I've had the privilege of working with some really dynamic social media individuals in social media. My mentor was Sujan Patel - who is an absolute heavy-weight in anything related to digital marketing, I managed the Social Media team at When I Work, a SaaS startup, during the time that I was in charge of marketing there, and I'm now crushing it at my new company, Dollar Hobbyz, as we double Facebook followers in 2 months. But I couldn't do any of this without a few key social media tools that exponentiate my efforts.
Buffer has absolutely changed my life. I spend so much less time on social media because they make it almost effortless to post at the right times of day for my audience. You have to know your audience, and you have to know when they are the most responsive - Buffer can help you figure that out - and then automate your posts according to those times. What's great is that you can have a different posting schedule for each of your channels which is important because each channels has it's own audience with it's own active time.
My other favorite part of Buffer is the suggestions that they give you. I have found an insane amount of great new articles that I hadn't read before - from a discovery standpoint alone it was worth it. But then, to be able to quickly add those awesome new articles to my "buffer" for each social channel to post at a time when I can get the most traction - it's just simply perfect.
Cost: Free - $250/month (their free version is awesome though)
Let's stop arguing about which is better, Buffer or HootSuite, they are different. They have some crossover, but using both is optimal. No one can compare to HootSuite's listening capabilities - which is my favorite part of HootSuite. I can listen to what's going on based on geolocation, and even listen in other languages - which is crazy helpful when you run an ecommerce store that sells in over 125 countries.
Cost: Free - $65+/month
I love BuzzSumo - it's one of my favorite marketing tools period. I can monitor linkbacks, content and so much more. But from a social media perspective, I love the ability to find influencers. A lot of other programs have the ability to find influencers - but my favorite is BuzzSumo. You can search a keyword, and then filter those results by bloggers, influencers, companies, journalists, or regular people - which helps me find the right person to target. Knowing which influencers I want to target for a new blog post I have coming out helps us grow our blog traffic and branding in very strategic ways.
Cost: $99- $299+/month
Maybe this doesn't seem like the kind of tool that is necessary for every single social media expert - which is true - but if you have any say over which social media sharing bar you use on your website, then please get this one. It is literally a drag-n-drop application, so you can get it set up very very easily. Once you have it on your blog, it let's you auto-sort the share icons and place the one that is getting the most attraction at the top - which helps people continue to share. You can also customize the CSS so that it looks perfect for your blog and the mobile version is absolutely perfect - it doesn't hog a ton of room on the mobile screen but allows for easy sharing from anyone's mobile phone.
Cost: Free - $9/month
I love anything that is put out by Moz, and Followerwonk is no different. In my early days I decided that I would just follow everyone back on Twitter that followed me. That meant I ended up with a lot of follows wasted on accounts that were spammy. When they stopped following me, I was left with a lot more follows than followers - and I reached the limit of legitimate people that I could follow - which was a bummer. Using Followerwonk allowed me to sort my follows and see which accounts didn't follow me back. I was able to see which ones were spammy accounts and get rid of them - while keeping the really great accounts that didn't follow me back like @RandFish - if he decides to follow me back because of this blog post I won't be disappointed ;)
Cost: Free - $599/month (includes a subscription to Moz Pro - my favorite SEO tool)
There are obviously a lot of other great tools out there - what are some of the tools that you find indispensable to managing social media?