Are you getting the feeling that social media marketing can potentially suck up all of your time (and then some)? There’s no doubt that social media is one of the most effective ways to forge relationships online. However as most of us have probably experienced, it can also take up a whole lot of time. As important as social media is for engaging your audience, it can take valuable time and attention away from other marketing channels. For this reason, I’m always on the lookout for social media tools that can help make my social media activities more efficient and more effective.
Having the right social media tools in place to stay on top of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest while keeping your blog updated and your mailing list subscribers happy with new content would be nice, right?
The good news is that there are countless tools and strategies you can use to regain control. If you use them properly, you can save a few hours a day while getting the same, or better, results from your marketing.
Is your curiosity piqued? Read on for 20 quick, helpful tech tools for getting the most out of your social media campaigns.
Following are 20 social media tools that can enhance your social media efforts, as well as save you tons of time. They make your life easier by allowing you to:
- Integrate various social networks
- Schedule your posts or post in bulk
- Perform advanced conversation tracking
- Easily find new content to share with your community
- Manage your time spent on social media more effectively
- Find new influencers to reach out to
As always, please add to the discussion by letting me know your favorite tools at the end of this post!
#1 – Be Nimble With Your Social Media Relationships
One of the reasons to use social media is to build relationships with the folks who can help your business grow. This includes people who buy your products and services, tell their friends and family members about you and ultimately become your advocates.
Nimble gives you a way to manage these contacts. It is essentially a CRM tool designed specifically for the social media space. You can store contact information, track activity on numerous platforms, record sales, and monitor conversations. The bigger you get, the more useful it becomes.
#2 – Manage The Show With Hootsuite
Hootsuite does for social media profiles what newsreaders do for blogs. Actually, it does a lot more. It allows you to manage your profiles on multiple platforms from one place. You can schedule tweets, update your Facebook page and post on Google+. You can also tap into LinkedIn, FourSquare, and WordPress.
The software is advertised as a dashboard. Everything is laid out in front of you, similar to the dash in your car. You can use Hootsuite for free, but you will eventually want to upgrade to the Pro account.
Even if you opt for the free version of the platform, you will quickly experience such benefits as being able to manage multiple social media accounts in one place, and to schedule updates in advance. As a basic social media tool for small business owners, you just can’t beat Hootsuite.
And the good news is that if you do decide you need more functionality, like advanced reporting or team collaboration, the pro version of the platform is only about $9 per month.
#3 – Grow Your Email List Through Facebook Using Heyo
Heyo connects with your Facebook account and helps you build custom Facebook apps for your fan page. It also works for mobile apps and websites. There are several app-building templates to choose from which make for selling products, offering discounts or deals easy because all you have to do is choose a template, and add your content.
You have worked hard to build your Facebook fan base. Why not convert these fans into email subscribers? Build a custom Facebook app that offers a free e-book on something they really want that they can only get by giving you their e-mail address in the custom app you built right on your Fan Page. Cool, right? It is a win-win. You are building an email list, right?
#4 – Install Google Analytics On Your Profiles
Knowing that you are getting traffic is not enough. You need to know where it is coming from and how it is converting. That is the only way you will know where to devote your limited time and effort for the best results.
Make full use of Google Analytics Social Reports on your social media profiles. You will be able to see which sources are sending folks who respond to your calls-to-action.
#5 – Follow Your Followers With FollowerWonk
Twitter provides a nifty set of tools to help businesses squeeze as much value as possible from the site. However, there is always room for improvement, especially where data about your followers are concerned.
Enter FollowerWonk. It is a software app that helps you identify folks by keywords and locations found in their Twitter bios. It gives you data with which to analyze and track trends. You can then modify your efforts based on where your time and attention are best spent.
#6 – Set Up A Few Google Alerts
A simple tool, but one that can save you from running countless searches for mentions of your products, website or brand!
Signing up for Google Alerts is free and easy, and ensures you never miss a brand mention again. You can select as many keywords as you like, and each time the word or phrase is used online, you’ll receive a notification. This is a great way to track mentions not only of your own brand, but of your competition.
Google Alerts is not technically a social media tool, but it comes in handy when you need to stay on top of mentions of your business. If someone says something nice about you, you will know about it pronto and can reach out to thank the individual in person. If a competitor trashes your company, you will be able to craft a quick response to nip it in the bud.
Of course, Google Alerts can be used for other purposes. For example, you might want to track mentions of certain keywords that are crucial to your niche.
Easy to set up, easy to use, and free. A trifecta!
#7 – Find Out What Is Hot On Pinterest
It sometimes seems like Pinterest is a flea market of content. Spend a little time strolling through the aisles, and you will find a number of gems hidden amongst the junk (much like any social media platform). Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify what folks consider to be the gems.
That is what Pinalytics helps you to accomplish. You can search by subject matter, keyword, or name, and uncover tons of useful data. You will see stats on pins, repins, likes, tweets, mentions, shares, and +1s across the various social media platforms.
Very useful. And very free (for now).
#8 – Shoot From The Vine
A wise man once said a picture is worth a thousand words. What might he have said about a 6-second video?
That is exactly what Vine allows you to shoot and upload to your Twitter account. The software is an app (download it for free from the Apple app store) that lets you create short videos that you can share with your followers. They can then share them with their own followers.
If you are tired of trying to jam everything you want to say into 140 characters, try shooting a few videos. It is a great way to engage your audience.
#9 – Time Your Google+ Posts With Timing+
The more accurately you can time your posts, the better the odds that your audience will see them and get involved in the conversation. If you are posting top-notch material, that is important. You want to make sure folks are seeing it!
Timing+ gives you a way to hone your timing with laser precision on Google+. The software reviews the last 100 posts you made and determines the best time for future posts. Using this information can help maximize your readership and even boost audience engagement.
#10 – Automate Your Updates With Buffer
Buffer is one of several tools that will let you schedule updates for multiple social media platforms. As a bonus, you will get to see the number of replies, shares, and retweets for each message.
Going on a much-deserved vacation and concerned you will not have Internet access? No problem! Set up content shares ahead of time, and schedule them to go up on autopilot while you are relaxing and sipping Mai Tais.
Forget to set things up before leaving for the airport? No problem! Use the Buffer mobile app on your iPhone or Android device to do the work from your car. (Uh, small piece of advice – let someone else drive.)
#11 – Find Worthwhile Conversations With NeedTagger
Twitter has fast become a major business-building social media platform. The challenge is sifting through the noise to find conversations that are worth getting into. According to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in 2012, folks are sending upwards of 400 million tweets per day. You need a way to search for the good stuff – i.e. the stuff that matters to you.
NeedTagger does the heavy lifting for you. It is a power search engine built specifically for Twitter. It finds real-time conversations that are taking place about topics you are interested in. People might be talking about your products, news stories that touch your niche, or even memes that are catching fire. NeedTaggers finds them for you.
#12- Keep Track of Hashtags onMajor Social Sites with Tagboard
Tagboard is one of my favorite social media tools for social media monitoring. It allows you to easily keep track of hashtags on major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Vine.
It can be extremely difficult to monitor and track conversations happening across multiple platforms, and Tagboard saves you a ton of time by allowing you to create custom boards with content from each platform.
#13- Maintain your high frequency postingwith Social Oomph
If you are a high-frequency poster on social media, you will appreciate the benefits of using a service like Social Oomph. While there are other products that allow you to schedule social media posts, Social Oomph also allows you to save and re-use drafts, schedule posts in bulk, and submit social updates via email.
It also offers advanced searches that allow you to easily find influential or relevant people to follow, and that will even alert you when certain keywords are used on Twitter.
While not the fanciest-looking tool, it will undoubtedly save high-volume social media marketers loads of time over the long term.
#14- Use Social Mention for your social media keyword research
This is another great (free) tool for monitoring keywords and hashtags across multiple platforms. In fact, as it monitors over 100 social networking sites, it gives some of the most comprehensive social media keyword keyword research available.
Some of the best features of the platform are its simplicity, ease-of-use, and the analytics it gives for specific keywords. Measuring influence in terms of strength, sentiment, passion and reach, it gives you a quick snapshot of the current status of a particular topic or phrase.
#15- Sprout Social makes you to be on top of most important messages and tasks.
As one of the most comprehensive social media solutions, Sprout Social is extremely robust and feature-rich. While there is no free version (apart from a 30 day free trial), a basic membership is only about $40 per month. While this may seem like quite a bit more than other platforms (because it is), it does offer some unique features that many other services don’t.
One of the best features of Sprout Social is their customizable inbox. By allowing you to decide what comes into your inbox, and then reporting on how efficiently you’re responding, you can make sure you’re always on top of your most important messages and tasks.
#16- Track How Much Time You Spend With Rescue Time
If you ever worry that the amount of time you spend on social media may be, well…excessive, Rescue Time can help! By running in the background of your computer or mobile device, the software tracks exactly which websites or activities you are using, and how much time you are spending on each.
For instance, do you have any idea how much time you spend on:
- Randomly surfing the net?
An added benefit of Rescue Time is that you can also set alerts to let you know when ‘time’s up’ for a particular activity!
#17- Find the most important social media with Swayy
If you ever struggle to find content to share with your community, you’ll love Swayy. By finding the most important social media posts and dropping them right into your dashboard, you’ll always have a steady stream of sharable content.
The platform also allows you to easily share this content cross-platform with your audience. As you use the program more and more, it ‘learns’ what types of content you enjoy, and most importantly, what types of content resonates the most with your community.
No more searching through your social media posts for sharable content…just check your Swayy dashboard!
#18. Inkybee does the hard work for you
We could all use more friends, right? Rather than randomly searching the web for new or influential blogs in your niche, Inkybee does all the hard word for you. Simply type in a keyword related to your niche, and the platform will return a list of the blogs that are most closely related.
The best part is that rather than simply returning generic Google-like results, you receive stats on each blog, including audience, engagement levels, posts per week, and number of inbound links. This makes reaching out to influential bloggers in your niche a breeze!
There are countless tools that did not make it onto this list, but these are a few of my favorites. As I hoped I have pointed out, working smarter, not just harder, is the best way to make the most efficient use of your time online!
What’s your favorite social media tool?
If you are having trouble keeping up with the social media channel, use some, or all, of the tools above to streamline things. You might discover that managing your profiles and engaging audiences on multiple platforms is easier, simpler, and less time-consuming than you imagined.
What’s your favorite social media tool? How does it save you time? Share below!