Four or five years ago, you heard a lot about the new phenomenon of social media, and the importance of participating for growing an online audience. Nowadays, social media is integrated in some way to all other media outlets, and everyone does their best to keep up with then flood of information that surrounds them.
It’s no longer sufficient to be active on only one channel. People and businesses want to spread messages with video (YouTube), pictures (Flickr), and are looking to network on behalf of themselves or their jobs (LinkedIn). What’s more, social media best practices often dictate that all of these channels should be treated as separate entities by businesses. What’s good for Facebook isn’t always good for Twitter, and what works on Twitter won’t work for Flickr, etc.
How do you manage all these different platforms? Have you ever experienced the annoying process of joining a slew of social networks, only to find yourself trapped in a purgatory of passwords, logging in/out/in, and general confusion?
It’s a productivity killer, pure and simple.
Enter the social media dashboard, a management tool designed to keep all your social accounts in one place. Here’s a few reasons why having a dashboard is key for maintaining a diverse social presence on the web. You can open yourself up to a broad range of features that simplify the process of spreading and tracking your message while helping to deepen the insights into who your message is reaching.
With all your social channels in one place, you wont need to maintain a laundry list of passwords and fritter away precious minutes as you scamper back and forth from network to network.
ACCESSIBILITY & COLLABORATION
Social dashboard applications let you grant access to different people on your team, so maintaining your social feeds can be a shared responsibility, which can come in handy during busy periods and emergencies. You can also schedule Tweets and posts ahead of time, so you can reach different parts of the world at the right times.
Social media moves fast. You need to stay on top of what’s being said about you or your organization, especially in times of crisis. Dashboard tools are the best way to make this happen, as they let you track keywords, mentions, and all other activities when your name or organization pops up in the social media realm.
As we see an increase in social media marketing budgets, there’s an equal focus on accountability. How does social media contribute to your bottom line? How does it affect sales? Reputation? More importantly, how do you prove it? CEOs and executives (as well as eager social media junkies with extremely active social lives) want to know.
Most social media dashboard applications will provide a way to measure engagement and target goals for reaching a wider audience, so you and your team can understand the ins and outs of your campaign and provide insights to those working outside of your social efforts.
WHAT ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Although the market for these types of tools is growing, Hootsuite is a great, free social media management application that provides you with all the benefits listed above- and contains a few other great features that some other applications don’t. Some examples:
It’s a third-party application
Hootsuite doesn’t run on your computer, so it’s immediately accessible- there’s no need to install anything. It doesn’t hog any space on your hard drive, so there’s no slowing you down during your quest for social media excellence.
Hootsuite has an extremely rich set of analytical tools that measure statistics important to marketers and executives alike. You can measure follower growth to get a clearer idea of who your audience is, monitor brand keywords and track shortened owl.ly links to drill down for fast, thorough results on who is keeping up with the content you share.
Custom analytics reporting and dashboard
Hootsuite also lets you create custom reports about your campaigns from the stats you’ve accrued through one of their many customizable templates. The main dashboard is also customizable, so you can make any workspace your own.
Google Analytics/Facebook Insights integration
You can also use Hootsuite to integrate Google Analytics and Facebook Insights statistics, which will add another layer of depth to your customizable reports.
Curious about Hootsuite? Click here to learn more.