You have a 10am staff meeting. As soon as that ends, a distributor calls you. Another one appears at your door and a delivery guy comes through the back. As soon as you take a breath and remember to check you Facebook page, one of your bartenders calls in sick. And, before you know it, it’s Happy Hour and you're behind the bar. 2am rolls around and you’ve survived but, once again, your social media has been completely neglected. It’s a typical day managing a bar or restaurant. Things aren’t going to change. But, the way you manage your social media content can.
Using a free or paid social media content platform, you can schedule posts, ads, shares and re-Tweets. Think of it as a virtual employee. You and your team can schedule the content when you have free time, and the platform ensures content gets posted regardless of the chaos ensuing around you.
But, not all platforms are created equal. Here’s a roundup of our favorite social media content platforms based on your needs and budget.
1. HootSuite: The Simple Solution
HootSuite still ranks as the most popular social media management tool. The platform allows people and businesses alike to manage social media posts, track conversations and measuring campaign results via both web or mobile devices. Small businesses love Hootsuite because they offer a free solution. Butyou’re your business is Instagram heavy, keep in mind that Hootsuite is not supportive. Hootsuite also has some idiosyncrasies with the way images post to Twitter. So, if you use Facebook a lot, this might be a good option. But, if you focus on Instagram and Twitter, move along.
2. Buffer: For the Content Curator
Are you the kind of person who scans social media and the web whenever you have a free second? Than Buffer, a free app, is a great choice for a social media management platform. Buffer allows you to snag content you like from the web and put it in a virtual queue. Buffer also takes the guess work out of when to schedule this content you’re curating, so you can have consistent social media posts all week long without worrying the delivery times. Plus, Buffer offers analytics about the engagement and reach of your posts.
3. Social Flow- For The Content Creator and Advertiser
Are you looking to optimize the best time to post your original content and social media ads? Social Flow may be the right solution. This paid platform analyzes real-time conversation on social media, so it can predict the best times for publishing your scheduled content. The goal is to generate the best engagement and reach from your audience. Even better, Social Flow helps to identify where and when marketers should spend money on Promoted Tweets, Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories.
4. DashBurst: A Social Media Network for Managing Networks
Think of DashBurst as social network for content creators. It’s reminiscent of Scoop.it. Shareable content is at your fingertips from other members -- text, photos, video, audio, articles, infographics, docs and the. You can schedule this content or your own to be posted at optimal times across all platforms. If you like to share and spend a lot of time curating content, this is the platform for you. But, if you’re looking for a simple solution or a platform that specializes in optimizing ads, this may not be your best bet.
Sendible has many great features and supports all social media channels. If you need a robust, affordable platform that allows you to simultaneously manage dozens of social media channels including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, Sendible is the app for you. It posts flawlessly to Instagram at optimal times and its posts to Twitter are seamless. You save time and brain power when you upload a post and cam share it to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and even Tumblr simultaneously. Plus, the content looks native in each unique social media network.
Sendible’s 360° brand monitoring and sentiment analysis feature also enables you to read and respond to what people are saying about your brand across the web. And you can monitor what people are saying about your competitors.
The bottom line is that no right or wrong solution exists for content management. Just remember to:
- Develop great content (link to Content Marketing article)
- Post consistently on your social media platforms
- Respond to fans in a reasonable amount of time
- Invest in optimized posts and paid campaigns, when appropriate
- Above all, know your customers and what types of social media they are consuming! Here’s the latest on which demographic groups are using each form of social media.
Social media apps and data and how they apply to our industry are ever-changing, so be sure to attend our sessions at the 2016 Nightclub & Bar Show, March 7-9, to stay up-to-date!