Having a presence on social media is no longer a choice for businesses. It is a way to make sure you connect and engage with your customers, up the game on your competitors and continue to attract prospects. While it is one of the most exciting jobs out there, with great power comes great responsibilities.
Social marketers need to be cued in on the hundreds of little changes that popular platforms keep throwing at us every day. From changing interfaces to new algorithms to new formats, we have to be quick on the uptake of what’s in trend and how to leverage it for the brands we manage. We also don’t have a real opportunity to stay away from the job – in daylight and dark, in sickness and health, at work and during vacations…
Thankfully, there are a few kind souls out there who double up as brilliant marketers, tech specialists and designers who build tools to make our lives easy. Many of these tools are nothing short of a lifeline for us who have to manage multiple accounts and busy schedules. Here are the 5 types of tools you should be having in your arsenal.
1. Tools that help curate / discover content
While a big part of social involves sharing brand content, it also involves sharing content in general that your audience enjoys. Hunting for shareable content is rabbit hole that most social marketers fear, unless you set the clock and focus. Here are some tools that help you find what you are looking for, quickly and efficiently.
Hootsuite has been around in the market long enough to adapt through iterations of content discovery for today’s users. From tracking mentions to competitors to the industry in general, Hootsuite gives a sensible dashboard to curate and track simultaneously.
Buzzsumo is one of the perfect curation tools out there. You not only get to see the most shared and trending content, but also the medium where it is shared and who is sharing it. And the info about backlinks is invaluable. It is, by far, the one content dashboard we can’t do without.
Keep bumping into great content as you surf the web. Put them in your ‘pocket’ app and it’ll be available on your phone or computer even if you don’t have a connection. Pocket integrates with over 1500 apps and is available of most major platforms.
We can’t end our list without Feedly. It is the most popular RSS and blog reader in the world. Save content from websites, blogs and Youtube channels in one place for distraction-free reading. A lot of Feedly is free but the paid version is worth a try if you do this full time for a living.
2. Tools that help with scheduling
While social media marketers are generally a sleep-deprived lot, some tools have made the journey of being one slightly easy. Scheduling posts for the future allows you to get the basic tasks out of the way and be more prepared for daily firefighting exercises. Here are the tools you can try.
Sprout social is a sort of an all-round social tool that does many things like monitoring, engagement, reporting and scheduling. Nonetheless, it is a tool worth considering
Later: Later is one of those tools that can especially work well with Instagram. It is great for visual content as it has real-time post previews, hashtag curation and analytics that help track and optimize.
The one additional value that CoSchedule brings to the table is that it integrates with your company blog and allows you to publish content and push it on social simultaneously.
3. Tools that help with listening/monitoring
Listening to social, putting out fires and keeping the positivity around the brand going is a full-time job – that of an online reputation manager. ORM is often a specialty within social whose main job is to keep their ears to the ground and more importantly respond and not react. Here are the tools that help you do it
Talkwalker is a conversation monitoring tool that works very well with Hootsuite. Install these two tools to instantly tag, assign and monitor mentions. It does all this and more.
If your customers are all over the web talking about you, chances are that you’ll have to be where they are. Reputology checks major review sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook and responds to reviews in a timely manner.
c. Streamview for Instagram
Being one of the fastest growing media on social, it is important to keep track of your customers and prospects on Instagram. Streamview can monitor posts by location, hashtag or username.
d. Crowd analyzer
If audiences are global, you need a tool that can work on the global level too. Crowd analyzer is useful if you have audiences in the middle east. The arabic-focused social monitoring platform monitors social networks, blogs and forums for relevancy, dialect and sentiment.
4. Tools that give stats
With so much everyday juggling, it is important for us to not lose our focus on the end goal of our social efforts. As such, brands measure the ROI of social with metrics like reach, engagement, traffic, leads and even conversions. Without the right analytics tools, you won’t have an informed way to analyse the past, make future plans and show what your efforts are worth.
FollowerWonk is a must-have tool for Twitter. Add your handle and you’ll know who’s following you, how much authority do they have and help you nurture your influencers.
b. Google Analytics
Good ol’ GA is still very much in the game when it comes to social. GA is perfect to track the traffic you get from different social channels of the same platform (paid v/s free) and what the audience end up doing on your website.
Keyhole is amazing for tracking hashtag and keywords and provides info like top posts, sharing of posts and more
5. Tools to monitor competitors
You won’t find a single social specialist who isn’t sneaking into a competitor’s brand page to see what’s happening. The smarter way to do it, of course, is to have tools that analyse and give you a summary so that you can quickly take action where needed. While a lot of tools we mentioned above also double up for competitor monitoring, you can try the ones below.
Phlanx is a tool that you can use to not only analyze your competitors Insta followers but also track influencers. It gives you clues on how active any given account’s followers are. It allows you to know if the followers are legit and how much engagement really happens.
b. Social Blade
If you are knee deep into social analytics everyday, Social blade can help you access followers on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube among other services. It gives you a grade and day by day follower updates as well.
c. Fanpage Karma
This tools will analyze you and your competitors across FB, Twitter, G+, Instagram and Pinterest side by side. The free plan can also send you weekly reports.
Klear helps you identify top 10 influencers in multiple categories. The pro account is expensive but it allows you to view anyone’s analytics profile by searching their name.
Just so we are unbiased, many of our team members feel that the most important tool that a social media marketer needs is a cup of hot coffee at their beckoning!
We just thought that warrants a mention 🙂
Watch: Imagine the possibilities: Content Marketing