Social media can be confusing, frustrating and most of all…time consuming. There are thousands of social media tools available to help you overcome these inconveniences. The next problem is finding the best social media tools to solve your needs. Below are my three favorite social media tools. These tools are among my favorite because all come with free plans, which can be upgraded to paid plans if you’d like more features.
Buffer is by far my favorite social media tool on this list. Buffer is ideal for quickly sharing content across multiple social media platforms. Buffer allows you to set a content schedule, which can be different for each social network/each social account. While reading an article you can quickly share to buffer through internet browser extensions or mobile apps if you’re using a mobile device. When sharing to buffer, you can quickly choose the social networks/social accounts you’d like to share the content through, then select when it should be sent. Select “Add to Queue” to start building a content list to be sent at the times selected in your content schedule, “Share Now” to share the content immediately or “Share Next” to set the content at the top of your Queue to be shared at the next time in your content schedule. Buffer also has some basic social media analytics available. Buffer made it on my 3 favorite social media tools list because of how much time it saves me!
Tweetdeck / Hootsuite:
I’m grouping these two together, because they’re very similar. I personally use Tweetdeck more, despite Hootsuite offering more features. Both are used to monitor multiple social media accounts in real-time. Both offer the ability to schedule messages to be sent at a specific time. Tweetdeck is used for twitter only, while Hootsuite can be used for many different social networks. Hootsuite’s paid plans include many more powerful features as well. I use Tweetdeck when monitoring Twitter accounts in real-time and is especially useful during twitter chats. These two made it on my 3 favorite social media tools list because they allow me to monitor conversation in real time.
Commun.it may be the most powerful social media tool that I’ve found. Unfortunately, Twitter is the only social network currently available. That being said, it’s truly incredible. To me, Commun.it is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool for Twitter. I mentioned that Tweetdeck/Hootsuite are great for monitoring social media accounts in real-time. Unfortunately, that’s simply not an option for most small businesses. Having someone monitoring their social media pages in real-time is expensive in both of terms of actual cost, and time lost. Commun.it helps you stay on top of your Twitter account without taking up so much time and money. Commun.it offers a full dashboard that helps you manage your Twitter community. The dashboard gives you a prioritized feed and suggestions of who to reply to, who to re-engage, who to follow and who to unfollow. They also provide lists of those who aren’t following you back, new followers, new unfollowers, high-value members, influences, supporters and engaged members. After the lists, they offer additional social media features such as monitoring, leads, and groups. Now, that’s a lot of information – and they don’t stop there. They also give you suggestions on how to use that information. For instance, when viewing your “who to re-engage” feed, Commun.it has prewritten Tweets available to be sent with one click. Commun.it made it on my 3 favorite social media tools list because it’s incredible powerful when used for a social media version of CRM. By far, my favorite two features are the “Who to reply to” list and “Who to re-engage” list. Those two features allow me to quickly stay engaged with my social community. As a small business owner, being efficient and saving time is very important.
Founder of St. Louis Social Media Consultants.
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