How to Create a Social Media Report [Free Template]

Social media is an undeniably powerful channel for marketing in 2020.

In fact, social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases, with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through social channels.

However, if you’re using social media as a tool for organic exposure and brand awareness, rather than just a channel for paid ads, it can be difficult to track the success of your efforts.

As any social media manager knows, successful implementation of a social media strategy is contingent on countless factors — and all companies prioritize different channels, metrics, and criteria for success.

Access Now: Social Media Report [Free Template]

For example, is paid more important than organic to your business, and if so, to what extent?

Is more importance placed on audience engagement, or audience growth?

Has a posting cadence been directly tied to revenue?

With so many areas of focus for social media marketers, it’s crucial to choose, analyze, and report on your key social media metrics with a social media report.

A social media report can help you clearly convey what factors your social media team prioritizes, why those factors matter, and how you’re performing against those goals.

In this post, we’ll highlight the importance of a social media report, list the metrics you should consider including in one, and walk through a step-by-step process for building a social media report yourself.

For a quick and easy solution to your reporting woes, click here to download HubSpot’s Free Social Media Reporting Template.

Why Use a Social Media Report?

A social media report is the best way to distill the key metrics your social media team is tracking on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis.

Since social media encompasses so much, gathering and reporting on the data and channels that you’ve determined are most important for your business provides a lens of focus for your social media marketing team, and delivers a necessary high-level overview for leadership.

Social media doesn’t just affect marketing. Prospects ask questions, customers write reviews, and thought leaders follow you for company news. Because social media coincides with nearly every aspect of your organization, gathering and distributing the state of your social media channels is a move that shows transparency and encourages cross-company alignment.

You can also use a social media report to report on campaign-level analytics. If your social media account is serving as a cog in a larger company initiative, this report shows to what extent social media contributed to the project’s success.

Featured Resource: Free Social Media Report Template

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HubSpot’s free social media report template has pre-made slides for you to report on all of your predominant social media metrics. Download the template today and simply plug in your own metrics to customize a social media report for your organization.

Social Media Metrics to Report On

Your business likely values some metrics over others when it comes to social media reporting. Likely, these metrics also vary between your channels — since LinkedIn doesn’t let you retweet, and Twitter doesn’t let you click a cry-face button.

Before you start reporting on your social media channels’ performance, read through this list of options of social media metrics so you can determine which ones you should include in your report.

1. Audience Size and Growth

This metric tells you how large your reach is and how quickly that reach is growing. This is typically seen as the core social media metric, as it shows how large of an audience you can leverage with your posts and content.

2. Cadence of Posts

A rather self-explanatory example, this metric represents how many times you posted in a given time period. This metric is usually compared alongside other metrics — such as engagement rates — to help you determine the right cadence for your audience.

This metric should also be channel-specific, because it makes sense to post more frequently on some channels than others.

3. Post Engagement

Post engagement measures how your fans and followers are reacting to your posts with likes, comments, and shares. A healthy post engagement suggests you have a loyal audience — and that your content is reaching them.

You can also track engagement as a percentage of your audience to determine engagement rate.

4. Mentions

One metric you have a little less control over is mentions. You can track mentions from customers, prospects, and even news outlets to gauge perception of your business and brand online.

5. Clickthrough Rate

When a post links to a page on your website, you can measure how many people and what percentage of your audience clicked through to the page. A strong clickthrough rate shows you’re sharing website pages that your audience finds relevant.

6. Conversions & New Contacts

Conversions comes into play if you’re using social media to generate leads, subscribers, or even customers. If you want to attribute contacts to your social media team’s efforts, make sure you’re using proper tracking and setting reasonable goals, as it’s rare in some industries to go straight from social media to becoming a customer.

7. ROI

Directly tracing ROI (return-on-investment) to social media efforts can be tricky. However, if you determine it’s worth reporting on this metric, make sure you have proper expectations set and attribution models established.

8. CPM / CPC

This metric is essential for monitoring the performance on your social media ads. If you’re solely reporting on organic social metrics, you can ignore this one.

9. Competitor Metrics

To provide a benchmark, consider analyzing the aforementioned metrics for your competitors. Obviously, these metrics can vary drastically based on publicity, paid budget, and the size of the company, but it’s still worthwhile to make the comparison.

How to Make a Social Media Report

Step 1: Choose Your Presentation Method

For consistency and clarity, make sure you’re using a social media report presentation, spreadsheet, or memo template. This way, each time you update your metrics, you’ll simply need to copy over your most up-to-date metrics onto that template rather than reinventing the wheel every time.

We suggest using a PowerPoint or Google Slide Deck template, because you can share it with your team via email, use it for an in-person meeting or presentation, or both.

Need a template to get started? Try this one.

Step 2: Determine the Metrics You’ll Be Reporting On

Like we’ve established, different companies and different social media teams value different social media metrics.

It’s your job to choose the metrics that matter most to your team and your organization.

Using the list from the section above, narrow down the essential metrics you believe are worth presenting to your team at large. Remember, you can change which metrics you report on for each of your organization’s social media platforms.

If your social media report is campaign-specific, reach out to the project stakeholders to see if they’re hoping to see reporting on any certain metrics in the social media report.

Pro Tip: For your first few ongoing social media reporting presentations, ask your peers which metrics they’d like to see, or which ones they need clarification on. Making these changes sooner rather than later helps you keep your team informed and engaged.

Step 3: Gather Your Data

Once you know what you’re reporting on and how you’re reporting it, it’s time to start collecting data.

When you’re first setting up your social media reports, create bookmarks for your data sources. Make a folder for the analytics page for each social media channel you’re analyzing and/or your social media reporting software for an all-encompassing view.

If you’re tracking click-throughs to your website, make sure you’re analyzing from a single master location, such as your tracking URL builder or your traffic tracking tool like HubSpot or Google Analytics.

Step 4: Add in Some Visuals

A chart of numbers on a slide deck is, well, pretty boring.

While a numerical chart is important for sharing as much info as possible in an organized way, using visuals is a better way to convey the growth and success metrics of your social media performance. Try incorporating one or all of the following into your social media reports:

  • Linear graphs to show followers over time.
  • Pie charts to show clicks to different pages of your website (blog pages vs. case studies, for example).
  • Bar graphs to show number of engagements on each platform.

These examples are more eye-catching than numbers on a slide and further illustrate what you want your team to walk away with. If data visualization is new to you, check out our Guide on Data Visualization for Marketers.

Step 5: Think of Your Story

A running social media report should always remind people about where you came from and where you plan on going. That said, make sure your reports make reference to how your numbers have changed since the last period of time on which you presented, in addition to why numbers have changed.

Did follower growth as a percent increase drop last month? Maybe that’s because one of your posts from the month before went viral and resulted in unprecedented growth that was impossible to match. Make that clear and add context to the numbers.

Additionally, each report should contain clear action items about how you plan to continuously improve your social media performance. Social media is constantly evolving, so your approach and strategy for it should, too.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to build, design, and share your social media report, download your social media report template and get to work!

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Originally published Jun 30, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated June 30 2020

Topics:

Social Media Marketing

The Start-to-Finish Guide to Writing a Social Media Proposal

Whether you’re providing social media management, marketing, or consulting services, the crucial step in winning a client is sending out a business proposal.

A business proposal can help you prove to clients’ that you’re the most well-suited to meet their needs, and help you stand out from the competition.

And, if you’re particularly interested in providing social media-related services, you’ll need to create a social media proposal.

Here, we’ll explore best practices for creating a social media proposal that will enable you to exceed client expectations and expand your portfolio.

But first, let’s zoom out and take a wider look at the social media sales process. There are quite a few stages you have to successfully complete — and things to do right — before even starting your proposal.

Let’s dive into that, now.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

A Brief Overview of the Social Media Sales Process

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all sales workflow that you should follow to win a social media job, but most of the times you’ll go through the following stages before closing a sale:

  • Prospecting
  • Discovery
  • Proposal

To ensure that all your prospecting efforts don’t go to waste, it’s super important to get as much information from a discovery stage as possible. One thing to keep in mind – a business proposal is just a presentation of the things you’ve discovered. If you skip this step, you won’t have anything to write about in your proposal.

The discovery session could be a video call or an actual meeting at a hotel lobby as long as you get to chat with the prospect and understand what it is that she really needs.

This task may sound simple at first, but in fact, you may realize the client doesn’t understand why she needs social media services, or across which platform(s) she needs those services distributed. This is where I suggest becoming a psychologist for an hour, and asking the following ‘Why’ questions:

  • Why did you choose Facebook over Twitter for your social media activities?
  • Why did you stop running Facebook ads?
  • Why did you change your LinkedIn posting schedule two months ago?

Clearly, you’ll need to do your homework prior to a discovery session, reviewing and analyzing the client’s social media profiles (as well as their top competitors), and what they’ve done on their social channels so far.

If you can’t get to the root of the problem, you may use the 5 Whys analysis which involves even more ‘Why’ questions. Eventually, if you understand your clients and how they think, you’ll be able to write a proposal that speaks your clients’ language, addresses their needs, and presents the exact solution to their problem. That is the proposal that is very likely to win a client.

The Anatomy of an Effective Social Media Proposal

Next, let’s move onto the actual structure of an effective social media business proposal. You can create a proposal from scratch or simplify your life significantly by using a free social media proposal template that already has the pre-written texts and is broken down into sections.

One way or another, it wouldn’t hurt to get familiar with the must-have social media proposal sections:

1. Introduction. Nailing the proposal introduction is winning half the battle. Remember the discovery session where you should find out the true meaning of what they’re after? Introduction is the place where you will repeat the exact words used by your client to describe their problem. No matter how tempting it may be, this is not a place to speak about your company and its history or mission. Introduction isn’t about you — it’s about your clients’ needs described in their language.

2. Scope of work. A well-written detailed scope of work leaves very little room for future misunderstandings. Here’s where you specify the exact list of activities that are meant to solve the client’s problem. Explain how your service is going to help tackle the issue and outline the scope of work required for that. Speak of the social media goals that you’re going to achieve with your service, and list the social media activities you’re going to be working on. Depending on the social media services you provide, you may want to mention:

  • Content creation. Specify what kind of written and visual content you are going to create, how often and how it’s going to be approved by the client.
  • Publishing schedule. Let your client know when, where and what time the pre-approved posts will be going live on different social media platforms.
  • Launching social media special offers. Let the client know the nature of the special offer you are planning to launch whether it’s going to be a contest, special discount, giveaway or else. Specify the timing, frequency, assets and media budget required.
  • Monthly strategy sessions and weekly calls. Plan out the one-to-one calls to review the last month’s activities and plan the month ahead. Let the client know if you are going to sync up every week to make sure you are on track.
  • Monthly KPIs and reporting. Depending on the client’s goals, outline how you are going to measure the social media progress and which metrics you’ll use as indicators.

Additionally, don’t forget to speak of the benefits your customer should expect.

As Kinga Odziemek, CEO at social media marketing agency BrainyBees, says: “Your clients need to understand not only what you will deliver, but also what’s in it for them.”

Odziemek adds, “What does it mean that you will do A, B or C for them? How will this be reflected in their business? What are the benefits? Showing the benefits will encourage potential clients to take the next step more quickly than you might expect.”

For greater clarity, finish up the scope of work with the timeline where you specify the exact steps you are going to take over the first month. This way it’s clear what a client can initially expect from you, and when.

3. Case studies. Prospects want to see what you have accomplished in the past for other clients. It’s the social proof that tells the client you are actually able to achieve the goals. If you haven’t had great social media results in the past, how can a client know you’ll succeed this time? Try to include a case study or two from a client in a similar industry, or with similar issues and goals.

It’s important to note — if your prospect is treating social media as a lead acquisition channel, referring to case studies showcasing how you’ve been able to grow number of followers isn’t helpful for them. Keep it relevant. Another rule of thumb for case studies is keeping the focus on results rather than how hard you worked to achieve them.

4. The pricing. This is a very important part of the proposal. Some of your clients will skip the entire proposal and get straight to the Pricing. What we’ve found after analyzing almost 200K proposals sent with Better Proposals is that putting the title ‘Investment’ on the pricing section (instead of ‘Pricing’) increases your chance for closing a deal. It works as a psychological trick – the client perceives the amount of money as an investment (that they’ll receive back in ROI) rather than dollars to which she needs to bid farewell.

5. Next steps. This proposal section is often neglected. However, I strongly recommend including next steps to your social media proposal so your prospects know what they should do next. Of course, they can always email you asking what’s next, but why not make their life easier? Just put it in simple words, like in this example below.

6. Terms and conditions. Don’t neglect the legal part of your proposal, as this is your only protection in case your relationship with the client becomes impaired. Make sure to secure your agency by specifying what’s going to happen when and who’s responsible for what. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer to do the job, at least use one of the online tools to generate the terms and conditions. I recommend keeping the contract and terms and conditions part of your business proposal. This way they are bind together and you won’t be facing any confusion caused by the wrong expectations of your client.

The How and When of the Social Media Proposal

Now that you’re familiar with the main sections of the business proposal, let’s focus on the best practices for sending your proposal that will get you from “eh, maybe” to “heck yes!”

Proposal Format: The Era of Word and PDF Withers Away

It’s no secret that more and more people consume digital content via mobile devices these days. Business proposals are no exception. In fact, our analysis of 200K+ proposals showed that 34% of proposals are opened on mobile.

Now, think about it — if you opened a Word proposal on your mobile and you need to endlessly scroll left and right to read it, would you even read it to the end? I wouldn’t.

You want to make an impression that your social media squad is full of tech savvy people always on the top of their game. This can’t be achieved with a non-responsive business proposal. If you’d like to create a pleasant responsive experience for your prospect, present a proposal as part of your website (given that your website is responsive, of course). The easiest way is to make use of a proposal software that lets you do this.

The Best Time to Send a Proposal

Unlike social media statistics where there are recommended times and days for posting on different platforms, we haven’t discovered a pattern for sending out business proposals.

There’s a slight 0.9% increase in conversion for proposals sent on Monday, which is not significant enough to create any sort of best practices around it. However, sending proposals within 24 hours, compared to 3-4 days after the meeting, increases your chances to hear a yes by 14%.

Additionally, our analysis demonstrated printing a proposal lowers your chance for a conversion by a whopping 78%. Therefore, the best advice I can give is avoid anything printed at all costs.

Luckily, it’s 2020 and electronic signature software tools like DocuSign or DocuSign alternatives are on the rise, which saves everyone a great deal of time signing a proposal.

Moreover, with payment system integrations, bringing your prospects right to the payment page is a breeze. The hassle-free proposal experience of 2020 cuts down the unnecessary steps of printing, scanning, emailing, calling, invoicing and leaves the essentials: sending an effective proposal and winning new clients as a result.

Just like any other proposal, a social media proposal requires some effort from your side starting with a thorough and well-prepared discovery session, asking the right questions and going down to the root of the problem. Once you have that in place, the rest is fairly easy. The actual proposal writing boils down to a set of proposal best practices as well as technical hacks to make a great impression, prove that you are the best for a job and prevent your clients from jumping the hoops.

social media content calendar

Originally published Jun 16, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated June 16 2020

Topics:

Social Media Marketing

19 Social Media Marketing Myths to Leave Behind in. 2020

Like any major marketing strategy of the past decade social media has had plenty of time to accumulate some big, inaccurate, myths.

And despite the fact that data has disproven a number of marketing myths today, some marketers will still hold on to few, simply because it’s hard to keep up to date on what’s really going on with social media.

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What Is Quora? A Marketer’s Guide to the Most Underrated Platform of 2020

Part of a social media manager’s job is to filter through which platforms are or aren’t relevant to their industry — or, more importantly, their audience. But there’s more to choose from than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Believe it or not, Quora is one such platform you might want to add to your marketing portfolio.

Download Now: State of Social Media Marketing in 2020

Quora entered the social marketplace about eight years ago, and it has since become a website worthy of a marketer’s attention. Before we get into why, let’s talk about what exactly Quora is. 

So, why is this website compelling to marketers? A handful of unique features, including: 

  • Follow users — and be followed.
  • Answer questions relevant to your industry.
  • Display personal and professional titles above your answers.
  • Reap SEO benefits for your business over the long term.
  • Access new audiences via Quora emails.
  • Use links in your answers to bring traffic to your website.

If all that sounds good, and you’re ready to dive in, let’s get straight to how to use Quora’s tools to enhance your marketing efforts, next.

How to Use Quora for Marketing

Use Quora to follow users.

Quora emulates a feature of Twitter and LinkedIn in that it has a follow feature. This follow feature allows users to connect with readers, colleagues, and other businesses so that they can associate with people who contribute to similar conversations. Users on Quora can ask or answer questions while following questions and people to create a stream of information aligned with their audience’s interests.

When first signing up for Quora, you can start by following your connections from Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to connect and nurture your relationship with those you already know you’ll want to answer questions for. It also helps you understand what your core customers and readers are most interested in learning about.

Answer questions around your industry.

Quora shares features with other popular social applications, so what makes Quora unique? Two main elements: design and community. Quora’s forum-like design makes for a positive user experience in that it focuses its users entirely on specific questions and answers, rather than broad trending topics that brands can’t easily participate in.

In other words, whereas social networks like Twitter and Facebook focus primarily on the user, Quora is designed to focus on the question. In doing so, all Quora users “play by the same rules,” so to speak. This ultimately helps business users carry over their subject-matter expertise and extend that expertise to more audiences.

Display professional titles to establish authority.

In addition to design, Quora’s community provides rich and relevant answers to the things people are searching for and talking about. This ensures that the focus of the website will always depend on and cater to the interests of each user and their followers.

Opposite what you might think, this open-dialogue community doesn’t produce as much subjective or inaccurate information as you’d think. Each user’s answer competes with the answers other users post under the same question. The answer’s relevance therefore depends on how many views and upvotes it receives by the Quora community.

This competition among answers encourages only the most knowledgeable users to participate. For this reason, many of them display their professional titles and business affiliations as an added sign of trust in their response. Quora also allows you to publish photo headshots, reinforcing its commitment to real, human answers — with a hint of networking potential for the employee answering the question. See how this looks in the Quora question below.

Question on Quora asking What virtual reality is, answered by man with professional title

The expertise of the people who are answering questions on Quora is truly impressive and only adds to the value of using the platform.

Use Quora as an SEO boost.

You’d think because Quora answers can be posted for free by anyone, Google wouldn’t rank these answers all that highly. On the contrary, Quora answers do quite well in search engine rankings because Quora is designed to rank its best answers by how much its users trust them.

In other words, Quora has done all the work for Google already — all you have to do is write an answer that users view and trust the most, and you can give your business some great exposure on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

Keep in mind that Quora answers are automatically given “nofollow” tags, which prevent search engines like Google from ranking website links inside your Quora answer any differently just because the Quora post itself might appear high up in a search result. For this reason, you should still invest plenty of time into your website’s on-page SEO — the search engine optimization given to your own webpages, as opposed to the tactics used elsewhere, like Quora.

Access new audiences via Quora emails.

Just because you have a limited amount of email subscribers to your emails doesn’t mean you can’t get some brand recognition in Quora Digest …

Quora Digest emails typically consist of 10 answers to questions the recipient would likely want to see. Recipients can receive these emails as often as multiple times per week or as infrequently as once a month. It all depends on how much time the user spends on Quora.

Although the content of Quora Digest emails is generated automatically by Quora, marketers can still win a spot in these emails by answering questions that rank highly on Quora. The more questions you answer, the more authority you’ll build. This increases your answers’ rankings and, ultimately, puts you in a Quora Digest.

The best part? These Quora emails go right to users who are interested in the topics you’re answering questions on. You get direct exposure to the people who fit your buyer persona without any of the heavy lifting involved in adding them to an email list.

Use links in your answers to bring traffic to your website.

Many businesses use Quora not just to connect with potential customers and build authority on a subject, but to gain website traffic, too.

When looking for questions to answer on Quora, consider if you already have webpages or blog posts that answer the question a user is asking. If so, take an excerpt from your blog post and use it to build your answer in Quora. When you’re done, link out to your blog or website content as an invitation for users to learn more about the subject. See what this looks like in the Quora question below.

Answer to Quora question with a link to author's website for more info

It’s unclear how effective this tactic is when done at length, so be careful how much you rely on Quora for blog or website traffic. Ultimately, you want most of your information to live in one place, that place should be your website.

As you can see, there are several clear benefits to Quora. For one, it caters to specific subject matters. You can pick your own expertise areas and then stay there as your chief engagement. If your business or expertise is in foreign currency exchange, for example, you can write for a dedicated category of questions where you can relay your leadership and help answer questions for your followers.

And yes, that very field has its own category of questions on Quora where people want to learn more about currency exchange. Check it out below.

Group of Quora questions about foreign currency exchange

Then, as a marketer, you can consider the people who are asking questions or engaging in discussion with you as your potential leads.

If you see someone is asking for help picking a good foreign exchange broker, or how to know if someone is a good adviser, don’t be afraid to mention your services and include the URL to your website when answering their question.

You can also use Quora to do research on what you should blog about. Any good answer is going to be more than a paragraph, and could be used as the basis for your newest blog post. This is a great way to do keyword research and get a sense of what the keyword phrases and description that your potential leads really use, and see what they don’t understand or should know about your business.

If someone is asking a fundamental question about your industry, think about writing a blog post to reply and then linking them in your answer to the blog post. You can bring them to your website, show them your calls-to-action, and present them with an offer all while answering their question.

Have you started using Quora yet for your business?

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12 Social Media Tools You Need to Use in 2020

You already know how important social media is to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and ultimately score more conversions. The world is on social media — 45 percent of it, at least — so if you want your product, service, and mission to reach the maximum amount of people, your business needs to be on social media, too.

Continue reading “12 Social Media Tools You Need to Use in 2020”

14 Time-Saving Tools for Managing Your Twitter Following

According to Hootsuite, Twitter has 145 million monetizable daily active users, and that number is growing. This and the open nature of the ecosystem makes it a great platform to put content in front of your ideal customers. At the same time, the Twitterverse is fast-paced. In fact, Moz estimates that the average lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes, which means that your posts have less time to capture their attention.

That said, maintaining a healthy following and publishing schedule on Twitter is challenging, perhaps much more so than other social networks. You can’t help but want more followers, but if you’re going to extreme lengths just to build up that number with empty names and faces, it’s not worth the time and resources. After all, effective engagement occurs with real, interested followers, not eggs and inactive accounts. 

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

If you want to streamline your following and uncover analytics that can be used to refine your strategy, you need the right set of tools. Ones that actually work.  

To help, I’ve collected 14 tools that can help you keep on top of your social media following. All the tools vary in price and network specificity, so you’re sure to find something that meets your team’s unique needs.

1. Crowdfire 

Price: Free for personal use, starts at $7.48/month for more advanced features

People follow accounts that produce content that appeals to them, so growing any Twitter following means managing a publishing cadence and creating quality content. Crowdfire helps curate content, schedule posts in advance, analyze what’s working, and manage engagement. To support those goals, it offers: 

  • Article and image curation help
  • RSS support and tools for curating content from your own assets
  • Queued posting
  • Hashtag recommendations for increasing reach
  • Social, post, and competitor analytics tools
  • A unified inbox for mentions

Crowdfire app for Twitter publishing

2. Commun.it

Price: Free, starts at $19.99/month for more advanced features

Commun.it’s goal is to help individuals, organizations, and brands grow on Twitter. The tool allows users to quickly and easily filter through all of the noise so they can prioritize the interactions that really matter. Here are a few of the tools most noteworthy features:

  • Suggests top Twitter users and influencers to follow
  • Helps you maximize relationships on the platform by seeing your history with them and the content they like
  • Allows you to engage your community by optimizing communication in a unified inbox
  • Provides robust analytics reports

Commun.it app for growing Twitter presence

3. Followerwonk 

Price: Free for personal use, $29/month for more advanced features

There is often key information about people in their Twitter bios that can be used to learn more about them. These short introductions to a person’s Twitter feed aim to distill the purpose of their Twitter existence into 160 characters. These bios can even be search engine optimized. FollowerWonk helps you take advantage of those optimized bios and find the people who want to be found. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Search bios to turn up relevant Twitter users
  • Track and sort followers
  • Compare individual followers
  • Match activities to gains and losses

Followerwonk helps search Twitter bios

4. Spout Social

Price: Starts at $99/month per user

This social analytics tool has been designed with brand marketers and social teams in mind … and it shows. Sprout Social’s platform helps give businesses of all sizes more advanced insights into their social media. These insights can then be used to build out successful Twitter strategies that draw in the right audience. Here are a few of the tool’s most valuable features:

  • Social listening to capitalize on trends
  • Social publishing for teams
  • Unified inbox for managing engagement
  • Analytics, social data, and dashboards
  • Robust collaboration and automation features

Spout Social for Twitter

5. Tweepi 

Price: Starts at $10.75/month

Tweepi uses artificial intelligence to help you grow your Twitter presence without spending so much time on the platform doing manual tasks. Tweepi’s AI targets specific users and prompts you to interact with them in a seamless way, helping you get noticed, grow your following, and become more active. Here’s a rundown of some of the key features:

  • Easy way to unfollow inactive or undesirable Twitter users
  • AI-driven Twitter actions including retweets, likes, replies, and following
  • Competitor, user, and hashtag monitoring tools
  • Advanced user search features

Grow your Twitter brand with Tweepi AI

6. Social Inbox

Price: Included in HubSpot Marketing plans starting at Pro for $800/month

Social media brings a human element back to marketing. Each platform provides businesses with an opportunity to interact, build relationships, and learn from those they follow… but it can get noisy. HubSpot’s Social Inbox App gives users the tools they need to manage their day-to-day interactions and engagement in a way that makes sense. Here’s a quick look at some of Social Inbox’s capabilities:

  • Get a quick hit list of new followers and content that’s resonating
  • Schedule and publish posts informed by clicks and interactions data to keep your following engaged
  • Tie interactions back to contacts in your HubSpot database
  • Create targeted streams for simplified social monitoring

Twitter management on the HubSpot platform with Social Inbox

7. ManageFlitter 

Price: Starts at $12/month, $49/month for more advanced features

One of the biggest challenges of social media, and especially Twitter, is finding out when people are online and looking at your content. ManageFlitter has a built-in tool that helps you determine what time is best for publishing Tweets based on your followers’ activity. Here’s a look a few important tasks you can accomplish with the tool:

  • Advanced filtering to find Twitter users based on keywords, followers, bio, and even location
  • PowerPost interface that helps you post during high-impact times
  • Analytics and reporting tools to give you comprehensive insights about your following

ManageFlitter for optimizing Twitter publishing times

8. Likeable Hub 

Price: Starts at $299/month

Managing social media can be a grind, and it takes time. No matter what tricks you have, nothing beats good content. Likeable Hub is all about helping businesses provide great content and promote it effectively.

With customizable, industry-specific content, it makes for your business to attract a qualified following — one that sees the value in your messages. The content is particularly meaningful because it’s not auto-generated, but instead carefully curated by real people. Here’s a closer look at what the tool really does:

  • Builds audience with Turbopost™ post amplification
  • Tracks different topics on Twitter to find out what your audience cares about
  • Tracks page growth and engagement
  • Provides a content library to discover content that works best in your industry

Create great Twitter content with Likeable Hub

9. Narrow.io

Price: Starts at $19/month

Good marketing starts with showing up where your target customers hang out. Online, that means finding the right people who are interested (and talking about) the right things. Narrow.io can help you identify users that are talking about subjects relevant to your product or service, i.e. your target demographic. After identifying this audience, you can start following and engaging with these highly targeted Twitter users.

  • Audience research tools to narrow in on the right users
  • Robust user filtering based on keywords, hashtags, and locations
  • Analytics and user insights to inform your strategy

Narrow.io for filtering Twitter audiences

10. Statusbrew

Price: Starts at $12/month billed annually for posting features, $99/month billed annually for essential management features

Statusbrew was developed with high-performing teams in mind. As an all-in-one platform that encompasses everything from publishing to brand monitoring with workflows for approval and collaboration, small businesses and above can leverage this solution to improve their Twitter management strategy. It even comes with custom reporting and white labeling for an even better experience.

  • Brand listening and monitoring for yourself and your competition
  • Unified inbox and saved replies for streamlined communication
  • Slack integration
  • Data-driven insights on follower growth, engagement, and more
  • Bulk publishing and URL shortening

Statusbrew for Twitter management

11. Buzzsumo

Price: Starts at $99/month

BuzzSumo functions primarily as a content discovery engine. What this software does really well is identify trending topics in your niche so that you create buzz-worthy content on your own and/or engage with existing online discussions. This keeps you always at the center of what’s hot and trendy. 

Not only does BuzzSumo provide these insights from a content creation standpoint, but it also includes features that enable collaboration with influencers, making it a great all-in-one platform for growing your following in a content-forward and social manner. Here are some of BuzzSumo’s most powerful features: 

  • Billions of data points to help you research and discover relevant articles
  • Advanced search features and easy interface for exploring trends
  • Ability to identify key influencers to connect with
  • Monitoring features for tracking competitors and industry updates
  • Alert and notification system for keywords that matter

BuzzSumo for getting in on Twitter trends

12. Circleboom

Price: Free, starts at $7.99/month for more advanced use

If you’re interested in an all-in-one Twitter management platform, Circleboom has a massive list of features, focused primarily on strengthening your “circle.” In addition to being able to unfollow inactive users and identify spam accounts, you’ll also enjoy a rich feature set that includes: 

  • Automating curated content in the industry of your choice
  • Ability to add articles to your publishing queue
  • Filtering and sorting your likes and retweets (and bulk unlike them)
  • Identifying fake, bot, inactive, and overactive accounts
  • Ability to remove unwanted followers without blocking

Circleboom Twitter management

13. AgoraPulse

Price: Starts at $79/month billed annually after a free trial

AgoraPulse is another all-in-one social media management solution for Twitter. The primary goal of this tool is making publishing content and engaging with users simpler, even in collaborative environments. Features such as saved responses and one-click PowerPoint exports for reporting can help you achieve your goals faster and more efficiently. Here are some other benefits to the tool:

  • Flexible post scheduling, rescheduling, and queuing
  • Bulk post uploading
  • Unified social inbox with automated moderation capability
  • User collaboration perfect for teams and agencies

AgoraPulse Twitter management

14. RiteTag

Price: $49/year

Part of growing your following comes down to the discoverability of your content. With RiteTag, you can get instant tweet enhancement suggestions, including hashtag optimization that will give the post the best reach possible. It works by analyzing hashtag engagement in real-time and suggesting the most relevant and trendy tags for your post. There are additional enhancement features such as: 

  • Automatically adding relevant emojis and gifs
  • Extracting images from your links
  • Pulling text into a shareable image
  • Appending the Twitter handle of post authors

RiteTag for enhancing tweets and hashtags

Now that you know the top tools to help you manage and grow your Twitter presence, you can find the right ecosystem that works for you. With a combination of tools, resources, and content that your followers will love, you’ll be on your way to seeing ROI from Twitter marketing in no time.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Nov 5, 2015 but was updated on Mar 16, 2020 for comprehensiveness.

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How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing Like the Pros

As a millennial, social media has been around since I was in elementary school.

Myspace was created when I was nine years old. YouTube was founded when I was 11. And Facebook became available to the public when I was 12.

Although using social media has been a daily habit for me since I was in high school, it wasn’t until I became a marketer that I understood the power of it.

When I worked for a marketing agency, I’d spend days thinking of the best content to post and writing copy for different platforms.

During that time, I learned about and used tools to manage social media for several clients, including social media automation software.

Below, let’s learn more about social media automation, including how to automate your posts and the best tools for social media automation.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]

Automating your social media can be useful for developing a content plan, so you’re always prepared.

However, it’s important to note that social media automation tools shouldn’t be used in any dishonest or unethical way. For example, automation tools shouldn’t be used to write your social media posts — they should just be used for scheduling, reporting, and content ideas.

Similarly, you should never use automation tools to buy followers. Not only is that dishonest, but it can also reduce your engagement rate.

These social media tools are meant to free up your time so you can engage and personally interact with your followers, have authentic conversations, and strategize about what you post and when.

So, now that we know more about social media automation, let’s go over how you can use these tools to automate your posts.

1. Look at social listening tools.

Many social media automation tools can be used for social listening. Essentially, social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about your brand or industry online.

With automation tools, you can see brand mentions across all platforms in one place. Additionally, you can follow certain keywords, topics, or hashtags to see what’s going on in your industry. Moreover, social media automation tools can be used to follow your competitors. What’s the latest news? What are people talking about?

Ultimately, social listening tools can help you come up with ideas for social media posts or even product ideas.

2. Use chatbots.

Another way to use social media automation tools is to create chatbots. Chatbots can be used with sites like Facebook Messenger to streamline your marketing, provide customer support, and improve the customer experience.

For example, you can create automated replies or suggested replies to customer questions or comments. When a customer asks for your hours, for instance, your chatbot can automatically respond.

Additionally, you can use a chatbot to let customers know that you’ll get back to them in a certain amount of time and provide resources.

Ultimately, a social media chatbot should help customers with small issues, but escalate larger issues to a human.

3. Gain valuable insights across several networks.

Most social media automation tools provide analytics that can be helpful to your social media strategy.

For example, after using and connecting these tools to your social platforms, you can use the analytics to determine the best time to post. You can answer questions like, “When does my audience interact more?” and “What’s my engagement rate?”

A large benefit to automation tools is that you can get analytics such as impressions, reach, and engagement on all your social media platforms in one place. These reports make it easier to compare the success of a campaign across different platforms.

4. Produce content curation ideas.

While not all automation tools provide content curation, some of them do. This means that you can choose industries or topics that you think your audience is interested in. Then, the software will curate content that you can share and post on your social media platforms.

Some automation tools might draft a social media post for you, however, those should just be used as a starting point. You should write all your own social media posts.

Additionally, using the tactics mentioned above should help you get to know your audience better, facilitating more content ideas.

5. Engage with your audience.

One of the most important benefits of social media automation tools is that they can help you engage with your audience across several platforms in one place.

With this type of software, you can monitor brand mentions, replies, and messages. With all of these gathered in one place, it makes it easier to connect with your audience and helps your team respond in a timely manner.

6. Achieve consistent scheduling.

Consistency is one of the best ways to earn your follower’s trust and improve your online presence.

With social media automation tools, you can keep a steady queue of posts. This can help you plan ahead and spend more time on creativity and less time on the tedious posting tasks.

Additionally, you can use this software to schedule posts in bulk. Many automation software can be used to input a spreadsheet of posts and schedule them.

These are just some of the top ways to use social media automation tools. However, a human should still be interacting with the community, and planning creative, exciting content.

Social Media Automation Tools

1. HubSpot

With HubSpot’s social media tool, you can save time and prioritize your social interactions. This tool was designed to make it easy to share content from your marketing campaigns to all your social media platforms.

Additionally, you can manually publish content directly to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. By connecting your blog and social media accounts, your new blog content will be automatically shared as soon as it’s published.

Furthermore, this software will give you suggestions on the best times to post and help you develop a nuanced social media strategy.

2. Buffer

Buffer was designed with collaboration in mind. That means you can use this software to draft and coordinate with your team, so you can orchestrate brilliant social media marketing campaigns.

Additionally, you can assign social conversations to the person on the right team, avoid duplicate responses by seeing who else is viewing a conversation, and leave internal notes. Many of these tasks can be automated, from tagging a post to assigning it.

Moreover, your team can use saved replies to reduce the amount of time they spend answering common questions.

Plus, with its reporting and analytics features, Buffer will give your team recommendations on how to grow reach, engagement, and sales.

3. Hootsuite

Besides regular scheduling and report features, Hootsuite also provides content curation tools to help you come up with and post content ideas.

For example, you can use a content library to organize all your content. That means you can save time with pre-approved posts so the team member scheduling content has a pick of posts to choose from.

Additionally, with the Hootlet extension, you can instantly post and share content you find online while you’re browsing or reading content.

Plus, by creating a social listening stream with hashtags or keywords, you can find compelling content to share instantly.

4. Sprout Social

With Sprout Social, your social media team can solve the three basic problems with manual social media management: overflowing inboxes, missed messages, and time-consuming tasks.

Before you get started, you’ll learn how to leverage this tool with dedicated training and easy onboarding, so you can use the tools immediately.

Then, you can use the tools to manage and measure conversations that can improve your engagement rate and brand loyalty.

The collaboration tools are one of the best features because you can integrate your customer support platforms such as Zendesk, HubSpot, and UserVoice.

Ultimately, Sprout Social can eliminate engagement obstacles and achieve social success, from community management to customer support.

5. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is one of the best automation tools to help you find the content that will perform the best.

With the content discovery, content research, monitoring, and influencer tools, your team can generate ideas, create high-performing content, monitor your performance, and identify influencers to work with.

Additionally, BuzzSumo gives you content examples and helps you find the questions your audience is asking.

Overall, this is one of the best tools to help you improve your content on social media.

Social media automation is a great way to eliminate day-to-day tasks so you can spend more time interacting with your audience. However, these tools shouldn’t be used to avoid responding to or engaging with your followers.

social media content calendar