12 Tools to Manage Social Media Like the Pros

Four social media professionals tell you their favorite tools to manage, monitor and streamline social media for your business

For many business owners, becoming more active on social media was a business resolution you made for 2012. We’ve showed you how to approach your social media content and how to use social media to attract new customers. But once you are active on different social media sites, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the online mentions of your brand, and managing your online presence can become overwhelming. Worse yet, you may be missing opportunities if you’re not measuring social media effectively.

I reached out to four social media professionals who manage social media for clients around the world. Here are some of their favorite tools to manage, monitor and streamline social media.

James S. Walker (@JayWalk1)

Manager, APCO Online and Founder The Social Diverse Project http://sociallydiverse.posterous.com

“Hootsuite is a Twitter based solution I love. Its capabilities have expanded over the last few years, but I have been able to manage personal and client Twitter accounts from this platform without issue. A big plus is the ability to schedule tweets. When I’m on the go and working across timezones, the ability to share information  (when I want to share it) regardless of my location is priceless,” Walker says.

“Manage Flitter can be an important tool for those of you who know exactly who you are targeting, Once you start to build a base of users, it takes work to maintain a connection with everyone, and you might lose a few followers along the way. Manage Flitter will help you get a sense of light and heavy users (in terms of Twitter activity) and it will also let you know who among the group of people you are following is not following you in return. You may have provided great value to a follower at one point, but now, they’ve lost interest. Using this too, you can see who you might need to reach out and touch directly to build their interest again.

“TweetStats is an oldie but a goodie. This Twitter analytics site pulls up several charts to help you understand the network of any given user. The section most interesting to me from a business perspective is when a user tweets during the day. If you have a few targets on Twitter and are able to view their data via TweetStats, you can see when it’s the best time to get your message on their screen. ”

Meredith Leigh Moore (@Meredith_MCD)

Director, External Relations and Brand Outreach for McDonalds Corporation

“I’ve used Cotweet and Radian 6 as part of our official McDonald’s Twitter team,” says Moore. “There are pros and cons to both, but the ability to analyze a user’s influence on the public and history with your organization is a crucial benefit for both. The feeds for both are easy to understand and are good for a business with multiple administrators behind the scenes to make it seamless for the audience.”

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  • RenitaB

    Great piece. I think before choosing a social media tool, it’s best to understand what metrics are important to assessing your key performance indicators. Without understanding what business questions you are trying to answer it will be difficult to assess which tool is best for you when it comes to tracking, measuring, and activating audiences.

  • Lesly Simmons

    So true Renita–there’s no point in spending money on a monitoring tool until you know what you want to measure. And once you have that down, there are several free or low-cost options that are incredibly useful.

  • Jim

    There is so much confusion and hype as to what social media tools to use. Thank you for sharing such good information on some products. Have heard a lot of good things about Hootsuite. Don’t use it yet. Had not heard of Cotweet, Radian 6 or Manage Flitter. Will check them out. Still wrestling with the fundamentals. Haven’t gotten to the analytics yet.

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