Is it time for your organization to start using a social media monitoring tool?

Getting Social in 2016: Tools of the Trade

Heather Desserud is part of the communications team at Enterprise Saint John, and is pursuing a Master of Science in Communication at Purdue University. Her previous roles include social media manager at Hockey Canada, and communications at Bluesky Strategy and Canada 2020.

With a new year starting, it might be time to organize your company’s communications approach.

It’s easy to get lost amidst all the activities that tend to fall under the communications umbrella—particularly if, like us, you’re a small one- or two-person team. How do you manage your organization’s social media, media relations, corporate communications, and the last-minute extras that always pop up?

One tool I use religiously to make my life easier is Sprout Social. Similar to HootSuite or other social media management platforms, Sprout allows me to keep an eye on our mentions, post to multiple platforms, schedule content and monitor keywords or feeds.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 10.26.13 AM

Full disclosure: we pay a monthly nonprofit rate for Sprout Social, and this blog post was not in any way solicited.

Sprout has a wide range of features useful to any social media professional, at a fraction of the cost of some of the larger media monitoring tools out there. I particularly like its reporting tab, with data displayed in easy-to-export charts perfect for reporting to your C-suite or Board.


Sprout analyzes demographic and geographic data about your social media impressions

You can set up groups of keywords to keep an eye on, in order to find out when people are talking about your organization. For example, I monitor “True Growth” and “economic development” in addition to the typical brand mentions of Enterprise Saint John or ESJ. And you can go more in depth than that. I keep an eye on conversations surrounding major topics that affect our work—energy, for example, or labour force stats—in order to participate in social media conversations on subjects we’re working on.

Sprout integrates with Google Analytics, so I can track which social media mentions yielded the most traffic to our site, and use that to influence the content we post and how we post it. For example, short tweets and pithy Facebook posts with calls to action tend to yield greater response, so I tailor my posts accordingly.


Sprout’s Queue is easy to use

Finally, Sprout has an interesting feature called the “Queue.” It’s easy to schedule posts through their publishing tab, but if you’re not sure when your audience is most likely to be online, the Sprout Queue can help. Assign a post to the Queue, and Sprout will send it out based on its analysis of when your followers are most likely to see it. This takes the guesswork out of your brand’s scheduled content, and helps ensure that you’re not tweeting to an empty room.

It’s only one small part of a busy communicator’s life, but using a social media management tool certainly makes a difference. Why not try one out for yourself?