a month. The content is simply added to a queue, or scheduled to post at a certain date and time, including pre-selected peak times.
2. Storing Content
There are two basic steps to sharing content on social media: creating the content and posting it to your profile. Social media platforms generally do not allow content to be stored or scheduled. This means that content must be created and posted at the same time, or content must be stored in another application, creating additional time-consuming steps. Social media marketing software can serve as a repository for your content. This gives you considerable flexibility with content creation and posting.
Storing content facilitates better creativity since you are not bound to creating the content at the same time of posting. Having content stored in the same application where it is posted means a more streamlined process. For businesses with defined branding guidelines, this also lends to a more cohesive social media presence with on-brand content.
3. Sentiment Analysis / Social Listening
Key indicators of social media marketing success are your number of followers and how many likes you receive for posted content. However, these indicators offer a high level of analysis and do not reveal much about how people feel about your online brand presence. Sentiment analysis, an element of social listening, evaluates the opinions and emotions in posts and comments circulated about your brand. This information is extremely helpful when considering your brand tone and messaging.
For example, say your brand gets a bump in social media comments after launching a new ad campaign. Sentiment analysis of the spike can give you a nuanced understanding of how people responded to the campaign, which can guide ongoing marketing initiatives.
4. Dashboards & Analytics Data
Social media marketing software usually has metrics that track how your audience engages with your social media presence. This information is critical to measuring campaign success and informing changes to your social media strategy. Manually tracking these metrics across multiple platforms takes up considerable time. Additionally, reporting is complicated by the fact that the metrics can vary from platform to platform.
Social media management dashboards streamline engagement metrics tracking into one interface. Engagement data is pulled from the linked social media platforms, creating a single, cohesive data set and reporting system.
5. User Management & Posting Governance
Many social media management platforms have shareable content capabilities and interfaces that facilitate multiple users or user groups. For a social media team collaborating on a marketing campaign, shareable content is key. It provides an opportunity for content to be quality controlled by responsible team members and ensures that there is consistency in messaging.
Social media software with shareable calendar features means that posting by multiple people is seamless and more efficient. Shareable content and calendars are beneficial to any team, and particularly so for groups with distinct but overlapping social media profiles and marketing objectives, such as marketing teams from corporate headquarters and local franchise locations.
How to Choose the Best Social Media Marketing Software for Your Business
Social media marketing software for multi-location businesses is available in all shapes and sizes. To decipher what your organization needs, consider the four following points before you choose the best social media marketing software for your business:
1. Number of Social Media Profiles You Are Managing
The number of social media profiles you are managing is important to consider when choosing the best social media marketing software for your business. You must also think about your target audience.
Each social media profile needs to be connected to the social media management platform. If your company has multiple profiles, you will likely need a robust social media marketing software for your business. On the other hand, a simple scheduling tool should be enough for brands with only a few profiles to manage.
In addition to considering the initial setup, there are audience considerations to take into account. The people you want to be engaging with on social media, or your target audience, may be the same, overlap, or be completely different between your social media profiles.
If the target audience is different, there is additional complexity regarding how your profiles are established, how the content is posted, and how the accounts are managed long-term. The best social media marketing software can help to account for the increase in complexity.
2. Content Posting Needs
A scheduling platform without many features is suitable for brands that simply need to schedule posts a week or a month in advance. Alternatively, businesses with multiple users posting content at different times to the same group of social media profiles will greatly benefit from the shared calendar and scheduling features.
Some organizations with collaborative social media teams may have a need for posting similar content with slight variations to different profiles. For example, a corporate brand with brick-and-mortar locations may want a Mother’s Day message sent out in May following certain guidelines but would want each store location to tailor the message and send it out from their local branded social media account.
Social media marketing software with a content template feature is a must in this situation. Without it, messaging efforts are duplicated at each location and there is considerable room for messaging and branding errors.
3. The Importance of Content / Brand Governance
Every business has their branding guidelines, from the very strict to none at all. The extent of brand identity, content alignment with brand identity, and the enforcement of on-brand content varies considerably.
If your business has strict brand guidelines, content governance features – like shareable content galleries, ratings for content relevance, trending topic sharing, and scalable, on-brand content – will be critical to your social media marketing success. For businesses with lesser branding expectations, brand governance features will aid with content creation, but are not necessary in hitting marketing goals
4. User & Profile Needs
If you are a large brand with multiple store locations, you may have social media profiles for corporate headquarters, profiles for each store location, or a mix of corporate and local branded profiles. For example, Pepsi would only need a corporate profile, since they are not a brand with brick-and-mortar store locations. 24 Hour Fitness, on the other hand, would likely need a social media account for the corporate brand and profiles for each of their locations, with each account managed by different users.
Companies like 24 Hour Fitness may tackle their social media efforts in one of three ways: a centralized, decentralized, or hybrid approach. A centralized approach means there is a single, corporate-driven social media presence. A decentralized approach is when each location develops a social media strategy independent of corporate headquarters. The hybrid approach combines a corporate and local strategy.
With the hybrid approach, there must be an opportunity for both local users and corporate users to post content across various accounts. This is complicated by the fact that content often overlaps. Franchises, independent owners, authorized realtors, co-ops, and third-party property managers may need to post content about their location and local brand, but in a way that aligns with corporate branding expectations. Meanwhile, corporate content may need to be posted to the local profile. This social media hybrid branding interaction requires a robust social media marketing platform.
Social media marketing software with the right features can facilitate the tricky integration of corporate and local brand messaging. For example, a repository of pre-made corporate-approved content that is available to local brands to post at their will ensures on-brand messaging. Another feature necessary for this hybrid corporate-local scenario is having multiple user groups with different posting permissions.
Learn More About SOCi, the Central Command for Multi-Location Marketers
SOCi is an award-winning social media marketing software for business, which was created specifically for organizations with complex social media needs. Features like shareable content calendars, posting automation, and scalable, shareable content gives businesses with multiple locations the tools to enhance their social media presence across all locations with on-brand content.