By Lilach Bullock

Source: Social Media Today

For social media managers, time is a precious commodity. The online world never sleeps, and in order to be successful, it’s essential to be on the ball, to as great an extent as humanly possible.

Trying to maintain high levels of productivity, while simultaneously juggling the tasks of creating and distributing content, developing your brand’s marketing campaign, promoting said brand across multiple channels, and setting your goals and objectives is no mean feat – and that’s just the beginning. If your business is on the larger side, you may also have the added complication of motivating staff and upholding your respective standards across the board.

It can be an undeniably daunting role, but fortunately, there’s a wide range of tools out there which can make elements of the process easier. Whether you’re aiming to manage your own time more effectively, set a more structured schedule, or maximize your team’s efficiency, here are some tools that can help you optimize your social media marketing process.

Canva For Work

Quite possibly the most important duty of any social media manager is that of creating the content itself. Enter Canva for Work, an easy to use tool which will guide you through every step of the process.

Whether you’re a novice, or a seasoned veteran, Canva has a bit of everything – and it all works via a simple drag and drop system which enables you to create flashy graphics to show off your brand to your heart’s content. You can tinker with fonts, colors, sizes etc. You can also choose from one of Canva’s built-in templates, or create your masterpiece completely from scratch, if you’re feeling confident.

The capacity to establish a uniform style across all of your designs can really help to formalize your branding, while the eye-catching animation tools can help bring a certain sense of flair to proceedings.

You can take advantage of the generous 30-day free trial to ensure that this is the tool for you before making any commitments, but if you do decide to sign up, all of this and more can be yours for a respectable $9.95 per month.

Zoho Cliq

If you manage a workforce of any size, Zoho Cliq, a communication and collaboration tool for teams, is an excellent starting point for any social media manager.

Team communication is very much the order of the day here – the objective of Cliq is to enable your colleagues to communicate with each other easily and efficiently, with minimal fuss. The simple interface includes an instant messenger system – not unlike the gone but never forgotten MSN – where team members can discuss any ongoing strategies, updates or anything else in real time. The drag and drop system makes it easy to share files with each other, and the inclusion of emojis can helps to bring a more light-hearted touch to proceedings.

Another handy function of Cliq is that it comes with its own app, which will give you and your team 24/7 access, wherever you are. Admittedly you may not be thanked for asking them to talk shop outside of office hours, but in an ever-moving industry, that kind of flexibility truly can be the difference between failure and success. Add to that a fully searchable chat history, and completely unlimited storage, and it’s pretty handy all around.

There is a somewhat restrictive free version (mostly in terms of storage space), but if you’re looking to go the whole hog, there’s a tiered price structure, dependent on how many users you require.

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