To do a job well, you have to use the right tool. Bob Ross knows exactly which brushmakes his trees the happiest. Emily Post would never dream of using the outside fork on hercornish hen. And Bob Vila knows when to turn on the hammer option of his industrial-strength drill.At Argyle Social, we are not particularly good painters, socialites or carpenters. We do,however, know a lot about social media tools. And social media tools, like hammers andscrewdrivers, are built for particular jobs. However, unlike hammers and screwdrivers, it’snot always obvious which tools excel at which jobs.In each section below, we’re going to introduce you to another tool in your social mediatoolbelt. We’ll explain what that tool does, what it’s particularly good at, what it isn’t good at,and what features should come standard.1 Advanced Post This is the Swiss Army Knife of social media tools. It allows you to take a complex, integrated marketing message and post it to a large number of social properties on multiple diﬀerent socialchannels. It allows you to control every possible aspectof your post: scheduling, campaigns, even setting Less useful for: If you like to publish a steady stream of content throughout the day, this isn’t the tool. This tool is good at coordinating complex marketing campaigns, but not good at high-volume, consistent sharing.custom web analytics parameters for your short links.But it’s not the fastest or easiest to make a simple, short Under the hood:post. Make sure that your Advanced Posting tool has: • Real-time posting and scheduled posting optionsReally useful for: • Integrated URL shorteningIf you have multi-part, multi-channel social marketing • Support for all of the social networks you care aboutmessage you want to send to Twitter, Facebook, • Integrated campaign trackingLinkedin, and G+, this tool is for you. It excels at • Web analytics customization optionsspecifying every detail of your posts, from custom • Post approval workflowanalytics parameters, to campaign tagging, to dates, • The ability to tailor content for diﬀerent socialtimes, and authors. properties and social networks
2 Quick Post If the Advanced Post tool was a Swiss Army Knife, then Quick Post is a pen knife: simple, eﬀective, and doesn’t take up too much space in your pocket. It provides a dead-simpleinterface for quickly publishing content to your socialproperties. Less useful for: Advanced customization and settings. Do you want to tweak your analytics parameters? Create five diﬀerent versions of a post for diﬀerent times and accounts? If so, Quick Post isn’t the right tool. Under the hood:Really useful for: Make sure that your Quick Post tool has:Quick and dirty posting to your social properties. Think • A simple interface that makes posting quick and easyof the Quick Post as the content bar at the top of • Integration with your engagement console of choiceTwitter.com or the widget embedded in your Argyle • Real-time posting and scheduled posting optionsSocial Waterfall--it is tightly integrated into your • Integrated URL shorteningengagement console and built for rapid response. No • Support for all of the social networks you care aboutfluﬀ, all substance. Spotlight on Permissions, Workflow, and NotificationsPermissions, workflow, and notifications are three of the most important features in any social media tool. They’redeeply un-sexy and don’t generate a lot of buzz, but if you’re a business and use social media for marketing, youshould consider these must-haves. So what are they?User Permissions before. You don’t just need social media tools, you needWhat if your business has two brands, each with a collaboration tools. Workflow lets you assign incomingdedicated community manager? Should Community requests to team members, allow editors to reviewManager A be able to post on behalf of Brand B? drafts, and route social content to the appropriateProbably not. It’s important that your social tools people inside of your organization.recognize that every user is diﬀerent, and controlaccess to who should see what accordingly. This is one Notificationsof the best ways for your business to prevent a You can’t always be in front of your computer. And“gettngslizzerd” moment. honestly, your friend is tired of glaring at you every time you pick up your smartphone at dinner to say “ThanksWorkflow for the RT!” Your social tools need to help you to take aCommunity management teams no longer consist of a step back by sending you notifications while you’resingle college intern. They have more staﬀ members, away and allowing you to act on them when you getmore touch points with the rest of the organization, back.and they field a larger volume of inquiries than ever
3and clicks. Smart Scheduler This tool is the very newest tool in the community manager’s toolbelt. It allows you to queue up large volumes of content and then automatically posts that content on a schedule designed to maximize engagement Less useful for: The Smart Scheduler is a very specific tool. It’s built for content curation, posted in a consistent stream throughout the day. If you want more control over a post, use a diﬀerent tool. Under the hood: Make sure that your Smart Scheduler has:Really useful for: • A bookmarklet, allowing you to post directly fromPosting a regular stream of content on your social pages around the internetproperties takes a lot of time and energy. The smart • Highly customizable scheduling options, allowingscheduler makes the process much simpler by letting you to tailor your post timing to your audienceyou set a schedule and queue up a pile of relevant • An ultra-simple posting interface, allowing you tocontent all at once that drips out over time. You can queue content quicklyfocus your time on customer engagement and • Email notifications when your queue has run drystrategic thinking while the Smart Scheduler doesthe work.4 RSS Automator The RSS Automator is one of the most underused tools in the community Under the hood: manager’s toolbelt. It’s excellent at its Make sure that your RSS Automator has: job: taking content from your blog and • The ability to read all common feed formats: RSS 1, sharing it to your social profiles RSS 2, Atom, etc. automatically. Just don’t ask it to do • Integration with your Smart Scheduler. You should bemuch else. able to assign all new posts to your queue. • Advanced scheduling options. Posts should be ableReally useful for: to go out immediately, or re-posted days or weeks inTaking a content feed and auto-sharing to your social the future.properties. Sidenote: are you worried that content automation isn’tLess useful for: a good idea? Fear not. It turns out that RSS contentDoing just about anything else. actually performs every bit as well as content posted by hand.1
Spotlight on Smart SchedulingSmart Scheduling, the very newest tool in the community manager’s toolbelt, is purpose-built to help communitymanagers eﬃciently curate content.Content curation -- linking to content produced by others -- is highly eﬀective at generating interest andengagement from your social audience. In fact, accounts that curate at least half of their content get 180% moreengagement than accounts that link to their own content most of the time.2Curation is a great way to build the early part of the sales funnel. But, as community managers know, it’s also a lot ofwork. Finding content that will resonate with your audience, shortening the URL, creating the post in your socialmedia management system, setting the date and time for posting... And then do that 10-50 times per day.This is a classic situation of needing a better tool for the job, and that’s exactly what Smart Scheduling tools give you.With a Smart Scheduler, your workflow gets much more eﬃcient. Start by setting up your schedule. What days of theweek and times of the day is your audience most engaged? How many times do you want to post during thosewindows? (Hint: Don’t forget about weekends!3)After you set up your schedule, simply add content to your posting queue. Find content you like, click “add to queue”,and the Smart Scheduling tool will publish the post at an appropriate time based on your scheduling settings.“But won’t this delay my content?”Many community managers assume that there is a half-life on everything they post, and therefore want to posteverything as quickly as they can. It turns out, that’s just not the case.It turns out that scheduling posts for later generates just as many clicks as posting that same content immediately.⁴ If youstop and think about it, this makes sense. Does that top ten list you just shared need to go out immediately, or wouldit be just as good in 12 hours? Probably the latter. Most content is not breaking news, so don’t feel the need to shoveit out the door as soon as possible.With a Smart Scheduler, your time-consuming, erratic posting will transform into an easy, predictable schedule ofquality content and a consistent source of fan growth and clicks.When to use a Smart Scheduler • Product marketing tied to a product release• Most content you share every day--blog posts, how- • Tightly integrated multi-channel campaigns to guides, industry news, etc. • Event promotion • Customer service inquiryWhen NOT to use a Smart Scheduler • Breaking news• Special limited time oﬀers • Service announcement
5 Multi-Column Engagement All of the tools to this point have been purely outbound: they help you Less useful for: broadcast something to your This tool is tailored for interactions, not broadcasting. If audience. The Multi-Column your goal is to construct marketing messages and Engagement tool is diﬀerent--it’s the organize campaigns, this tool isn’t the right tool. tool you use to participate in socialconversations. This is also probably the most widely Under the hood:popular of all of the social media tools on the market. Make sure your multi-column engagement tool has: • Support for all social channels important to youReally useful for: • Support for all the major social interaction typesThis tool is really good at helping you interact with your (retweet, reply, favorite, comment, like, share, follow,audience, and the social universe at large. Good ones unfollow, +1, etc.)provide context to every conversation, helping you • Conversational context (user information,interact in a meaningful way. conversation history, Klout score and topics, etc.) • A searchable archive of conversations Spotlight on the Multi-Column Engagement ToolEveryone’s familiar with the multi-column engagement tool. TweetDeck has been a fan favorite since 2007, and usershave come to expect this type of interface in whatever platform they’re working with. Almost every major socialmedia tool incorporates cascading columns of posts somewhere. But they’re not all the same. Consumers can getaway with using TweetDeck, but community managers need more. Your multi-column engagement tool needs todeliver two things that TweetDeck doesn’t: context and history.Context Salesforce.com, you should probably have access toIf you’re the community manager for Geico, it’s simply that data when you’re fielding inquiries.impossible to know every customer personally. It’s evenmore impossible to know that Jim totaled his car last Historyweek when you field his complaint about the Customers will probably remember the conversationsresponsiveness of your claims division. Since you can’t they have with you. But you, as a community manager,be expected to know this information oﬀ the top of talk to so many customers and prospects every day thatyour head, it’s the job of your social media tools to you can’t possibly remember each distinctprovide it for you. CRM integration is key to providing conversation. Make sure that your multi-columnthis context. If your entire customer database lives in engagement tool stores lifetime conversation history so that you don’t start from scratch with every interaction.
You now know your five core tools to post social content. Let’s take a look at some of thethings that you do every day and see how they map to your choice of tools.Task Best Tool Keep in mind... Responding to customer service Tool #5: Multi-Column Make sure you have notifications inquiries Engagement in place so that you see important inquiries when you’re away from your desk. And make sure you have workflow tools so that messages can be routed to the person with the answer.Curating content around the web Tool #3: Smart Scheduler Your smart scheduler most likely hasto drive engagement a “bookmarklet” feature--a link that you can drag to your browser’s favorites bar. Use this. It will change your life.Product marketing for the new Tool #1: Advanced Post Not everyone will see any givenproduct launch post. If you really want your audience to learn about a new product you’re launching, post about it multiple times and at diﬀerent times of day. Change the messaging each time to keep things fresh.Limited time discounts on Tool #1: Advanced Post Schedule multiple posts at veryparticular products specific times. 1-2 posts before the deal begins, and then posts throughout the deal duration alerting your audience that the deal is coming to a close.
Task Best Tool Keep in mind... Service interruption notice Tool #2: Quick Post Get the word out as quickly as you can. Don’t get bogged down in minutia; just let your customers know the what’s wrong and what you’re doing about it. Follow up with status updates frequently. Breaking industry news Tool #2: Quick Post Don’t over-think it. Timeliness is more important than clever messaging when news breaks in your industry. Get something out to your audience ASAP. Sharing your blog posts Tool #4: RSS Automator If your organization has an active blogging presence, just spend some time setting up your RSS Automator. Stop fielding requests from your bloggers to share their content. Retweeting interesting stuﬀ Tool #5: Multi-Column If it’s really timely, go ahead and your followers say Engagement push that retweet button immediately. But, consider: Tool #3: Smart Scheduler retweeting is one of the main sources of content curation. You should probably add this to your Smart Scheduler’s queue so that it can be posted along with the rest of your amazing content.Every community manager and every brand has a diﬀerent set of needs. Consider buildingthis table for yourself. What do you spend most of your day doing? What tools are bestsuited to accomplish those tasks more eﬃciently and more eﬀectively?Choosing the right tool for the job can not only make your life easier. It can dramaticallyimprove your social media marketing performance.
Sources:1. Is Post Automation Eﬀective? http://argylesocial.com/blog/2011/07/05/is-post-automation-eﬀective.html2. New Research Finds the Curation vs Creation Sweet Spot http://argylesocial.com/blog/2011/09/07/new-research-finds-the-curation-vs-creation- sweet-spot.html3. Social Timing Insights Infographic http://argylesocial.com/infographics/social-timing-insights-infographic4. Is Post Automation Eﬀective? http://argylesocial.com/blog/2011/07/05/is-post-automation-eﬀective.html