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6 tools to optimise the management of your social networks

Expert Advice
For Ecommerce Success
Our team of Ecommerce experts outline effective strategies for increasing and optimising your sales!
51% of your Facebook fans are likely to buy your products. Remember? We mentioned that figure in our expert's opinion piece "3 easy steps to establishing yourself on social media networks" which stressed the importance of working on your network-presence in order to develop your e-commerce activity.

Did you know that 81% of all registered network-users check their accounts daily (Ofcom)? Publishing content regularly is a great way to engage users' attention over the long-term, and enjoy the benefits of an active online community.

When creating and managing social network content is made easy, you have more time to devote to the daily running of your e-commerce site, without having to compromise on the quality of your published content. To help you achieve this goal, our experts have come up with 6 tools to optimise network animation and analysis. Fast and easy to set up, you have nothing to lose. Don't wait to find out more.
1. 81% of all registered network-users check their accounts daily (Ofcom): provide regular content!
2. Scheduling publications is simple and efficient thanks to free tools such as HootSuite or Buffer
3. Study your social media strategy (traffic sources, conversion numbers, ...) in order to optimise it, and retain your communities' interest
4. Keep an eye on your market and on competition: Google Alerts and Scoop-it's monitoring and content-curation tools allow you to keep track of your sector's dynamism, and identify relevant moves made by the competition. Stay one step ahead !

6 simple and efficient tools to optimise the management of your social networks

01 Save time by scheduling publications: 2 simple tools
  • HootSuite

Hootsuite is a non-negotiable when it comes to managing social media accounts. This service is free (although a more thorough, paying version exists) and is basically a dashboard which regroups the information-streams coming from your different accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare (and others such as MySpace, Mixi and Wordpress). All that is required is that you sign up, and then add your accounts (3 maximum for the free version).
HootSuite not only allows you to plan your publications but also to see all the community-brand interactions (news feed, comments, private messages). It is first and foremost an aggregator. HootSuite comprises columns (or tabs). Each one corresponds to one of your social networks. The free version provides basic analysis results in the form of auto-generated reports.

Why HootSuite? Use it for the system's capacity to integrate all your social network streams, and the ease with which you can schedule posts, should you wish to.
HootSuite : a well-rounded free system, and an enhanced version if you pay (from 10€ per month).

  • Buffer

Buffer is also a free publication-planning system. Contrary to HootSuite, it is not an information-stream aggregator. Buffer is very easy to use. All you need to do is create an account to which you add your profiles. Then you can choose to schedule posts on your Google+ page, on your LinkedIn profile or page, on Twitter, or on your Facebook page or group.
If you use the paying version, you can also plan the publication of photos on Pinterest. Buffer is extremely user-friendly, and allows you to view statistics relating to your posts : number of mentions, likes, retweets, shares, clicks, etc. When you create a post with Buffer, the system automatically shortens your URLs : practical! It also tells you when your status has too many characters for Twitter or LinkedIn. This means you can tailor your posts to the specific social media where they will be published.

Do not forget, however, that it is essential to produce different content for different networks.
02 Use statistical analysis tools to boost your performance
  • Facebook Insights

Many of you started out on social media with a Facebook profile or page. Facebook Insights is particularly interesting when it comes to analysing your Facebook performance. To use it, you need to have a professional profile and a fan page. Facebook Insights allows you to follow, over a given period, the evolution of the the following statistics:

> active monthly users
> new page “likes”
> news feed impressions...

You can get the main page-relevant results in just a few clicks: connect to your page, click on “statistics” in the menu at the top hand corner just after “page”, “messages”, and “notifications”.
When you get to the statistics page, a sub-menu offers the following options: “overview”, “likes”, “reach”, “visits”, “posts”, and “people”. The overview is a rapid presentation of the most important page-related elements : page likes, post reach, and engagement. You can also select a date range for which you wish to see statistics. Facebook Insights allows you to export data in excel or csv.

  • Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics on a daily basis is a surefire way of boosting your short and long-term sales' performance. Every website should be linked to an Analytics account. This free service provides access to a lot of data, which can help you tweak your online presence, and perfect your marketing strategies.

On the menu on the left-hand side ,click on “acquisition”, then “social networks”. A series of statistics come up giving you information regarding your social media presence. You will see which platforms are the ones bringing in most traffic, leading to most conversions, etc.

These data will help you prioritise your actions, and validate each network's conversion-strategy.
03 Use monitoring and content-curation tools to improve competitivity
  • Scoop-it can assist you with monitoring, curation, and easy sharing across your social networks. With you can create a personalised “journal”, by collecting articles on the web, which you can then publish across different media, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Wordpress, and Buffer.

The system allows you to build interest-based communities whilst publishing news across all your platforms. Once you've installed the “scoop it” bookmarklet on your browser toolbar, click on it every time you come across an article you want to see appear in your personalised “journal”.
This system's free version provides you with 1 personalised content hub, and the ability to broadcast across 2 social networks. There is also a pro version (5 content hubs, ability to share across an unlimited number of networks, and unlimited access to statistics), and a business version (more content curation hubs, unlimited access to statistics, option for sharing content on your own website, and of registering up to 5 users).

  • Google Alerts

Google alerts are emails sent out automatically by Google when new results match a pre-established search. It is a powerful monitoring tool, and is very easy to use. It allows you, for instance, to obtain the latest information regarding a competitor, a product, or be informed when someone has published something about you online.

It is easy to set up. Go to the Google Alerts website, and type in the “create an alert about...” box. Choose the word combinations which will form the basis of your notifications, and sources of interest. You can also customise your alerts by clicking on “show options”, and choosing more specific search parameters from the drop-down menu, such as how often you want to receive an alert. When that's done, just click on “create alert”.

This tool is practical, fast, and an easy way of keeping track of your market. Thanks to Google Alerts you will be perfectly in tune with what's going on, on a daily basis. Use it to find news to share across your networks. Your communities are on the look out for information relating to your brand.

These tools help free up time, thereby making your relationship with your clients a more relaxed affair. Investing in customer satisfaction will also ensure your business' sustainability.