Social media has changed the way we live our lives. The increasing presence of profiles and timelines makes it easier to quickly and directly interact with your customers. Needless to say, if you are not learning about social media marketing, your business will fall behind. Social media management software can keep you in tune with your target demographic.
It’s not a coincidence that the brands you follow slowly infiltrate your timelines on social media. Businesses want to be a part of the conversation. Look at the branded filters that appear when you swipe to find the perfect filter for your photos. (Or the way the Eggo latched onto its product placement in “Stranger Things.”) Businesses like these are able to target their messaging by mastering social media management tools.
As the world of social media is often changing, we have compiled five resources for learning about social media management. But first, let’s dive further into the functions and benefits of these tools.
What are social media management tools?
Social media management platforms allow you to manage your organization’s accounts across multiple platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These tools are typically utilized by marketing teams to increase brand awareness, drive sales and respond to customer inquiries.
These solutions offer a number of robust features that will help you to reach these goals. Scheduling posts across multiple platforms is a common feature in social media management tools. These solutions typically also allow you to perform functions such as keyword monitoring and pull performance analytics for each account you are managing.
Why learn about social media management?
Sure, you can outsource the above work to social media marketing companies. But in our tech-savvy world, social media marketing is a vital skill to have in your professional arsenal. According to SocialMediaToday, “nearly 40 percent of customers already use social media for customer service. But while consumer expectations are rising, brands are struggling to keep up — 8 in 9 social media messages that require responses go unanswered in the first 72 hours.”
Long story short — without proper social media marketing, you risk losing customers and may find it difficult to grow your customer base. Because of that importance, you may prefer to manage profiles from within your own organization.
Social media has the power to positively impact your business. Not only can it help you to improve your relationship with your customers, social media management tools can also allow you to join industry-specific conversations online and learn about your competitors.
What are resources to learn more about social media management?
Alright, so you’ve made it this far — we’ve convinced you that social media management is absolutely vital to your business. But it is not something you can master overnight. Here are some resources to help you learn the ins and outs of social media marketing.
Resource #1: Six Ways to Use Social Media in Education
Choose it if: You are in the education field
Technology has been quietly seeping into the education field in recent years. Younger students have grown up in a world dominated by social media. If teachers learn social media management, they can potentially connect better with their tech-savvy students.
This resource touches on the idea to use Twitter to keep students engaged in college classes. The author cites examples from a professor who uses a Twitter backchannel to lead a class discussion.
Marquette University’s social media director Tim Cigelske also uses his expertise to engage students and create a community on campus.
“Education is really all about people — interacting in a community and learning from each other. I see social media as a reflection of what we do on campus both inside and outside the classroom. So when we talk about social media management, it’s really about using digital tools to listen, respond and be present with your community,” Cigelske said in an email.
His approach to social media and education has worked wonders for the university. With Cigelske at the helm, Marquette has made a name for itself in the world of education-centric social media.
Resource #2: Don’t Be a Social Media Marketing Skeptic – Learn Where and How to Start
Choose it if: You are a small-business owner and unsure how to start with social media
Social media can be an intimidating venture for small businesses. Many small-business owners are skeptical because they don’t know where to begin. Luckily, the author of the above post links to multiple blogs geared toward helping small-business owners get a jumpstart on learning about social media management.
The author’s first suggestion in this resource is to ask yourself a number of questions:
- Which platform is the right one?
- How do you find the right people to engage with?
- What’s the best way to engage with followers?
G2 Crowd can help you answer that first question. As a small-business owner just beginning the journey into social media marketing, an easy-to-navigate tool will be your best bet. Knackmap was given 97 Ease of Use score on G2 Crowd’s Summer 2017 Small-Business Grid® for Social Media Management.
One Knackmap review called this tool their “social media bible.” The review went on to say, “The system is flawless, easy to navigate, easy to use and it’s so simple to schedule my activity.”
Resource #3: Free Social Marketing Course from the Open University
Choose it if: You want a quick handle on the fundamentals of social media management
If you want to hit the ground running, take a look at this online social media course. This free online class is a great resource. According to the online social media media course description, it “examines the nature of social marketing and how the adoption of marketing concepts, frameworks and techniques developed for commercial marketers can be applied to the solution of social problems.”
This social media training course is broken down into seven different sections that hit on topics such as understanding consumer behavior and the role of communications and branding within social media platforms. It is designed to last eight hours.
Upon completion of this online social media course, participants should be able to analyze and solve social media marketing problems, narrow their target audience on various platforms and more.
Resource #4: You’re a what? Social media specialist
Choose it if: You want to pursue a career as a social media specialist
The field of social media marketing is becoming increasingly popular and viable as a career choice. To start down the path toward becoming a social media marketing specialist, you’ll need the proper education and experience in related fields. But most importantly, you need to master social media platforms.
This resource discusses the importance of knowing your target audience and how to engage with those users. Multiple G2 Crowd Users have rated Hootsuite highly for its ability to spark user engagement.
One Hootsuite review said, “This is a good platform for social media management. It makes your engagement much more efficient and easy while giving quick analytics which can aid in making effective posts!”
Resource #5: Social Media Marketing Training and Tutorials
Choose it if: You want to learn all aspects of social media marketing on your own time
Lynda.com is an online course provider that can act as a great social media marketing resource. Lynda.com users can get started with eight different online social media courses. Classes range in time from under an hour to over three hours. A variety of topics within the field is covered, such using Snapchat for marketing and how government workers can utilize social media.
Multiple G2 Crowd users have spoke highly of the online course provider’s offerings. One Lynda.com review said, “I can send colleagues videos instead of teaching them each one on one myself, I’ve utilized this on multiple marketing platforms and social media so it’s another ‘Expert’ helping to make my case.”
The best way to complete your social media education is to fully immerse yourself in a tool. This guide of Oktopost’s is a great social media checklist for B2B marketers. Also, take a gander at our social media management page to see what floats your boat, as well as Oktopost’s social media marketing blog for great content on social media-related topics. This page allows you to refine your search by product feature and sort the tools according to which can work for your business size.
Dive in further to read the product reviews of social media management tools that might interest you. These reviews are written by verified users of that particular product. These user reviews, along with the resources we provided to learn about social media management, will equip you to use social media to better your business.
* Please note: Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammar.