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

Michael Street (@StreetForce1)

Account Supervisor, MS&L Group

“Bit.ly is for measuring clicks and various other analytics from your social media campaigns,” says Street. “This is a free tool that I use on a regular basis for my clients. More recently I used this for tracking clicks, top referring sites, and other metrics for live streaming a concert in New Orleans.

“EdgeRank Checker
helps you learn when is the best time to post content to your Facebook page and what content is working the best for you and what’s not. The cost is free for limited stats and $15 for more robust metrics and analysis. I use this tool to monitor engagement across all the accounts that I manage for various clients.

“Hashtracking allows you to measure the impact of your twitter campaign my measuring the activity, retweets, and impressions related to your campaign’s hashtag. This is a free tool to use and I’ve used this for various clients/campaigns such as Belvedere Vodka’s World Aids Day campaign.”

Lesly Simmons (@LeslySimmons)

Founder & Strategist, Digital District Group http://www.digitaldistrictgroup.com

“Google Analytics is the way to go for those needing more advanced tracking over their social content,” says Simmons.  ”Most people only know how to use it for website monitoring, but there are really rich social monitoring tools built in that can tell you how your content is spreading across the web via social media. It takes more time to understand how they work, but if you’re looking for robust reporting, this is the way to go. And it’s free!

“Google Alerts is the easiest way I’ve found to get regular updates without constant searching if you’re tracking a specific topic. Enter your keywords and the results come to via email, either in daily digest form or as they appear. This is perfect for events with a specific name to see the conversation

“Google Reader is still the easiest and best way to find, follow and engage with blogs (which are not going away any time soon). Google Reader now integrates with Google+, so shared posts appear there, which may require additional monitoring for people not already active in the space. For keeping up with blogs I still haven’t found an eaiser solution.I’m clearly big on Google! I’ve been testing a lot of newer tools in recent months, and haven’t found anything that tops these at an affordable price point. I’ve actually recommended getting rid of some of the pricier tools for larger clients, and really harnessing the power of these, with some success. All of these are available on mobile as well as desktop formats, which is huge for me if I’m on the road and need to access or update something quickly.

“Evernote is a general productivity tool, but its a perfect repository for ideas related to blog posts. I create notes with any kind of content, from a photo to a URL on any computer or device and have them sync seamlessly. When I am ready to use the information, I just fire up Evernote wherever I’m working and all the information I’ve shared appears without me needing to track it down or remember where I saved something.”

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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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