There are now more than 4.2 billion active social media users across the globe. As a business owner, you know that social media is a powerful tool for reaching new customers and growing your brand. However, what you may not realize is that social media management software can make your life a lot easier.
Whether you are a startup looking for small business tools or a team looking to expand your operations, with the right software, you can schedule posts in advance, track who is talking about your brand, and measure your results. In other words, a platform that will manage your social media accounts can help you save time and grow your business.
The best social media management software depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here we provide you with a guide—in seven concrete steps—that you can use when choosing the best social media management software for your team.
1. Decide Which Features Your Business Needs
There are many features to consider when selecting social media management software. When considering the features offered by different platforms, identify which features are most important to you and your business.
● Does it have all of the features you need to effectively manage your social media accounts? To do this, you have to set concrete social media goals. Your goals will dictate the software features that you will require.
● Does the software offer the features you need? For example, if you need to schedule posts, then you have to choose software that offers this feature. You also need to identify the social media sites that you use for your business. This is essential because social media management software offers specific integrations with different social media platforms.
● What are your non-negotiable features? It is also crucial that you determine the non-negotiable features or the tools and capabilities that should always be present in your platform, to ensure effective workflow. Some common features include the ability to post updates to multiple social media accounts at once, schedule posts in advance, track analytics, and engage with followers.
2. Shortlist Prospective Software
When making any kind of decision, it is always a good idea to do your research. So, to start your search process, try to look for reputable software review sites and check their lists of top social media management software. There are many benefits to reading software review sites before making a purchase. You can learn about the pros and cons of various products and find the best deal for your needs. Review sites can also help you make an informed decision by providing unbiased and objective information.
In addition, you can check review sites for insights from other users. In case you want to dig deeper, you can also try to consult with others who have experience in the same area. This is especially true when choosing a social media management software. By talking to others who have used different types of social media management software, you can get a better idea of what features are most important to you and what factors you should consider when making your decision. Online communities are a great resource for this kind of information.
3. Check if the Pricing Fits Your Budget
The pricing model of the social media management software you choose will also impact your overall budget, especially for SMBs that are looking into enhancing their social media marketing strategies. Make sure to check the pricing model to ensure that it's a good fit for your budget. Some software charge a monthly subscription fee, others are priced per user, while others offer a pay-as-you-go model. Choose the option that makes the most sense to your needs.
A few things to keep in mind when comparing prices are:
● Pricing model (e.g., perpetual license vs subscription)
● Per-member charges
● Storage charges
● Onboarding and implementation costs
● Feature inclusions
● Customer service inclusions
● Cost of upgrades or add-ons
Some of the considerations above can add up over time. So, it is important to get a sense of what they will be before making a decision. Taking note of these will keep you from getting caught off guard by additional costs.
4. Compare Integration Capabilities
In 2021, 93% of social media marketers used Facebook to promote their business while 78% used Instagram. As social media platforms have become increasingly popular and important to businesses, it has become essential for social media management software to have integration capabilities. This allows businesses to manage all of their social media accounts from one central location, which can save a lot of time and effort.
Integration capabilities make it easier to track results and analytics across all social media platforms, which is essential for understanding what is working and what is not. With so many businesses now relying on social media to reach their target audiences, it is clear that integration capabilities are essential for any social media management software.
5. Evaluate Data Security Features
Your social media management software will store and manage confidential data about your customers, both current and prospective, this is why it is important to check the data security features of the platform that you are planning to use. If the software does not have adequate security measures in place, there is a risk that customer information could be compromised.
Moreover, if the software is not properly secured, it could be used to launch attacks on other systems or to access confidential data. In fact, a recent survey identified social media sites as the top target of cyber attacks, from which 42% of all data breaches originated. Data security is becoming increasingly important in our digital world. Choosing software with robust data security features is important for you to gain the trust and confidence of your customers. It would prevent any personal customer information from being stolen and make their data even more secure.
Some of the security features you should look out for are:
● Two-factor authentication (2FA)
● Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
● Single sign-on (SSO)
● General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) compliance
● California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) compliance
● Encryption options
● Granular Permissions
● Activity Auditing
6. Determine the Vendor’s Customer Support Coverage
Customer support is an important factor to consider when choosing social media management software. When you have finally rolled out your new platform, you would likely have questions or need help at some point. This is why it is important to partner with a vendor that offers different levels of support in case you need help using the features of the software, encounter system glitches, or simply require technical service.
Each software vendor offers different levels of support, so it is important to check with the vendor before purchasing a product to see what kind of support they offer. Some offer support through online forums, phone support, shared inbox, email support, and live chat support. In this way, you can get the help you need when you need it and through the channels that you are most comfortable with.
7. Get a Feel of How the Software Works
When you're trying to decide which social media management software to buy, it is important to try out the platform first. This will help you get a feel of how the software works and whether or not it is a good fit for your needs.
Many software companies offer free trials, so take advantage of this and try out as many different options as you can before making your final decision. While doing this, focus on the following points:
● Is the software easy to use?
● Is it easy to navigate?
● Is it user-friendly?
● Given a task, can you easily find and access the features that you need?
Ease of use is an important factor to consider when choosing social media management software. Try to opt for a platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Some programs offer drag-and-drop features that make it easy to create and schedule posts, while others require more technical knowledge. Depending on your social media goals, select the software that will easily facilitate the steps that you need to take to reach those goals.
Start Your Search for the Best Social Media Management Software
Take some time to research different social media management software programs and consider your specific needs before making a decision. Follow these seven steps and you will be able to find the best software for your business and ensure that you are using it to its full potential. With your top-notch social media marketing skills, plus, the best social media management software, you are all set to become a major player in your industry.