What’s in a social media manager’s mobile toolbox?

Managing your brand’s social media accounts is not easy. Tell people that you’re a social media manager, and they’ll think of you as the dude whose job consists of sitting in front of Facebook all day. Fair enough, but in reality, it’s much more complicated than that.

Social media is often a customer’s first point of interaction with a brand. A positive experience can be the start of a long-lasting relationship with that customer, while a negative encounter could destroy your online reputation.

Among about 100 other things, it’s the job of the social media manager to make sure that engaging content is being delivered to the audience, that customer problems are dealt with in a friendly manner, and that the brand’s activities deliver a consistent message.

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Smay Prangley (@smayjay), a social media manager at StarNow, says that one of the most important things to remember about social media is that different channels are good for different things, and you shouldn’t be repeating the same content on all your channels.

[Tweet “.@smayjay: On social media, it’s important to use different channels for different things.”]

“You need to give your fans incentive to follow you,” she says, “and one way to do that is with exclusive content.”

“For example, in September StarNow is holding an #Obsessedwith promotion, where we’re looking for our number 1 fan to fly to New Zealand and party with us for our 10th birthday. The competition is being held on site but I’m using social to further promote it, and keep the conversation going.”

[Tweet “.@smayjay: “Give your fans incentive to follow you with exclusive content.”]

“On our Instagram account,” Smay explains, “I’ll be posting fun pictures and videos of what our staff members are obsessed with, as it helps to be able to put faces to the company. We have a few other fun videos we’ve filmed in-office to go up on our Facebook page, we’re taking advantage of the GIF capability on Google+, and we’ll be using Twitter to ask our members daily questions using the hashtag #obsessedwith.”

Content needs to be platform-appropriate. It needs to align with what the audience on that social network wants or needs to see.

“All of this helps with retention & message delivery,” Smay adds. “Whatever social channel our members head to, there will be something about our competition.”

Social media managers are often serial multi-taskers and will use mobile devices, such as iPads and iPhones, for the day-to-day operation of online channels. Smay says that she uses the below apps to help her manage, analyse, and interact with social media audiences.

[Tweet “.@smayjay: Here are some apps to manage, analyse, and interact with social media audiences.”]

  • Sprout Social is a must have for all brands with 1 or more social media managers. Sprout Social allows teams to manage social media channels and provides incredible analytics. We use it here at NZE.
  • Thinkwithgoogle is also really good for analytics and research, and seeing whats trending etc/ helps with creating content.
  • Unmetric combines data from all your accounts and provides an in depth analysis of your audience
  • Simply measured is another tool similar to Unmetric – they both have their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Social Mention is good for seeing who’s talking about your business.
  • Hootsuite is good for scheduling posts, can use it for pretty much any social channel and it also provides graphs and analytics.
  • Tweetdeck is good if you’re running more than one Twitter account. You can have different columns for things like your timeline, direct messages, mentions, and even for following hashtags or certain people. This tool is great for managing events or launches.
  • FB Pages is one that, to our surprise, many people don’t have. It’s good for keeping work and personal separate and has more business-specific features.
  • eMarketer is good for research and creating sexy graphs for when you’re asked to show that you’re not just sitting in front of Facebook all day.
  • Iconosquare (used to be Statigram) is really good for providing key metrics for Instagram accounts.

Creating those highly shareable images that all the big brands constantly bust out is actually surprisingly easy. Try using these tools to create graphics for Instagram (or any other visual platform.)

  • Canva – three words: Ah may zing. This free tool instantly makes anyone a designer. Use it.
  • Squareready – described as a “layouter” for Instagram
  • PicJointer – a great app for collages
  • Landcam – this app puts the Instagram filters to shame. Use it to get that artistic look in seconds.
  • VSCOcam – a next level photography app for iOS and Android
  • BeFunky – an editing tool for browsers, iOS, and Android. NZE uses this for its images

Did we miss something that you find useful? Let us know in the comments!

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