The internet is a big place. In fact, it’s so big that it’s hard to know where to start with social media. We’ve all been there—you’re reading an article about the best way to use Twitter for your business and suddenly you realize you have no idea what you’re doing and you need a cup of tea.
So how do you make things easier on yourself? How can you make sure that your social media strategy is sound and effective? The answer is simple: by using the right tools! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite apps, tools, and sites that will help you manage your social media marketing like a pro.
Social Media Tools Include Select All That Apply
Ann Handley, chief content officer, MarketingProfs
“Instagram is my favorite social network because of its social storytelling simplicity. From fun personal accounts – like Small Chalk and Adam Padilla – to corporate brands, it connects more immediately and deeply with people than any other platform. I still haven’t forgiven them for introducing an algorithm. (Chronological was so much more in line with the ethos of the platform.) But I can’t quit you, Insta.”
.@Instagram is my favorite social network because of its social #storytelling simplicity, says @annhandley via @CMIContent.CLICK TO TWEET
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Instagram Marketing: Social Media Experts Share Top Tips
Joe Pulizzi, founder, Content Marketing Institute
“I use social media as almost a pure response vehicle. And I won’t start any new social media app, platform, or tool until I’m 100% committed to it. My goal with Twitter is to keep in touch and communicate my appreciation to those people that support me. Once I built an audience on those platforms, my goals and execution changed.”
Joanna Wiebe, creator, Copyhackers
“Buffer. Three reasons. (1) You can install a browser widget that lets you Buffer any page or image you come across to be sent immediately or later. (2) Its Content Inbox: I can enter the URL of a favorite blog and Buffer instantly creates a huge list of tweets from that blog. (3) The company is transparent. I don’t expect every company to publish what they earn vs. what they pay people the way Buffer does, but it’s a warm-and-fuzzy approach to helping disconnected folks like moi see the humans behind a software company.”
Neil Patel, entrepreneur and influencer, NeilPatel.com
“With BuzzSumo you can see what is hot in your space on social media and what isn’t. From there you can craft ideas on the type of blog posts you should write to generate traffic and leads. The best part about BuzzSumo is it shows who has shared the content so you can reach out to those influencers and ask them to share your content as well.”
Use @BuzzSumo so you can see what’s hot in your space on #SocialMedia & what isn’t, says @neilpatel via @CMIContent.CLICK TO TWEET
Mari Smith, Facebook marketing expert
“Native video is the top-reaching post type on Facebook and gets three times the engagement of link posts and two times that of photo posts. I love using Animoto’s gorgeous templates, themes, and stock music. Its marketing builder tool also makes it super-duper easy to add text overlays – vital for sound-off autoplay videos in the Facebook newsfeed because 80% of video ads on Facebook are watched with sound off.”
80% of video ads on #Facebook are watched with sound off. Use text overlays, says @MariSmith via @CMIContent.CLICK TO TWEET
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Video Marketing Strategy: What Marketers Need to Know
6. Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer
Rand Fishkin, founder, SparkToro
“Next to BuzzSumo – and without sounding biased – my favorite tool is Moz’s Keyword Explorer brand mention feature. It’s great for setting up mention alerts as well as finding content to share socially through keyword notifications. The mention authority feature works directly with Moz’s page and domain authority metrics and helps sort through all the noise you normally get with catch-all monitoring tools.”
7. Tweeps Map
Brian D. Evans, founder, Influencive
“The problem with a lot of marketing these days is that it’s not laser targeted and is far too broad. I use Tweeps Map because it gives me a visual representation of where my followers are geographically. I can then run targeting to followers from specific areas and make sure that the content is relevant and valuable for those followers.”
HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Data-Driven Creative: How to Use Twitter Data to Inform Your Marketing
Jeff Bullas, CEO, JeffBullas.com
“Sumo is a hybrid tool that’s a bit like a Swiss Army knife. It’s helped me thrive and survive in the wilds of the digital world by creating social-sharing buttons – onsite, SMS, Flipboard, and WhatsApp – and tracking my social counts on blog posts. The feature I really love is its Welcome Mat: a pop-up that captures emails. In less than 12 months, it’s collected over 40,000 email subscribers.”
I love @SumoMe’s Welcome Mat pop-up feature that captures emails, says @jeffbullas via @CMIContent.CLICK TO TWEET
Candice Galek, founder, Karma Honey Project
“Tailwind has been a lifesaver over the years, allowing my team to work more quickly and efficiently when posting to Pinterest. It’s a scheduling app on steroids, helping you to choose not only when to post for maximum engagement but also what might go viral thanks to their pixel-matching technology and image recognition capabilities. You can seamlessly measure pin virality and repost that content to continue to grow your following on the platform.
Don’t sleep on Pinterest. Their introverted user base is keen on consuming online content, and Tailwind helps you to get it in front of more potential customers faster.”Don’t sleep on #Pinterest. Their introverted user base is keen on consuming online #content, and @tailwindapp helps you get it in front of more potentials customers faster, says @bikinigeek via @CMIContent.CLICK TO TWEET
Jason Miller, head of brand, ActiveCampaign
“I like to keep things simple and streamlined: Less is more. The tool I use religiously is Elevate: LinkedIn’s employee advocacy tool. I use it to share, organize, and measure all the content I post across my main three social accounts: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I share daily from Elevate and track engagements.”
what are social tools
They enable companies to gather data from their social media channels for example, the number of fans and engagement rate. Examples of analytics tools include Google Analytics, Socialbakers and Pagelever
Listening tools extract and filter online conversations from social media platforms. They can help to derive meaning and sentiment from the mass of online noise. Examples of listening tools include Radian 6, Synthesio and Brandwatch.
Example use cases
Analytics tools are ideal to determine brand reach and fan demographics. So, if you are not sure of the extent of your brand’s online presence or if your social media fans actually match your target audience then analytics tools can help.
Listening tools can help businesses to identify key influencers and to discover what your customers are saying about your brand.
Social media engagement and content creation tools: what do they do?
Engagement tools enable users to take action, respond, engage and communicate with their audience directly on social channels.
Typical functionality includes content authoring, scheduling and publishing, workflow management and real time routing of actions. Examples of engagement tools include Spredfast, Sprout Social and Conversocial.
Content creation tools facilitate the creation and distribution of socially enabled and / or interactive content. Whilst engagement tools also enable users to create content, this content tends to be a Twitter or Facebook update.
A content creation platform includes content creation templates and enables users to distribute content to a number of social media channels. Some platforms can facilitate live streaming. Examples of content creation tools include Thismoment DEC, Scribblelive and Buddymedia (Profile Buddy and Reach Buddy).
Example use cases
Engagement tools are ideal for community management as they offer the functionality of posting to a number of different social media channels from one platform. They can help you to interact with your social media customers quickly.
Content creation tools can help you to create a unified brand presence across different channels and help you to publish content across a range of social media channels.
Analytics, Listening Engagement and Content Creation Tools are Social Business Intelligence Tools and are used to manage a company’s social media presence and online brand.
They also enable businesses to derive insight from online customer conversations and take action from those insights. These tools are sometimes referred to as Social Media Management Platforms.
The following tools are Enterprise 2.0 platforms and concern employees rather than customers. These platforms are used to support internal processes and can help to facilitate employee engagement.
Enterprise social platforms and enterprise activity stream platforms: what are they?
Enterprise social platforms are internal platforms that offer portal like functionality in addition to social tools such as blogs and wikis and are used to foster employee collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Example enterprise social platforms include Jive Social Business, Huddle and IBM Connections.
Enterprise activity stream platforms are also used for employee collaboration and knowledge sharing but have a core microblogging functionality and focuses on the activity stream. Examples include Tibbr, Yammer and Socialcast.
Both platforms feature functionality typical of social media platforms, for example, creation of groups, blogs, news feed and easy uploading and sharing of content.
Example use cases
Both types of platform can be used for knowledge sharing and to improve collaboration amongst employees regardless of location.
However there are further use cases, for example, enterprise social platforms are great for content collaboration and content management. They can also be used to create social intranets.
Enterprise activity streams are good for internal social networking and due to the more transient nature of the activity stream, can be used to provide real time response to queries.
Community platforms and e-learning platforms: what are they?
Community platforms are used to build online communities and can be used both internally and externally, for employees and customers. Typical functionality include forums and user groups. Example community platforms include Telligent, Lithium Community and Moxie Community.
Social e-learning platforms include collaborative functionality such as blogs and shared spaces. These include both authoring platforms (to create content) and learning management systems.
Examples include Topyx, Composica and Saywire.
Example use cases
Community platforms can help to connect users to experts and to build collective online communities of people with common interests and experiences.
E-learning platforms (in the social context) can be used to create interactive and engaging online assessments. They can also be a means for learners to share their experience with other learners.
It is fair to say that the number of social tools has increased significantly over the past five years and that the social technology landscape is evolving constantly.
Social technology is therefore dynamic and responsive – the eight types of platform outlined above are just a few examples of the type of social tool you could use in your business. We hope we have helped you to navigate part of the social technology landscape!
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.