The realm of social media marketing has an ever-expanding arsenal of tools at its disposal. It seems that every day a new tool, app or website is released to help social media marketers perform their absolute best work possible. The range of tools, from feed readers and read it later apps to content sharing and social media management tools, can be staggering, but below I will try and narrow down a list of nine of my favourite tools that I use on a daily or near daily basis.
When Google Reader closed its doors in July I had to go looking for a new reader, one that would work on both my desktop and Android device. A few short searches later and I had found Feedly and I haven’t missed Google Reader since. Feedly has an intuitive and easy to use interface that makes finding and adding feeds easy to accomplish and makes finding new feeds to read easy to do as well. One thing Feedly does extremely well is the included ability to share to read it later apps or to those in your social networks. Feedly is so important to me for helping me discover new and interesting content to share that my day usually begins and ends within this app.
Another one of my favourite reading apps is Instapaper. This is a read it later app that I use in conjuction with Feedly. As I go through my Feedly feeds and if I don’t have the time needed to really go over a lengthy and in depth article I will send it to Instapaper so that I can read it later when I have more time. Instapaper’s biggest appeal is how it strips the article down to text only allowing you to focus only on the content.
I would be lost without Hootsuite, it is my go to social media dashboard that I use to manage nearly all of my social networks. One of the absolute best features of Hootsuite is its app directory that allows you to integrate other social networks, giving Hootsuite the ability to expand to managing other social networks as they are released or gain popularity. If you’re looking for an app that can manage your Twitter stream, Facebook page, Google+ page, Instagram account, perform and save Twitter keyword search, discover trending topics and more then Hootsuite could be the dashboard you have been looking for. Hootsuite is available in both a free and paid version and while many of the apps are free to use there are a few such as the Gmail app that do cost a fee.
I have previously written about Buffer and how well it fits into my workflow. I simply can’t say enough about this app and have even started paying for the Awesome upgrade as it works that well for me. I can use both Feedly and Instapaper to discover really great content which I can then send to Buffer for scheduled delivery to my different social networks.
- Uber Suggest
Content creation can be a grind, especially when your tasked with coming up with really great and shareable content on a regular basis. In order to keep coming up with new and interesting ideas I often turn to the keyword suggestion tool Uber Suggest. Simply enter your keyword of choice such as pet care and then look through the suggested list of keywords that Uber Suggest surfaces, this is often enough to trigger a content creation idea or two for me.
If you’re a Google Alerts fan like myself then you will love Mention. In a similar fashion to Google Alerts, Mention allows you to monitor in real time keyword(s) to either track your brand, competitors, or other keywords you need to monitor. After determining keywords you can then set Mention to monitor different sources or to ignore sources, you then save and your Mention recipe is live. The next time your alert is triggered you will receive an email of sources it has discovered, you can even set Mention up to alert you via Twitter for even more accurate real time reporting.
I recently discovered Tagboard and quickly fell in love with the role it can provide. If you are a brand that is running a promotion based on hashtags across multiple channels this is a tool you want to look at. If you need to monitor a hashtag used by a competitor or are looking to monitor how a hashtag is performing across multiple channels or even how your brand is performing? Then you should be looking into using Tagboard. This is a tool that does one thing (monitoring hashtags) and does it really, really well.
- Google Trends
This free tool from Google is a fantastic way to discover what is currently trending according to search trends as well as what is top broken down by categories. You can use Google Trends to get a quick comparison overview of up to five search terms (Instagram vs Vine for instance) and you can even use it to discover content ideas. The guys at Search Engine Watch recently went into depth on how to use Google Trends for SEO and it’s a great read to help you discover more about this amazing tool.
This real time search engine allows you to discover and analyse search terms, topics and hashtags allowing you to then dive deeper into where your search term is being used and who the influencers related to your term are.
- Social Mention
Social Mention is another real time search tool that shows you the sources your keywords originates the most from, sentiment about your keyword, the top users using that keyword and you can even download your data for further analysis in Excel. You can use Social Mention to discover how people feel about your brand or how they feel about a competitor or you could use it to find the influencers related to your keyword search to further engage with.
As you can see their is an abundance of really great tools and apps available to aid you in your social media journey. Whether you are looking for analytics, real time search, content scheduling or a full featured social media dashboard if you have a problem chances are a solution has been developed that addresses your problems. With new tools being developed and released on a near daily basis it makes sense to continually test and evaluate new tools as the solution you are currently using may in face be made obsolete by a newer tool and if we become rigid with our workflow,we may find we are becoming stale and outdated as well.
What are some of your must have social media tools?