Tools of the New Trade

In regards to higher education, many universities can amass hundreds upon hundreds of various social media accounts. Boston College for example has approximately 80 departments all leveraging 1-9 social media platforms.Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.48.08 PM Social media management tools make it possible to organize messaging and gauge better engagement opportunities. As a business, management tools are predominantly paid for services and are essential to large-scale use of social media platforms.Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.55.43 PM.pngHootsuite is among the many social media management tools which organizations utilize. Reportedly, there are 10 million Hootsuite users. I have tried Hootsuite and I found the tool to be quite useful in procuring social media campaigns. For the trial version I was allotted a set number of social media accounts to mange. My goal was to gather data from a niche market using Survey Monkey. I joined medium to large sized affinity groups of my target audience. By using Hootsuite, I was able to pin point exactly the time and frequency of my surveying. I formalized a greeting, kindly asking respondents to take a minute to fill out the survey. I even asked friends to post the link on Twitter and Facebook. Within a few weeks we had reached our goal of respondents. My frequency rate was 7 times per day, 6 days per week. It was a simple call and response messaging plan that was highly targeted. The only premise for selecting time of day was to merely space out the redundant messaging evenly to increase the probability of first time impressions. We reached our goal for respondents fairly quickly. As a simple test of consistent messaging, social media management tools proved to be useful and provided a convenient advantage. Strategizing scheduled posts to maximize engagement requires a thorough understanding of ones audience in terms of their attention patterns. Most social media management tools provide this insight through analytics. Attributes such as retweet counts, follower counts and ‘mentions’. Various platforms also integrate with other analytics tools such as Google Analytics as well as enabling the management of ads and campaigns. The management and analytics component of social media is increasingly more relevant. Twitter now provides functionality for scheduled tweets as far as one year in advance.Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.58.45 PM With more tools becoming readily available it is fair to assume that more and more aspiring social media influencers will adopt these new methods of mass promotion. In lieu of the Paris attacks, there has been a discrepancy concerning the inherent functionality within management platforms. Martin Beck (a contributing writer for ‘Marketing Land’) concludes that many tools still lack the functionality to disengage all scheduled tweets. Beck goes on to elude that in the event of a pervasive news story it would be more convenient for management platforms to offer a ‘global emergency stop button’ which would halt all campaigning/scheduled messages across the entire dashboard, as opposed to pulling up individual posts and deleting them one by one. Buffer (social media management platform) said in response to Beck’s argument that the company is “Hoping to be able to offer some sort of easy ‘pause’ button soon.” As the functionality continues to evolve so will the methods of use. I for one feel I’m at a disadvantage if I’m not utilizing a social media manager. It is, after all, a case-by-case scenario that is dependent upon its respective strategy. I believe these tools offer a broader perspective and develop a more strategic voice. Social media management has without a doubt, become a full time job with a lot of overtime hours. Do you recommend using social media management tools for everyday social media users? Have you used them in the past and if so, what are some of the aspects within social media management tools that you find appealing?

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