Social media tools are a key part of the social media marketing process. There are two broad types: social media listening tools and social media management tools.
Social media listening tools allow you to monitor and analyze conversations across social networks. They use a variety of methods to collect data and then provide reports to help you understand what people are saying about your company, product, or industry online. Listening can be followed by engaging directly with social media users in an attempt to influence the conversation or create a relationship with a potential customer.
Social media management tools allow you to manage all of your social activities in one place. A high-quality tool will help you schedule posts, find content, identify influencers, and more.
Best Social Media Tools 2018
Improve your social media marketing this year with a slew of new tools. Create content to promote your brand, engage with customers, and track your success.
Here is a list of new social media tools for 2018. There are tools to create infographics, stories, contests, and video and audio elements. There are also tools to communicate with customers, edit links on social media, and even purchase branded content from creators.
WhatsApp Business enables you to have a business presence on WhatsApp and communicate more efficiently with your customers. Automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages. WhatsApp Business is built on top of WhatsApp Messenger and includes all its features, such as the ability to send multimedia, free calls, free international messaging, group chat, offline messages, and more. Access important metrics, such as how many of your messages were successfully sent, delivered, and read.
Fastory can turn your content into a mobile storytelling experience. Pick up fresh content from your official website or news feed. Drag and drop screens on the timeline. Import existing assets from Instagram and Facebook. Use high-quality motion design and themes.
Crello is a visual editor by Depositphotos. Access over 11,000 templates, 31 design formats, and a huge number of photos and vectors. Create social media images for all the major platforms, as well as ad banners, posters, email headers, and other formats.
Tagwin is a web-based tool for running a contest on Instagram. Run a hashtag contest or a “follow to win.” Require a follow, like, comment, or mention. First promotion is free. Premium plans start at $19 per month.
Story Slicer allows you to post videos of any length on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and VK (in Russia) by cutting them into smaller pieces. Cut long videos for Instagram stories. Avoid 24-hour posting restrictions and ensure you have seamless transitions without ever touching a video editor. Story Slicer does not compress your videos; the quality is exactly the same as the original video.
Storyheap is a tool to manage stories on social media. Upload, schedule, and analyze stories in just a few clicks. Gain insight into how your story is performing with Story Analytics. Track unique metrics such as open rates, views, engagement, and more. Set up an autopilot on Storyheap, and watch your content automatically publish to all of your story platforms. Prices start at $49 per month.
Typito is a tool to create captivating video. Upload your footages and images to create your video canvas. Enhance your video with text, images, pre-created brand layouts, and music. Share your videos on your favorite platforms with a single click.
MetaShort lets you control the image and text that is displayed when your link is shared on social media. Change your link’s title, description, image, and more in just a few clicks. Pro subscribers can update any link they’ve created and all of their links are saved to their account for easy management.
Anchor is a free app to record or capture any audio, right from your phone. It’s an easy way to make a podcast or radio show. Call any U.S.-based phone number from the app, record the conversation (always with permission), then add it to your station. Listeners can call in to your station at any time. Enhance your audio with sound effects and tunes.
Adioma is a tool to easily create professional infographics. It features adaptive infographic templates that build to your data, automatic icon-to-word matching, one-click color schemes, easy template switching, and more. Plans start at $39 per month.
types of social media tools
1. Social audio platforms and formats
Examples: Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Spotify
Used for: Listening to live conversations on specific topics.
How your business can use them: New social audio platforms (like Clubhouse) and formats (like Twitter Spaces) have thrived during COVID-19 lockdowns while people have been at home with more time to join live conversations.
The most significant advantage of audio social media platforms and formats is the high attention and engagement you’re likely to get from opt-in listeners.
Lively, engaging conversations can help you build your image as a leader in your niche and introduce your business or products to valuable audiences already interested in topics related to your niche (otherwise, they wouldn’t be tuning in).
Here are some thought starters for using audio social media platforms:
- Host industry panels.
- Broadcast news and big announcements.
- Host interactive sessions (such as AMAs) with your audience.
- Record interviews during a live Clubhouse/Twitter Spaces chat and upload them as a podcast (example: The Social Media Geekout show).
- Build your business’ thought leadership through a 30-60 minute show.
Matt Navarra does a great job of combining Twitter Spaces AND podcasts:
We got you covered. Checkout: @SpaceCastsPod
We record and upload our twitter spaces sessions to this podcast feed each week.
Todays edition will be up in the next day or so
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) July 16, 2021
2. Video social media platforms and formats
Examples: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Stories and Reels, Facebook Watch
Used for: Watching videos in short and long formats.
How your business can use them: Video social media platforms are great for capturing attention, driving brand awareness, and bringing products to life in a way that still photos can’t.
Any video content that you publish should be designed to entertain, educate, and/or inspire your audience. Videos made purely to sell aren’t going to engage viewers.
Some of the best examples of businesses using video social media platforms are:
- Ryanair on TikTok — highly entertaining, show a good understanding of the humor and nuances of TikTok users.
- Notion on YouTube — creates educational content that’s both helpful and inspiring for its users.
- Beautiful Destinations on Instagram Reels — provides travel inspiration through short, professionally shot clips.
3. Disappearing content formats
Examples: Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, LinkedIn Stories
Used for: Sending ephemeral messages privately and publishing timely, in-the-moment content for all of your followers to view for up to 24 hours.
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How your business can use them: Ephemeral formats like Stories are well-suited for posting timely content, such as announcements, limited edition items, or live events.
Most Stories and Snapchat content also feels more genuine and less polished due to the 24-hour shelf life. As such, it allows businesses to show a more human side.
Here are some ideas for how your business can use disappearing content:
- Polls, voting (using interactive Stories stickers)
- Teasers/countdowns to product launches
- Behind-the-scenes content
- Time-sensitive announcements
A great example is from one of my favorite local bakers, who posts their weekly specials on their Instagram Stories.
4. Discussion forums
Examples: Reddit, Quora
Used for: Asking and answering questions, networking, forming communities around niche- and interest-based topics.
How your business can use them: Be genuinely helpful to your customers by lending your business’ subject matter expertise and answering questions related to your industry. Bonus points if you can share information about your brand and products in your answers, but that shouldn’t be your primary goal of participating in discussion forums.
One thing to note: On Reddit, it’s highly frowned upon to insert any self-promotion into answers. If you’re posting as a business, make sure to answer the original question and only add links to your products if they’re genuinely helpful. Before posting in a subreddit, check the rules to verify if including links to your own business is allowed.
While Microsoft didn’t create the /r/XboxOne subreddit, once they saw how popular it was, they started engaging with Redditors by hosting AMA sessions with game developers.
5. Shoppable social media platforms and features
Examples: Pinterest Product Pins, Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, TikTok, Shopify, Douyin, Taobao
Used for: Researching and purchasing products from brands directly through social media platforms.
How your business can use them: Take advantage of built-in mobile-friendly features to allow your audience to purchase from you without having to leave a social media app.
Features like Pinterest Product Pins, Instagram Shops, and TikTok’s in-app shopping allow you to connect your product catalog directly to your profile on each app.
Even if your followers don’t like to make purchases on social media platforms or have longer buyer journeys, shopping features can allow you to tag products, add additional product info and drive traffic to your website.
Some great ways to use shopping social media platforms:
- Limited edition drops, e.g., announcing an exclusive product launch on social media and linking or tagging the product via your product catalog
- Social selling
- E-commerce (many social media platforms have e-commerce integrations, such as Shopify, which you can access directly from your Hootsuite dashboard)
- Retargeting, e.g., creating custom audiences based on who has engaged with your Facebook/Instagram Shops
You can also host live shopping events on social media. Livestream shopping has become a huge market in China, encouraging platforms like Instagram to introduce Live Shopping.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.