If you have a social media agency or work within one, you know there are countless tasks, projects, and social media platforms to manage, both for your business and your own needs.
What apps and tools out there are going to help you be more productive?
In this post, I am going to show you 11 social media productivity tools that provide great results. These tools have diverse ways of helping a social media agency that needs to be more productive.
Productivity Tools for Agencies
Let’s go ahead and get started, shall we?
1. Track your time with Toggl
Before you can look at being more productive, you need to understand how you are spending your time.
Toggl track is a timer-based system that monitors the time you spend on projects.
I’m using the browser-based version, but there’s also a desktop and mobile app.
You can get started straight away by signing up for a free account, opening it in a browser, and clicking the play button. The timer starts straight away. Stop it when you complete your task.
For a more detailed experience, click on the ‘Clients’ tab on the sidebar.
Add your client names here.
Click on the ‘Projects’ tab and add any projects you’re working on.
For each project, you can add a client and a color code.
Scroll down to the ‘Tags’ menu. Here you can specify tasks like phone calls, scheduling content, creating content, and creating ads.
When you return to the Timer tab, you can select a project and tags to add to your timer both before you click play or, if like me, you forget, after you’ve finished.
If you forget to record time live you can add time later by clicking the three-line hamburger menu at the top of the screen.
The reports tab shows you how you’ve spent your time. It can be quite revealing.
On the free plan, you can add up to 5 teammates, which makes this a must tool for agencies.
For $9 a month, you can upgrade to add more team members and add billable rates to your reports. This is so handy for agencies who charge by the hour.
The biggest downside of this tool is remembering to switch it on and off. Once you’ve got into that habit, this becomes an essential tool.
2. Brainstorming content with Buzzsumo
Brainstorming topics that are most likely to be read, shared and loved on social media is a time consuming task. Buzzsumo is a tool that analyzes what content performs best for any topic or competitor. It can help kick off those brainstorming sessions.
This is a huge benefit to agencies wanting to be efficient not only with their time but with the content they deliver for their clients on social media.
As well as helping you find topics and research popular content you can also use it to find influencers.
Use the discover tab to find content that is trending categorized by topic.
In the content tab, you can find content that is getting widely shared related to any keyword you add.
The results are broken down by shares on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit engagement. It also tracks the number of links that content received.
Here’s results from my search term ‘Cats.’
Researching influencers is a huge time-suck. BuzzSumo offers a tool that will help you with this process and cut back on time manually searching.
You can search for influencers based on Twitter as part of the free plan and expand this to YouTube and Authors if you upgrade.
What’s great about Buzzsumo is that you can search not just by keywords included in a profile but also by articles they have shared.
As well as categorizing results with statistics, they are also tagged. In the search below, you can see that the first result is tagged as a blogger and influencer.
The results also link to an associated Instagram account if found.
3. Fast reporting with Agorapulse
You can download reports as a PDF a CSV or, if you are using Power Reports a PowerPoint.
This makes social media agency work so much easier and less time intensive.
No doubling up
Reports aren’t Agorapulse’s only time saving tool. Aside from scheduling, you can make sure team members aren’t doubling up on tasks.
If you have team members managing multiple accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Agorapulse’s team features make sure that each person knows what comments have been answered—and by whom.
4. Better note-taking with Evernote
Note-taking is a huge part of your work as an agency. There are meeting notes, ideas you just have to jot down when they grab you, websites and content that inspires you, checklists for recurring tasks.
All of this can be done within Evernote.
You can write your notes on any device and pick them up on another. I find this particularly useful for making notes on my computer and picking them up on my iPad later on to review.
The browser extension allows you to clip part of a webpage or the whole thing, from top to bottom.
You can also use it to scan documents. This saves me time routing around for instruction manuals, I can just search for instructions in Evernote.
For recurring tasks, you can create checklist notes, this ensures that every part of every task is completed without you having to think about it. And you can share all of this with team mates when you upgrade to one of their premium plans.
Here’s my checklist for my Facebook live show set up and promotion.
5. Save typing time with Text Expander
There are words and phrases like your email address, your website address, your home address for deliveries that you type over and over again, sometimes many times in a day. There are emails you send that are almost carbon copies of each other but you find yourself typing them out from scratch every single time.
How much time could you save if you didn’t have to do all this typing?
Text Expander is a desktop (and mobile) app that will do the typing for you.
You program in the shortcode for your words, phrases and form emails and it populates them for you.
As an agency, you won’t just save time on form emails and typing repetitive phrases you can also use them to quickly access client ad accounts, social pages and analytics. Plus, you can use it to shortcut links to insert into emails or conversations on social.
Setting up a shortcut in Text Expander takes seconds.
I’m using the Text Expander desktop app for Mac.
Start by creating a ‘Group,’ which is a folder for your shortcuts.
Click the ‘New Snippet’ icon.
Add the text you want to be expanded into the main section.
Add the shortcut to the ‘Abbreviation’ field. I tend to prefix all my snippets with a + to ensure there’s not accidental expanding.
Now when I type my shortcut anywhere on my computer it expands to the full link.
One nice extra you get from Text Expander is a monthly report by email that tells you how much time you have saved by using snippets.
6. Stay focused with Brain FM
When you have a lot of clients and projects to manage, you can find it hard to stay focused. That’s before you count distractions from the workplace. All that time your mind spends wandering costs you precious time.
Brain FM plays music scientifically designed to help.
This isn’t music that will make you want to dance or sing, and it’s definitely not something you’d listen to in your spare time. But it does help you focus on the task at hand.
It’s a browser-based app and there is also a mobile app. All you have to do it plug in headphones (recommended by Brain FM) set the duration of the music and get to work.
I switch it on when I have a long task (like this blog post) to complete. It’s supposed to start working within 10 minutes but I find the very act of switching it on helps me focus.
You can try Brain FM for free. You get 5 free sessions before you need to upgrade for $6.99 a month of $49.99 a year.
7. Manage your projects with Trello
There are so many elements to client projects. There are simple things to keep tabs of like contact info links and more complex tasks like reporting, creatives and processes.
Trello is a tool that can help you manage all these moving parts and access them all in one place.
Based on the Kanaban system, it acts like a series of index cards. Each one can contain information, resources or a subproject like an ad campaign, content or research.
Cards can be assigned to team members, you can add attachments, create checklists and assign tasks from those checklists to team members.
Below is the template Trello board I give to clients for managing their holiday campaigns.
You can also assign due dates to cards or checklist items, which enables the best feature of all.
A power-up will transform your board into a calendar. Combine this with the due dates and you have a perfect content calendar tool.
8. Quick click reporting with Bit.ly
Delving deep into your analytics is a time-consuming task. It’s something you have to do regularly if you want a quick check to see which social networks are driving the most website clicks. Bitly can help.
Bitly is a link shortening tool that converts a full link into a short, easy to remember link. It makes sharing it verbally much easier.
But it’s the tracking that makes it powerful.
Once you’ve created a short link using Bitly and posted it on social media, you can view statistics on which social media and websites referred traffic to your link and the location of link click.
Although this isn’t a substitute for Google Analytics it can give you a quick snapshot of what’s working.
With more than 590,000 photos and counting, Pixabay is a great resource for any social media agency. All images and videos on Pixabay are officially released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.
This means that you can download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications.
Images are organized in various categories, which makes it easy to sort through and find vibrant photos that can bring a social media feed to life.
10. Create graphics quickly using Canva templates & resizing
Graphic design tools can be complex and time consuming to use for non-designers. Although it often pays off to create professional graphics through a design professional, sometimes you just have to create something fast for immediate use.
This is particularly true for social media.
Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that makes it simple for non-designers to create content fast.
The correct social media image sizes are programmed in, and they have a gallery of templates for you to choose from.
You can customize one of these templates with your clients brand colors, text, and images, or create your own templates.
On the pro plan, you can resize graphics for different social media placements, which saves a ton of time.
To manage your visual content, you can create folders for each client or project making it much easier to find and replicate designs in the future.
This, along with the option to ‘share’ an editable image with a colleague, makes this tool fantastic for social media agencies with multiple team members assigned to a particular project or client’s work.
When you are working on a team with many members email becomes a cumbersome way to communicate. Your inbox fills with mail, and it’s difficult to find the thread you need or talk to the person your need to.
That’s where Slack comes in.
Slack is a messaging app that provides a way for teams to easily communicate. It breaks project conversations down into channels related to specific tasks. Team members can join the channels relevant to them and ignore the rest. You can also have one-to-one conversations.
Unlike other messaging apps, each Slack Workspace is dedicated to one project. So you won’t get distracted by irrelevant notifications whilst signed into a project.
Think of it as a way to communicate easily with a lot of people either on a project, prior to a mega conference of attendees or as deadlines approach within the social media agency.
These are just some of the productivity tools I use regularly.
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