The market is full of high-tech solutions to help with social media management. If you have money to spend, you can enjoy all sorts of features from vast content libraries to apps for running Facebook contests, conducting research and digging into some deep analytics.
If your budget isn’t grand, you can still get high-tech help. We have some suggestions for our favorite free and low-cost tools, categorized by what you can do with them. They are free except where a price is mentioned.
Monitoring: What are they saying about you?
Twilert: As the name suggests, this tool allows you to monitor Twitter by setting up free email alerts whenever you want them. Now you don’t have to stay glued to your computer. You won’t miss a tweet that mentions your favorite phrase or hashtags or more importantly your brand name. Don’t miss prospects looking for a company just like yours or maybe an unhappy customer complaining.
Google Alerts: Google Alerts may seem pretty basic, but if you set them up well you may be surprised at all that comes your way. One client had no idea that angry customers were complaining on review sites like complaints.com and pissedconsumer.com until Alerts delivered the mentions right to her. Google Alerts delivers website and blog mentions, but does not cover Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Facebook Marketing: Look like a pro
Pagemodo: We have been impressed by this company’s robust offerings for Facebook marketing. One client uses the free version for the “Contact Us” tab while another retailer is using coupons and contests. All features are easy to use without any technical skills required. What’s not to like? You can also have a lot more, for a still reasonable fee.
Social Media Marketing: Use a centralized dashboard, shorten links, schedule posts, monitor and organize your followers
Twitter and other platforms can be overwhelming, but with a tool like Hootsuite: you can manage it with ease. A few features that I am particularly fond of include:
The Hootlet: This one goes in the category of “changed my life.” Instead of logging onto Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ — or even just logging in to Hootsuite or another social software – the Hootlet allows me to have an app right in my toolbar. As I read through my daily blogs and news sources, I can simply click on the Hootlet to share some content with my followers. It comes complete with a link shortener and scheduler as well as a connection to all of my social media accounts so I can choose which one to use.
Streams: If you get an Excedrin headache trying to make sense of your social media feeds, Hootsuite’s stream function allow you to organize content by keywords. Set up a stream for each topic you want to follow and import your Twitter streams. Now your “listening” is all in one place.
Reporting: Hootsuite offers some free reports that let you see if your tweets are getting retweets or clicks, and such. You can also tie in much more advanced features if you are willing to pay.
Twitter Follower Management: Get rid of Twerps you’re following who aren’t following you back, and follow people who are following you all in one easy interface.
Tweepi: Using the free version of Tweepi, you can organize your Twitter followers. Take a look at who you are following (and if they are following you back), their Klout score and other key metrics such as the last time someone Tweeted. You can mark your favorites so they can’t get flushed (and once they’re marked, you don’t have to review them again), then flush all the deadbeats who aren’t following you back. You can also look at the people following you, to make sure you’re following everyone you want to follow. Here, again, you can mark the spammers and others you don’t want to follow so you only need to review them once.
So, why not give these tools a try? Before you know it, your social presence may be growing so fast that you may want to keep going and invest in some paid options.