7 Best Features of Social Media Scheduling Tools

Social media scheduling tools, have only one purpose and that is to continuously provide your audience with personalized and engaging content while saving your time and resources

Social networks have completely revolutionized the way how customers interact with brands at every stage of their customer journey.

According to research conducted by Global Index, a staggering 40% of all social media users are using the Internet to gain more information about products and services that they find interesting. Even more important, 30% of all social media users make their buying decision based on feedback and reviews they find online.

There is absolutely no doubt that executing innovative and interesting social media campaigns is of utmost importance for companies who wish to promote their products and services online. But this is often easier said than done. Keeping an active presence on all your social networks in an engaging way can be challenging as it requires plenty of time and resources. What´s more, each individual social network has its own set of rules and algorithms that change frequently. If that wasn’t enough, customers expect companies they deal with to be active all the time and engage with them in a personalized way almost immediately.

Luckily, there are tools for automated social media posting that can ease up this process. In this post, we will explain seven features that your social media posting tool needs to have in order for you to get the most out of social media. But before that, let us first say a word or two what these tools really are.

A Brief Intro to Social Media Scheduling Tools

social media scheduling tools

Social media automation is a process of using various software tools that automate specific tasks related to social media marketing. These automation tools, often called social media scheduling tools, have only one purpose and that is to continuously provide your audience with personalized and engaging content while saving your time and resources.

Social media scheduling tools can do much more than let you schedule posts. They are able to jumpstart the customer´s journey by sending out automatic replies whenever someone uses a specific hashtag or mentions your account handle in their comments or posts.

According to Jaques Bughin, Director at McKinsey´s Brussels office, “as companies look to maximize returns from their social strategies, they can both encourage would-be customers to engage in more social interactions and inspire more influencers to express enthusiasm for their products.” Considering the benefits of these tools and the fact that their number increased at the same rate as social networks, it is imperative to select the one that will suit you best. And while all these tools are similar, they differ based on the number of features and functionalities. Therefore, in the next chapter, we will list seven most important features you need to look before selecting your social media scheduling tool.

Seven Features Your Social Media Scheduling Tool Needs to Have

Powerful Social Media Analytics

Social media analytics is the process of gathering and analyzing data from social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. It is commonly used by marketers to track online conversations about products and companies. One author defined it as "the art and science of extracting valuable hidden insights from vast amounts of semi-structured and unstructured social media data to enable informed and insightful decision making.

There are three main steps in analyzing social media: data identification, data analysis, and information interpretation. To maximize the value derived at every point during the process, analysts may define a question to be answered. The important questions for data analysis are: "Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?" These questions help in determining the proper data sources to evaluate, which can affect the type of analysis that can be performed.

Some social media scheduling tools analyze the data in real-time and report key metrics like engagement levels, impressions or reach. Some tools will also have customized reports sent to your inbox on your chosen schedule.

Social Listening

Social listening means analyzing the conversations and trends that are happening not only around your brand but also around your industry as a whole and then using those insights to make better marketing strategies and decisions.

Social listening can help you understand why, where and how these conversations and trends are happening, as well as what your audience thinks – not only when they are just tagging or talking about your brand.

With social listening, marketers can form future campaigns more easily, as well as improve their content strategy and messaging. They can also stay ahead of the competition and develop an innovative influencer program.

Social Media Scheduling

There are several different types of social media scheduling tools available on the market for everything from composing posts to content curation to queuing and organizing. But all of them have one common goal and that is to save time.

Every marketer knows that jumping back and forth between networks is a time-drain. Multiply that time across all of the social properties you manage, and your workday may be an uphill battle against content scheduling. Social media scheduling tools make it easy to schedule and track every social message you’ve created across all of your individual social media profiles and networks.

Social scheduling tools also make it easy to work with a larger social team. By designating access to the proper managers, or by creating advanced permissions, you’ll ensure that no message is sent without a second look.

social media scheduling tools

Social Media Engagement

Engagement with the social web means that customers and stakeholders are active participants rather than passive viewers. Social media use in a business or political context allows all consumers/citizens to express and share an opinion about a company's products, services, business practices. Each participating customer, non-customer, or citizen who is participating online via social media becomes a part of the marketing department (or a challenge to the marketing effort) as other customers read their positive or negative comments or reviews. Getting consumers, potential consumers or citizens to be engaged online is fundamental to successful social media marketing.

Engagement in social media for the purpose of a social media strategy is divided into two parts. The first is proactive, regular posting of new online content. This can be seen through digital photos, digital videos, text, and conversations. It is also represented through sharing of content and information from others via weblinks. The second part is reactive conversations with social media users responding to those who reach out to your social media profiles through commenting or messaging. Engagement tools are the very core of your brand’s visibility, responsiveness and efficiency. With every instant, consistent interaction with your customers on social, you’re building loyalty.

Consider seeking out collaborative tools, like review management systems for customer comments, task management and tagging. The more organized your incoming customer messages are in the backend, the more seamless a user-experience you’re creating on the front-end. Social media engagement tools can unify all the messages from all networks and profiles in one easy to use inbox. They can also notify you when your profiles experience a significant increase in mentions. You can assign messages to specific team members and the tools can show you the full social media history of someone reaching out to you.

social media scheduling tools

Social Media Automation

The trick to helpful automated marketing is not relying too heavily the automated tools to do what a human should, but rather to identify the repetitive tasks that can be automated without compromising the user experience. That will free you, the human, up to handle the more challenging or sensitive items.

It’s a common misconception that automation tools are meant to make the social marketing process a hands-off experience. But that’s not true. They’ll certainly save you time and effort, but they won’t replace the marketer’s brain behind the brawn.

To start out, consider integrating automation tools like social media chatbots into your social marketing strategy, to streamline customer service across Facebook and Twitter. With a bot, you can quickly create logic-based replies to your customers’ most frequently asked questions.

social media scheduling tools

Social Media Monitoring

Social monitoring is often used interchangeably with social listening, which only does a disservice to the respective value of each method.

Social media monitoring tools help with the “what” vs. the “why” of listening. Think of it as the searching and collecting stage gathering of data from social conversations that will help you better understand your audience and improve how you engage with them.

Content Curation

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.

social media scheduling tools

Selecting the Right Social Media Scheduling Tool - HipSocial

When looking for a tool, remember that monitoring is not an alternative to Enterprise-level listening tools. So first assess your needs.

If you’re just starting out and your immediate needs can be met with a tool that will help you track social media mentions, stick with reactive monitoring tools to avoid being overwhelmed by the full capabilities of a listening suite. If you’re looking to dive deep into customer sentiment and drive change in the way you understand your audience, a listening tool’s proactive nature will cover those needs and more. It all depends on your business goals at hand, but any marketer will tell you that monitoring and listening tools in tandem is the way to go.

HipSocial helps growing businesses seamlessly manage multiple accounts, monitor key trends and conversations, increase engagement and generate leads, stay organized and more—all at just $10/user/month. With its intuitive features and budget-friendly price point, HipSocial is a strong entrant to the social media management software industry, which has players like Hootsuite, Salesforce, Buffer, Sprout Social, Agorapulse, etc.

HipSocial has received critical acclaim from users and organizations who are already benefiting from managing all their social media accounts in one place like:

  • Total control over posting and scheduling: Businesses can now save time and stay consistent by writing and scheduling weeks worth of social media posts across channels with advanced scheduling.
  • Increased engagement: With HipSocial’s Smart Finder, businesses can discover and engage with prospects, influencers, and other key people to build new relationships and expand visibility.
  • Strategic social monitoring: Businesses can track and monitor key conversations about their brand, competitors and industry in real-time to stay informed and participate as needed.
  • In-depth reporting: HipSocial lets businesses make informed decisions with advanced dashboards and in-depth analytics. With tracked URLs and engagement statistics, brands can know what content is working and what isn’t.
  • Selective automation: HipSocial lets businesses bring in more efficiency by coupling their personal touch with selective, controlled automation—via a free downloadable Chrome extension.

When done right, social media marketing can bring remarkable success to your brand. With the right tools, you can create, curate, publish, schedule, analyze and so much more. And all of that doesn’t only amount to more efficient work, it means bigger business—attracting new audiences, driving brand awareness and increasing engagement.

The social media management solution by 500apps, HipSocial delivers insightful analytics, social listening, advanced scheduling, and more on a feature-rich platform. It’s a powerful and affordable social media management tool for growth-oriented brands.

Ready to dominate the social landscape? Start filling your arsenal with the right tools. If you need help figuring out where to start, try HipSocial for free using a 30-day free trial option.

Get started with 500apps today