By Joe Pulizzi published February 1, 2012

47 Essential Social Media Tools for Content Marketers

social-media-tools-300x300It’s hard to believe the sheer number of social media tools we use everyday to help grow the Content Marketing Institute and SocialTract, as well as my own personal brand.  Since there are so many, I decided to update this post from almost three years ago.  It’s amazing the number of social media and content marketing tools that I continue to use, as well as the many that died over the years from lack of use.

Which ones am I missing that you cannot live without? [disclaimer: many of the tools below are CMI partner tools]

The Basics

  • LinkedIn – Start the practice of connecting with every business card you receive from contacts.
  • Facebook – Less business, more entertainment the better.
  • Twitter – The best way to broadcast great business content…period.
  • Google+ – The fastest growing social media network of all-time.  Due to Google’s link with search, Google+ is now critical.

Conversations and Listening

  • LinkedIn Answers – Listen and answer.  Best if you have business customers.
  • LinkedIn Groups – Find groups that make sense for your business.
  • Yahoo! Answers – Listen and answer questions. Position yourself as the expert.  Better if you have consumer customers.
  • Google Alerts – Get updates on who’s talking about you, your industry, your customers.
  • Google Groups – Find the group relevant to your job and get active.
  • Google Trends – Love this tool!  See where keyword trends are heading.  It will help you tell better stories.

Twitter Management

  • Tweetdeck – The ultimate Twitter management system.
  • Hootsuite – Manage multiple twitter accounts from one dashboard.
  • – Possibly the best reporting structure for distributing Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Twitter Search – Find anything on Twitter real-time.
  • Yammer – It’s Twitter for inside the company walls.

Content Sharing

  • Slideshare – Upload your PowerPoint presentations for all to see.
  • YouTube – The #1 video sharing site and #2
  • Vimeo – The alternative to YouTube.
  • StumbleUpon – Randomly generates content for users by interest area. It still amazes me how much traffic we get from StumbleUpon.
  • Scribd – Share original writings with others.
  • Pinterest – In less than two months becomes a Top 100 website.  Amazingly addictive.
  • – Great way to share the information that is all about YOU.
  • BufferApp – Integrates with Facebook and Twitter to easily share content.

CMS/Content Promotion/Creation Tools

  • WordPress – My recommendation for a blog CMS platform.
  • Tumblr – Post anything quickly and easily.
  • Zemanta – Great for adding additional content and links.
  • Outbrain – The PPC tool for content distribution.  Used by some of the best brands on the planet.
  • PR Newswire – Our preferred tool for distributing news and research releases.
  • Jing– To create screenshots for clients when something needs to be explained.

Event Tools

  • Lanyrd – Heavy social media, but excellent conference promotion tool.
  • Plancast – Another event listing tool.
  • GoToMeeting – Desktop sharing and event tool for businesses of any size.
  • ON24 – Industrial-strength online event tool.


  • Google Analytics – I recommend using Google Analytics even if you have a paid analytics service (courtesy Cim Buser).
  • Alexa – Some high-level information on website traffic for any site.
  • – Excellent comparison tool for web analytics-type information.
  • Quantcast – Provides good overview of analytics and site demographics.
  • Radian6 – A paid social media measurement tool.  Now a company.


  • Google Apps – Runs all email and calendar functions through one place.  We use it and love it. Basic option is free.
  • Google Docs – Share Word documents, spreadsheets and presentations via secure invitations. Great for editing a document with multiple people involved.
  • Teamwork Project Manager – Easy-to-use project management tool.
  • BaseCamp – An alternative to Teamwork Project Manager. Also very easy to use.
  • DropBox – Easy way to share files with co-workers and associates.
  • Salesforce – Track sales opportunities, leads and contacts.
  • Evernote – Easy to way to transport documents from iPad to anywhere else you are going.
  • Skype – Hard to do international calls without it.  Plus, sometimes it’s helpful to see the person.
  • Chrome Remote Desktop – Incredibly handy tool if you need access to someone else’s computer and you lack IT support.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Dave Huffman

    GREAT list Joe. I wanted to add a comment of value, but really, only thing I can say is that I’m gonna bookmark this one for sharing 🙂 Not much more one can add to this one…


    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Dave…I actually thought I should have added Klout as well. I guess that would be #48.

  • John Simonson

    Joe, any thoughts about “Tout”?

    BTW, I just purchased both of your CM books.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks so much John…I’ve heard great things about Tout but haven’t used yet. I guess I’ll have to get on that.

      Thanks again for buying the books. Really appreciate it.

  • Tom Treanor

    Hey Joe. I love the list. That’s an awesome resource! I don’t use any myself but what do you think about the more sophisticated social media monitoring systems like Radian 6 or Trackur?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Tom…Lots of my friends use Trackur but I haven’t. If anyone else out there as Trackur experience, would love to hear it.

      • Tom Treanor

        Thanks Joe – after the comment I noticed that you had Radian6 already in a different section. That’s the hard part about tools lists. A lot of time they’re like swiss army knives so can fit in multiple categories! Thanks again for the post.

  • Dimitar Tsonev

    The list is really great, but can be expanded a little bit with not so essential, but useful services.
    However, in that state, your list was stolen and reprinted here without any credit or respect of copyrights. 🙁

    I apologize about being the bad news messenger, but authorship and copyrights should be respected.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thank you for the notification Dimitar. It happens all the time and we do the best we can to control it.

      • Dimitar Tsonev

        The most ridiculous (and sad at the same time) part is that the new author even stole your comments on each service, not just the list.

  • Kristian

    If you’re gonna add Klout, you better include PeerIndex too. And/or Twellow. Both are very valuable sources for influencers on a topic out there.

  • Nettie Hartsock

    Great list! Thanks for this fantastic wrap-up and especially including LinkedIn at the top of your list. I think it’s vital to B2B folks who want to connect directly to their potential peers, partners and buyers. Putting out insightful content on LinkedIn to your groups, and to your connections is a great way to empower long-term lead generation through actionable content. It’s wonderful you keep us all on our social media toes Joe!

  • Dave, Architect

    This is as useful as it gets when it comes to finding tools online for one’s business. Amazing compilation.. I particularly like teamwork pm for collaboration of online projects. Thanks for highlighting it.

  • Sam Kidd

    Nice lists, and cheers for the mention in the Operations list. Always nice to see where make the grade 🙂

    A few other tools that might be worthy of adding in that I use. SEOmoz, great service for tracking how your site is doing regarding ranking for certain keywords. Also notifies you of any SEO errors in your site.
    Klout I guess could be added in as well. I’m still not 100% sold myself but i does make interesting reading at times.
    Screenflow is another great tool. Super easy to use screen capturing software. I use this for pretty much any screen cast I have to make.

  • James Hart

    Don’t forget content aggregation. Tools like NetNewswire for Mac is essential for getting ideas

  • Bruno Pierre Gebarski

    Joe: you are one of the reference when it comes to content / Inbound Marketing and its relevance! This list is outstanding and a very useful list of tools for us to learn and use. Content-Curation is becoming a big topic as the Tsunami of data and information becomes literally the Babel of information! Would you please consider naming curating-tools for your next update? The ones you recommend the most or may be some of the tactics you personally use in order to keep up? I would love to find something to “replace” RSS feeds especially when you line up hundreds of them adding all the time! Thank you and kind regards from over the pond: @brunogebarski 

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Sure thing Bruno!

  • Diane Stephenson

    It’s great to have such a comprehensive list in one post. I will bookmark this site. I shared it on Twitter. I am using some of these tools and should probably be using more. Little by little. Considering that 3 years ago I didn’t even know what a blog was, I’ve come a long way.