Post by Adi Englander
At a personal level, social media is one of the most notorious time-sucks of the modern world.
Unfortunately, at a business level — especially for small to medium businesses without the resources to hire a dedicated social media manager — the situation is even more bleak.
Running ad campaigns, monitoring different channels, sharing your own resources along with curating other people’s valuable content, and engaging with your core audience, all the while trying to keep an eye everything else necessary to your business’ survival, is overwhelming.
But social media is critical to the modern business landscape. In fact, a full 83% of all marketers say so. What’s more, as early as 2012, social media promotion produced a “100% higher lead-to-close rate than [traditional] outbound marketing.” And since then, that number has done nothing but increase.
So how do you make social media work for your business without it taking over your life?
The answer lies in finding the right social media dashboard to guide your efforts and measure your results.
Social media dashboards are the best way to consolidate all your social media activity into a single point.
This saves you a tremendous amount of time as you don’t have to visit each channel to evaluate progress. Even better, the right dashboard makes evaluating your efforts data-driven. This means you can not only identify what’s working and what’s not, you can optimize your social media efforts for maximum impact.
Below are 5 of the best social media dashboards for the modern-day business owner and the key features that distinguish them from the crowd:
How would you like to monitor and control everything you do online from one point?
That’s exactly what Cyfe offers.
With Cyfe, you are able to create custom “widgets” for every data source that matters to your business. This includes your traffic, leads, advertising, funnels, project management, emails, SEO, and comprehensive sales and finance. On the social media front, Cyfe integrates directly with every major channel: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more.
The key feature of the Cyfe dashboard is its all-in-one ability. The fact that you can have everything you do online monitored on a single dashboard takes Cyfe way past this generation of dashboards.
Like Cyfe, SumAll integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics and 39 additional sources to give you a holistic view of your online activity in general as well as individual analytics from each of the sites it supports.
With SumAll you can track all your social media efforts historically and in real time. By returning key metrics from your own accounts as well as the accounts of your top followers and competitors it helps you discover actionable insights to get rid of guesswork.
Not very many social media dashboards have a central focus on e-commerce. SumAll specializes in bringing together ecommerce and social media makes so you can see the bottom line impact your social media is making.
With 10+ million people using Hootsuite currently, it is easy to see why it’s ranked first among social media automation tools. It allows you to connect up to 35 social media accounts and monitor all the social conversations — by keywords, hashtags, profiles, and mentions — from a single dashboard. You can also integrate your blog and RSS feeds making it easy to post across channels while keeping in touch with the rest of your industry.
Hootsuite places key emphasis on the importance of social listening. This makes HootSuite one of the most interactive dashboards to help if you’re struggling to engage your audience.
Postano is a more specialized tool that majors on helping you to understand and connect with your audience. It does this by integrating with all the major social networks and aggregate relevant content and users through the use of hashtag. You can then organize your campaigns based on the different hashtags and view the stream on a single dashboard. It also helps you to monitor changes in yours and your competitor’s accounts; information you can then use to improve your own social media presence.
Simply put, Postano helps you leverage the power of the hashtag. This is critical not only to help promote your social media posts themselves, but to stay on top of trends in your industry. Postano is a niche tool that most dashboards don’t dig into with this level of depth.
Social Mention is a free search and alert tool.
It’s search feature is incredibly easy to use and returns more than just top posts related to your chosen keywords, but also offers a sentiment metric, related keywords, top users, top hashtags, and top sources.
As an alert tool, Social Mention works in a similar manner as Google Alerts, but its updates are specifically about social media. You can set up the platform so you receive daily alerts (via email) about your brand, company, marketing campaigns, keywords, or industry news. You can also receive alerts on your competitors.
As noted, Social Mention has a lot of great tools such as Sentiment, Top Users, Top Hashtags, Posts Rank and Sources. But the most helpful feature by far is what they call Passion: “Passion is a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly.” This qualitative metric is incredibly insightful when it comes to brand and product positioning. In other words, it measure emotion and commitment, something that the other dashboards don’t include.Adi Englander is a freelance writer and social media expert who writes for Gerris digital, a full-service digital strategy firm in the Washington, DC, area.