In this interview, social media tools expert Ian Cleary shares eight of his favorite tools for social marketing.
Why do social media marketers need tools?
Social media is very time consuming and some of the tools can really help.
For example, I published a new blog post today, and I have a tool called Dlvr.it which sends it out to my Twitter accounts, my Facebook page, Google Plus business page and to LinkedIn as a status update.
Plus, there are a lot of tools which provide good analytics that are easy to understand.
How many tools are out there for social media marketers?
Thousands. I have a spreadsheet with over a thousand tools listed in it. I’ve been tempted to do a “1001 Social Media Tools” post.
How much should social media marketers budget for tools?
It depends. If you have a small team with 3 or 4 members, you can probably get away with around $100 per month.
But before you jump into the tools, you need a clear strategy and a good process behind it:
Here is my plan, here are my goals, here’s the time I’m going to allocate to it, this is when I’m going to engage… and then be very consistent and persistent with that.
Once you’ve got a process in place, then you can choose the right tools to support the process. You might start off doing everything manually initially – and then use tools to speed up the process.
What are some tools you recommend for B2B social media marketers?
If you look at all the influential people in social media, they all use Hootsuite. People are very familiar with it and it has great functionality and it’s relatively low in cost. So if you’re using Twitter, you would generally use Hootsuite.
If you have a blog, you want to see what’s the reach and distribution of that blog, and what happened as a result of it.
Did you get email subscribers?
Did people to sign up for a trial of your product or service?
Google Analytics is a completely free tool to see the results of posting blog content.
On social media, you need to share out content – really good content – on a regular basis.
I use Buffer use all the time because it allows me to go to the web, find some great content and share it out at an appropriate time to my audience. It’s a very easy tool to distribute content.
PeopleLinx is an enterprise tool that I really like for LinkedIn.
It goes through and evaluates all the LinkedIn profiles of your staff and gives you a score out of 100.
It will tell you what’s wrong with your staff profiles so you can encourage your staff to improve the profiles to get them up near 100.
The second thing it does is when a marketing person wants to get a message out to the world, you can encourage people to share that message through their LinkedIn profiles. It’s really useful.
If you’re a blogger and you’re writing content, you need to read other people’s content, share other people’s content, comment on other people’s content. It makes a huge difference.
If you just post a blog post and leave it there without actually going out and interacting and commenting on other people’s blogs and building relationships, it’s very difficult to get any comments or interaction on your blog.
So Feedly allows me to subscribe to multiple blogs from different people. Then I can quickly go in the morning, look at the latest content from different people, read it, comment on it and share it out.
This really helps build the relationships with other bloggers. It’s available on the web but also available as an app as well.
In terms of social media management, if you want an alternative to Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a good, reasonably priced tool for a small company. It doesn’t have as much functionality as Hootsuite but it has a nice user interface.
It’s quite useful for distributing content across multiple platforms and monitoring different feeds you want to share.
7. Lucky Orange
Lucky Orange is an analytics tool that allows you to monitor when people are on your website, and then interact with them while they’re on the site.
You can actually watch people live when they’re scrolling through your site, so you can get a real good feel for what people are doing. Then you can interact with people using the chat feature.
The other thing I love about it, let’s say you’ve got an e-commerce site, and you find that people are dropping out. You can watch people as they’re going through the process and see where they get stuck.
It’s really powerful.
Lucky Orange is actually suitable for small companies because it starts at $10 per month.
8. Post Planner
This is a pure Facebook tool, but what I love about Post Planner is there’s a content engine in it. If you’re stuck with status update ideas, it has a database of thousands of ideas you can pick from.
You can also find the most popular content in your niche, so it’s very useful for finding and sharing content.
Where can social media managers go to get training on tools and how to use them?
On RazorSocial.com we have three posts a week, and they’re all about tools. There’s also a good section about how to use the tools.
By mid-November we are launching a book on the technology side to social media. Alongside the book there will be video training that will support what’s in the book.
Where is the best place to follow you?
RazorSocial.com is where everything is all tools and tech.