Keeping up with social media can be complicated and very time-consuming. Countless different programs, apps, and plugins exist to help you when working with social media. Each tool is meant to make your life simpler, but with so many options, it’s easy to get confused.
I was originally going to write an article about the Top 5 Social Media Tools, but that would mean leaving a few really useful tools out. So, I decided to include a few more.
And I know this list doesn’t exhaust the possibilities…but it’s a good start.
1. HootSuite.com and TweetDeck.com
HootSuite is a free online tool that allows you to manage multiple social media profiles, pre-schedule updates for specific days and times, analyze statistics, and monitor keywords. You can also check and reply to saved searches, @ mentions, Direct Mentions, Twitter Lists, and more. There is also a mobile app where you can pre-schedule your social updates when you're not at your computer. There's a free version and a paid version.
HootSuite impressed Mashable so much, they gave them the 2010 Award for the Best Social Media Management Tool.
An alternative to HootSuite is TweetDeck.com. TweetDeck has customizable columns, and powerful filters. You can schedule your tweets to suit your audience, and monitor and manage unlimited accounts. You'll also receive notifications of new tweets.
Both of these tools are excellent all-around social media managers … which you choose will depend on your personal preference.
2. SocialOomph.com and ManageFlitter.com
SocialOomph is a tool for Twitter. It allows you to schedule your tweets, track keywords, purge your Twitter tweets, and much more. The paid version of SocialOomph will let you automatically follow those who follow you.
ManageFlitter lets you manage and cleanup your Twitter accounts. You can un-follow inactive accounts and see who isn't following you back. It's so easy to use, some say it's easier than cleaning up their closet! There's a free version and a paid version.
Twellow is the Yellow Pages for Twitter. There are millions of accounts listed. You can sign up for free, then find and follow people by using targeted keywords they have in their bios. You can browse categories and even find the top users by location. Be sure to add your keyword-rich bio, as this information is used in the search results as well!
If you’re looking for a program that will give you a clean, easy-to-read look at your Twitter statistics, consider Twoolr. It shows you information like your usage, your account growth, interactions, and links shared. You get much more information with the paid version.
Simply Measured is a full social media reporting system. It can take all of your social media analytics and put them in a nice neat report. You can download the report to an Excel spreadsheet, or you can generate a PowerPoint presentation to share with your client online. This is a paid service, but well worth it if you use it to demonstrate to a client that their social media efforts are paying off.
Create a free account with Bit.ly and use it to shorten your long web addresses (URLs). Here are three reasons why you should you use a URL shortener:
Twitter only allows 140 characters. You don't want to waste them all on URL.
To track how many clicks a shortened URL gets. Bit.ly lets you do that.
If you have a long URL, you'll want to clean it up for better presentation to your readers.
In short (no pun intended … okay, maybe a little!), Bit.ly can help you share, track, and analyze your links.
And it's free.
7. A Facebook "Like" button, the TweetMeme button, and the LinkedIn Share button
You should add these buttons anywhere you want your readers, customers, or visitors to share the information on your website. If you use WordPress, simply add the plugin to your website.
Many who have a WordPress website have the "share" buttons at the bottom of the page. A good example is the Sexy Bookmarks plugin for WordPress. This one plugin will take care of all your "Like" buttons, more than the three mentioned here. You can download this to your WordPress site from your plugins page as well.
I've seen these three buttons at the top of a page and Sexy Bookmarks at the bottom of the same page. You want to make it easy for your readers to share your content!
TwentyFeet lets you easily track and monitor all your social media metrics in one place. They give you two social media accounts free for life (one with Twitter and one with Facebook). If you need more, the fee is quite small to add accounts. They send you a daily email with activity reports.
9. Disqus Blog Commenting System
Disqus has a real-time commenting system, notification and reply system, inline media embedding, and mobile commenting. And registering your site is free.
When users comment, Disqus makes it easy for them to share the comment with their Facebook fans or Twitter followers. The user actually has their own portable profile for commenting. Your blog visitors can post a comment using their Facebook or Twitter login.
This is an easy way to get your blog content shared with the rest of the world!
10. Twitter Lists
Twitter Lists are a great way to categorize those you follow. They're easy to create. You can create your own lists like "Facebook Marketing." You would put all the Facebook marketing "experts" in this list. You can make a list for information in your niche.
Once you have your lists created, check the ones you want to a few times a day, like your niche information list. You will easily have access to the latest breaking news without having to scroll through everyone else's tweets.
So there you have it … 10 great social media tools to start using today! But I couldn't stop at 10. I found this little surprise and had to share it…
BONUS: Mention Map for Twitter
This tool is just cool. You enter a Twitter name, like @Frog_Online for example, and it pulls up a map of mentions. Each user that the map pulls up is also connected to the people and hashtags they mentioned the most in recent tweets. You can click on a node to explore the neighborhood of tweets surrounding it.
After looking at Mention Map, how would you use this tool?
Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments!
I know there are A LOT more tools out there … So if you have some cool tools you use, or have tips and tricks for using the above tools, please share!
This article, 10 Tools That Will Make You a Better Social Media Marketer, was originally published by Wealthy Web Writer. This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Wealthy Web Writer, a free newsletter for learning how to effectively write online copy and market products on the Web. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/web-writing/.