Whether you’re a marketing manager for a large organization or an entrepreneur looking to build your business, social networks offer great potential for expanding your influence and generating new leads. The challenge? Keeping your social media outposts filled with relevant, useful content takes time — and plenty of it.
To keep your social media content flowing, let’s take a look at some of the top tools that can help you organize your efforts, increase your productivity, and demonstrate measurable results.
Tools to keep you looped in on relevant conversations
From responding to customer complaints to keeping up with what’s being said about your brand online, the efforts necessary to find and engage in all the relevant social media conversations happening around your brand can be overwhelming. How can you monitor keywords and listen to your audience without obsessively checking Twitter 24/7? The good news is you don’t have to track down all mentions as they happen — with the following tools, new mentions can be delivered directly to you:
- Google Alerts: Easy and free, Google Alerts notify you every time your company name comes up online. Simply set up a search query on the Alerts site with your brand/company name and you will receive the results via email.
- Talkwalker: Talkwalker provides social media campaign tracking tools, as well as brand monitoring and analysis across multiple media, including web forums, blogs, product review sites, and online news outlets.
- Socialmention: Type your brand name into the Socialmention search bar, and you’ll see a list of everywhere you’ve been mentioned online, along with ratings (positive, negative, or neutral) for the type of mention it’s used in. Because Socialmention pulls from a wide variety of resources, this tool is most helpful for large organizations with unique brand or company names (for smaller businesses, many of the results returned may not accurately reflect your specific brand).
Tools to manage your participation in those conversations
If you find yourself getting bogged down by the constant need to post new content and reply to inquiries across multiple social networks, take heart. The following desktop applications can help make staying engaged with your followers and fans a breeze:
- HootSuite: Use HootSuite to gain a bird’s eye view of everything happening on your social networks. This tool helps you schedule updates, assign tasks to your company’s social media managers, and post and reply to content when it’s most convenient for you. With HootSuite, you can create and distribute posts for the whole week in just a few concentrated minutes each day.
- TweetDeck: Like HootSuite, TweetDeck helps you manage multiple social media accounts — such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare, and LinkedIn — through a single, easy-to-use dashboard. Available online or via a mobile app, you can schedule, manage, and monitor existing conversations, as well as set custom notifications to alert you to when new mentions occur.
- SproutSocial: SproutSocial offers the ability to manage tasks, schedule posts, monitor conversations, and track engagement metrics across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Tools to help you manage your time more efficiently
Reading updates on Facebook and Twitter can be like entering a black hole — before you notice, you’ve spent the whole day following threads without ever getting closer to “the end” of the relevant information being shared. So how do you stay on task and avoid distractions when checking in on your branded social media efforts? Try these helpful tools:
- Toggl: Toggl is a remarkably simple time-tracking software solution. Enter your task, click the start button, and stop the timer when you’ve finished your tasks. Once you get into the habit of tracking your time with this tool, you can create day-by-day breakdowns of all your activities. What’s more, simply knowing you’re tracking your time goes a long way toward spending it more productively.
- RescueTime: With RescueTime, you can spot inefficiencies in your schedule, moving toward better time management and productivity. The tool runs in the background while you do other work on your computer, measuring which websites, documents, applications, etc., are being used and for how long. It then tells you where the bulk of your time is going. As with Toggl, this time tracker helps you stay productive by identifying time expenditures that can be allocated to more important tasks.
Tools to measure your social media content’s performance
Wish there were a way to measure the marketing value of your tweets? Ever wonder if your brand is achieving any actual results from its social media content efforts? Social media measurement tools like the ones below can help address these questions and justify your budget to key executives in your organization.
- Crowdbooster: Offering a variety of paid plans based on the number of accounts monitored, Crowdbooster measures engagement over time and across multiple social media networks. Not only does this tool review your social activities, it also offers suggestions about what types of content are working best for your business.
- Argyle Social: A unique feature of the Argyle Social platform is its algorithm that assigns a dollar amount to each post, which quantifies the value of your social media content efforts.
What tools would you like to add?
When it comes to managing your social media content efforts, what tools are your current favorites? Are there new ones mentioned here that you might want to try? Let us know how you keep up with important social conversations.
To learn more about this space — and the vendors in it — download Content Collaboration Tools: An Analysis of 13 technology Solutions in a Disruptive Marketplace.
Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).
Cover image via Andrew Moir