Social media can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a B2B marketer, because it can be a struggle to find things to share.
However, as KISSmetrics suggests, hire someone who is experienced in social media, not your niche, as most social media for any industry will have similar goals: getting more visibility for the company. That doesn’t change, no matter the target audience.
Once you’ve started creating a strategy, it’s time to find content to share, schedule it, and monitor what is being said about your brand online.
Below are some tools that can help you research, schedule, and monitor. Most offer a free trial or freemium feature, but are monthly subscriptions to access all of the features.
KoMarketing and the author are not affiliated with these tools in any way. The author has just used them in the past.
Buffer has become the gold standard for many social media scheduling apps. That’s because it’s easy to use, you can connect several different profiles, and it offers robust analytics so you can see how your content is being shared and clicked on. Using analytics can help you determine what type of content to create and share in the future.
Once you set up your publishing times, you can save hundreds of updates into your queue. These can be set to go out at the publishing times (in order), and you can set specific dates and times for publishing. Buffer also allows you to attach a photo to tweets, which makes them more appealing in users’ timelines.
Cost: Free (1 account) to $399/month (150 accounts)
Edgar is similar to Buffer, but with one unique feature: it can automatically reschedule past updates that you’ve sent out before (Buffer currently only allows this option manually, in the analytics screen). This is a great way to keep an ongoing queue of content at all times in your account.
This tool is not only great for making sure you’re always getting social media content out on a regular basis, but it can give your blog posts (and other content) a longer shelf life, since you can create posts sharing your content, which will be repeated. This leads to more opportunities for social media users to find and consume your content.
Cost: $49 (10 accounts, 1000 queued posts) to $99 (25 accounts, 5000 queued posts)
DrumUp is relatively new, launching in 2015. It is a hybrid of Buffer and Edgar, with content discovery built in. DrumUp’s main selling point is the ability to find and schedule external content by keywords. You enter in and save your topic keywords for each social profile, and then each time you log in, you are given a list of articles from various online publications about your keyword.
DrumUp also allows you to reschedule updates (like Edgar), but you have to set the day and overall frequency manually. For example, you could set an update to repeat 30 times, every 3 days. Additionally, you can add RSS feeds to your dashboard to be able to either automatically share new posts or to view and schedule, like your keyword posts. Buffer used to allow this as well, and now only offers it for specific account tiers.
Cost: $19/month (3 social accounts) to $199+/month (unlimited social accounts)
Once your decision for what automated social media platform to use is done, it’s time to move onto the research and monitoring aspects. Here’s some great tools that can help.
BuzzSumo offers a freemium version of its tool that allows for some keyword/brand mention searches. It will sort results by the number of social shares by default, making it easy to see what type of content is popular based on the topics you search for.
This is a great tool not only for tracking brand mentions (which can automatically be sent to you by email at a set interval), but it’s also great for industry research to see what topics would resonate best with your audience.
Cost: $99/month to $499+/month, depending on users and what you’re tracking
If you want to track product or brand name mentions, SocialMention is the best free tool available. It shows you results across social media, Reddit, and other user-generated platforms.
Along with results, it also tells you sentiment, positive/negative language use, and other metrics about what people are saying online. This is a great aggregator tool for mention tracking, which saves time and makes the process simpler.
To automate receiving these results, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of the results or send them via email. It also allows you to download CSV files of top users, hashtags, keywords, and sentiment.
To see what journalists and other bloggers or influencers are saying about your brand, industry, or products online, MuckRack’s Who Shared tool offers a good at-a-glance view of metrics.
To view the exact people that are sharing your content, you have get a MuckRack Pro account, but just plugging in a URL without being a user gives you overview metrics so you can see how popular a piece of content is on social media:
In addition to seeing who is sharing your own content, you can also check your B2B competitors or industry publications to see how their content is doing online. If you aren’t sure how well a topic will do on social media, try using BuzzSumo and MuckRack to figure out how popular it is.
Cost: FREE to see at-a-glance numbers, $1619+/month to access MuckRack Pro
While not all of these tools will completely automate your social media content, they do make it easier to research, schedule, and monitor content.
Getting into a regular routine can help ensure a steady stream of social content on your brand’s profiles. This can leave your team with more time to interact with the community by answering questions and replying to messages.
What automation tools do you use for B2B social media marketing?
Featured image via Pixabay; screenshots taken July 2016.