Optimize Your Marketing Time in 2021 with a Social Media Managing Tool

Social Media can naturally be overwhelming with the number of platforms that exist for publishing post, creating content to share, as well as the images and videos that go with each post copy that you have to design. It's a lot. And manually posting is so 2010. I've been using Sprout Social since 2015 for a few companies for scheduling and reporting, and I am happy to report that I love it.


Sign up for a 30-day F-R-E-E trial right here!


Let me dive into why I truly love the SproutSocial platform and why I think you need to include it in your 2021 social media marketing plan.


First off, being able to optimize the copy of your post by creating content tailored to each platform I think may be one of the best ways to make sure what you're sharing is ending up in front of people who value it. I HIGHLY recommend all small business owners and social media managers use some sort of analytics program like Sprout Social or start off by looking at the analytics on the platform. I'll note that these social platforms don't always dive deep to give you a clear understanding of what's going on, but that is where tools like SproutSocial come in.


When you're looking at the data, take a look at your top performing posts for each channel - notice similarities and differences that stand out. For some companies, the best performing posts are the same across the board. But for others, the top posts for each channel will be totally different! Make note of what is different and what is working to help you build out strong content for upcoming post.


Also, keep an eye on what each channel prefers - does your Instagram audience like more personal and less branded content? Are your Twitter followers looking for information on your offerings by asking more questions? Are your short and sweet captions killing it Instagram and falling flat on Facebook?


The answers will vary for each business/ brand/ client, so I encourage you to take a look at the data and don't be scared to mix up your content calendar next month! Change can be a good thing when it comes to social, it keeps things fresh, interesting and very appealing to your followers.


social media stat

Ok, back to Sprout Social - there are so many positives to this platform. I love showing how I use it in person, but since I can't do that the next best thing is via blog. Below I've listed out some of the different areas on why I love it.


Some of the main features that are great

  • Supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn personal profiles. Basically it's compatible with the most used social pages. Which can help all of your social post scheduling.

  • Integrates with Google Analytics – This is super useful because you can track your social media updates to see the traffic that is generated and the results of this traffic.

  • Integrates with Feedly – Feedly collects all the blog posts from the sites you subscribe to. It’s a another really useful tool and it’s handy that this is incorporated as part of SproutSocial functionality.

  • Sprout queueing Ok, so that one is a favorite of mine! You can select specific times for scheduled delivery of content so you or your team can just share content as you find it and not worry about specifying what time it should go out.

  • Team-based functionality – You can operate SproutSocial as a team and assign tasks to different members of the team. This was a great feature back when I worked at a corporate company.

  • Discovery functionality – This is a cool feature that I haven't seen on a lot of other social managing tools. You first search for relevant people to follow on Twitter, search for keywords on Twitter or Facebook, search for keywords related to tweets in a particular location, or discover accounts on Twitter you should not be following any more (these accounts can clutter your feed, so purging is good from time to time.)

  • Reports – There is a good range of standard reports available that are presented very well visually, have good information and can be exported in pdf or csv formats. The pdf export of these reports are great and it can make it appear to the person you are sending it to that it took you hours to build, but in reality the program built it for you, kind of cool!

  • Content sharing anywhere on the web – There is a Chrome extension that allows you to share out content as you are browsing. This makes it super easy to post in the moment.

  • Social CRM functionality – For any contact you communicate with, you can add some profile information (e.g. email address, company, phone number, etc.) so this is available next time you look at the contact record. You can also view the history of any interactions you have had with this contact on social media channels (e.g. tweets you exchanged).

Let's look a little more at how it all works


CUSTOMIZE/ DUPLICATE POSTS TO EACH SOCIAL PLATFORM

sprout social dashboard

This feature will save you so much time - Instead of manually scheduling and copy/paste similar content into each individual social platform, you’re able to simply hit the “Duplicate” icon once you’ve scheduled the post on one platform so you can tweak the post with tags, hashtags and any other key optimization piece per platform, and schedule with easy and efficiency. This is a HUGE time saver.


SCHEDULE FROM YOUR BROWSER


While browsing pages on the Internet from a desktop, you can simply schedule new posts into Sprout Social using their browser extensions (Google Chrome or Firefox). This makes it easy for you to share exciting content that you come across at any time, on any website, without having to pull up the Sprout dashboard and login to schedule each time. Pretty cool, right?


MONITOR AND RESPOND TO COMMENTS WITH SMART INBOX

sprout social dashboard

How much time do you spend jumping from platform to platform trying to monitor comments and mentions? For me, this use to be a time suck. This might be another one of my favorite features within Sprout Social – the Smart Inbox. See your recent mentions, comments and direct messages within one spot on SproutSocial’s Smart Inbox – and reply to them in one place, instead of running the risk at getting distracted within the individual social platforms’ apps (let's be honest we have all been distracted). Toggle by platform or view all platform messages at once. Are you getting excited and pumped yet!?


DOWNLOAD CUSTOM METRICS REPORTS


sprout social dashboard

Alright, so this part is where I really start to nerd out! Within Sprout Social, you can download full metrics reports with ease at the end of the month (or day or week, but I'm a monthly person) – simply choose which types of metrics you’re hoping for: individual profile health and growth, paid ad campaign performance, comparison of your profile’s performance against competition, engagement reports and lots more. SproutSocial then compiles these metrics into easy-to-understand, beautiful PDF reports for safekeeping and sharing. I'm not going to lie, every time I send out a report for the first time, my clients are always impressed - so this can be a winning and selling feature for sure.


ADVANCED LISTENING


sprout social dashboard

Have you ever wondered how to get some good insight on what is being said about your brand/ business or client? SproutSocial has that feature for you + they have the ability to help you listen even deeper into the conversations to help you hear/ see what they are saying about a topic in general or even a competing organization. When you use 'Advanced Listening', you can create different topics to research and better understand what’s the depth of conversation, the overall sentiment, a look at individual posts, total engagements, and impressions. Pretty neat, right? It took some time for me to get use to using this one, but it is really useful in helping you grow.


ASSIGN TASKS FOR COMPLETION

Back when I worked for a corporate company, I was juggling a lot of big projects, so I didn't always have time to manage all messages and comments. If you have another team member or consultant on your marketing team, you can “pin” messages for attention and assign tasks to other members of your team to help complete the conversation with who ever messaged you or commented. This ensures you never miss a beat and can get back to the things that keep your business up and running. Gotta love the delegating feature!


SET POSTS FOR APPROVAL

Similar to assigning tasks, you can assign posts for approval. I liked this feature because there were times I had an intern help support the team. So they would help create content, then they set it to schedule and added an approval task to it before it could be published.


Pricing

Test it out before your buy it: Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial, with no need for credit card details! Beyond that period, there are three subscription levels.


Sprout Social plans begin with the Standard package, at $99/month per user. This entry-level subscription has increased in price considerably over the past few years, which is a bummer. But on the flip side this package offers so much more then when I started with it. For example, the Standard package contains the Smart Inbox, social content publishing and calendars, and integration with up to five social networks. Which like I mentioned above, those features are legit!

sprout social marketing statistic

Wrapping It All Up

If you hit that wall where you feel like you just can't make it over all of the current deadlines that are staring you in the face, don't freak out! There are times in that moment of panic where you know you have a lot of great content to share, but you just feel swamped and lost on ways to conserve time to get the content out to complete your check list of tasks. After all that has been shared, I don't want you to stress, I want to encourage you to take a peek at Sprout Social to see how this tool could best serve your brand/ business/ client. Get back to doing all of the other marketing things you are passionate about and love - let Sprout Social take care of the nitty gritty details of getting your content out there!



Related Post

The following post gives you an idea of other social media tricks to help you have a strong social media marketing plan. Worth checking out:

100 Tips to Power Your Social Media Game

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