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How to Become a Social Media Specialist

What Tools Do Social Media Specialists Use?

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The tools that Social Media Specialists and Managers use can help you with everything from scheduling to automatically sharing old content, creating social media images, analyzing performance, and more.

A big part of managing social media is scheduling content. There is a competitive market of scheduling tools but here are a few popular ones:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Later
  • FB Creator Studio
  • Sprout Social

These platforms also provide analytics so you can track success. Hootsuite in particular also offers social listening tools to help you monitor the online conversations about your brand and competitors.

Many tools are part of the race to provide the most fulsome digital marketing suite of features. For example, SEMrush offers primarily content marketing tools, but also offers a social scheduling and tracking platform.

There are many other competitors that offer a few unique features that might best suit your particular niche. For example, SocialPilot offers content suggestions, Later is optimized specifically for Instagram, and Sendible integrates with Canva so you can produce content in the same spot you're scheduling it.

What Are Social Media Management Tools?

Social media management tools enable you to automate, analyze, and look deeper into your social media accounts. These apps can publish the same updates on all your social accounts, schedule future updates, and help you find the most appropriate and effective content to post and times to post it.

Social media is time-consuming for all of us — including small businesses. Running your social media accounts shouldn't be a hands-on job. Scheduling future posts and updates, so you can batch all your social media work into one or two blocks a week, is absolutely essential. And it's one of the key features most social media management tools have.

Buffer is one of the longest-running social media tools aimed primarily at scheduling posts. It supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and Pro users can schedule Pinterest updates too.

If it’s a complete solution to all of your social media management needs that you’re after, Hootsuite is the tool for you. The app is compatible with over 35 social networks, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. More network connections are available through the Hootsuite app directory, a user-maintained database of extensions (which can be hit or miss).

Another complete social media management package is Sendible, which shines in the area of lead generation. It has a tool that lets you select which keywords you want to target, optional inclusions and words you want to exclude, and where the posts were made. You can then browse the list of relevant keyword results from your dashboard or have them automatically emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis. You can even choose to just receive the positive or negative alerts.

Social Media Management Tools

The social media management tools that are most popular can streamline your workflows, help you save some time and even ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time, with Hootsuite, Buffer, and Canva leading the way.

Hootsuite is one of the best social media management tools for creating and managing campaigns. Instead of managing all of the platforms manually, you just open Hootsuite and handle them from one dashboard. That social media dashboard can be used for lots of things, including scheduling messages, managing multiple profiles, and tracking conversations.

Buffer is another popular tool. Many Marketers share posts on a set schedule to get better results and drive more traffic to their website. You can add a specific time to share your content in a few clicks.

And since well-designed graphic visuals are a crucial part of social media marketing, many turn to Canva to help create appealing images for their Pinterest and Instagram campaigns. This free tool grants you the freedom to create your own design even if you don’t know the first thing about web design.

Other tools many find handy are organizational platforms like Trello, Google Sheets, or Airtable. Software like Trello can help you plan out future posts in a collaborative environment. Many Managers revert back to Google Sheets to be able to communicate trends and metrics over time. Also, tools like Airtable allow you to view in a calendar or list view and add other team members so you can integrate activity from other teams and track external calendar dates that might align with your content.

What Are Social Listening Tools?

Social listening tools monitor your brand's social media platforms (and beyond) for customer feedback and any discussions regarding related keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis of this data to allow further insights.

The first part of the social listening process is social monitoring, which keeps track of social media mentions and conversations. The second part is the analysis and actionable responses, which help you better meet the needs of your customers and better understand your competition. Social listening finds root causes for social conversations and implements changes to improve social media strategies for the long run.

HubSpot is one popular social listening tool. It will help you build marketing campaigns, share content like blog posts and landing pages, automatically distribute content to various social channels, and discover the best times to post, all on one tool.

Sprout Social is another common favorite. It’s a comprehensive social media management platform that provides powerful solutions for social listening and analytics, customer care, and employee advocacy.

Hootsuite, meanwhile, allows you to view all your messages, comments, and brand mentions across several social channels in one concise dashboard from which you can respond to them all. You can also track influencers and leads in lists that can be imported and shared with others in your company. Hootsuite offers three different plans so you can find the perfect solutions and strategies to fit your business's needs.

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