7 Questions to Ask When Buying a Social Media Management Tool for Your Agency

Social Medida Management Tool for Agency

You’re a busy agency owner. You’re ready to take your
company to the next level, acquire new clients, increase income,
and perhaps even hire one or two (additional?) employees. Social
media is a big part of your service offering and, in turn, a big
chunk of your revenue.

But social media can be a huge time suck, especially for
agencies like yours that manage multiple clients’ accounts.
“Doing social media” includes building an interesting social
media calendar, creating original content that’s engaging,
publishing to multiple platforms, responding to comments and
messages, tracking hashtags and trends, and reporting on the
performance.

Frankly, none of us become business owners to work ourselves to
death. We do it to be our own bosses, set our own schedules, and
have more time with our loved ones, all while making a good
living.

To fulfill that dream, our businesses need to grow, and to grow,
we need to be able to do more in less time—and still deliver the
incredible results our clients have come to expect. In fact, one of
the most common complaints I hear from agency owners is that they
don’t have enough time to think, to strategize, and to work
on their businesses instead of in their
businesses.

The great news is that the Internet abounds with social
media management tools to help make your job easier. The bad news
is same: The Internet abounds with tools. I can think of 10 off the
top of my head.

So, how do you know which social media management tool
is right for your agency?

Whether you’re about to hit the “Buy Now” button or are
just in the consideration stage of purchasing a social media
management tool, I’ve compiled a list of seven questions that any
agency should ask when choosing a social media management tool. The
importance of ranking might be different for your particular
agency, but the goal is the same: to consider all factors carefully
so you choose the right tool the first time.

#1: Can I publish to multiple networks?

At the core of any social media management tool is publishing
your posts to a variety of social media networks. No longer needing
to log in and out of five networks for 10 clients repeatedly
throughout the day is the biggest time-saver of all, right?

But not all tools publish to all networks. Review your current
client list to determine which networks are most commonly used, and
ensure that your top tool contenders can publish to those.

In addition, know how many profiles the tool allows as well as
how many profiles per network. Remember, you’re in growth-mode,
so even if you only have 10 clients now, the goal is much more.

Mav Social Example

With MavSocial, the Pro account allows for 30 social profiles.
With 10 clients on three networks, are you giving yourself room to
grow?

Depending on your agency’s needs, you might want a tool that
has more robust features in terms of publishing—repeating posts,
queuing content, grouping posts into categories, curating other
sources’ content, user time zone-specific scheduling, and
more.

#2: Can I respond to activity and track trends from within the
tool?

Doesn’t it feel good when you send a question to a business
through their website or social media, and you hear back within a
few hours? Or even minutes?

That kind of responsiveness can be the difference in acquiring a
customer (or not) for your clients. As the social media manager for
your clients (who are busy running their businesses), you have the
responsibility to respond quickly to customer inquiries. Doing
so—along with replying to comments and replies on posts,
responding to mentions of your clients’ brands, and comments on
social media ads—is called “monitoring.”

Responsiveness on social media can be the difference in
acquiring a customer (or not).

Click To Tweet

Using a social media management tool that captures this content
and enables you to monitor directly from the tool is important. And
not just for the time savings; it’s also critical for managing
your clients’ brand on social media.

AgoraPulse Inbox

Agorapulse compiles all comments and mentions, by profile, into
one box for easy management.

The cohort of monitoring is “listening,”
which is tracking hashtags and keywords related to your clients’
industries, social posts and comments that include your clients’
website, and other instances where a brand is mentioned in normal
text without being tagged.

Again, choosing a tool that listens for you on social
media then provides you with the information so you can respond
quickly on behalf of your clients will save you time and make you
(and your clients) look stellar.

#3: Can I use this tool all day?

If your social media management tool does what it
should, you will use it all day, every day, whenever you need it.
So, make sure its functionality suits you. A tool that gives you a
headache is a tool that you won’t use.

To find out whether you like using a tool, you need to
do just that: use it. Most tools offer free trials and webinars so
you can determine whether it’s right for you. Sign up for those,
and take each of your top contenders for a test spin. If you feel a
dull throb at the base of your skull when using one, well, then you
have an answer.

In addition, read reviews of your top contenders. The
reason is not to sway you either way but to potentially point out
pros and cons that might be specific to your needs. Two reliable
sources for reviews from real users include TrustRadius
and G2Crowd.

trustradius example

Sprout Social scores an 8 out of 10 from 277 reviews on
TrustRadius.

#4: Can I get the reports I need?

Clients remain clients because they see results. To generate
results, you need to make strategic decisions and pivot from
campaigns that are not working. For that, you need easily
accessible data. What good is all the time you’ve saved in
publishing and response-time if it takes you hours to compile the
results?

Clients remain clients because they see results.

Click To Tweet

In other words, choose a tool that has easy reporting, from the
basics (number of posts for each profile, engagement, visibility,
and audience size) to as detailed as you need (including best
time/day to post, click rate, audience demographics, and even
competitive analysis). Also, choose a tool that enables you to
generate the quantity of reports you think you’ll need
monthly.

HootSuite reporting

Hootsuite provides basic analytics for the Pro plan; however,
for custom reports and deeper insights into followers and the types
of content that resonates with them, you’ll need the Business
plan.

#5: Can the tool provide both collaboration and easy
integration?

Collaboration is important for agencies with more than one
person working on social media. For example, if different users
have different levels of access, sharing one login will not work.
You’ll need a tool that enables permissions by user. That level
of granularity is also helpful for assigning tasks to specific
users—Client A’s comments go to Employee Z, let’s say.

Sole proprietors, I hope you didn’t skip this question because
collaboration can be important for you, too, especially if you have
clients who want more visibility. Some tools let you grant access
to reports for some clients and restrict it for others. It really
depends on your need.

Coupled with collaboration is integration. Your agency’s
social media management tool is likely not the only tool you use.
Do you need this tool to “play nice” with other tools, such as
Canva, Google Analytics, Dropbox, Slack, and Salesforce? Then be
sure to review the other tools with which your contenders
integrate.

statusbrew

Statusbrew integrates with at least 15 different tools. Is yours
on the list?

#6: Can I get support for the tool when I need it?

As we’ve already established, you’re a busy agency owner.
When you come across a bug or have a question that just can’t be
answered in the knowledge base, is the tool’s support team
available to support you?

Let’s face it: some social media management tools are smaller
than others and, therefore, might not have 24-hour support. Knowing
those timeframes upfront will be helpful.

Do some investigating to get a more well-rounded picture of the
company’s support by looking at their social media profiles. The
comments on Facebook and Twitter—and especially the response time
to those comments—will provide you with an informative snapshot
into customer support.

eclincher

eClincher, like most tools these days, offers a chatbot to help
with support issues and questions.

#7: Can the ROI support the cost of this tool?

Discussing price last might seem unusual, particularly when
price is probably the first thing people look at when making a
purchase of any kind. However, choosing a tool based solely (or
even mostly) on price can be a big mistake.

Rather than looking strictly at cost, because you will have an
investment cost regardless of the tool you choose, look at the
value the tool is bringing to your agency. And then, how quickly
will you notice a return on your investment in the tool? Then ask
whether the ends justify the means.

Social Media Consultant Ian Anderson Gray, who—along with the
advice and recommendations of 42 of his colleagues (including

yours truly
)—compiled an extensive Buyer’s Guide for
helping folks like you choose the tool for your agency. The guide
includes a side-by-side checklist of 13 tools on roughly 70
different features. From publishing and reporting to monitoring and
integrations you’ll be able to see which tools include your
must-have features and, more importantly, which do not.


In the guide
, Gray writes about cost like this: “$1,000 is
not expensive for a tool that generates you a 1 million dollars in
business!” The purpose of purchasing a social media management
tool in the first place is to give you more time … time that can
be used for strategy and new client generation. How quickly is
truly up to you.

socialpilot

SocialPilot offers three plans with varying price ranges, all of
which provide savings if paid annually.

Remember that although you’re a busy agency owner, you’re
not too busy to take the necessary time for considering, testing,
and ultimately choosing the right tool. How much time will the
wrong tool take from you?

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7 Questions to Ask When Buying a Social Media Management Tool for
Your Agency
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7 Questions to Ask When Buying a Social Media Management Tool for Your Agency