Using Tools for Social Media Marketing

using tools for social media marketingPreamble

Using tools for social media marketing may be a requirement to many marketers, as often the works on business website promotion on social networks are time consuming and associated with the need to deal with multiple accounts and many actions on content distribution performance.

To make these works easier the tools for social media can be used. Fortunately, there are many paid and free social media tools to facilitate networking and they are easily available on the net. You also can easily find guides on how to use social media tools to improve your activities on business promotion.

If you plan to achieve the deep and ongoing presence of your online business on social networks, then choosing social media tools should be taken very seriously, as the chosen tool you’ll use practically every day, and it must be of high quality and well understood by you.

So, here we discuss:

  • Variety of Tools for Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Best Social Media Account Managers
  • Conclusion and Notes

1. Variety of Tools for Social Media Marketing (SMM)

The overall arsenal of tools for social media works is very extensive and consists of three main sections:

  • Social media guides and tutorials
  • Social media account managers (profile managers)
  • Social media training and money-making programs

The quality guide for the concrete social media network can be very useful, as it allows to feel better the potential of the network and to discover it for yourself as much as possible in terms of promoting your online business. Below you’ll find a list of the high-quality guides for the leading social media networks.

As for social media profiles managers, we can say that their use is a must, especially if you run multiple social media networks accounts. Perhaps, among all the tools for social media this tool is  the most necessary, as it can help you to perform a wide range of works. Below we discuss this issue in more detail and you will find our advice on how to choose social media manager for you.

Social media training and money-making offers usually are the all-in-one programs for the work with a single network or with multiple networks in order to make money. Typically, such programs provide detailed action steps, starting from registration at concrete networks and proceeding with performing of specific approaches and methods for money-making. We also attribute these programs to tools for social media, as some of them are very powerful and may include a large set of social media tools. In such programs you can work both independently and in a group of people.  The information about the best social media training and money-making programs we have placed on a separate page of our website.

On this page we mainly discuss the need to use the Social Media Accounts Managers to improve your social media and online marketing activities.

2. Best Social Media Account Managers

a) HootSuite

HootSuite, best social media tools

The HootSuite is one of the leaders in social media marketing software. It allows its customers the ability to promote their brand through social channels, generate quality leads, and increase social traffic to their websites, all within one easy-to-use platform. So, the customers are able to connect their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social media pages through the system in order to schedule posts, monitor brand mentions, reply to messages, and more.

The HootSuite provides a great overview in a number of dashboards so you can set your social media streams the way you like, assign conversations to your team members and automate publishing of articles from feeds you specify. Cross social media publishing is made very convenient with the option to schedule your posts in advance. Also, recently HootSuite included the option to generate social media campaigns to create awesome interactive marketing promotions for your audience. Now it’s a breeze to target your peers and get them involved with your business.

Here are some of HootSuite’s main features:

  • Manage Multiple Accounts. You can manage your accounts of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ping, Word Press, Foursquare and Google+ networks all from one place
  • Schedule Updates. It includes a calendar and even the ability to download massages from a worksheet (csv file format), you can use all those files over and over again on a schedule.
  • Collaborate as a Team. It’ll let you delegate replies, tweets, track messages, mark as done, etc.
    This is one of the excellent attributes of HootSuite. You can get all your team in one place and work jointly. For example, the team can see all the planned posts on your Facebook Fan Page, so you’ll not make the same message at the same time
  • Hootsuite Drafts. Using HootSuite you can even save your messages as drafts and return to them latter when you are prepared to share them. It is a great solution when you, for example, want to scribble a quick message but need to find a link or you are limited at the moment in time
  • Mobile Apps. You can use apps for iPhone, Android, iPad, Blackberry and Keitai
  • RSS Integration. You can post updates from an RSS feed. So, if you have preferred websites or blogs whose new posts you often re-tweet, you can set their RSS feeds up to automatically tweet new posts via any social networks you have set up at HootSuite
  • Customised Analytics. Of course, no tools for social media would be comprehensive without analytics, as testing and tracking your initiatives let you decide what to keep and what to dump. HootSuite Social Analytics provide over 30 social analytic report modules, including such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics. It’ll help you track your campaigns and fulfill your business objectives
  • Support

You can try the free Hootsuite for individual accounts first to get used to Hootsuite and once you feel confident with the tool, start using the paid version.

Price for HootSuite: Free: (3 Social Profiles, Basic Analytics Reports,Message Scheduling); Pro – $9.99/month, billed annually.

b) Buffer

Buffer, best social media tools

The Buffer is a new and smartest way to advertise what you want on many social media networks. You can add updates to your Buffer queue and it will be published according to the schedule that you indicate. You can use it anytime to fill with great Tweets, Facebook stories or LinkedIn updates. The quality, with which the system is doing the tasks, carries it to the best social media tools for marketers.

So, Buffer lets you schedule a post for a specific time, or just post to all of your networks immediately. Then, it’ll let you follow up and see all the feedback, retweets, click stats, and more from each of your posts, right from a desktop.

With a free account, you’ll be capable to post at the same time to one Twitter, App.net, Facebook (on your personal profile or a Page), LinkedIn account, and Google+ Page, and store up to 10 posts in your queue to post later. If you upgrade to an Awesome plan for $10/month, and you can add up to 12 social networking accounts and post to them all at once (or save an unlimited number of posts in your queue). That suddenly makes it a lot more beneficial.

Here are some of Buffer’s main features:

  • Buffer performs the timing of your social media posts. It activities an advanced interface and options for including several social networks, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  • You can create a dedicated Buffer account if you choose. Once you’re signed in, you can add the social networks you didn’t use to sign in, as well as an App.net account and any Facebook pages and LinkedIn Groups that you handle.
  • Buffer lets you prepare tweets and status updates, which can be posted across several networks at once. You can post them instantly, or choose the “Add to Buffer” alternative, which lets Buffer decide when to post it.
  • You can make multiple posts and put them to your queue. Buffer chooses a time based on when it believes most retweets and clicks happen. The system analyzes overall usage of Twitter as a whole, not just your account. Buffer has a relationship with a service called Tweriod, which looks especially at your account and recommends times for you to post.
  • Buffer provides time suggestions for your posts. If you’re not satisfied with Buffer’s time suggestions, you can easily override it, as Buffer offers an easy to use, timezone-specific scheduler that lets you figure out when to publish your posts.
  • Buffer also offers a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari that lets you share content from any Web page. It adds a small icon to your browser that enables you to share a link via Buffer (directly from the Web page itself). It even suggests text to go along with the link (which you can change) and gives you the option of posting it now or adding it to your Buffer.
  • Buffer’s analytics also been great and it can help determine whether its decisions on when to post your content are working. It offers enough info to be helpful, such as how many clicks, retweets, and mentions you get, as well as the potential reach of your posts, without overwhelming you.

Price for Buffer: Free (4 social profiles, 10 scheduled posts per profile); $10.00/month (10 social profiles, 100 scheduled posts per profile); $99.00/month (25 social profiles, 2000 scheduled posts per profile)

c) Sprout Social

Sprout Social, best social media tools

The Sprout Social is for you if you’re looking for a cleaner dashboard and some additional analytics with all your posts. It will help you not only to draft, schedule, queue, and post messages in the social media world, but it also enables you to assign and manage tasks among team members and track and measure your social media performance. Also, it is a premium tool among the social media management tools.

With Sprout Social you have the capability to publish content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn simultaneously from a single box. That will definitely help save time when you’re trying to get a message out to all of your social channels at once. Of course, as a best applying, you should always personalize your messages for each social network. Another interesting publishing feature is their Viral Post Send-Time Optimization, which allows determine the optimal post times for content to maximize engagement.

The Sprout Social will be the right tool for some businesses, and they are continuously evolving and adding new features. Fairly recently they added the ability to publish to LinkedIn company pages and they are looking at adding new features over the coming year, making them among the best social media tools for business.

Here are some of Sprout Social’s main features:

  • With Sprout Social you have the capability to publish content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn simultaneously from a single compose box. That will help save time when you’re striving to get a message out to all of your social routes at once. They have everything you’d expect, from scheduling posts, to include images, to shorten URLs.
  • A very interesting publishing feature is their ViralPost Send-Time Optimization, which allows you determine the optimal post times for content to increase engagement. Basically, it looks at your audience and suggests when you should publish your content.
  • Sprout Social provides a ton of collaboration features, probably more than any other social media management tool. If you’re looking for a solution to use with a big size team, Sprout Social is the winner. The tool allows you to manage your Smart Inbox as a team and in real-time. So you don’t have to get worried about replying to a comment that someone else already replied to.
  • They provide a Discovery Tab feature which helps users find new followers and review who converses with you on Twitter most often. Also, the Smart Search function lets users conduct a keyword or user search across Facebook and Twitter, and even includes location filters to target by area.
  • Their Reporting Options allow for broad reports of overall social media activity and segmented Facebook, Twitter, Team Progress, and Twitter Comparison reports. The colorful and elegant reports aren’t as customizable as HootSuite’s, but deliver all the data expected and valued most by social media strategists.
  • Sprout Social also has the powerful suite of analytic features. It provides from network-specific reports for Facebook and Twitter, to engagement reports, team reports, and trends. The tool gives you quite a range of data to pull from.

Price for Sprout Social: 30-day free trial, Delux – $59.00 per user/month; Premium – $99.00 per user/month; Team – $500.00/per month, 3 users

Other Social Media Account Managers

a) TweetDeck

The TweetDeck will help you support Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Google Buzz, and more social media websites accounts. In addition to uncomplicated cross-network up-dates and tracking, TweetDeck also supports daily schedules improvements. You’ll be able quickly to personalize the TweetDeck application to show just what you want and when you want. If you sign up for a free account you’ll also have the option to synchronize settings.

b) Socialite

The Socialite is a application for social media accounts managing that comes in two variants: free and paid ($9.95 license). Socialite qualitatively monitors and updates Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and Flickr accounts, as well as assists Good Reader and manual RSS Feeds.

3. Conclusion and Notes

One of the most important tasks to manage social media accounts is to stay organized.  This can also be one of the biggest challenges for marketers and social media managers.  While trying to stay up to date with social media updates and trends – the social media account managers are to be used.

So, using tools for social media marketing will make it easy for you to maintain a consistent presence on social without having to spend time scheduling every message. You can add content to the queue, and social the media account manager will automatically publish your messages at preset times or when your audience is most engaged.

Here are some notes for using tools for social media marketing:

The single most important help for managing multiple social media accounts is – the ability to access everything from one location. Social media dashboards (like Buffer and others, mentioned above) are ideal for this task. So, add your social media profiles to a dashboard.

Using social media account manager you will be able to schedule your posts on many places. It’ll help you save time by letting you set your social media updates all at once and share at multiple social media websites (best times throughout the day). All social media management tools listed above (Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc.) allow for scheduling.

Remember, using tools for social media marketing can be successful only when you distribute quality content on a particular strategy.

If you have limited funds and looking for the most powerful social media account manager with the free options, in our opinion this is Buffer.

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