Ashley Zeckman

Tips & Tools for Organizing, Implementing, & Monitoring Social Content Marketing

tips for getting organizedWorking in the marketing department for any sized organization takes organization, dedication, innovation, and standardization.  BIA/Kelsey estimates that digital marketing spending among small and midsize companies will reach $16.6 billion annually by 2015. As online marketing budgets grow there is more room for testing and implementing search and social media tools that will help streamline processes and monitor results.

With all the moving pieces involved in creating a successful online marketing program, it is easy to get caught up in the thrill of testing and purchasing new products and software tools meant to make your life easier. Believe me, I know about this first hand.

Over the past few years I’ve experienced selecting tools the right way, and the wrong way.  I hope that my experience will help you better select your own approach to finding new processes and tools that will make your own social media and content marketing efforts more successful.


I don’t know about you, but organization does not come naturally to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I can be organized, but it just takes a more concentrated effort.  In the past I’ve found shortcuts that fix the problem short term, but end up creating problems later down the road.  What’s the moral of the story?  Taking shortcuts is with social media and content marketing tasks will rarely help you reach your goals.  If you take the time to plan your content, promotions, and events based on a calendar you will be much better off.

Tool: Google Docs
If you’re like me and work for an organization that centers around collaboration I have found this simple and inexpensive (free) tool to be a great asset.  I use a combination of text docs and spreadsheets to plan out and create my content. Creating an organized file structure within the document center also serves as a way to organize based on client, project, tactic, or all of the above.  With the simple click of a button these documents can be shared with other members of your team, or be shared with clients for review.


My advice for implementation?  Start small!  If you are organized you will have laid out a general (or specific) content plan to begin sharing on social profiles.  I’ve found that if I schedule social shares before the week starts, I can spend the rest of the week monitoring conversations and adding additional timely information to the mix.  Advance planning with social content sharing provides great peace of mind to know that you’ve shared something useful at least once a day, and that you be more attentive to what others are saying and determine how to interact.

Tool: Hootsuite
We all know that social media never sleeps.  So while you may not be able to respond to all requests immediately you can save time by scheduling out the promotion of your 0wn content for the week.  I wouldn’t recommend scheduling out more than a week because information can change quickly and it is essential to provide timely content on a regular basis.  Augment the information you’ve scheduled with Hootsuite to manually Re-tweet or re-share others’ content, as well as to ask questions and comments to engage followers.


When it comes to social media monitoring tools it is not one size fits all, especially if you are monitoring social media results for multiple situations.  Don’t assume that if one tool works for a particular project that it’s time to roll that same tool out to all of your other projects.  While you may not find a tool that meets all of your needs, experiment and test at least 5-6 tools. Involve multiple users and decision makers and have the team put together a list of benefits and drawbacks so you can find the tool that best meets your organizational needs.

Tool: SproutSocial
One of the tools that I’ve recently been testing for social media monitoring is SproutSocial.  This service offers many features and has some nice reporting features. In particular, I’m a big fan of the Twitter comparison reports.  If you’re looking for a quick snapshot of how one project compares to competitors, this report is pretty useful and includes comparisons for:

  • Engagement
  • Influence
  • Followers Gained
  • Mentions

These are just a few tools that I use personally for social content monitoring, engagement and promotion. I’m sure you’ve used many others and I’m interested in your opinions. Please feel free to share any recommendations you have for other practical social content tools in the comments.  Better tools means we can optimize our social media marketing efforts to become more efficient and impact. We can learn a lot more from each other, so let’s collaborate!

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. I believe Hootsuite and SproutSocial do almost the same things. I didn’t try SproutSocial yet but its design seems nicer and even “content” is still king, design is ace for me. 

  2. Hey Ashley, 

    I’ve had experience with using Hootsuite before, it makes life so much easier. Especially when working for offline clients this can be a godsend. You can schedule all updates in a few days, and have the rest of the month free for replying to comments and keeping everything on track. 


  3. Avatar kendo101 says

    hey Ashley,ive just discoverd this brilliant blog,but any way back on topic lol i love using hootsuite just as jack coxill said in his post,it makes my life sooo much easier and i love the user ease of the whole site, i do take on board your point about using different tools for other projects if need be.but i cant say ive had to as of yet.

    great post!!!

  4. Thanks so much for mentioning Sprout Social, Ashley! Happy to hear you’ve been testing it out and enjoying the competitor comparison feature.

    Brittany Morse
    Online Marketing
    Sprout Social |

  5. Try Actionly for affordable option to Social Media Monitoring.  With our integration with Google analytics you can track your Social Media ROI. We also offer affordable White labeling options for agencies.
    Plans range from FREE to $100/mo.
    Actionly offers White labeling, Brand tracking across Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn Blogs, Flickr, YouTube etc and also allow managing multiple Twitter or Facebook accounts from our dashboard.
    Schedulable reports, Email alerts, Sentiment analysis and many more are included in our featured list.
    Try us out we do have a FREE account as well. Thx!

  6. I love Hootsuite – I often use it to space things out. But lately, I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed using BufferApp. It’s a great service and I can easily schedule content from there as well. I’ll read something on Zite or Flipboard and I’ll pop on over to schedule sharing it via Buffer – it works great!

  7. Google Docs is still the best when it comes to monitor reports and organize tasks.  Many thanks to the author who suggested other tools. 

  8. Now thats a great list for marketers to manage their online tasks more efficiently. Looking forward to a longer one including more tools.
    I also urge you to check out webfluenz which is a social media monitoring tool to listen, monitor and engage with the social web. It is a multi-language tool that enables users to track exposure of their brand (growth rate as a precentage of the aggregate totals), engagement (how many people took action based on your message) and influence (outcome of the engagement). For further details, please click here

  9. How about  CrowdControlHQ?
    CrowdControlHQ is UK based solution for social media marketing and brand protection  which allows you to listen, engage and moderate all your social media activity from one place:  -Gather community insight- Plan and execute creative social media strategies from one place- Monitor and respond directly – Manage user access and visibility- Keep Facebook Pages protected 24/7Contact us for any questions or for a demo of the system. We’re always happy to chat. 

  10. I can recommend hootsuite, its a great way of managing your social accounts online in one place – and there is a free version available where you can connect 5 accounts – Its definitely worth trying out.

    I am going to look into SproutSocial , The website looks intriguing though.

    -Great post by the way. 

  11. Your post was really helful for my . I’m the responsible for SMO in our company, We have some different services and for each one I need to do SMO, so I’m also thinking to make a schedule for social shares.
    Thanks for share :))

  12. Thanks for sharing this informative post.  I think the 3 key areas mentioned above are really important in integrating and building online reputation for a certain company.  These are 3 simple steps that we can follow and implement easily.  

  13. Avatar Ozio Media says

    Coordinating all of the social media marketing that a business might do to be successful and stay at the top of the newsfeeds does take a lot of organization. A consistent message needs to go out to all of the networks at the same time. As social network marketing becomes more familiar, the need to track the ROI for the time and money spent on it will become a bigger issue. The best tools for specific jobs will start to become more apparent, but as usual, the trail blazers will have the edge on their competition.

  14. Avatar AnujKumarSaini says

    Thanks so much for this post. There is very good and helpful information in this post. Keep up the good work.


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  15. I totally agree, planning and good organisation are the keys to successful social media and content strategies. We implement social media strategies for many of our clients at Citydesk Sport, and we use CrowdControlHQ because it provides the functionalities mentioned above in a single platform. We use it for scheduling and sending out posts on multiple social media accounts and for monitoring the online space; it also includes analytics that make campaign reporting really easy. 

  16. i want to share this awesome post on social media with my twitter . . . where is one sharing button . .

  17. The Hootsuite you introduced in this post is a really amazing tool for connecting with social media and networking sites at the same time and i really liked it.

  18. Social Media Marketing is the Best way to Get Highly Targeted Customers now-a-days, It can be a Goldmine for you if you know how to use it properly…
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