Social media marketing can be a time consuming, complicated element of digital marketing and business development.
It takes time to log in to individual networks, write and post updates, develop campaigns and manage and build your community. Once you are up and running on social media, you must then actually engage with and leverage your network to develop new business. It’s this time investment and proficiency in technology that turns people off of social, or more often, is simply misunderstood.
As any marketer will tell you, avoiding social media isn’t wise now and won’t position you well going forward. Digital content avenues are incredibly important accessing millennials, the largest growing market segment and likely a large part of any business’s target market for the next 20-30 years. Not to mention the generation to come next who’ve had a mobile device in their hand since they were born. Building social relationships and authority online will be just as important, and in some cases even more important, than personal relationships.
Even with the unpredictability of what’s to come in digital and new tech, it’s safe to say there will always be manual processes. Social networks were meant to be social, with human interaction, and not fully automated. But we only have so much time.
Social media by itself can be a full time job!
Thankfully, there are several bright people out there that recognize this problem and have produced technology to centralize data and streamline redundant tasks across all social networks. They do this with “dashboard”–type platforms that allow you to monitor, post to, engage and review analytics for all of your social media networks, all from one place. In many cases these platforms provide additional functionality to manage communications, communicate within teams, tie in powerful third party applications, conduct real-time researches and even find material to post.
All of this added functionality helps organizations increase ROI from social, keep campaigns more organized, minimize time investment on certain administrative tasks and enables more visibility over the entire process.
Benefits of Using Social Media Dashboard Technology
1. Streamlined Time Investment
Social media dashboards help connect and pull data from social networks, allowing you to choose what you review. This information is available in real-time, showing you the most up-to-date view of your feeds. In-stream functionality allows you to monitor and engage on any of your social networks from the dashboard, managing your entire social presence from one place.
Social networks will never be automated. If you want to post something you will have to physically type it up and post it (but is that such a bad thing?).
The beauty of a social media dashboard is that you can type in a post once and push it out to all of your networks from there. To take this a step further, many dashboards allow you to schedule messages into the future and to aggregate posting times (increasing reach throughout a given time period). Imagine if you could get 90% of your social media posts for an entire month done in about 2-3 hours?
This opens up opportunity to invest more time in higher-level tasks on social, to work on new projects, conduct some research, or to simply invest more time in your business!
3. Teams and Permissions
When more than one person has access to one or more social networks, there is the question of security. Dashboards allow designation of authority to manage social pages and profiles without sharing individual account passwords. This opens up opportunity to create teams for functional areas of your business (marketing, sales, customer service, etc.) that operate within the same dashboard, sharing data with ease, while maintaining the security you want.
4. Advanced Monitoring and Communication
A good social media dashboard is highly customizable. It will let you view data in the way that makes the most sense for you. Included in this is the ability to monitor specific topics, keywords/alerts, or even other social accounts in real-time. This helps you stay up-to-date on industry topics and breaking news, research and monitor competitors, and even to find inspiration for new content, campaigns and products.
Although the functionality differs across many dashboards, all of them provide some way to chat with other dashboard users and even to assign and make notes on specific messages you feel others need to see.
5. Centralized Data and Tracking
One of the most difficult tasks on social media is aggregating analytics from several different networks. Reporting capability across different platforms varies, but all provide basic link tracking (some with more detailed reports than others). Using custom links gives you the ability to determine where and when your links were clicked, giving your insight into the areas of interest for your audience. Some dashboards have dramatically simplified this process.
In addition to link tracking, dashboards can pull analytical data provided by social networks and display it all in one place, sometimes with added functionality. You can then easily export reports to PDF, the cloud or have them emailed on a regular basis.
6. Advanced Tools
Whether it’s the ability to view email marketing statistics in your dashboard, curate content, integrate CRM, or add browser extensions that make team communication even faster, added functionality is a clear benefit of many social media dashboards.
These advanced tools and integrations differ by platform, with some services offering far more options than others. The more integrated platforms help you pull and graph data from other parts of your digital marketing program, like Google Analytics for your website or you email marketing program. This added functionality gives incredible visibility of your progress over time and areas of weakness in your strategy overall. That benefit alone cannot be understated.
One of the best social media management tools out there is Hootsuite, and Endorphin Advisors is an approved solution partner.