One of the best parts of working in advertising and marketing the amount of collaboration and brainstorming we get to do. I love that my job is very teamwork based. Whether it is a big team of creatives, production, and account people creating magic for a client, or just two digital mavens figuring out a strategy together, teamwork makes us all more creative and innovative.
To be honest, my two favorite teamwork tools are a giant whiteboard and a status sheet (what can I say, I’m old fashioned like that). But, there are a few online tools that make my job easier and working with a team more efficient. Below are three tools I wouldn’t want to work without:
Canva for Work
Canva is a pretty great tool all on its own. If you don’t have a design background and you don’t have a snazzy creative department, Canva will allow you to create snappy, attractive graphics. The magic of Canva for Work is its ability to allow groups to save a “brand kit” of fonts and colours, allowing your team to work from an on-brand palette and maintain a consistent look among pieces. You can also create shared folders so that everyone on your team can access the images, such as logos.
If you don’t have in house designers, Canva is the next best thing, which is perfect so start-ups, small teams and non-profits. But, if you do have in-house designers, you can help them free up more time for priority projects by getting them to set up the Canva brand kit to allow all staff to take smaller projects (such as letterhead and facebook cover photos) off your designers’ plate.
Sprout Social is my chosen dashboard. It is an amazing monitoring tool and allows for sophisticated social media reporting. The user experience is also super pleasing and the customer service is top-notch. The thing that make Sprout great for teamwork is the built in collaboration tools. My favorite the ability to turn a message (such as an incoming tweet) into a “task” and assign it to a team member. Sprout also lets you track and measure your team’s response times and completion rate, which helps keep everyone accountable to online customer service goals. With a shared content calendar, the ability to collaborate on drafts and the functionality to assign roles and permissions, Sprout is a great investment for any team.
Sprout Social is pricier than some of the competitors out there, but it is well worth it. The team collaboration tools are the icing on the cake.
Buffer is great for pre-scheduling tweets (although, personally, I rely on Sprout Social for that). However, the RSS feed tool is awesome. I know some people are hesitant to use RSS feeds for fear of coming across spammy, but I think that fear is neutralized with Buffer since it allows you to pick and choose the most relevant content from your feeds and customize the message, as opposed to just auto publishing links. It’s awesome for teamwork, because it allows everyone to check feeds for compelling content and preschedule it. Sprout Social also has a “feeds” tool, but I find Buffer’s is more flexible and user friendly.
Buffer has been especially handy in small non-profit and volunteer-lead situations. It’s nice to automate a few daily posts since volunteers don’t necessarily have capacity to write content every day. That way, tidbits of info are going out daily, and volunteers can focus on creating in-house content when they have time, without social channels ever going silent.
Other Useful Tools
As a bonus, I thought I would include some of the other team tools I use on a regular basis:
Slack: I just started using Slack, and it’s a super cool app. I use it mostly as a chat service with my team, and it’s awesome because it is searchable and you can share and upload documents. It is organized into channels, allowing different conversation topics to be kept separated and focused.
Google Drive: Google is amazing, and there’s really not much more to say. There is no better way to share and collaboratively work on documents and files.
Dropbox: Dropbox is my chosen way of sending big files, like full resolution photos. I also love that I can access my files from anywhere with Dropbox. Yay!
Mavenlink (or Basecamp or Asana or Trello): I could write a whole blog post comparing different project management tools, but the important thing to know is that whichever you choose, it will help keep everyone organized and on task. Most have Gantt chart capabilities, which is something I like. I’m most familiar with Mavenlink, and I loved the ability to break down deliverables of a project and assign them as tasks to different team members, while flagging them with priority levels and assigning due dates.
It’s your lucky day, because as a BONUS-bonus, I’ve linked you to three more articles that outline other collaboration tools you might find interesting:
Social Media Collaboration Tools by Buffer
Top 7 Collaborative Tools for More Efficient Team Work by Collentine
8 Collaboration Tools to Improve Your Content by Social Media Examiner
I hope you find something in here that helps your social media team work more smoothly together (even if it’s just a giant whiteboard!). See you at iMEDIA!
Kassia is a digital communications professional with a love for all things advertising & social media. Likes fashion, fitness, cats and Beyonce.