No doubt about it. People are piling into social media marketing like never before. But the most successful ones don’t go naked. They deploy a variety of digital tools to amplify and monitor their efforts.
BizBest® has researched over 100 social marketing tools – including some that are brand new – and came up with this list of 16 standouts (listed alphabetically):
Great to use if your efforts are focused on Facebook. It offers tools to engage your fans, qualify them and track results. Using AgoraPulse could certainly quicken your marketing heartbeat.
Awesome way to schedule social media activity. It lets you add posts and tweets to your “buffer” from anywhere and have them automatically distributed throughout the day. By keeping your biz buffer topped off with content, you can schedule a fresh social media presence for a week or more.
Offers tools to measure and boost your social marketing. Lets you analyze performance of individual tweets and posts to quickly grasp what’s working; view engagement and reach metrics for Facebook.
Plugin for getting more marketing mileage out of blog comments. This takes the old, rather clunky “comments” function and turns it into a social media machine that lets users sign in and comment via Facebook and Twitter.
An all-in-one marketing software provider that give you a complete package of tools to launch and manage your social media marketing. Super-savvy social marketers! These folks are smart.
LinkedIn “Skills & Expertise”
This tool (under the “More” tab on LinkedIn) is an effective (and free) way to find world-class professionals with whatever skills and fields of interest you want; an especially rich source of B2B contacts and leads.
Cool new way to find articles about you and your business, as well as colleagues, competitors and anyone else you care about, and receive notifications minutes or hours after they’re published. Sync your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and it happens automatically.
Revolutionizing customer relationship management (CRM) for small business by taking it into the social realm in a really smart way. This “social CRM” service makes it easy to manage your contacts, communications activities and sales all in one place.
This aptly named app from Constant Contact is a social media lifesaver for those who want their social activity results neatly summarized in a single email. NutshellMail tracks what’s being said about your business in social media, packages it up and sends a summary email on whatever schedule you choose.
Affordable analytics tool that’s all about measuring the impact of your social marketing efforts. Output charts and graphs showing traffic, fans, users, comments and more.
Measures interactions across the web and helps you understand your influence (or lack of it) in social media. Better than Klout because it’s more adept at measuring real influence rather than just large numbers of followers.
Several tools in one, including alerts and insights that help you get the most out of social marketing. Publish to all of the major social media sites and schedule posts in advance. It also pulls comments from all of your social media sites into one place – a big time-saver for responding.
A do-it-yourself platform for managing social media marketing. But it’s a fairly sophisticated service, favored by many larger businesses as well. It offers a wide range of features, including data capture, customer relationship management (CRM) and unlimited accounts.
Great place to share content such as product or other presentations and generate traffic and leads for your business. The site is free to use and gets some 60 million visitors monthly. Presentations can appear on your LinkedIn profile.
Sprout Social (www.sproutsocial.com)
Popular tool among small businesses to monitor what’s being said about you online, schedule and publish updates to your social media pages with one click, and produce reports.
Dashboard that gives you a good view of your Twitter activity. It allows you to monitor and manage unlimited accounts, schedule tweets to suit your audience and filter content to focus on what matters to you the most.
Bonus Tool: MarketMeSuite (www.marketmesuite.com)
This one came to our attention after the original Sweet 16 list was published, but definitely deserves a look. MarketMeSuite gives you the tools you need to be more proactive with your social media marketing. Some 30,000 small businesses are already using it to find targeted leads and influencers, engage with customers and get results on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.