How-to

How to: Use social media dashboards

business howto socialmedia facebook

Do you have numerous social media profiles? Are you finding it difficult to keep on top of them all? Cue social media dashboards. Here’s how to use them.

If you have numerous social media profiles and find you’re not getting the most out of them because it’s all just too big and time-consuming a job, it can be pretty frustrating.

Cue social media dashboards. Now, this will either delight you in knowing that it will revolutionise the way you do things, or you may kick yourself for not doing it sooner. Either way, you need to start using one. And soon.

In a nutshell, these dashboards pull your social media profiles into one place, enabling you to monitor and publish much more efficiently. Some of them even offer features that aren’t available on the respective social platforms. An all-round winner for your social media marketing efforts!

Before you start:

  •  You’ll need to have a few different social accounts set up
  • Have an idea of what you’re looking to get from the dashboards – this will make it easier to choose between them.

OK. let’s get started:

Step 1: Choose you preferred platform – There are quite a few to choose from and a quick Google search for ‘social media dashboard’ will give you plenty of options to consider, as well as lists and reviews from people who have already tried them out. A few of the most popular services include HootSuite, TweetDeck and SproutSocial, but there’s no definitive ‘best’ product. The trick is to find out which works best for your needs.

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Step 2: Decide whether you need to pay – A lot of these tools have free accounts or free trials available, so study the various pricing levels available to see what appeals. If you want to have multiple users looking after things, or want to sync the tools with your own CRM systems, you may need to select a premium account.

Step 3: Connect your platforms – Before you begin adding your platforms to your dashboard, make sure you’re logged in everywhere you need to be. You’ll then need to click the relevant Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social network icons, and following the instructions.

Step 4: Set your user restrictions – If you’ve chosen a tool which provides the ability to add multiple users, make sure you know who has the responsibilities to perform various tasks on each platform; you don’t want your customer service team responding via your marketing twitter account, and vice versa.

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Step 5: Get posting – Social media dashboards have the functionality to allow you cross-post content, meaning you can send the same thing to multiple social platforms at the click of a button. While this is handy for certain announcements, don’t be tempted to post the same thing everywhere; if someone is following you on various channels they’ll soon unsubscribe from at least one. Think about tailoring your messaging for each channel.

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Step 6: Scheduling posts – Another common and useful feature is the ability to schedule posts to go out at a certain time. If you think you’ll get the best results by hitting your customers at a certain time but know you’ll be offline or tucked up in bed, you can pre-plan what goes out across your various profiles. Especially good if your audience is international and you want to hit people in the US as well as in the UK, for example.

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Step 7: Get your reports – While all the social networks provide you with some form of reporting functionality, the benefit of dashboard tools is that they can bring the data all in one place to help you compare and contrast how well you’re doing. You can also set up additional reports to help influence your approach, such as monitoring mentions of your brand, your competitors, certain products or any other keywords that are important in your industry.

business howto socialmedia facebook

 

Step 8: Be reactive – Social media success is heavily reliant on providing timely feedback to people interacting with you, and social dashboards allow you to set up alerts to tell you when something happens on your page that requires your attention. You’ll also be pleased to know that the majority of tools have mobile apps available, so you can keep an eye on your social universe without being glued to your desk.

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Vicki Shiel
Editor at Moonfruit. Likes food and smoothies.

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