Social Media Tools – Too Much Choice?
Are you making full use of the social media marketing tools available out there? Sure – at least you know that there’s a bevy of them, all just waiting to move you from social media nipper to social guru-extraordinaire.
But with so much choice, where do you even begin?
To help you make the cut, we’ve compiled a list of eighteen tools we use most in the course of an average day. For ease, we’ve split them into management and scheduling, blogging, visuals, and research and analytics.
All are free to set up a basic account, while most offer the option of paid premium features.
Management and Scheduling
Linking your social channels to Buffer allows you to share and schedule any content directly from your own or any other website. It’s one of the easiest scheduling tools to use, and has a simple, uncluttered interface. It also gives you valuable stats on your shared posts.
One of the most popular platforms for managing content across a number of social media channels and for multiple accounts. It has a lot of functions, allowing you to monitor feeds, schedule posts and follow what’s being said on particular brand names and topics.
An add on to Hootsuite, this is a good alternative to Buffer. By installing Hootlet on your browser you can add any posts you want to queue and share to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ business pages. The content is then sent out either at times you have pre-scheduled or according to what it calculates is best based on the performance of what you have shared previously.
This platform has really strong appeal when it comes to working with visuals in social media marketing. It has a content feature that allows you to easily access any video, audio and visual files you want to keep close to hand, and is directly integrated with stock photography sites.
This is a tool specifically for businesses using Instagram. Seamlessly manage your photos and assess all interactions, see which of your images are the most popular and your total number of likes. It provides charts illustrating follower growth and offers more advanced analytics than on the Instagram app alone.
Encourage social sharing from your own blog by making it easy for people to tweet short, sharp insights right from within your blog posts. This clever tool adds a “Click To Tweet” button beside a quote or piece of text, which the user can click on to generate a tweet directly.
When you need insight into which type of blog content is working in a particular industry or field, who is sharing that content and on which social media platforms, this is a tool for you. You can also see how many followers those individual sharers have, and their level of influence online.
Visuals are key when it comes to maximising engagement on social media. Canva makes it easier to come up with great-looking graphics and images. It has hundreds of pre-set layouts for all the main social media channels (as well as a host of options for email, blog and even print-based templates). Many are free (particularly when you upload your own images), while a lot of the paid ones are priced at $1.
A very accessible image editing programme with lots of attractive filters and functions to make eye-catching fodder out of what might otherwise be ordinary-looking graphics.
This is a fantastically quick and simple way to include a visual in your tweets, with the option to overlay the image with text. Just choose from one of the existing pre-sized photos or upload your own. Tweet directly from the app, or schedule it from the Buffer option included within it.
Wordswag is for mobile, the perfect tool for adding text and enhancing and sharing images while you’re on the move. It’s used a lot for Instagram, but is also ideal for Twitter, iMessage and WhatsApp.
For anyone who wants to get a little fancy and add a gif or two to their social media feeds, this tool will create it for you. (If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, a gif is a short clip of images that play on a loop, great for adding a quick shot of humour to any post).
Research and Analytics
A tool to analyse social media shares, it allows you to crawl any website to see how many times pages from that site have been shared on social media feeds. So next time you want to assess your social media strategy and compare it with that of your competitors, this is one to haul out of the virtual wardrobe.
With the free account, you can manage up to three Facebook pages using one dashboard. Analyse the performance of your pages by looking at fans, posts and interactions, and how these have changed and developed over time.
So you’ve worked out what a hashtag is, but you still need to know which ones will get you results. Hashtagify will tell you which hashtags are being used in your industry, who is using them and how. Basically it’s a search engine where you can discover the best tags for your needs based on popularity, relationships, languages and influencers.
Specific to Twitter, this tool allows you to sort, filter and manage who you follow, analyse who your followers are, see which people are influencers in your field, and assess how your tweets are performing.
Also an analytics tool for Twitter accounts, find out who your followers are, where they are located geographically and when they are most active on Twitter. You can also dig deep into who’s who in the Twitter world and use the information to grow a more valuable following.
When there’s a topic out there that you need to know all about to stay on top of your game, Mention will keep you informed. While there are a number of ways to set up alerts (e.g. Google Alerts), a tool like this is a more sophisticated way of monitoring a topic (or brand name) across multiple languages and networks, websites, news sites and forums. You can then respond to any action by retweeting, liking, sharing or emailing from within the application.
Hopefully this gives you some ammunition to start stepping up your social media marketing efforts in-house. But if you’d like to find out more, get specialist help in building and managing your social channels, or develop a targeted social media campaign, get in touch today.