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Dig Deeper in social toolbox before subscribing to a third party app

It’s a poor craftsman who blames their tools. In the case of digital marketing on social media, I find many managers don’t look deep enough into their stock dashboards. They opt to subscribe for third party apps for campaign management and reporting. While many apps like Buffer, HootSuite or AdEspresso have nice visuals on the front end, they are built on the framework of the media platform they manage. They add expense to managing media and there are many indicators that Facebook and Google actually demote content posted using these apps and give preference to posts done in-app on the desktop business manager or analytics toolbox.

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Before looking at subscription based apps to manage your social and digital content there’s a few things you should consider.

First, make sure you’re using the business version of the platform. The most used social platforms for brands allow you to register your Twitter handle, Facebook page or Instagram page as a business which add stronger CTA’s for contacting or locating your business. Insights and reports in business mode are much richer and robust. Also, you cannot effectively run a business account from your phone, you should be at the desktop version to access the best tools.

Try using the “help” function when you get stuck. Many times you can search within the app for blog content from the social platform or find news that can make you a more educated user. It’s likely someone before you has tried to solve a similar problem and you’re only a couple clicks away from learning more.

Dig in. It’s not likely you will make changes to your owned platform that cannot be reversed. Poke around and learn how each campaign objective or content destination affects the visual appeal or ability to tell your story.

Always test new products from the provider. For instance, Facebook live is making a strong play against Twitters periscope. These platforms will always give preferential reach on their new products when they roll them out. The only way to find your unique way to interface with them is to try them.

Google analytics is one of the most powerful tools your website has access too. Register your site and start digging in. Make sure you’ve optimized merchant center so that people on smart phones can use their map programs or easily call you after a search. Look at trends in acquisitions and behaviors, track performance of campaigns and keep tabs on where your customers are located and their ancillary interests and behaviors.

In the end, the main take away here should be to fully exhaust your stock toolset before looking for a new toolbox. Save money on campaign management by choosing not to buy a prettier dashboard that’s plugged into the same set of actions you get for free. Every app has limitations that are easily overcome by resisting the urge to stack software on top of one another to solve short term problems. You can bet that the social platforms themselves will make a better version of the one you’re buying that is offered free.