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Social Media Marketing

5 Questions for Assessing Social Media Tools

Creating success on social media takes a lot of time and effort. 

While larger and longer-established brands seem to dominate the feeds, you need to find effective ways to come up with original and compelling ideas and engage with your audience, all while staying on top of your other marketing channels.

All marketers know that the features offered by social media tools can be a big help when you’re looking to make your time and resources go further. However, with so many different options on the market, it can be hard to figure out which tool is right for your needs.

In this post, we’ll go over five of the most important questions you should ask to assess social media tools and find the one that’s right for you.

1. Will It Make Current and Future Projects Easier?

One of the most common mistakes marketers make when looking for social media tools is only thinking about its application in the short term.

While it’s understandable to go looking for a social media tool as an immediate solution to an issue you’re facing right now, it’s important to think about its value not only in terms of the next few months, but as part of the long-term vision for your brand.

If you read about a tool which seems like a great answer to your problems in the here and now, take a moment to consider your long-range vision before you jump at the chance to invest in it.

Some things to think about when considering the long-term viability of the tool include:

  • Will the tool be able to accommodate the growth and scale we’re forecasting in terms of user base and content volume?
  • Is the tool updated and improved often enough that you can expect to see long-term improvement in functionality?
  • What is the tool’s track record for customer support, and will they be able to help with the challenges we foresee in the future?

2. Are the Analytics Granular Enough?

There’s a huge spectrum of analytics functionality on the social media tools market. For many industry niches, it’s not enough just to see how many likes and comments a certain post gets after publishing.

For a truly successful social media strategy, you’ll need to think about how different topics affect the success of your posts, how consistent engagement is across platforms, the proportion of comments that come from real accounts vs bots, and other variables.

When you’re weighing up your social media tool options, make sure you’re assessing each tool’s analytics capabilities thoroughly, and thinking about how useful they’re going to be in real-world scenarios where you need to incrementally improve campaigns and understand audience sentiment. Be prepared to book demos and ask tough questions if you’re unsure of how the reporting will look in the context of your unique social media strategy.

Though some basic reporting may be all you need in the current state of your social media marketing, having a long-term vision and thinking about how well the tool will accommodate your analytical needs is crucial to ensure your software doesn’t let you down later.

3. How’s the Cross-Platform Functionality?

One of the biggest time-savers offered by modern social media tools is the ability to post across several different platforms at once and maintain a sense of cohesion no matter where people find your brand. However, not all tools are equal in this regard.

To make sure your social media management is in-step with your competition, you need to find a tool that’s not only capable of cross-platform posting, but augmented with useful tools and features that will make your publishing cycle as efficient as possible.

Here are a few cross-platform publishing features from our own Highperformr suite to give you an idea of how enhanced scheduling can help you:

  • Granular post scheduling so you can activate accounts exactly when your audience is most likely to engage.
  • Automated admin tasks to help you and your team save time.
  • Efficient one-click approvals that will instantly move content into the queue to be posted.
  • Cross-platform analytics to show which kinds of content are drawing engagement and which ones need more work.
  • AI tools designed specifically for social media, helping you come up with fresh ideas and enhance drafts.

By finding a robust tool that goes beyond simple cross-platform posting, you’ll be able to enhance the average quality of your posts and maximize efficiencies at every stage of your social media cycle.

4. How Collaborative Is It?

If you’re in the early days of your business, your entire organization may only be a handful of people. However, as your business scales and your marketing objectives become more ambitious, it’s likely that your team will need a tool that allows them to collaborate on social media and pool the best of their expertise.

Tools that create access bottlenecks or have baked-in silos will only cap efficiencies and lead to communication breakdowns. Choose a tool that makes collaboration easy, on the other hand, and the entire social media marketing operation will flow seamlessly from one stage to the next.

When you’re assessing social media tools, be sure to start with a clear idea of your collaboration needs, and have a way to check off the features you and your team will need to reach their potential.

The ability to control access and permissions, share drafts between members, and create workspaces with unlimited users, are all features which can improve the collaborative capacity and nurture an efficient, team-oriented social media operation. If you’re planning to onboard more social media marketers in the near future, make sure this kind of functionality is a priority during your search.

5. How Intuitive is its Design?

Some social media tools laud themselves as the most feature-rich on the market. However, if a tool’s interface is too heavily loaded with different features and dashboards, it can be more than a little difficult to get comfortable with the interface and use it to its maximum potential. 

Even if you’re from a background that’s allowed you to navigate complex tools, using a social media suite with a non-intuitive design can make it hard to onboard new marketers and help them hit the ground running.

Demos and free trials should be considered an essential part of reviewing any social media software, giving you the opportunity to run it through real-world scenarios and compare how intuitive each tool is for your intended functions.

Find a tool with a logical navigation, integrated tutorials, and core functions that are easy to get to grips with, and you’ll eliminate many of the onboarding challenges that can slow the progress of a marketing tech stack.

Navigating the Sea of Social Media Tools

When you first start researching social media tools for your business, the sheer amount of choice can cause anyone to feel overwhelmed. However, if you’re certain of your priorities and plan how to assess each option in terms of its long-term value, collaboration, and more, you’ll soon find a software suite that’s an asset to your campaigns.

If you’re looking to try a social media tool that’s highly collaborative and easy to onboard, sign up to Highperformr for free today!

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