Are you getting the feeling that social media marketing can potentially suck up all of your time (and then some)? Having the right social media tools in place to stay on top of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest while keeping your blog updated and your mailing list subscribers happy with new content would be nice, right?
You are not alone.
As important as social media is for engaging your audience, it can take valuable time and attention away from other marketing channels. The good news is that there are countless tools and strategies you can use to regain control. If you use them properly, you can save a few hours a day while getting the same, or better, results from your marketing.
Is your curiosity piqued? Read on for 11 quick, helpful tech tools for getting the most out of your social media campaigns.
#1 – Be Nimble With Your Social Media Relationships
One of the reasons to use social media is to build relationships with the folks who can help your business grow. This includes people who buy your products and services, tell their friends and family members about you and ultimately become your advocates.
Nimble gives you a way to manage these contacts. It is essentially a CRM tool designed specifically for the social media space. You can store contact information, track activity on numerous platforms, record sales, and monitor conversations. The bigger you get, the more useful it becomes.
#2 – Manage The Show With Hootsuite
Hootsuite does for social media profiles what newsreaders do for blogs. Actually, it does a lot more. It allows you to manage your profiles on multiple platforms from one place. You can schedule tweets, update your Facebook page and post on Google+. You can also tap into LinkedIn, FourSquare, and WordPress.
The software is advertised as a dashboard. Everything is laid out in front of you, similar to the dash in your car. You can use Hootsuite for free, but you will eventually want to upgrade to the Pro account.
#3 – Grow Your Email List Through Facebook Using Heyo
Heyo connects with your Facebook account and helps you build custom Facebook apps for your fan page. It also works for mobile apps and websites. There are several app-building templates to choose from which make for selling products, offering discounts or deals easy because all you have to do is choose a template, and add your content.
You have worked hard to build your Facebook fan base. Why not convert these fans into email subscribers? Build a custom Facebook app that offers a free e-book on something they really want that they can only get by giving you their e-mail address in the custom app you built right on your Fan Page. Cool, right? It is a win-win. You are building an email list, right?
#4 – Install Google Analytics On Your Profiles
Knowing that you are getting traffic is not enough. You need to know where it is coming from and how it is converting. That is the only way you will know where to devote your limited time and effort for the best results.
Make full use of Google Analytics Social Reports on your social media profiles. You will be able to see which sources are sending folks who respond to your calls-to-action.
#5 – Follow Your Followers With FollowerWonk
Twitter provides a nifty set of tools to help businesses squeeze as much value as possible from the site. However, there is always room for improvement, especially where data about your followers are concerned.
Enter FollowerWonk. It is a software app that helps you identify folks by keywords and locations found in their Twitter bios. It gives you data with which to analyze and track trends. You can then modify your efforts based on where your time and attention are best spent.
#6 – Set Up A Few Google Alerts
Google Alerts is not technically a social media tool, but it comes in handy when you need to stay on top of mentions of your business. If someone says something nice about you, you will know about it pronto and can reach out to thank the individual in person. If a competitor trashes your company, you will be able to craft a quick response to nip it in the bud.
Of course, Google Alerts can be used for other purposes. For example, you might want to track mentions of certain keywords that are crucial to your niche.
Easy to set up, easy to use, and free. A trifecta!
#7 – Find Out What Is Hot On Pinterest
It sometimes seems like Pinterest is a flea market of content. Spend a little time strolling through the aisles, and you will find a number of gems hidden amongst the junk (much like any social media platform). Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify what folks consider to be the gems.
That is what Pinalytics helps you to accomplish. You can search by subject matter, keyword, or name, and uncover tons of useful data. You will see stats on pins, repins, likes, tweets, mentions, shares, and +1s across the various social media platforms.
Very useful. And very free (for now).
#8 – Shoot From The Vine
A wise man once said a picture is worth a thousand words. What might he have said about a 6-second video?
That is exactly what Vine allows you to shoot and upload to your Twitter account. The software is an app (download it for free from the Apple app store) that lets you create short videos that you can share with your followers. They can then share them with their own followers.
If you are tired of trying to jam everything you want to say into 140 characters, try shooting a few videos. It is a great way to engage your audience.
#9 – Time Your Google+ Posts With Timing+
The more accurately you can time your posts, the better the odds that your audience will see them and get involved in the conversation. If you are posting top-notch material, that is important. You want to make sure folks are seeing it!
Timing+ gives you a way to hone your timing with laser precision on Google+. The software reviews the last 100 posts you made and determines the best time for future posts. Using this information can help maximize your readership and even boost audience engagement.
#10 – Automate Your Updates With Buffer
Buffer is one of several tools that will let you schedule updates for multiple social media platforms. As a bonus, you will get to see the number of replies, shares, and retweets for each message.
Going on a much-deserved vacation and concerned you will not have Internet access? No problem! Set up content shares ahead of time, and schedule them to go up on autopilot while you are relaxing and sipping Mai Tais.
Forget to set things up before leaving for the airport? No problem! Use the Buffer mobile app on your iPhone or Android device to do the work from your car. (Uh, small piece of advice – let someone else drive.)
#11 – Find Worthwhile Conversations With NeedTagger
Twitter has fast become a major business-building social media platform. The challenge is sifting through the noise to find conversations that are worth getting into. According to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in 2012, folks are sending upwards of 400 million tweets per day. You need a way to search for the good stuff – i.e. the stuff that matters to you.
NeedTagger does the heavy lifting for you. It is a power search engine built specifically for Twitter. It finds real-time conversations that are taking place about topics you are interested in. People might be talking about your products, news stories that touch your niche, or even memes that are catching fire. NeedTaggers finds them for you.
If you are having trouble keeping up with the social media channel, use some, or all, of the tools above to streamline things. You might discover that managing your profiles and engaging audiences on multiple platforms is easier, simpler, and less time-consuming than you imagined.