Social media is the current marketing darling, but it’s not a magic bullet, and contrary to what you might think, it’s not “free.” Running a proper social media campaign (one that gets results) requires time, strategy, planning, resources, tools and commitment. And as we all know, time is money. And some tools are as well.
To get started, you need social media accounts set up on a variety of channels. But more importantly, you need CONTENT worthy of posting there. Think video, images, infographics, case studies, e-magazines, white papers…you get the picture.
Social Management Tools
For a well-planned social media effort, monitoring, analysis and user engagement tools are needed. A few content generation tools are helpful too. Here are a few that I find useful:
- Hootsuite – this is a social media monitoring and posting tool. It allows you to monitor multiple accounts at once as well as monitor Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Linked IN, etc. all from one dashboard. You can assign other members in your account to respond to posts, schedule posts for days in the future, and track links and shares of the posts. You can also set up (at additional cost) regular reports that get mailed to clients and yourself with stats on the accounts.
- Pictochart (an infographic pictograph production tool). It offers templates that make it easy to turn information into cool infographic. Infographics are a big trend in social media and can help you help get more Tweets and Facebook shares).
- Shortstack. This nifty app creates custom tabs for landing pages, surveys, contests, etc, within a brand’s Facebook Page.
- TweetDeck – Meant for posting, this free tool lets you manage multiple social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google Buzz) in one dashboard. You can update all or just a few with the same status at one time.
For monitoring social media reach
These tools let you manage mentions and monitor streams across multiple platforms.
- Addictomatic – a multi-platform buzz dashboard
- Social Mention – a slightly more sophisticated multi-platform buzz dashboard
- Samepoint – another dashboard that includes some additional platforms the others don’t offer
- Twazzup – a real-time news dashboard (with a bias towards Twitter)
- Google alerts (weekly + in date order) – Use quotes around search terms, click “more search tools” on left menu, search by date range options (including blogs)
What are your favorites?
Do you have any social media tools to share?