It isn’t important why you use social media these days, or what you are trying to achieve – what we all want to know is how to do get the best results with the least invested amount of time and energy.
This is our biggest concern. Luckily, there are great tools you can use to help you organize and finish all your social marketing activities and stay on point with your time, but be careful not to get carried away, jumping from one tool to another, losing more time searching for the right than you would actually spend on the social media websites.
Instead, find few tools that work for you and that you like, and then learn how to use them to perfection to get the best results.
Here’s a list of some of the best social media tools and how to use them, but note that it certainly isn’t an exhaustive or definitive list.
Social Business Intelligence Tools
Social Business Intelligence is the natural progression from Social Media Monitoring that results from the digital revolution and development of different social media platforms with so much free data that can be measured and analyzed around the companies’ social activities.
Information is intelligence, and intelligence is wisdom; and that’s what these tools provide – wisdom to listen, interpret and uncover insights, feel the needs of over billion consumers who openly express their opinions online, to take authentic actions and measure the performance.
The Social Business Intelligence Tools, or otherwise known as Social Media Management Platforms, are used for managing your social media presence and online brand, monitoring, analyzing and engaging online customer conversations, deriving insights and taking actions upon those insights.
Here are five you should consider.
Originality Monitoring Tools
Having in mind how important is that the content you share is unique and original, you can certainly use the originality monitoring tools that enable you to closely monitor your social interactions and ensure your tweets, statuses and other social updates are authentic and not plagiarized, so your online authority and brand reputation won’t be compromised.
There are plagiarism checkers like Duplichecker, which checks uploaded text and duplicate content (free service).
Content Creation Tools
You can create content with the engagement tools, but that content is rather social oriented (a Facebook or Twitter update, for example).
The content creation tools allow you to easily create interactive and social content and distribute your unified presence to different social media websites.
Their typical functionalities include creation, scheduling and distribution of content, design templates, live streaming, etc.
Jing and Google Labs Browser Sizing Tool are great examples of content creation tools you should look into.
Social Listening Tools
Listening tools give meaning and sense to the online noise.
They extract, monitor and filter online conversations from the social media platforms, and based on that data you can discover what your customers are talking about your brand, products and services, analyze your social media marketing campaigns, identify key influencers and quantify the volume of sentiment or market voice.
SocialMention and StarCOUNT are some of the best social listening tools.
Social Media Analytics Tools
The analytics tools gather information from the popular social media websites and provide companies with valuable quantitative analysis of the important social interaction metrics, like fan growth on a certain owned platform, or Facebook page engagement rate.
Some of the best analytics tools include Mint, Piwik and WebTrends. You can use them to determine the extent of your brand’s online presence, your fan demographics, what content best resonates with your social media fans, or if they even match your target audience.
Social Media Engagement Tools
The engagement tools are ideal for community management because they can help you interact with your social network of fans and followers very quickly and take actions, engage and communicate with your audience directly on the social websites.
They typically include content authoring, scheduling and publishing, CRM, workflow management, building brand awareness. Some popular social media engagement tools include SocialVolt, Buddy Media and Hootsuite.
Enterprise 2.0 Platforms
While the social business intelligence tools are more customers oriented, the Enterprise 2.0 platforms support the company internal processes and practices and facilitate the employee engagement, emphasizing on collaboration and free flow of information.
Here are four more tools to help you better manage your social marketing efforts.
Social e-Learning Platforms
In this social context the e-learning platforms include collaborative features like blogs and shared spaces, and are used for creating interactive and engaging online assessments.
The typical functionalities of these platforms include both learning management systems and authoring platforms.
Curatr and Interactyx are some examples you can check for improving your social media efforts.
Enterprise Activity Stream Platforms
Same as the enterprise social platforms, the activity stream platforms can also be used for employee collaboration and knowledge management, but they are more focused on activity stream and have core micro-blogging functionality that provides real time response to queries.
These platforms are great for internal social networking within the organization. Some examples include Yammer and Tibbr.
The community platforms are used for building collective online communities of people with common interests and experiences and connecting the users with experts, both in the company for the employees, and externally for the customers.
Their typical functions include user groups and forums, and some popular community platforms are Inbound.org and GrowthHackers.
Enterprise Social Platforms
The enterprise social platforms are used for improving the employee collaboration and knowledge sharing, regardless of their location.
The main functionalities are typical for social media platforms, for example building online community, uploading and sharing content, social intranets and networking websites for better communication amongst employees, document sharing and collaboration, creating blogs, groups and profiles, etc.
Some interesting enterprise social platforms worth checking include Sharetronix, Exoplatform and Telligent.