With so many different tools, apps and platforms offering similar features, it can be difficult to choose between them. Finding reliable social media management tools can help to streamline your strategy, amplify your social presence and increase productivity.
We are all about simplification. Once you have reliable content tools in place and up and running, you’ll have more time to focus on the big picture. It’s time to get the nitty gritty out of the way! We use these five tools on a daily basis to keep us on-task, organized and sane. Let us know if you have any other favourites we should know about.
At engageQ, we try our best to create a moderately successful work-life balance since we all spend such big chunks of our day in the online space. When where not at our desks, posts still need to happen for ourselves and clients, so content scheduling is a critical function for our team. This is why we’re big proponents of Buffer; it works as an intermediary between you and your social platforms.
All we have to do is draft our posts, add our content, and pop it into the queue of posts scheduled to go out at pre-selected times in line with optimal times to reach fans and followers according to engagement. You can also send posts “now” or add in manual posting times for when you need that option, and pausing posts is also easy. Buffer is stylish, user-friendly and one of the best scheduling tools we’ve seen. Buffer has the most intuitive and user-friendly UI of all the content scheduling tools we’ve used thus far.
STENCIL / CANVA
Content creation is always on our social media to-do list. Stencil and Canva are our favourite resources for generating branded content, announcements, contests and more. They have templates for everything. You can design beautiful marketing flyers, resumes, social media posts, invitations, greeting cards, presentations, website headers, it’s all there.
Stencil and Canva enable us to quickly create professional looking content. The imagery is high quality and the premade themes are attractive and perfect for when you’re under a time crunch. The primary difference between the two apps is in the availability of images. Stencil offers an upgraded package where all the images are free to use commercially. Canva on the other hand offers only a portion of their images for free. If you don’t have a graphic designer on site, these resources are a great alternative that anyone can learn and benefit from.
Social Media Monitoring + Engagement Platform
When you’re managing multiple social media accounts, it’s imperative that you’re on top of engagement. If someone is talking badly about your brand, you want to be the first to know. That’s where Sprout Social comes in. We plug in all our accounts and their subsequent hashtags for monitoring. All posts with our location tags, account handles, or hashtags land in a single messages feed. Rather than spending inordinate amounts of time hopping between channels and searching to check for posts, or drilling through multiple tabs and streams, we are able to locate and manage all of our mentions, comments, and profile engagement from one page. Sprout Social also collects detailed, retrospective analytical data to help us track our profiles’ success.
When you work remotely, staying in the loop can be challenging. We don’t even want to picture what our inboxes must have looked like in the time before Slack—our favourite team collaboration and communication tool. Slack is basically instant messenger for the corporate world. We can communicate one-on-one with each other in private chats or talk as a team in a group chat. Did we mention there’s a GIF shortcut feature?
Most importantly, by hooking Slack up to Zapier, you can let your team know of important business things happening — in real-time. When a prospect views a proposal, or when an invoice gets sent out, or when a client’s Facebook lead program secures a lead, everyone on our team finds out. You can even use Slack as a basic monitoring system for your social channels.
Slack is the first place we go when we need to contact each other. Be warned, you’ll have trouble staying away.
File sharing is a necessity at any business. We use Google Drive to keep all our documents in check. We can create presentations, share and edit documents, and store photos. Plus, no need to worry about losing your work if you forget to save. The documents save automatically every few seconds. Google Drive is a necessity for all businesses wishing to minimize their need for filing cabinets and manila folders.
Keeping up with sundry deadlines, projects and assignments can be taxing and your calendar can becoming alarmingly overbooked. We separate work from play by using Asana as our go-to task management app. We can assign ourselves and our coworkers tasks with specific due dates and reminders. This tool holds us accountable to the multitude of ongoing and short-term projects we have on-the-go. Ticking off the ‘finish blog post’ task as we speak.
If you’re a contract worker or you track your billable hours, you need Toggl. You can turn on the timer or manually add your hours to the tracker. You can monitor your employees’ productivity and keep track of billable hours. Toggl sends a report at the end of each week with the breakdown of where your hours were spent that week. We can pinpoint wasted time and determine how many hours we spent on particular projects. It’s simple, it’s fast and it forces us to pay better attention to how we allocate our time.
Staying connected, up-to-date and in-the-know are all essential for maintaining a productive and thriving workplace. These tools make our day to day tasks more straightforward. Are there any agency tools that you swear by? Tell us in the comments below!