Social media brings businesses and consumers together to interact with one another to help shape the future of a brand. It’s a two-way street, where the business has to let the consumer participate in their long-term growth, but the smartest companies help direct the input from users on social media to navigate their future together.
A critical aspect for a business navigating the social media landscape is through the use of powerful social media marketing tools to help scale your company on the social web while saving time and effort. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, there are many tools available to help you reach your goals but deciding on which are best for your organization can be quite difficult. Here are our suggestions for the ten must-have social media marketing tools for this year.
1. Repost for Instagram – The point of an active business presence on Instagram is to share behind the scene visuals about your company and the lifestyle of your customer base. Ongoing engagement with your followers and potential followers is important for the growth of your Instagram presence in the long-term, which is why Repost for Instagram can be a big help.
This free tool for Instagram power users allows a business to connect their account to the app and repost the images of others with a small tile on the image that helps attribute the original source of the photo visually instead of just relying on the attribution in the description of the photo in text. This tool is useful for businesses when they want to reshare images of their brand posted by their followers, influencers, and other businesses.
Working similarly to the idea of the retweet on Twitter, using Repost for Instagram allows your business to easily share the user generated content about your brand and attribute the source of that photo in the hopes of delighting that Instagram user that originally posted the photo.
2. Magnify – Content curation is a powerful and essential way of creating and distributing all forms of content on behalf of your business. Magnify is a tool for creating, curating and aggregating videos from the some of the top publications and blogs. The easy to use tool allows your business to use the video content from sources like Yahoo, Conde Nast, and AOL for use on your website, as well as the ability to share the video content you’ve curated across relevant ad networks for greater distribution.
This tool can help your company more quickly source the video content of others, curate said content and then distribute any of these videos through relevant ad networks, which serves both your business’s need to create content at scale, but to also distribute it to the right audiences. Through extensive targeting, Magnify allows your business to aggregate content, but with an emphasis on quality.
3. Medium – A new blogging platform started by one of the co-founders of Twitter, Medium focuses on providing a home for content that’s longer than a tweet but shorter than a full blog post. The blogging platform is aesthetically pleasing and very simple to use for publishers of all kinds like bloggers, publications, and brands.
Medium doesn’t replace having a blog on your own web property, but it is certainly a tool worth using to further the spread of your company’s content on the social web because content on the platform is distributed based on algorithmic and editorial curation.
This means that everyone on the platform has the opportunity to get their content seen by its hundreds and thousands of users based on the content itself and not your popularity reflected in your number of followers like on other channels.
4. Tagboard – Hashtags are one of the key features of social media today that wasn’t thought up by a marketing firm or a tech startup, but by the users using Twitter in its earliest days. From there the use of the hashtag to organize content on these platforms has become a widely used method of preparing your social content for sharing. Tagboard is a platform to help your business better manage the use of your hashtags across your social platforms.
This tool solves two problems for businesses, one being that it’s hard to track the use of your hashtags when they are used across different channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+. The second problem being that it’s hard to keep engagement consistent with your owned hashtags for the long-term, which is the most effective way of driving value from this social media feature set.
Tagboard allows your business to organize content in a visually appealing collection around your content tagged with a hashtag on each social network, engage with this content once it’s pulled into one centralized tagboard and lastly, build a community around the use of this content by encouraging and moderating conversations around users making use of these hashtags. Here’s an example of a Tagboard from Xbox and the Seattle Seahawks.
5. Jelly – Another social media marketing tool from a former Twitter co-founder, is a mix between a visual search engine and a crowdsourcing platform. Jelly is a mobile app that allows a user to upload a picture and ask a question about the image to their friends and friends of their friends on social media.
Many businesses are now active on Jelly, trying to take part in the larger conversations surrounding their industries by asking questions related to the interests of their audiences. Begin experimenting with this social platform by asking questions and answering some of the questions of your audience to help drive further engagement and dialogue with your business.
6. SumAll Free Imagery – Every marketer, blog editor, community manager and business professional today has struggled to find free quality images for use on their website and marketing collaterals. SumAll’s Free Imagery Page is a helpful tool to fuel your marketing efforts, since all the images are copyright free and free to use where you’d like.
It’s a helpful alternative to using Google image search which rarely gives you any quality results, stock photo sites which usually cost a decent amount per image and are never exactly what you’re looking for, and Pinterest, which doesn’t clearly identify the licensing on some images since they are pulled from so many sources across the web.
7. Addvocate – Many businesses neglect to make use of the collective presence of their staff across social media and therefore, are missing opportunities to extend their reach and drive more constructive conversations about their brand online. Tools like Addvocate make it easy for a company’s employees to create, curate and share content on behalf of the company quickly and easily with minimal efforts.
One of the biggest problems with trying to involve your employees on their own social media channels is the fact that they’ve got other duties to perform, lack of expertise, there’s a need for training and guidelines, as well as a major need for moderating these messages.
Addvocate allows your business to streamline the process of employee participation on social media to ensure it goes as smooth as possible with moderation capabilities, simple user interface, an efficient workflow and robust analytics to understand the impact of your efforts and which employees are the most active on behalf of your business.
8. Feedly – The modern day RSS reader, Feedly jumped to into the limelight when Google killed its RSS reader in March 2013. Feedly is an intuitive, easy to use RSS reader that allows a user to pull in the content from their favorite websites to read in one place in a magazine style format, as opposed to checking multiple websites for content.
Feedly is helpful for marketers since these can use the app to scour the web for tips and tricks on how to be more effective at social media marketing, provide insights on content to use for curation and supply inspiration for campaigns and company initiatives based on the content of others.
All and all, Feedly is helpful for keeping tabs on your industry of choice as a marketer.
9. Mention – Another product born out of innovating on an existing Google product is Mention, which is a tool for comprehensive reputation management across the social web. Similar to the idea of Google Alerts, which have been gravely disappointing users in recent months, Mention allows a marketer to monitor the mentions of a business or client on websites and across social media.
Mention is a perfect replacement to Google Alerts for a social media manager, since it pulls from a variety of social media networks to ensure you’re able to monitor any mentions of your brand in real-time from an email or push notifications on your phone. This tool is a way to guarantee no comment about your brand online goes unanswered and no blog post about your business goes unseen. Lastly, the tool flags mentions by their importance to help marketers prioritize what needs to be seen or reacted to first.
10. SumAll – Today many social networks, payment systems, and e-commerce platforms have their own analytics, but that doesn’t mean they are particularly helpful at showing the bigger picture of what’s happening with your business. SumAll goes beyond the individual analytics of these different platforms to consolidate them together in one easy to use interface.
By syncing your social networks like Tumblr, Instagram or Google+, Google Analytics, PayPal and more, your business can analyze the data coming in from all your various platforms in one visually stunning dashboard to better inform your future business decisions. Create a custom dashboard of the most important tools and metrics specific to your company’s unique needs.
Sign up for a free account and start measuring your entire online presence from one location.
What social media marketing tools are you using to help your business grow? What tools help your team save time and remain efficient? Share your thoughts in the comments below.