From start-ups to well established international companies, all businesses need to understand the power of social media. With it, you can directly communicate with your consumers & take control of your brand image. Let’s not forget that you can also reach people scattered across the globe and introduce them to your products or services. By building these relationships with your audience you also give them a greater insight into your brands personality.
Although social media may open the door to boundless opportunity, it also needs to be managed. The best place to start? Developing a strategy based on as much knowledge about your audience and their behavior as possible.
Here are 12 tools that will help you do just that!
This brilliant social media dashboard monitors and manages multiple networks from a single place, allowing you to create continuity across your social platforms. You can connect Twitter/Linkedin/Google+ accounts and schedule posts based on the optimum times that Sprout has generated. It has a pretty simple and easy to navigate interface with a dashboard consisting of the following tabs: Home, Messages, Feeds, Publishing & Reports. You can also create tasks and delegate them to your team members based on messages that you have encountered across the different social platforms. I think that if Sprout could incorporate more social networks & have a multi-channel publishing function it would definitely be a program to be reckoned with.
Bonus: Optimize your publishing times with the Sprout Queue function. Sprout calculates the best times for your posts to be published to maximise visibility and engagement. One less thing for you to worry about!
Price: 30 day free trial
Plans range from $39 – $69 per month (per user).
Similarly to Sprout, Hootsuite is a multi-functional dashboard, created to manage several social media accounts. There is, however, a greater variety of networks available on Hootsuite. It is also a fantastic listening tool! You can create streams based on key words and listen out for any industry news, competitors or even your own company name. One of the greatest advantages of Hootsuite is the amount of apps that you can connect with it. Have you found a great article and saved it to Pocket? You can create a Pocket stream and share these articles at a later stage. Hootsuite makes social media management very streamlined and consistent. The content calendar is also a brilliant tool that allows you to see when all of your posts should be published & past posts.
Bonus: Brilliant listening tool and you can incorporate a multitude of apps to manage everything from a single place.
Price: Free (maximum of 5 social accounts and 2 RSS feeds)
£6.99 a month – up to 100 social profiles and 9 team members
Buffer is the perfect way to schedule your content and receive detailed analytics for every single post. Connect your Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and Facebook profiles, receive content suggestions and schedule posts head of time. Even better, Buffer tells you what your ‘top posts’ are and gives you the option to re-schedule them. There are also a number of desktop extensions that allow you to post from any page your browsing. Buffer has recently teamed up with TweetDeck – enabling you to incorporate the scheduling & analytics with the listening aspect of social media management.
Bonus: Buffer provides you with content suggestions so that you can share other people’s content as well as your own. Re-schedule top posts that captured your audience.
Price: Free (4 profiles)
$10 a month – unlimited updates & 12 social profiles
This easy to navigate Twitter management tool allows you to oversee everything that is happening in your Twiitter account within a single interface. You can customise the dashboard by showing or hiding certain columns. TweetDeck also gives you the option of creating search streams based on key words or hashtags. This can be a great way of seeing the what is going on throughout Twitter chats as well. TweetDeck gives you the ability to navigate your profile without hassle and stress. Once you start using it you will notice the difference.
This is one of my personal favorites simply because it is so diverse. IFTTT allows you to create ‘recipes’ based on specific actions across the social media platforms that you have connected it to. For example, as soon as you ‘save’ an article to Evernote – it can automatically be published on Twitter. This saves time publishing content across multiple platforms as you are able to do it at the push of a button. The only issue with automation is that you can’t change the recipe once it has been set. Your only option is to delete it and create a new one. So be weary, some things should be done personally, not automatically.
One of the many things that you have to do across social media, is manage your online reputation. Mention is a tool that allows you to do just that. Mention will send you alerts when ever your selected company, person, product or brand is mentioned throughout the web. The detailed analytics report shows you where the comment or article has come from (forum, video, blog, social media) and even provides a list of topics that are associated with your company. This will give you the perfect opportunity to find your fans and solve consumer issues as soon as they arrive.
Bonus: Receive desktop notifications as soon as you’re mentioned on the web. This will give you a chance to tackle those all important issues, quickly & efficiently.
Price: Starter £29/month
Data can sometimes be very difficult to digest; so I really do love tools that can condense and simplify it. For those who have Google Analytics installed on their website, you can use Visually’s report to generates an infographic of your websites performance activity. This weekly update will tell you exactly what’s going well and what needs to be improved – giving you the opportunity to make next week a better one!
Bonus: You can have these reports delivered straight to you by email every week.
I’ve always found monitoring my progress on Pinterest to be one of the most difficult tasks on social media. That can all change with Tailwind as you can track your company, products and competitors across Pinterest. In addition to the general analytics reports of growth and engagement, this tool can also be linked to Google Analytics to track conversations and see which are driving the most revenue.
Bonus: Sync this with your Instagram account and schedule your images and videos to Pinterest.
Price: Free (limited profiles & tracking)
Often a slightly over looked tool, Twitter analytics is a great way of getting a quick insight into your social profile. This will give you a great idea of your potential reach, engagement rate, follower progression and interaction. Most recently, Twitter Analytics have included a monthly break down of your activity including: profile views, number of tweets, mentions and new followers. Data made very easy – perfect.
Bonus: You can export data and view a monthly break down.
Another Twitter analytics tool, SocialBro helps businesses target and engage with their followers.You can browse your community and identify key influencers as well as track who has recently followed and unfollowed you. The ‘Best time to tweet’ report will tell you what days and times are best for gaining the most engagement. Whilst you can use a lot of these features for free, some are limited to the premium packages.
Bonus: The ‘Best time to tweet’ schedule can be imported to other social media programs such as Hootsuite & Buffer.
Price: Free (limited users & analytics)
Did I mention that I love simplified data? There is nothing better than a tool that can take the complicated stuff and make it look appealing! SumAll takes the data from multiple social media accounts and manages them from a single platform. It quite simply tells you whether your metrics are up or down by the previous week, with the percentage. Download this data and use it to help your business progress in the right direction!
Bonus: You have the option of having a daily email summary of your activity and even Thank You messages sent to your followers who have engaged with you most.
Price: Free (Tracking)
A great way to manage your following count on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & Instagram, Unfollowers allows you to see exactly who has unfollowed you and when. It also gives you an opportunity to see how many people have unfollowed your account on a weekly basis. This can give you an indication whether you’re attracting the right audience and even who you’re turning away. Personally, I consider it great tool to see if my base is growing & how I can make changes to improve that.
I hope that this list has been helpful! Please feel free to make some suggestions or share your experiences in the comment section below.Follow @lifeofaworkgirl