There are dozens of social media marketing tools out there. These tools are designed to make social media campaigns more streamlined and efficient.
It is important to keep the number of tools used to a minimum because using too many things to accomplish the same thing can become counterproductive.
But, and this is the biggie, how do decide on the ideal tool and the optimal number of tools to use? The answer lies in understanding the main categories of these tools.
There are three main categories of social media marketing tools.
1. Social Media Content Discovery Tools
Content discovery tools help you find useful and relevant content to share with your audience. The following are just a few examples of content discovery social media marketing tools.
Tweetdeck is owned by Twitter so there are benefits from exclusive features the Twitter only makes available in this application. A case in point being the ability to view Twitter Cards. It is a great tool to find new topics and people to follow. If you follow many people on Twitter, Tweetdeck will help keep you sane by preventing information overload.
Nuzzel is an excellent tool to help you bring yourself up to date on breaking news or trending topics. You get an alert each time more than one person on your timeline tweet the same topic or link.
Other examples of social media content discovery tools include Buzzsumo and Feed Wrangler, an RSS scraper.
2. Social Media Analytics Tools
Social media analytics tools help you make sense of all the data you collect during your social media campaigns. Once you plug them into your social media accounts, the tools go to work recording activity and presenting the data in reports that you can use to make smart business decisions. A few examples of social media analytics tools are as follows:
Many marketers swear that this is another version of Google Analytics but it really isn’t. This all-in-one dashboard provides you with several metrics such as visitors, referrers, devices, technology, demographics and much more.
This is one of the best free in-depth social media analytics tools out there. Its best feature is its ability to connect data points even when they aren’t on the same platform. For example, you can check if you have had several mentions on Twitter and if that had any impact on your website traffic. In addition, it integrates with very many applications to help you form a comprehensive picture of your social media campaign. For example, it integrates with WordPress, Blogger, Google Analytics, PayPal, Amazon Payments, eBay, Shopify, Bing Ads, Google Adsense and much more. You get why it’s dubbed “SumAll”.
Visually is a great tool for analyzing video, infographics, and presentations. It comes with a weekly Google Analytics report that highlights the main movements during the week.
3. Miscellaneous Tools
Finally, we have miscellaneous social media marketing tools. These do not fall within the two categories. They may have an element of both content discovery and analytics or are completely different and fill a completely different need.
Buffer has a massive following partly due to the simplicity of the application. Buffer automates the process of posting content on several social media platforms. You can queue up to 100 posts using their premium feature and sit back until they are exhausted. It also has respectable built-in analytics.
OmniFocus helps you manage your daily social media tasks. It isn’t just any other task manager but is more of your very own personal assistant.
Ember helps you store your digital assets such as images and video.
These are just a few miscellaneous social media marketing tools. The list is endless.
The question has probably crossed your mind as to whether you need to pay for social media marketing tools. After all, there are a number of good free options including the default in-built analytics tools that come with most social media networks. The answer really depends on your needs and experience with any tool. If a tool isn’t helping you accomplish your social marketing goals, then you probably need to ditch it. Also, if the time you spent maintaining the tool is unreasonable, ditch it. And, avoid using tools that have a steep learning curve. The tool should be easy and straightforward out-of-the-box.
Finally, always to stick to tools that integrate easily with other tools. For example, Tweetdeck, Buffer, and HootSuite integrate well with other applications.
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