Social media has never been stronger from a marketing standpoint than it is now. Its maddening ubiquity, combined with its ability to transcend and break down unscaled walls of silence, has made it one of the most formidable weapons in the arsenal of any modern marketer. However, given that social media is virtually a living, shifting medium spread across a variety of platforms, which continue to be born, to evolve and to fade into obsolescence at a breakneck pace, a marketer relying on social media needs to understand the best ways to tame it and put it to use. Therefore, without further ado, we have put together a collection of eight apps which can be used to make the social media marketing experience a rewarding one for businesses, marketers and consumers alike.
FACEBOOK PAGES MANAGER
Facebook is undoubtedly the world’s most expansive social network right now, and the Facebook Page Manager app makes short work of many of the challenges faced by page owners when attempting to reach out to their target audiences. Putting all the essential settings in an easy-to-navigate interface, the Pages Manager allows page owners to monitor the growth and response analytics of their pages without needing to be tethered to a computer.
Buffer is one of the first multiplatform social media management apps, allowing users to post simultaneously across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn from one window. Its intuitive design is built with the aim to save time, and it even supports direct sharing of links to external web pages from within other apps. But what makes Buffer especially invaluable for marketers is the collection of statistical data regarding the performance of each post in terms of audience response. While platforms like Facebook do offer analytical data within its own interface, Buffer provides it for all the platforms it covers, which allow for precise readjustments of marketing strategies as required.
While this app is not directly connected to social media marketing, it is nevertheless an incredibly powerful program for planning, allowing its users to take notes and create elaborate multi level checklists. It is remarkably accessible, with its mobile apps being augmented by their desktop counterparts, along with a platform-agnostic web version that runs without issues on any browser. While Google’s Keep offers a similar feature set, Evernote is far more robust and customizable, and it even allows multiple users to collaborate on a single note. The app even allows users to extract text content from photos of hand-written notes!
Trello is a purebred project management solution that relies on the ‘kanban’ schedule management system, allowing each task of a project to be assigned to an individual card, which can be filed under different lists, with assignable levels of priority and completion. The app (and its browser version)’s minimalistic nature belies its feature set, which includes deadlines, descriptions and checklists to be attached to each task card, alongside file attachments and the like. Trello also offers an excellent multi user experience, with each task card being assignable to specific users, thus vastly simplifying division and allocation of roles. While competing services such as Asana and Todoist do exist, Trello has managed to hit a very delicate sweet spot that makes it as satisfying to use as it is useful.
Social media marketing often involves images and videos of high quality, along with the project files, which can often be huge in size, and may also require to be shared with certain personnel. For this purpose, Google Drive is ideal. Competitors like OneDrive and Dropbox are also excellent, but their free plans can be rather stingy, a problem which Google Drive doesn’t necessarily suffer from.
Rather than clogging up personal messengers like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, it often makes sense to dedicate a separate messenger platform to work-related discussions in real time. There are numerous such platforms, but Slack is the most notable among them. However, as with Trello, Slack’s simple, clean interface can also be rather deceiving, given how surprisingly feature-packed and versatile it is, with support for file transfer. Slack allows conversations to be held across many channels, with each channel dedicated to a specific subject or aspect of the business, allowing specific users to discuss certain matters silently, while also remaining conveniently isolated from the sections which do not concern their involvement. The Slack app is also very much cross-platform, being available on desktop operating systems as well as mobile ones, and it can even run inside a browser.
A rather passive app compared to the other ones mentioned above, Mention is more of a ‘social listener’, which continuously remains on the watch for any mention made of the brand on the web, be it on websites, blogs or social media. It can be set to watch out for specific keywords or hashtags on the web, and report their presence right away. Mention is excellent for tracking the organic reach of any brand.
MailChimp is considered one of the best mailing list managers currently available, and its wide range of available templates and formatting options have made it invaluable for crafting newsletters or ‘mail blasts’. Aside from its desktop version, its mobile app is also quite capable, helping users to work on their mailing lists and mail campaigns while on the go. MailChimp comes in both free and paid flavours, with the paid version having a great deal more to offer. However, for smaller businesses, the free version should be perfectly sufficient.
The internet is a treasure trove of good and bad ideas, especially on the visual front. An image depicting a solidly executed visual concept can be a terrific inspiration to social media marketers, and Pinterest gives users the ability to pin it and tag it right away for future reference. Pinterest’s mobile app supports direct pinning of images from within browsers or other programs using their sharing features.