After years of spending hours each week finding social posts to fill up my clients’ editorial calendars, I finally brought on a social media manager (an actual human) to help me get the ball rolling. I’ve discovered over the last year that I’m much faster at taking something that’s already written and editing it or re-writing it than I am at starting from scratch. This knowledge has been a major step forward in my productivity and job satisfaction.
I know not everyone has this luxury, because not everyone controls their marketing budget. Before I had this level of decision-making, I used to spend hours upon hours struggling with tasks because I knew my boss wouldn’t want to spend extra money on specialists. Enter the phase when I’m the bottleneck for my business, and I’m happy to pay someone to take a few hours off my plate each week.
Approvals solve the major problem marketers have with outsourcing. Even if “I could do it better”, having someone that’s ensuring posting frequency alleviates a major burden. Occasionally, they even think of a clever post that I never would have thought of. Each post they submit for approval in CloudCampaign needs to be approved by me before it posts.
Cloud Campaign markets itself as a social media marketing platform for agencies. Social media managers can send a link to a list of content for approval, and the recipient doesn’t even have to sign in. It also offers white labeled dashboards, so that clients who do have login access only see their agency’s logo.
Aggregated monitoring tabs like activity feed, recent posts, direct messages, mentions, social listening, inbox, analytics and reports help marketers see at a glance what they need to know without diving into each individual platform.
Marketers generally like to keep “one hand on the wheel”. And by “like to” I actually mean “have to”. I started at first by giving the poster autonomy (after a lengthy review of content goals and guidelines). Day one, I saw a typo post, and I was dismayed. While I feel swindled into paying more for their approval service on account of their day-one typo, I now realize that it’s an absolute must.
However, I often want to make changes to posts before they are approved. I began by hitting “Approved” and then commenting with my change. I received feedback from my manager that these comments would not always be seen before the post goes out. Instead, I started leaving the button as “not approved” and commenting that they could post if they change the text according to my comment. I would prefer seeing the final post before it goes out. In an ideal scenario, I would be able to edit the post directly and then approve the masterpiece, while still showing feedback to the social media manager.
Additionally, I’d like to be able to communicate with my social media manager directly through the platform, and not just in the form of comments on individual posts. When I want to alert the manager of promotions or new content areas, I do so in the form of an email. I would like to have notes within Cloud Campaign, or even a personal chat, so they could see my content suggestions right there while they’re creating new content.
Another thing I’ve learned from this process could be applied to all subcontractor relationships: don’t micro-manage. If I have a post in mind and know exactly what I’m going to say, then I should just post it myself instead of telling my manager what to post and then editing when it’s not quite right. These posts usually perform the best anyway, but let’s face it, I’m only going to come up with about one of those each week. Having someone take care of the bulk of the posting even frees up the brain to be excited when the social media inspiration does hit.
Cloud Campaign’s Create tab also has some pretty nifty tools. You can view all content you’ve posted and their analytics, search for new topic-based recommendations, and even auto-import content from your blog. Cloud Campaign also presents you with stock images you can use for your posts, although I chose my own in order to stay on brand visually.
Reports create a link to the overall analytics that you can share with a client, although they don’t allow customization of what metrics are featured. I actually like how this platform makes things easy, and I can see how their features make them great for agencies. Overall, it’s a nice mix of collaboration and simplified reporting.
Content creation is an interesting business, and it’s an industry that’s expected to grow 14% annually. Any tools or processes that allow marketers to drive down the cost of content creation while having quality content that will resonate and drive conversions is extremely valuable.