Why Cloud Campaign is the Best Social Media Scheduler & Reporting Tool
How To & Business Tips Social Media Marketing
If you’re looking for the best social media scheduler, you’ve got to try Cloud Campaign. We switched to Cloud Campaign a few months ago and we couldn’t be happier!
Context & Background
We’ve been working in social media for several years now and between our team, we’ve used most of the big scheduling tools that are available. For a long-time, MeetEdgar’s content recycling abilities were revolutionary and really helped to shape the way that we could execute smart and strategic content marketing campaigns; it was the basis for our social media methodology.
Yes, Edgar was a great tool for several years—the best even! Until things changed… First, they started having problems with their API for LinkedIn. It began with the inability to share both an image and a link in the same post. Then we lost the ability to post images at all. The last straw was when posting images to Facebook became unreliable.
For a busy social media agency with multiple clients, this was a complete disaster. We were spending all of our time babysitting the schedules and reposting content manually that wasn’t showing up properly—and what’s the point of using a scheduling tool if you have to re-post manually and it just creates more headaches?
Early on, we had experienced some positive customer service from Edgar but when it came to all of the image and API problems, they just didn’t seem to care. Even when I let them know that if there wasn’t a solution we were going to have to look to find a new option and shut down five Edgar memberships (holding up to 25 connected accounts in each), it just didn’t seem to matter to them. It was extremely frustrating and we finally felt ready to move on.
But what would we use instead?
At the same time, parallel to our scheduling problem we were also struggling with inefficient and prone-to-break reporting mechanisms. It’s extremely important to our digital marketing agency that we offer our clients real transparency, accountability, and meaningful ROI metrics. When we first launched Barker Social we had partnered with an excellent data analyst to create custom reports for our clients and the way that we were using and interpreting data was really unique and helpful… But the reports would break all the time. Month after month we struggled with complicated and delicate spreadsheets that would have to be quadruple checked and fixed manually and reporting day became the most dreaded day of the month.
Enter Cloud Campaign.
Cloud Campaign has solved all of our schedule and reporting problems. And they’re a pleasure to work with. They also offer a superior service that I can’t speak about highly enough.
Content Libraries & Content Recycling
With Cloud, you can save content to either recycle or not and the system allows you to save and categorize content in some very unique ways. First, there are the more obvious ways, like Blog Posts on Mondays and Thursdays, Curated Content on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Promotional Content on Wednesdays, etc.
For every article and blog post that you write, you can get as much longevity out of it as possible. Presumably, that article is full of great content. You can write multiple hooks and attach it to the article to give your audience new and interesting lead ins to get them to click on and read your content. Let’s say you have 20 blog posts. The Blog post category will share a different blog post on the schedule you set 20 times, using the first hook. Once it gets through the full cycle of blog posts, it will return to the first post but this time it will share the second hook that you’ve written. Then it will move on to hook #2 from your next blog post, etc.
You can also get quite sophisticated with your content tags. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say that I have a marketing quote:
With Edgar, we could only put this quote image in one category (unless we duplicated the content and entered it multiple times) but with Cloud, we can attach multiple tags: Marketing Quotes, #WisdomWednesday, and Mandi’s Quotes. This allows us to pull that piece of content into different schedules at different times.
You can choose what platforms are appropriate for that piece of content (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and then use the tags to pull that content into sophisticated schedules. It’s possible to have content with certain tags feed automatically into schedules (which we usually prefer) but you can also select the content you want in a schedule manually if you prefer.
At first glance the Cloud Campaign system seems more complicated than Edgar but with the separate schedules it’s actually far more powerful. There’s so much you can do with it!
Here’s another example of the sophisticated nature of their schedules. I have one client who gets a large amount of fresh news that’s time sensitive each month. It’s important that the news goes out while it’s still quite recent, but once the news has run out, we go back to their more “regularly scheduled content” that isn’t time sensitive to fill in the rest of the month. I can plan this easily in one schedule. All I have to do is enter in the time-sensitive news and mark it not to recycle. I can pull all of that news into a schedule and then add the “regular” content next in the schedule. The news goes out first and each news item removes itself from the schedule after it’s been used once until finally the fresh news for the month is all gone, at which point it automatically starts in on the recycled content. It will keep sharing recycled content until I update the queue with more fresh news, but I never have to worry about a content gap.
Here are some other nice features:
You can create schedules for single or multiple days of the week and multiple time slots per day. You can schedule content for specific days if you prefer, and you can select content right from the schedule page and edit the tag if you realize you’d like it to be categorized differently. Also really sweet: you can decide which post you want to appear next in your queue with a handy drag and drop feature.
Oh and by the way, Cloud Campaign has zero problems with their APIs. We never have any problems posting images to LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Hallelujah!
The Best Reporting Tool for Social Media Marketing
Maybe the best thing of all about Cloud Campaign is the sophisticated social media reporting that they’ve developed. Anyone who works in social knows that the reports that are available for social aren’t really ideal. They’re always a bunch of graphs that just don’t mean that much to clients who really want to know about the return they’re getting on their investment with simple and understandable number.
Admittedly, we’ve given away a lot of our trade secrets to help Cloud Campaign to develop a superior reporting. Cloud has now integrated the metrics that we were building manually in our complex spreadsheets into their reporting mechanism. Now, all of our previously proprietary ROI metrics have been incorporated into Cloud Campaign for other social media marketers to benefit from. They’re no longer a secret, but it’s really everybody’s gain and we’re ok with that.
Now with Cloud Campaign’s reporting you can see the total spend vs. the cost per engagement, cost per exposure, and even cost per follower. Choose what metrics you’d like to omit or include in your reports. You can see a combined overview of all of the traffic from all platforms, as well as individual social platform performance. There’s an area to see what types of posts are performing best and what times of the day are optimal for reaching more of your audience.
Maybe the very best part about Cloud’s reporting is that it integrates with Google Analytics so that you can also pull important data about your website’s performance right into the report. And we really like that they’ve now added an area where you can add in other KPIs manually; in our case we add CPC ad campaign results from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as newsletter responses. But really the possibilities for customizing that part of your reports are endless.
I don’t believe that there is another tool with reporting mechanisms that can come anywhere near to touching Cloud’s.
The icing on the cake is that all of this scheduling and reporting is built into one tool. Cloud Campaign collects all of your critical data for your reports right alongside your content library and schedules. Cloud is a definite one-stop-shop for social media marketing.
Top Notch Customer Service
Cloud’s customer service is 100% on. They connect with us individually, as real people, and they’re really keen to build a solid, ongoing relationship. We’ve been working with Ryan for the past several months and I can’t say enough good things about his attentiveness and his positive attitude: he really wants to help. During our very complicated migration period from Edgar to Cloud for multiple clients and extensive content libraries, we definitely put Ryan through the ringer. I’m sure we drove him bananas but he was patient and solution-oriented; when he didn’t have an immediate solution to a problem, he took it away and then got back to us with an answer later.
What’s really terrific about Cloud Campaign is that they’re dedicated to continuous improvement. They aren’t content to just leave a good system as it is; they’re ready to listen to feedback and make adjustments based on the day-to-day realities of the complicated campaigns that their clients are running. As such, they’ve made several major updates in the last few months that are helping to grow Cloud Campaign into the most robust system we’ve encountered.
So Should You Give Cloud Campaign a Try?
If you’ve ever used MeetEdgar or if you’re looking for a tool that offers content sophisticated posting including recycling (which, by the way, is the much smarter way to work) then you’ve got to check out Cloud Campaign. It’s seriously helping us to transform our entire business and we couldn’t be happier.
If you have any questions about Cloud Campaign vs. Edgar or any of the other scheduling tools, please go ahead and ask! You’re welcome to leave your questions in the comments and we’ll definitely respond.
Thanks Cloud Campaign (and especially Ryan) for all of your help! Cloud is definitely helping us to make our business better.