Best Practices

What Agencies Should Look for in a Social Media Management Tool

17 October, 2016
3 min read
Johnny Costello

Digital agencies often find managing social media quite tricky. The challenge is aligning the tools used to the varying and complex demands of multiple clients.

Client needs are not only affected by the social media channels they favor, but also their size, industry and audience. Using a variety of tools can help you cope, but may lead to more errors, putting your business at risk.

To help you find the best social media management tool, we’ve compiled a list of ten advanced features that are 'must-haves' if you are to achieve social media success. Whether you have a team of two or a thousand, these are the key features that will help you gain a competitive edge.


10 Features you need in a social media management tool

1. White Labeling

It is important for agencies to promote their brand name. Look for a social media management tool that allows you to both manage social media for your clients and at the same time provides them with a white labelled social media management tool that can’t be found elsewhere. Ensure that your SMM tool allows you to post with your own brand identity on social networks (branded posts), not as the provider of the tool.


2. Monitoring & Reporting

The ability to create attractive reports is essential for an agency, especially a renowned one that manages globally recognized brands. And ideally, you need to be able to automatically distribute your reports to key stakeholders.


3. Bulk Scheduling

Gone are the days of manually and laboriously scheduling out posts one at a time. Your new SMM tool should allow you to bulk schedule hundreds of messages at a time. In addition to importing scheduled messages, you should also be able to add images or import messages into your drafts folder. Also look out for the ability to group social media posts in campaigns and send them at optimal times. This is a must-have for your tool as it will drastically reduce your workload and improve your performance.


4. Workflow Approval

Team members may need their posts approved before they are published. Likewise, if you’re managing social media for clients, you may want them to review your messages before posting on their behalf. Find a tool that will allow you to assign approvers against users. Check that posts can automatically be sent to an approver before posting, and ensure that you can restrict access in user settings. This gives you extra control so that all outgoing content meets the brand guidelines of your stakeholders.


5. Secure Login Sharing

Secure login sharing eliminates the needless sharing of sensitive passwords. The 'Client Connect’ feature in Sendible revolutionizes the way agencies can add client social media accounts and create users. By adding a custom HTML Widget to your website, you can streamline your client’s onboarding process while maintaining your branding.


6. Customizable Permissions

Ideally, you need to be able to create a list of permissions and allocate these permissions to groups or teams within your company. For instance, you may create a number of permissions (that allow the queuing and composing of new messages) and label the group 'content writers'. Then your content writers would only be able to use the features listed above. When managing a large a number of clients, customizable user permissions are a vital safety net


7. Custom integrations

Integrations and custom API’s are valuable for agencies managing social media for large client companies. Often, large companies use a number of tools that they would like to integrate with their SMM tool. The tool you choose should make it easy for you to integrate with external software. 


8. Managing & Sharing Content

With a number of clients and campaigns on the go, agencies need simple ways to both source and store content. A consistent source of content is via RSS from relevant sites. You need your tool to be able to pull in feeds and automatically publish them to your social networks at regular intervals throughout the day. To help you stay organized, your tool also needs a library, allowing you to store content for later use by your team or clients.


9. Sentiment Analysis

Your SMM tool needs the ability to analyze mentions and tell you whether they have a positive, negative or neutral sentiment. And if you believe that a negative mention is supposed to be a positive one, you need to be able to change it. To fully understand customer experiences and brand reputation across the social web, you also need access to online reviews. For example, Sendible integrates with Yelp and CitySearch allowing agencies to easily monitor reviews and promptly react to the issues that raise.


10. Training & Support

For an agency, social media management is not like riding a bike - more like driving a Formula 1 car. Which means that you need specialist training and a dedicated pit crew. It’s okay to buy an off-the-shelf product, but do you have the support from the supplier to make sure it is a success for your company? Remember, you should not be left alone after you’ve purchased your social media management software, at minimum, a dedicated account manager should always be on hand to help.

Hope that this quick overview has helped you in your decision-making process!

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