12 Tools to Help You Avoid PR and Marketing Workload Stressors

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Public relations and marketing professionals always have yet one more job to tick off their lists. We know how hard it is to keep on top of a never-ending workload. And that’s how it is as soon as you walk through the door on a Monday morning and throughout the rest of the week.

But there are ways of dealing with workload problems we all face in this industry.

We are living in the Digital Age, when thousands of tools are potentially at our fingertips. But those tools can either drown you or save you.

As a community director at BlogsRelease, I use the following tools to help me keep up with our fast-paced marketing and PR world. They can help you do the same.

Management

  1. Asana. A great tool for managing your daily tasks as a team. Collaborate with colleagues and keep all of your communications in one accessible place. Asana is available as an excellent phone app so that you can keep up while you’re on the go.
  2. Rapportive. Do you have endless email lists of clients and can’t put a name to face? Rapportive helps you see all of your clients details directly in your Gmail. By knowing who your clients are, you are more likely to have better communication with them.
  3. Hootsuite. No one working with social media can be without Hootsuite. By allowing you to schedule your tweets, Facebook posts, and ad campaigns in advance, it helps you maximize your exposure at different times of the day.

Content-Sharing

  1. HARO. Help a Reporter Out connects media and experts/sources with each other; it’s a free resource that serves as a social networking tool for sources and reporters alike.
  2. BlogsRelease. Sent a press release? Why not send a BlogsRelease to thousands of bloggers! Targeting bloggers all over the world will enable you spread your content through other people’s blogs. (This is the company I work for.)
  3. Scoop.it. Similar to Pinterest, Scoop.it lets you create information boards that you can share; get inspired and re-create interesting content to publish online.

Engagement

  1. Mention. Never miss a thing online about your audience. Mention enables you to view the source of any name across the Web and social media. This is a great tool to learn what people are talking about and to reply immediately to maintain engagement.
  2. PicMonkey. We all know visual media is huge for engaging with your audience. Picmonkey makes turning normal photos to exciting and, more important, shareable images and infographics. A must-have tool for anyone in marketing.
  3. Powtoon. An excellent platform for creating dynamic and impressive presentations, Powtoon helps you find different ways to grab attention through visual, audio, and graphical options.

That Little Bit Extra

  1. Mindmeister. A great place to brainstorm your ideas for upcoming press releases and get advice from your colleagues, Mindmeister is creative and flexible. This is the place to be to share your ideas and create new ones.
  2. Phonto. This is a genius phone app that allows you to put text on photos easily. When you’re out and about, you can discover new ways of using visual media to inspire your upcoming campaigns.
  3. Free Digital Photos. If you need professional business photos for free, this is the place to go.

It would be great to hear how these tools help you and whether there is an “ideal” tool you need that is not available yet on the market.

Shirley Pattison is a community director at BlogsRelease, where bloggers and brands engage.

Twitter: @shiprojects

LinkedIn: Shirley Pattison

MarketingProfs All In One

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3 Tips to Reduce the Workload on Social Media

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3 Tips to Reduce the Workload on Social Media

Running your social media presence is often very hectic and take up a lot of time. With high volumes of incoming mentions, companies can’t see the forest for the trees and fail to be productive in a tough working environment. Instead of getting lost in the stream of incoming social media mentions, you are desperately looking for crucial short-cuts or best practices that can help improve your efficiency, and ultimately save time and money.

Although many companies are often extremely motivated to take great care of their customers, they often lack the right tools or support system to put their ideas into practice and provide exceptional customer service to every single customer. In urgent cases, especially when dealing with angry customers or in emergency situations, they’re missing out on important opportunities to acquire and retain customers.

Take a look at these 3 essential tips I have compiled to reduce the workload on social media, and hopefully, increase efficiency.

1. Delegate Clear Responsibilities

Divide and conquer.

On any social media team, it’s important to make clear distinctions between multiple functions and give essential responsibilities to the right people. Too often, companies are fixated on the amount of money it will cost to train and coach employees. However, empowering them and investing in crucial resources will hugely increase efficiency. The more you can empower your team with straightforward social media guidelines, the more your efforts will pay off.

For example, you can make the distinction between social media team leaders and social media operators. Social media team leaders will be responsible for managing the bigger picture and producing reports on your social media team’s performance. Social media operators have a more daily function and make sure every single incoming questions gets a reply.

Delegating responsibilities refers to the role people take on when providing support to your team, and it refers to assigning internal specialists/experts as well. If you’re dealing with a huge number of different questions on a daily basis, to get the right reply to those messages means directing them to the right people, and often, to the right department. Don’t be afraid to involve other divisions. Social is, by all means, not a one-man job managed by a single department. Involve everyone, but make sure you manage this process easily by appointing at least one, social media savvy person from every department as the main point of contact on multiple important topics.

2. Filter Through Bulks of Data Instantly with Tagging

With billions of conversations happening on social media every day, it’s often hard to filter through the noise and only tap into those conversations that are important to your brand and need an instant reply. That’s why in-depth filtering will take you one step closer to reducing the workload. Based on certain conditions, (automatic) tags can help you group those mentions that, for example, require extra attention and categorize mentions based on importance.

Moreover, add tags to individual users who frequently ask questions. Identify your most important influencers and label them with a tag. This way, you will able to identify important pain points more easily and add a level of “urgency”. Use tags while setting up specific campaigns (such as, hashtag campaigns, competitions, etc.) to quickly identify the topics people are talking about when mentioning your brand and the context for the mention.

3. Automate, Automate, Automate

Social media tools obviously make you more efficient. Therefore, with the automation integrated in these tools, you can save your staff hours of time each day. They enable you to connect easily with your audience – beyond what you thought was possible.

During emergency situations, automation allows you to immediately communicate with your customers and engage in two-way conversations to provide them with the support they demand. During a crisis, sending the same reply to thousands of incoming mentions happens within just minutes or even seconds at important peaks during a crisis. Get your message out there before things can get out of hand!

Don’t get me wrong, automation should never be used by default to engage with your customers. Engaging with your customers means communicating with them in the same language, on just one, specific topic. For certain situations or typical incoming questions (such as, “Where can I access my personal account?”), canned responses with important links prove to be very successful to manage the workload.

Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Social media isn’t an exact science; it’s a continuous trial and error process of going back and forth. Don’t lose track of the essence of your brand, and never let a single customer slip through the cracks.

About the Author:

Sofie De Beule

This monthly Social Media for Customer Service column is contributed by Sofie De Beule. Sofie is Community Manager at Engagor.com. She blogs to show brands how to use social media to create an engaging online presence. She writes to share her thoughts and insights on the social media industry and helps readers to implement social media in other disciplines such as customer service, CRM and customer engagement. Her work has been featured on Social Media Today. She loves French culture, PR & communications and traveling around Europe.

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