If you've already done some research on social media tools, you've surely realized that there are countless tools that can help you manage your social media content.
Social media for business has literally skyrocketed over the last couple of years and tools that assist business owners with their social media monitoring and tracking has mushroomed all over the place!
So how do you know which ones are the best?
Well it depends on a lot of things. The way I see it, you need to determine how you're going to use these tools first.
It's useless spending money on a tool that has many features that you're not going to use. For example, are you a solopreneur who'll be needing some sort of social media tool, solely to manage your Facebook page? Or are you a virtual assistant perhaps, who manages various social media campaigns for clients?
Luckily, most social media tools offer a basic plan. This means that you can usually use the tool for FREE with certain limitations.
So my recommendation is to first try the basic plan. Then when you've grown familiar with the software, see whether you need to upgrade to the premium version.
On this page, I've listed my top 5 favorite social media tools that I use regularly. And yes, they all have a basic version that is free to use.
With the free plan, you can monitor and track two accounts – a Facebook page and a Twitter account. If you need more accounts, you can upgrade to their Professional (which offers 10 accounts) or their Business (you can add up to 30 accounts with this package).
What I like about Crowd Booster
Here’s what I love the most about this product. With the free account you basically get most of the features that go with the premium accounts. Your only limitations are the number of accounts that you can have.
So if you only have 1 Facebook page and/or 1 Twitter account, you’ll love Crowd Booster!
What about features? What can you do with Crowd Booster?
Let's start with Twitter.
On Crowd Booster you will be able to:
Another cool thing that I love about Crowd Booster is that they will recommend the best times that you need to tweet to get optimum exposure!
Regarding your Facebook account, on Crowd Booster you can see who your top fans are, monitor fan growth and also track the amount of impressions your posts are getting, as well as the number of likes and comments.
They also provide regular recommendations on how to make the most of your Facebook presence.
If you've been using Facebook for business for a while, you might already be implementing some of their recommendations. Still it doesn't hurt being reminded to do certain things. If you're a newbie, then you most definitely want to follow their recommendations.
For more information on this social media tool, visit crowdbooster.com.
Buffer serves as a "storage place" for future tweets and posts to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. You can also instruct Buffer to post your stuff immediately.
The really cool thing about Buffer is that you can schedule when and how often your tweets/posts are posted. So for example, you can choose to have your tweets posted on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at 8.00am, 10.00am, 3.00pm and 8.00pm. YOU decide the frequency and the days!
What Buffer does, is that it then stores your posts/tweets and post them according to your schedule.
Another great thing that I love about Buffer, is that it is super easy to save content that you want share later on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
So say you're browsing the net and you come across this really interesting blog post that you'd like to share with your Twitter followers ... all you need to do is click on the Buffer icon on your browser and the blog post is immediately saved in your queue and goes out according to the schedule that you pre-set!
Buffer has some really useful apps and extensions too.
If you're interested in using this tool, go to bufferapp.com.
As I'm sure you've noticed, Facebook is not all that reliable with notifying page owners about new comments.
This is why I use Hyper Alerts to keep track of new posts and comments on my Facebook pages.
With this free tool, you can choose to get notified as soon as possible, hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.
I strongly recommend that you choose the "as soon as possible" option. You want to interact with your fans in real time as much as possible. When you do this, you will notice that engagement on your pages will greatly increase.
Hyper Alerts is truly one of my top favorite social media tools.
It's also a fantastic tool to help you keep your page spam-free! Because as soon as someone posts a spam post on your wall (sometimes such posts are not detected by Facebook), you'll receive a notification of that post from Hyper Alerts and you can delete it immediately.
Remember that you have to set the tone of your page. So keep your page spam-free and make sure to monitor and delete any spam posts that you get. Your fans will thank you and you will have more credibility in their eyes. In addition, it would be easier for you to attract new fans if you keep your page relevant, provide value and fend off spammers!
For more info, visit hyperalerts.no.
This is a great tool for those just starting out with Facebook marketing for business.
With Recommend.ly you get daily recommendations of what you need to do to build your presence on Facebook.
As soon as you subscribe, you will start receiving daily emails outlining the actions that you need to take to engage more with existing fans and grow your fan base.
Another great thing about Recommend.ly is that you can track what your competitors are doing. See which were their latest posts that got the most likes, comments and shares.
One thing that I'd like to point out about Recommend.ly is that they will often recommend that you post multiple times per day. Be very cautious with this recommendation.
Only YOU know your audience and ony YOU can tell whether posting 4 times a day will increase engagement or not. For a lot of niches, multiple posts will most likely turn off fans.
So experiment with this and track whether fans start hiding your posts more or worse still "unliking" you!
You can find this social media tool at recommend.ly.
Hootsuite is one of my top favorite social media tools for automating my posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Always be sure to mix things up and post in real time too to make your page more interesting and engaging.
The dashboard is very easy to use and once you've finished scheduling your posts, you can see them all laid out in a list. This is a great way to identify whether you have any "empty" days and think of things that you can post to keep your Facebook page constantly updated.
Hootsuite is also useful if you have more than one person managing your social media efforts. With Hootsuite, you can assign someone who can approve all scheduled posts before they go out. Great if you have junior personnel working for you and you'd like to approve their posts before they are distributed.
On Hootsuite, you can also see at a glance, the number of mentions and retweets that you got on your Twitter account as well as all the other activities on your account.
If you'd like to start using this social media tool, go to hootsuite.com.