Most companies today don’t meet social media consumer needs with a designated social media specialist. Instead companies dedicate this task to an entire social media team and even department. Why? Because consumers expect companies to have an active social media presence. Social media is where consumers go to interact and connect with brands, learn about the latest products and services and engage in a digital customer experience. Dedicating a team to manage this community? It’s essential.
Communicating with your audience or customers on social media channels is also nonstop. Whether your marketing team is in the office or at an offsite event, social media marketers need to be informed and available to connect. Publishing content, interacting and keeping customers up-to-date in real-time is a major part for why social media remains so impactful. Proper preparation and equipment, including the best tools on the market, ensure your brand can stay connected, credible and competitive all the time.
With so many mobile devices, computers and social media marketing apps out there, which will make your social media team the most efficient and effective? Here’s a look at the best tech for your team.
First determine exactly what your marketing team uses tech for. Are they mobile social media warriors or stationary office dwellers? What other tasks might they be assigned through the course of a workday or during out-of-the-office events?
- Tablet: If your social media team is frequently on the go, equip them with a tablet, like the iPad. The iPad mini in particular is travel-friendly and flexible. You can easily and comfortably use it to post, update and share without having to create an entire set up. While iPads are popular, sleek and user-friendly, the gadget doesn’t have all the capabilities of a computer. If your team needs those reliable computer-old capabilities, consider a hybrid computer/tablet.
- Hybrid computer/tablet: Equipped with a swivel screen, the Lenovo Yoga can stack as a tent or stand. Lenovo designs Yogas in a variety of sizes, so your team gets exactly what fits their needs. Larger screens are easier for navigation among apps and social media websites, while the smaller options are best for those team members who are always out and about. No matter which model your team picks, you’ll get the latest Intel Core i7 processor, or with the premier option, Intel’s Core M processor.
- Office desktop: If your team isn’t constantly mobile and remote, an in-office desktop might be the best option. Set up two side-by-side screens for maximum viewing space and a full keyboard to keep up with tweets and trends. Reserve one screen for social media strategizing and the other for managing all your networks. Top it off with a wireless mouse. Your marketers can also outfit their desks with desktop monitors and a laptop for even more digital working space. A laptop that can easily be detached from its docking station for a quick meeting offers ease of mobility.
Apps & Programs
The hardware is just the beginning. Without the right apps and programs, your team won’t be able to delegate their social media endeavors properly. There’s much more than daily tweets and Facebook posts if you want your business to flourish. Your business needs a social media calendar, a way to keep track of what has been promoted and how well each tweet, Facebook, blog and Tumblr post has performed. Reports and analysis are just as crucial as your content and strategy.
- Google Analytics: If you have a website or blog, you’ve likely heard about Google Analytics. This tool provides valuable information for your marketing team and your business executives. It’s a free service that, when linked with a domain, tracks the visitors and how they use your site. Google Analytics tells you where visitors came from, what they look at and even how long they are there. If you don’t track your progress on social media, how do you know if your strategy and messaging are effective? Hootsuite offers a step-by-step guide for tracking social media in Google Analytics. Start off by establishing social media objectives and goals. Then the guide walks you through the setup process, including signing up and adding the tracking code. Then the guide explores how to understand social analytic reporting and using the data to improve the strategy for increased performance.
- Social Listening Apps: Entrepreneur emphasizes “social listening” as a top marketing priority for performing well in today’s social media environment. Listening to your audience measures your outreach, keeps you well-informed, updates you on trends and notifies you when you need to act immediately. Enhance your social listening with Buzzsumo for an in-depth look on trends and popular content being shared, Mention to receive alerts and manage content that’s posted about your brand in real-time and Cyfe for customizing your dashboard to monitor data from one central location.
- Sendible: With so many social networking sites — Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube, Google+ — how can a single team manage all of these sites? With Sendible, it’s simple. Sendible syncs with the platforms your company has chosen and then creates one simple dashboard for all your post, blog and tweet needs. From the interface, write one post and disperse the content over all your platforms with a click of a button. With Sendible, there’s no clutter of windows as your team tries to juggle different sites. Instead, they have everything at their fingertips.
Social media continues to serve as the preferred platform of connection — a space where people and businesses meet and disseminate information. In September, Instagram hit 400 million monthly active users, according to Marketingland. It’s the second biggest social network next to the giant Facebook, which has a total of 3.5 billion monthly users. If you lack a strong presence on these platforms, you’re excluding yourself from millions and billions of users who could potentially interact with (and boost) your brand on a daily basis. Invest in your social media marketing—be active, consistent, responsive and most importantly, engaging.