Social media is one of the most powerful tools that small businesses have to reach customers. But with so many platforms, accounts, and strategies, managing it all may seem overwhelming. Zoho Social aims to simplify the process and improve the impact of social media for small businesses.
Of course, there are plenty of tools available to help businesses schedule social media posts. But Zoho Social is more than that. The variety of features and integrations with other Zoho sales and communication tools make it stand out from the competition.
Here’s a rundown of the features and some recent updates for those interested in learning more about Zoho Social.
Social Media Scheduling
Scheduling is the most basic function of Zoho Social. You can create, curate, and post or schedule content for:
- Google My Business
Unlike other tools that simply give you a queue or the ability to schedule posts for a specific time, Zoho Social provides many options. You can publish posts now, schedule them for a specific time and date, put them in a queue with other posts to publish periodically, or use a Zoho feature called SmartQ.
SmartQ is one of the features that really makes scheduling on Zoho Social different from other platforms. This feature looks at the data about your engagement on various platforms to find the times and dates for posting. Then it schedules content during those times where you experience the best results with your audience. It does this on every channel. So your best time on Facebook may be different than the best time on Instagram.
Amrutha Varshinii, marketing manager for Zoho Social said on a call with Small Business Trends, “One question we kept hearing from users was, ‘When is the best time to publish any social media content?’ What we realized is that there’s no one perfect time or one-size-fits-all solution. So you have to figure out your own best time for your audience and specific content. Since we didn’t believe in a general rule, we decided to take a more personal approach. And the result was SmartQ.”
There’s also a repeat posting feature where you can curate content and then automate it. Just save it one time and then you can set weekly or monthly schedules to keep it on your calendar to save time. Other relevant options in social media scheduling include a calendar format, image controls, emojis, and bulk scheduling.
Of course, social media is not a one-way conversation. Businesses that aren’t using these platforms to listen and learn from customers are missing out. And Zoho Social has features to help in this area as well.
The platform lets you monitor:
- specific keywords
- mentions of your brands
- Google My Business questions
- Twitter lists
There’s a livestream tab in the corner of the home screen to help you monitor these in real time. But you can also set up columns to monitor each of these items individually.
For example, if you run a local auto repair shop, you could have one column just for monitoring when people mention or tag your brand on social media. Then you might have another column for a keyword like “Honda repair” so you can see when people inquire about a popular service. Then you could have one for reviews and another for questions on Google.
This format lets you manage conversations and posts that could impact your brand’s reputation on one dashboard. There’s even a collaboration space within the social listening section so your team can discuss how to respond to each item quickly.
Truly leveraging your social media accounts requires more than just monitoring individual posts. You also need to analyze data about larger trends affecting your brand. That’s where Zoho’s social insights features come in handy.
Right on the home screen, there’s a brand health analysis. This is basically a report card for your company’s social media usage. It takes factors like posting and engagement into account. And it gives you an idea of how much you’ve improved over time with custom scores for your accounts.
But you can also dig deeper. Post insights show you exactly how many clicks and different types of engagement each post has received. Then you can separate just your most popular content and determine how to leverage those types of posts going forward.
You can also create graphs to see visual representations of how your content is performing. There are graphs related to performance on each channel, engagement, and your audience.
One of the main factors that sets Zoho Social apart from other social media management solutions is its integrations. Zoho also offers tools related to sales, advertising, and customer service. So you can easily share information gathered using Zoho Social with these other platforms and gain a fuller picture of your communication strategy.
Probably the most relevant integration is with Zoho CRM. Basically, you can use social media as a lead generation tool and then follow those leads using the CRM tool to really measure your impact.
Ananda Raman Krishnan, head of product management for Zoho Social and CRM Plus said in a call with Small Business Trends, “Social media is not just for marketing, but also for sales, customer support, and branding. We can help users find actual business leads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. And then we tie them in with your CRM so you can see the actual revenue generated from a lead picked up from social media.”
New Social Features
The past year has led to significant changes in how many businesses operate. And that has impacted social media management as well. So Zoho Social has made adjustments to its features and overall strategy.
Overall, Varshinii says the goal has been to prioritize value over revenue. This included offering six-month free subscriptions to non-profits, government organizations, state departments, and certain non-government agencies. The company also focused on creating educational materials instead of pouring money into their own marketing campaigns.
But for those who use Zoho Social, the biggest changes came in the form of features designed to improve team workflow. Since so many teams are now working remotely, the options are designed to foster easy collaboration. These features include a cloud-based media library, an RSS feed for content curation, and content approvals.
Varshinii explained the content approvals feature, “You can delete a tweet, but you can’t necessarily delete the effect. So you need to be intentional about what you post. To give teams a clear idea of whether content is good to go, you can assign people as content contributors and others who can actually publish content. You can even get alerts saying when content has been approved or rejected. And content publishers can also provide feedback.”
Additionally, Zoho recently added the ability to post and schedule content to YouTube. And they added a feature for LinkedIn Lead Ads, which you can integrate and monitor with other tools like ZohoCRM.
More in: Marketing 101, Zoho Corporation