13 Tools to Simplify Your Social Media Marketing

social media toolsAre you looking for tools to simplify your social media activities?

Many businesses feel overwhelmed when implementing their social media marketing.

Sometimes the solution is to focus on the right social media tools for your business.

We asked social media experts for their most valuable tool for small businesses using social media.  Here are 13 tools to help you execute your social media strategy effectively.

#1: Crowdbooster

Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield @amyporterfield

Crowdbooster is my tool of choice to manage social media activities on Facebook and Twitter.

This tool does many things to help me save time and streamline activities.

For example, it auto-posts on both my Facebook page and Twitter, tracks my new fans and followers, and gives me stats on how many times my content has been shared and retweeted.

It also tells me who my most engaged fans are, which allows me to reach out to fans individually if I choose.

What I like most about the tool is their posting time recommendations feature. Crowdbooster will suggest the best times of day for me to post based on my recent post engagement, as seen in the image below.

crowdbooster

Crowdbooster suggests when you should publish your updates.

This ensures that I don’t post on Facebook or Twitter when my audience tends to be less active.  Since I’ve been following Crowdbooster’s post time recommendations, I have seen a spike in my engagement by at least 20%.

Another great feature of Crowdbooster is that it will remind me if I have not yet responded to one of my followers or fans, as seen in the image here.

crowdbooster

Crowdbooster shows you which updates need a response.

This is a great benefit because things move fast on Facebook and Twitter, so it’s easy to miss some posts.  I hate missing out on an opportunity to engage with someone who takes the time to reach out to me; therefore, I rely on Crowdbooster to keep me on top of my response time.  In addition, Crowdbooster will highlight influential people who have recently followed me, allowing me the opportunity to connect with them directly from my dashboard if I choose.

Like so many others, my day is jam-packed and moves fast.  I rely on Crowdbooster to keep a constant pulse of my Facebook and Twitter activity to ensure I’m optimizing these networks at all times.

Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.

#2: Buffer

Corina Mackay

Corina Mackay @corinamackay

Recently the tool I’ve been using most often and finding the most helpful is Buffer. For small businesses, I think Buffer is one of the easiest ways to save time and improve your social media strategy.

Buffer is a scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter, which lets you pre-program times for your updates to be posted. With the bookmarklet installed and your scheduled times already set, it can be as simple as two clicks to add an update to your Buffer account.

Although the debate continues over the authenticity of pre-scheduling your updates, Justin Flitter explains that scheduling is not necessarily the same as automation, and can be a great time-saver for your social media strategy.

buffer

Use Buffer to manage your social media updates.

Corina Mackay, an entertainment-based social media manager and writer.

#3: WordPress

Jim Lodico

Jim Lodico @jlcommunication

WordPress is without question my favorite tool for small business. With WordPress, small businesses can build very powerful dynamic websites that can form the hub of all other social media marketing.

WordPress-based blogs are easy to update and change, can directly incorporate other social media platforms and take full advantage of the benefits of blogging for business.

From an SEO perspective, Google’s Matt Cutts once said, “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) search engine optimization (SEO).”

Most important, WordPress websites can be built and maintained on even the tightest budget, yet they can rival the websites of much larger companies. Answers to almost all technical questions can be found with a Google search. After building a number of WordPress sites for small businesses, I’ve yet to find its limitations.

wordpress

Use WordPress to give your business visibility online.

Jim Lodico, copywriter and marketing consultant specializing in creating powerful content and teaching businesses how to use blogs.

#4: Google Alerts

kristi hines

Kristi Hines @kikolani

One of the easiest tools for businesses to use to monitor their online reputation is Google Alerts.

Each time Google finds a mention of your business, it will send you an email as it happens, daily or weekly.  It’s a free and indispensable tool!

It’s a great “set it and forget it” kind of tool—simply set up email notifications for any mentions of your brand name, business name, unique product/service names and names of people who represent your business (think Matt Cutts for Google).

google alerts

Use Google Alerts to make your marketing easier.

Kristi Hines, freelance writer, online marketing consultant and author of the popular blog Kikolani.

#5: Google Reader

Jeff Korhan

Jeff Korhan @jeffkorhan

To be effective with social media, you need to have relevant content to share.  My tool of choice for staying current with nearly a hundred sources of online content is Google Reader.  It’s not a sexy tool, but it’s fast and reliable.

As a content creator, I use Google Reader to develop a thorough understanding of topics from a variety of sources before sharing my perspective with my small business audience.

Google Reader works especially well as a widget within the iGoogle interface, which is set as my home page.  This gives me an at-a-glance view of the most recent feeds, and the amount of accumulated content.

I segregate my feeds into general and priority, with the latter nearly always earning my full attention. Even when time is short, articles can be starred within Google Reader for later consumption.

google reader

Stay on top of your marketing with Google Reader.

Jeff Korhan, professional speaker, consultant and columnist on new media and small business marketing.

#6: Pagelever

Ekaterina Walter

Ekaterina Walter @ekaterina

My favorite tool this year was Pagelever. Pagelever provides detailed analytics around your Facebook brand or business page that goes beyond Facebook Insights.

The tool is very affordable. It presents a clean look at the performance of your brand page(s), offers visually appealing charts that you can immediately use in your presentations and generates valuable overview reports. I also appreciate the agility with which the product team implements ongoing Facebook changes.

pagelever

Check out Pagelever for your social media analytics.

Ekaterina Walter, social media strategist at Intel.

#7: HootSuite Publisher

Phyllis Khare

Phyllis Khare @PhyllisKhare

Almost every savvy social media manager I know uses HootSuite for some aspect of his or her social posting activities. It’s hands-down one of my favorite tools for posting to Twitter, Facebook (personal profile, business pages and Groups) and LinkedIn (personal profile and Groups).

HootSuite also allows connections to Foursquare, ping.fm, a wordpress.com site, MySpace (really) and mixi (a social platform in Japan). The “Publisher” feature is an extremely handy scheduling interface that is my favorite part of my favorite tool! Here is how my regular HootSuite process goes:

  • I check all @mentions on all the Twitter accounts I manage.
  • I reply to any @mentions that need it—sending a thank-you for retweeting, answering questions, clicking through with shared links and so forth.
  • Then I switch over to the Publisher tab and check all my scheduled tweets, add new ones to tweet later that day and copy and paste any that need to be tweeted again. This part of my regular tasks is so easy with HootSuite’s calendar design.
  • Then I check the Analytics tab—Quick Analytics to see which tweets are getting the most clicks. It’s pretty easy to see which keywords are the most popular. Those tweets and others with those popular keywords are the ones I will make sure are scheduled to be posted again on that fabulous Publisher tab, at a different time than they were originally posted.

Bonus feature: If you have to create reports to bring to your team, HootSuite makes it really easy with download links for all of the tracking sections: Summary Stats, Clicks by Region, Top Referrers and Most Popular Links. Or you can organize a custom report that is sent to you each week.

hootsuite publisher

HootSuite Publisher helps you to manage your social media marketing.

Phyllis Khare, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies, author of Social Media Marketing eLearning Kit for Dummies and social media director for iPhone Life.

#8: SocialOomph

Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner @mike_stelzner

I like SocialOomph because it allows me to schedule out tweets for all the articles we publish on Social Media Examiner.

I can also assign multiple individuals to help manage our Twitter accounts.

It also has a slick tool to filter who I should follow back on Twitter.

socialoomph

Use SocialOomph to manage your updates.

Michael Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner.

#9: Zite

 Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons @StephSammons

Given the fact that we are increasingly using our smart mobile devices to stay connected and active in our social networks, I’m a big fan of mobile apps that can help make this process easier. One such app that is available is the Zite app for the iPhone and touchpads such as the iPad.

According to Zite, the Zite app is a “personalized magazine that gets smarter as you use it.” Not only can you plug in your social media profile credentials and pull in content that is being shared by your community, you can also connect your Google Reader account and choose from numerous publishers and media sites to build your personalized magazine.

Additionally, you can build more than one Zite profile! For example, I have both a personal profile and a work profile so that I can view and share content that is relevant to each of those networks.

The sharing tools include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, Instapaper and even Evernote (if you like to collect and save articles). These comprehensive sharing tools allow me to quickly go through and share any of the great content that I come across when I am on the go!

Typically I review my Zite app first thing in the morning, and whenever I’m mobile with idle time  (i.e., waiting in line).  It’s a fantastic tool for discovering and sharing high-quality, relevant content from your smart mobile device in order to stay visible and valuable with your network connections!

Zite is a free personalized magazine that automatically learns what you like and gets smarter every time you use it.

zite

Stay connected with Zite.

Stephanie Sammons, founder and CEO of Wired Advisor.

#10: Evernote

Patricia Redsicker

Patricia Redsicker @predsicker

Use Evernote to plan blog posts.  If you blog often, you may find it helpful to have a well-defined and methodical approach to your writing. With Evernote you can:

  • Create a standard blog template to use for all future articles
  • Create relevant components within the blog template to organize your writing (e.g., Subject, Key Message, Title Ideas, Rationale, Examples, Images, Keywords, Links and so on)
  • Assemble the various components of your blog into a logical sequence
  • Write the entire article within Evernote and then publish on your blog

The benefits of using Evernote are:

  • It’s easier to brainstorm ideas when you create one section of the article at a time
  • Your blog notes are synced to other computers and devices so that you can work anywhere
  • If you guest blog for others, Evernote provides an easily accessible record of all of your articles
  • All components of your article (i.e., images, keywords, links, tags, etc.) can be saved in Evernote
evernote

Create your own workflow on Evernote to become a more productive blogger.

Patricia Redsicker writes book reviews for Social Media Examiner.

#11: HubSpot

Marcus Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan @TheSalesLion

Anyone who knows my background can likely guess my answer to this question: HubSpot. You see, 3 years ago, when my swimming pool company was on the brink of ruin due to the housing crash, I somehow stumbled upon HubSpot and their inbound marketing platform.

For those of you unfamiliar with their system, HubSpot is the ultimate all-in-one tool for small- to medium-sized businesses that are looking to elevate their online presence and generate more traffic, leads and sales.

In 2001, Google Ventures and Salesforce.com invested over $30 million in the company, the growth of which has been astounding in only a short few years since its inception.

Today, the platform includes:

  • A super-simple CMS (content management system) that enables “non-techies” to build and design their own site
  • A blogging platform
  • Lead-nurturing tools
  • Lead-tracking tools
  • Keyword and SEO tools
  • Landing page creation
  • And many other features
hubspot

Check out how Hubspot can help your business.

As a guy who knew the Internet was the future of small business success, I literally felt lost until I caught the vision of inbound marketing. And six months after embracing HubSpot, our company blog exploded. Since that time, we’ve never looked back. Today, it’s the most trafficked swimming pool builder website in the world, and we’re still growing by leaps and bounds.

It’s because of this success that I’m so passionate about the subjects of inbound and content marketing in the first place. Without these tools, I literally don’t know if I would even have a home today, much less my business. But instead of financial disaster, we are stronger than ever, and now I’m able to share this story with the world.

The whole thing has been an amazing experience, made possible by HubSpot building a system that a novice such as myself could learn to use, as well as providing training resources. And as for 2012, I see the HubSpot brand taking another quantum leap in growth and influence in the world of social media.

Marcus Sheridan, small business owner, thought leader, popular social media speaker and founder of The Sales Lion.

#12: Disqus

Carla Dewing

Carla Dewing @CarlaDewing

Every blog should consider using the Disqus comment plugin. It’s one of the best social tools available, and is highly beneficial to your blog, which should be at the core of all of your marketing goals. I use it to give readers multiple options when signing in and commenting with OpenID, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google or Disqus account.

This increases the viral potential of your blog posts, because comments can be shared across social networks. But the plugin is so much more than that! It allows readers to track their comments and return to your site to engage in the conversation again. Plus the SEO benefits are paramount.

Because Disqus tends to make discussion last longer, you get a nice boost in SEO whenever engagement and real-time commenting take place. Readers can like or dislike existing comments for added interaction. You and your readers can become part of the Disqus community as well, where you’ll be able to see what members in your community are saying on other blogs.

It’s an incredible tool for forming real relationships with your readers, and will help you expand your blog community considerably. Using the Disqus network, you can encourage your community to share more often by interacting with them outside of your blog network. It’s a network within a network that strengthens your bond with the people who love to read and comment on your posts!

disqus

Use Disqus to expand your blog community.

Carla Dewing, part-owner of Contrast Media and content marketing expert.

#13: NutshellMail

Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner @AskJamieTurner

I actually have a semi-unknown “secret” weapon on this front. It’s not something unheard of, but it doesn’t get the buzz it should. My secret weapon: NutshellMail.

One of the biggest problems for people running a small business is trying to keep up with everything they have to do. They’re in charge of bookkeeping, sales, HR, marketing and a million other things. Then, on top of that, they also have to handle social media!

Each and every morning I get an update on all of my social media activities via email. I can see who followed me on Twitter, what people are saying on Facebook, what updates my contacts have made to their LinkedIn accounts and much, much more. If you’re looking for a great way to save time with your social media chores, NutshellMail may be just what you’re looking for.

nutshell mail

NutshellMail "tracks your brand's social media activity and delivers a summary to your email inbox on your schedule."

Jamie Turner, founder, the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of Go Mobile.

What are your best social media tools for small business? Please share them in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Cindy King

Cindy King is the director of editorial for Social Media Examiner. She spent 25 years abroad in international business development and then built her own international business from scratch by using social business networking. Other posts by »




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  • http://easyretweet.com/ Enstine Muki

    Hi 
    Cindy,  thanks for taking time to write details on these tools. Each time I read a post on social medial tools, there is always something new. 

    I use easyretweet.com, justretweet and retweet.it to get my tweets retweeted 

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  • http://www.nearcoastmedia.com/ Matt Hamilton

    I’ve got some new services to go check out now. I think learning when to tweet based on your followers is a huge advantage so crowdbooster is a great choice. I use buffer a lot and learned that you can use a tool called SocialBro to learn the best tweet times and then import the schedule into Buffer.

  • http://www.benlang.me/ Ben Lang

    Excellent list!

  • http://twitter.com/MorganBarnhart Morgan Barnhart

    Am already using a majority of these tools and will definitely start using the others. Fantastic list of tools from a fantastic list of people. :) Thanks for sharing!

  • AllenNile

    Great article and some I have not seen before. I have been using as a great time saver  for my twitter accounts: http://manageflitter.com Most of the free programs for mass deleting unfollowers are gone now but this one still works great. It also has tools for many other mass deletes such as those with no activity, ect. give it a try! 

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing your favorite Twitter tools, Enstine!  It’s true. There are always new social media tools to check out. 

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Matt, the SocialBro feature looks cool!  And Buffer is so easy and convenient to use.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks, Ben.

  • http://social-media-manager-service.com/ Mary

    Do you know of a social media manager program that allows you to see your fanpage newsfeed, then share posts you find there? So far, none I’ve used, do. 

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Hi Morgan! Do you have any favorite tools that stand out?  I like to try things out, but when I get busy it’s only the really easy and useful tools that stay with me.

  • Hozevargas

    Try that: http://www.zooshia.com
    It enables aggregating Facebook, Twitter & YouTube in one widget and easily embed in your website or blog.

  • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

    Great tips (and some really impressive people you found to provide them!).

    One I’d add is Time.ly. It’s similar to Buffer, but it’s free. I use Buffer for sharing all of the great content I find (like this one) since my free account caps at 10 and I’m able to refill it daily. I use Time.ly to schedule out my own personal posts. Like Buffer, it finds the ideal times to post. Unlike Buffer, it’s completely free and there’s no cap.

    I like to use both because then I am guaranteed to share posts of both my own content and the content of others every day.

  • Mary Jo

    Talk about timing, I was just researching some social media analytic companies to help streamline reports for clients. Is anyone using Raventools? or know of a good program that can tell me when a blog gets picked up and shared?

  • http://www.twitter.com/sethhinz Seth

    I really need to start utilizing Evernote. Good reminder – thanks!

  • http://www.NeuroPunch.com/ NeuroPunch

    Nice summary. I would also add Topsy (www.topsy.com), which is actually better than Google Alerts in my opinion.

  • AllenNile

    I have been using 
    http://manageflitter.com for bulk managing my followers. Not many tools out there any more that allow this for free. this one allows you to manage (bulk delete) those who you are following that are not following you and also many others. Give it a try!

  • http://www.EnlightenedNetworker.com/ Ilka Flood

    Wow! Great list of tools! I am already using some of these, but others I have never heard of. I will most certainly check them out. Thanks so much for sharing! ~ Ilka

  • http://paradisesocial.wordpress.com/ Mike Poynton

    My favorite social media management tool is SproutSocial. Simple, straightforward, easy to use with great reporting. It’s conspicuously missing from your list, however.

  • Jeanne

    Great list, thanks!  Question – I’ve been told recently that Facebook “downgrades” post from some 3rd party services making them “unsharable” by others from within FB.  Hootsuite is apparently one of these.  If this is true, then it could make many of these tools less valuable.

    Anyone know anything about this?

  • http://www.socialmediasimplify.com/ Syed Mohsin Raza

    Hi Jeanne, Yes that’s true. You would never find a SHARE option while using 3rd party apps from Hootsuite, Seesmic and even when you have integrated your twitter account.

    Just try it out in/with a tweet from a synched account. Share is never there.

    To conclude, FB wants you to use it more frequently than other apps/sites. 

  • http://writespeaksell.com jeannettepaladino

    I like the CommentLuv WordPress plugin. It shows the latest blog post of the person commenting. Someone else seeing the comment can click on the link and be directed to the site. It encourages commenting and is a nice reward for your readers. I’ve seem some traffic from CommentLuv to my blog. People who comment more than 3 times have the option to pick their blog post they want to link to.

  • Barbaraanneelliott

    Thanks Cindy – I am still immersing myself in ways to master Social Media.  Such a moving target – but THANK YOU for taking the time to help provide info :)  

  • http://www.facebook.com/kylelanning78 Kyle Lanning

    #6 Pagelever. We’ve been looking for a better analytics platform for our facebook business page. I’ll definitely have to check this out. Thanks!

  • http://rhogroupee.com/ Rosemary ONeill

    Nutshellmail sounds really interesting to me!  I love finding new “secret weapons.”  

  • http://thesistown.com/ thesis

    Thanks for the tip. Now I learn something new
    from you. Nice to know I was helped through this. Keep posting! =)
     

  • http://In-The-Flow-Marketing.com/ Jim Campbell

    Great stuff, a few I hadn’t heard of before. That’s a good thing. Once we feel as though we’ve heard of everything, that can only mean that we stopped looking. Thanks!!

  • http://www.talkingsmallbiz.com/ Marshall Davis

    Hi Cindy,

    I use the two Google products and am trying to figure out HootSuite. I also just signed up for NutshellMail this morning, before I saw your post. Guess it was a good move!

  • http://twitter.com/CraigMJamieson Craig M. Jamieson

    All of these are great tools and a really great article but, Nimble Social CRM should be added to this list! It provides the ability to manage all of your social networking activity from within the CRM itself. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ (as soon as they release a decent API) and all of the notifications associated with same. What is even better, these conversations are automatically added to the individual’s contact record which also includes emails, tasks, their social profiles, and what they are talking about now on all of their social networks. That makes my life easy and I love things that do that! Learn more about it at 
    http://salesresultsllc.com/your-nimble-scrm-solutions-partner/ . And, if you do not have this site rolling into your Google Reader automatically, you are really missing out! The Buffer integration to Reader is also outstanding!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000090976751 Tagit Dance

    Thank you very much for a great list!

  • Julia Levy

    Thanks for all these suggestions.  I have been using Byline for reading blogposts on the move – sounds like Zite can do everything that Byline does and more so I am looking forward to trying it out.  Evernote is also a tool which I must try.  However, I am still looking for a definitive list – for example, I see several tools here that support scheduling tweets – but how do I work out which one to use? I have been using Tweetdeck for a while which supports scheduled tweets as well, but I get the feeling that other tools may be better.  Any suggestions for how to work out THE one?  Thanks!

  • Jamie Schectman

    Do any of these platforms allow you to “@” people/pages on Facebook when scheduling a post? 

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    Hi Cindy – thank you so much for including my favorite tool on this list. I use (or have used) every single one of these and highly recommend them to my clients. I was thinking how to rank them, but that seems impossible, as they are all so useful! This post would make an awesome infographic!!

  • http://www.infinitegrowth.com.au/ Maria Pantalone

    Thanks for the list – very timely!

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  • LJHurley

    I have to agree that Hootsuite and Disqus are two of my favorite, along with http://www.Gravatar.com. Streamlines one’s photo and makes it visible everywhere. Great info, as usual!

  • Emeric

    Hi Cindy,
    Great article, as always ;-)
    Went to Bois le Roi yesterday, had a thought for you ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/erika_scheibe Erika Scheibe

    Absolutely! That was what is most alarming about this post – you absolutely should not schedule your posts for several reasons:
    1. It doesn’t show up as well in Facebook (interaction goes down – I’ve proven this with my own tests)
    2. If some big world event happens, you’re the one promoting your brand/self while everyone else is talking about the event. 
    3. It’s about engaging. If you’ve got unanswered posts on your facebook page that you haven’t been able to get to yet, it looks like you really don’t care what they’ve said and want to post what you’re posting anyway.

    If you don’t have the time to engage with your fans, then maybe it’s time to delegate or outsource :)  

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    I was afraid my Google Reader choice would be viewed as so ho hum, old school social media. Glad to see others are sticking with what works well.

    Nevertheless, I’m planning to check out Zite and NutshellMail, to name just a couple. Thanks @stephsammons:disqus and @askjamieturner:disqus 

    And thank you @CindyKing:disqus for a useful list of tried and true resources!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Wow!  That was close to my old neighborhood!  Glad you liked the post.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Jeff, Let us know how you like Zite and NutshellMail!

  • bogee3

    Great list of free and paid subscriptions

  • Jamie Millar

    I agree Mike – Sprout Social is fantastic. I manage several client accounts with posts to FB, Twitter and LinkedIn along with my personal accounts. I have colleagues on the account as well for their own accounts. Love the Bookmarklet that allows me to share anything I read on behalf of any account in seconds. The reports are clear and the clients love them.

    Best of all – the speed at which the Sprout team responds to questions! Superb customer care and no such thing as a stupid question (I’ve asked a few…). Although not free, I think it’s great value.

    Last thing – I asked them if they’re adding Google+ functionality. Yes – this year (hopefully early), just figuring out how to make it work best apparently. Already has geolocation functionality as an upgrade option.

  • Jamie Millar

    Forgot to mention the mobile app. I can track all my accounts on the move in a very clean and simple app.

  • http://www.IfSimply.com/ Keith Griffis

    Anyone know of an iphone app or tool that allows you to use facebook as a page. For example, if I want to post on another page using my facebook page what app should I use? The standard facebook apps don’t let you use facebook as a page and neither does the mobile facebook site.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Phyllis, thank you for participating, and sharing insights into HootSuite Publisher!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Great minds think alike :)  Let us know how you like NutshellMail!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing, Jeannette!

  • http://paradisesocial.wordpress.com/ Mike Poynton

    Thanks, Jamie!

    I LOVE their support!!! (#sproutlove) I’ve never waited more than an hour via either @SproutSupport on Twitter or via support ticket submission at their zendesk. Their support team really raises the bar! I could not be happier.

    Can’t live without the bookmarklet. Love the iPhone app too. I installed it yesterday and my wife hates me now. LOL!

    I’ve been bugging them regularly about the Google+ functionality and they are figuring it out. They were awaiting the arrival of biz pages. Now biz pages are here. So keep nudging!

    Are you using their Google Analytics functionality? I’d like to upgrade my plan, but frankly, haven’t had the time to delve into it deeper. Perhaps you can help me out.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Jeanne, most of the businesses I know go through different stages when struggling with this question. 

    Of course, communication is always better when done in real time and directly with your audience!  

    But most of the businesses I speak to who are in this for the long haul find scheduling tools useful at some stage.  If you’re busy running your business, or doing your job, and you’ve got a time-sensitive update you know you want to publish,  you’ll probably find these tools very useful.  And it might be better to send the update out through a scheduling tool (and lose out on a little extra value) than to come in much later without any relevance.

    It’s a case of using your best business discretion.  There are no all-purpose rules to follow.  It all comes down to your business and how good you are at adapting these tools to your particular business needs and goals.  

    Do you have a communication plan?  Do you have a simple social media editorial calendar, or a content strategy for your social media efforts?  And one that fits into your overall marketing strategy for your business?  With these in place you’ll soon figure out what to publish in real time directly on the platforms and how to use scheduling tools if and when you need them.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing, Mike!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Mary, I don’t have an answer for you here.  But this is a great question to ask in our Facebook Networking Club: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/networkingclubs/  The community there is full of Facebook enthusiasts.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Hi Keith, I don’t know of any, but as I mentioned above, our Facebook Networking Club is full of Facebook enthusiasts who might be able to help you: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/networkingclubs/

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brit at Sprout Social

    Thanks so much for mentioning us and for all the #SproutLove, Mike and Jamie! Always love to hear that you’re loving the application.

  • Mike Taylor

    Thanks Cindy, this is a great list.

    I think managing your timeand efficiency with these types of  tools is becoming more and more essential each day.

    We think it is important enough to have dedicated a speaker session called “Tools, Tips & Techniques to help you manage your daily Social Media activities” at our upcoming Social Media in Recruitment Conference – http://www.socialmediainrecruitment.com/

    Thanks
    Mike

  • http://twitter.com/60secondparent Sixty Second Parent

    I love buffer – easy for me to use and it helps me to make use of my limited time. It also helps me in another way – I am living in a different time zone to when I want to tweet and this means I don’t have to get up too early or stay up too late

  • Jeanne

    Those are some interesting points, Erika.  Never thought about #2, but I can see how it could be embarrassing, or worse, completely clueless.

    Didn’t mean to kill the idea of scheduling posts – I can see a need for it.  Still would like to know if there is a service/app that doesn’t get downgraded by Facebook.

  • http://crowdbooster.com/ Ricky Yean

    Great post! We’re glad to be part of the list (thank you @amyporterfield:twitter). I’d also like to add topsy.com and Google Alerts. We use Topsy to look at what people are saying about us. It’s especially useful to see what people are saying about an URL like this one, and you can even filter to see what the influencers are saying about this link. We use Google Alerts to monitor blog posts about us so we can come join the discussions / help answer any questions.

    - Ricky @rickyyean:twitter 
    CEO, Crowdbooster.com @crowdbooster:twitter 

  • Jamie Millar

    Mike – the app can definitely be a bit distracting! Not done much with Google Analytics yet – but will do. Like you, its a case of finding the time to do it all (small business, have to do everything, etc…).

    Brittany – Google+ pages – nudge, nudge, nudge…

  • http://twitter.com/EarthAdvertisin Elisa Rowell

    I use YooNo in my Firefox browser for sharing RSS feeds, articles, and posts to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others. I can easily add the # for Twitter posts within YooNo. I have been using the PinIt toolbar for Pinterest.

  • LeoWid

    Hi Cindy, that is a wonderful post. I haven’t heard about Nutshell Mail before, it looks like a great solution, will test it out for sure!

    And thanks so much for the Buffer mention in here, so glad @corinamackay:twitter brought it up.

    Off to Buffer this post for sure! :)  

  • http://paradisesocial.wordpress.com/ Mike Poynton

    Brittany – Google+ pages – nudge, nudge, nudge… ;-) #sproutlove

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks, Leo!  I’m using Buffer more and more.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Good point!  I like how easy Buffer is to integrate into how I have things set up.

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Will do.  I’m especially interested in Zite because it integrates with Google Reader. It sounds similar to Reeder, an app I recently learned about from @johnjantsch:disqus 

  • http://clairification.blogspot.com Claire Axelrad

    THanks for these great tips.  Now I have to find the time to actually learn how to use them so I can save time in the future!

  • http://www.satinwebsolutions.com/ Kristin Singhasemanon

    Thanks for such a great list of resources. I tend to post directly on each platform or use Hootsuite, but I learned even more about the tool, both useful features I’m not using and limitations brought up in the comments. I already use several tools mentioned above, but I’m going to check out Buffer, NutshellMail, Crowdbooster and Zite.

  • Mike

    Wow! Glad I found this post. TONS of value here, thank you so much for sharing this!

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  • http://www.buyrealfansandlikes.com/ Julia Jems

    Hello Cindy! This is a great post! :) Great tools to use for social media marketing. Thought I am currently using some but when I checked the others, I find it interesting and must give a try. :)  

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  • http://www.nebulasdesign.com/ Nebulas Website Design

    Some really nice tools I’ve not heard of thank you.

    I agree about WordPress it’s so powerful and works incredibly well, we use it for all our CMS powered websites.

  • http://about.me/sookieshuen Sookie Shuen

    I use Buffer App, and it has tremendously increase my clickthroughs to my blog!

  • http://www.offshorecompanyexperts.com/en/index.html Jonathan Nichol

    Thank you for this post (and everything else you share with us). Love your blog! Please, write some more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Masters/1022002100 Richard Masters

    Another vote for Yoono here.

  • Ken Smith

    Hi Cindy, Nice article. I’m a HubSpot fan too. Recently I discovered a new social media marketing tool called Venntive. It includes CMS, email marketing and an integrated CRM. Plus social media publishing tools and a built-in calendar. All for $20 per month… http://www.venntive.com.

  • Crystalmirage100

    Hi, Thanks for providing valuable tools list which is useful in social media.
    As we are starting to promote our business in search engines and social media, this would be an opportunity 
    for us to know use of these tools.

  • Shelbylpowell

    I’m not sure if this is strictly a social media tool – but MailChimp is amazing for email marketing campaigns.  You can integrate all your social media accounts (such as FB and Twitter) into your email which, in turn, can generate more traffic for your FB page/Twitter account.  The best feature is that its free for small businesses who have less than 2,000 contacts.

  • Leticia Polese

    Thanks for sharing, Matt! Cindy, I’d love you to try SocialBro. I recommend you the Chrome app: 
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bagknoiagpifjfbempgignagkejmkljm?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon. 
    Here you can see how to “Buffer” your tweets through SocialBro: 
    http://userguide.socialbro.com/post/14858264095/configure-bufferapp

  • http://www.productivesuperdad.com/ Timo Kiander

    Nice list of tools!
    Does anyone know: If I start using Crowdbooster, do I still need a separate tool for managing Facebook/Twitter accounts (like Social Oomph or HootSuite)?

    Cheers,
    Timo

  • http://twitter.com/therealsjr Stewart Rogers

    Great list – thanks!

    Buffer is certainly the scheduling tool that makes the most ‘noise’ in the social media space, but I urge everyone to check out Garious as a better alternative. It has some really neat tricks up its sleeve that really help to schedule more effectively and intelligently than either Buffer or that other favourite, Timely.

  • http://smartnetlab.in/ Abhishek Jain

    awesome article content i like the Google alert feature you discussed in your post.

  • http://www.sitebuilder.ws/ Scott Barnes

    Wow, great post, but just more information to sort through.

    If I had time to to use one of these tools to increase activity on my Fan page, which tool or method should I use?

    Any recommendations?

  • http://adaptive-business.com/ Craig M. Jamieson

    Great article! Might I add Nimble SCRM to this list. It integrates all of your social networking activities directly into the CRM itself, manages all of your streams, allows you to interact with each, and keeps ALL of your conversations, regardless of where they occur, neatly within each individual’s contact record. Even integrates with Hubspot!

  • Dean Hambleton

    This was a great summary of tools that we can use. I think the best is twitter because you can follow so many people, and so many products and companies in real time

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing Craig!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Scott, that’s a big question.  I only use tools that fit in with my own personal work style. I like to keep control of my time and not adapt what I do to fit any tool. And, for example, that means that I don’t yet use the VERY popular tool HootSuite. Of course, with all of the new things that come out I need to review how I do things a couple of times a year.  But this doesn’t change very much.  And if I didn’t do this I’d be jumping from one tool to the next and never really accomplishing any of my social media marketing.

    If you’re still trying to figure out how to connect with your audience on any social media platform, I’d focus on real time, direct interaction on that platform first. Do as much as you can, get into basic social media networking habits and interact with people on their turf too. Figure out what communication environment works for you.Once you know how you like to network and how you connect best with the people you want to reach, then it’s easier to choose the tools that fit your needs… and come up with ideas that might work for you.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing, Stewart! 

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    I’m not doing all bad. I was only missing two items off the list. Thanks for keeping me up to date.

  • Hany Anber

    Thanks for this amazing post. The only one tool that I didn’t know before landing on this page is NutshellMail. I just tried it today and will see how it works.

  • http://eZoneVirtualServices.com/ Janet Janowiak

    Excellent list, Cindy.  I’ve had Evernote for a number of months now and found it invaluable for saving copies of information I find on the web.  I have just begun transitioning over my OneNote application to Evernote for client notes.

    I would love it if you could expand on your idea of using Evernote for blogging.  Do you have a separate notebook for each topic or month? 

  • One_Finger_short_of_a_Hand

    A question for Jim Lodico or anyone else if they can help. WordPress… lots of excellent things about it, but CMS admin dashboard is horrible… any good plugins that make it look more user friendly?

  • Tim

    What are your opinions on the social awareness hub?

  • http://www.sitebuilder.ws/ Scott Barnes

    thanks for the response Cindy. I’ll spend some time trying to encourage interaction and test whats working.

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  • http://tadainteractive.com/ Michael Windham

     Odd, I use HootSuite quite a bit and I see the Share link on every Facebook post made through HootSuite.

    I scrolled through my news feed to see if there were share links on posts made through other 3rd party services.  Most seemed to have it, although I noticed that Buffer did not.

    I remember reading somewhere that some of the more well known names in social media management were no longer being penalized by Facebook, or at least less so than before.

  • http://tadainteractive.com/ Michael Windham

     I recently started checking out Nimble.  So far, I am impressed.  I particularly like the daily email with action items.  It’s exactly the kind of thing I need.

    I will say though, after importing all of my email and social contacts, it is a bit overwhelming trying to sort through them and match them up to social media accounts that Nimble has found for them.  I think I have probably only gotten through (maybe) a quarter of them, and I really don’t have that many (maybe 800+) between all sources.

  • http://socialmedianetwork.jobamatic.com/a/jbb/find-jobs Social Media Jobs Online

    Sometimes there are just too many options.  Thanks for helping to narrow it down…

  • http://blog.tsgglobal.com/ David Vaughan

    What a great list that was well formed and definitely relevant.  Any business small to enterprise could use these tips.

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    I have very interested to use the social media to promote my business and marketing. I hope these tools would be more helpful to me to promote my business. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/ruslanabdulgani Ruslan Sayings

    its great there many option to use simplify your social media account
    but i just prefer hootsuite for the list

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TMHSC3YHUF4GL4465UERH2APWI CelsoB

    Any feedbacks on Networkedblogs?

  • http://www.foodtravelist.com/ Sue Reddel

    Nutshell is often overlooked glad it was mentioned along with the usual suspects.

  • http://www.satinwebsolutions.com/ Kristin Singhasemanon

    For sharing your blog on Facebook, I like RSS Graffiti better than Networked Blogs because it links to your blog directly. When people click through to your blog post from a Networked Blogs feed on your wall, it goes to your blog in an iframe on their site. Thanks for making me double-check my examples, though, b/c I noticed that my own blog is still on Networked Blogs while I’ve moved most of my clients to RSS Graffiti! To see what I mean, you can take a look at my last blog post (NeworkedBlogs) at 
    https://www.facebook.com/SatinWebSolutions  compared to one of my clients’ recent posts (RSS Graffiti) at 
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Donna-Galante-Coaching-for-Women-in-Dentistry/114946071860251. That being said, I do like to add blogs to NetworkedBlogs for more exposure, but not using the feature to syndicate it to the FB wall.

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  • gerri50

    Three things have come about as a result of me reading this post: 
    1. Evernote installed on my Macbook
    2. Disqus on site
    3. Signed up to NutshellMail

    Thanks to all of you for the tools!

  • http://twitter.com/wandereremi wanderer.emi

    Thanks for posting this wonderful list. I use wordpress and will check out the other recommendations. :)  
    http://vaintl.net/ 

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  • http://twitter.com/GeoTargetOnline Geo Online Solutions

    At Geo Online Solutions we use tools like:

    Tweet Adr
    Aweber
    Mail Chimp  to name a couple.

    We have used Social Oomph in the past with great success as well. Some of our content we have on our site has come from ideas that we read about on Google Reader…

  • Vince @ HootSuite

    Great post! We owls here at HootSuite are constantly trying to simplify lives for all social media users, so we’re really happy that there’s a lot of #HootSuiteLove going around!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for the feedback Jon! 

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    :)  I’ve heard several people recommend Crowdbooster. Thanks also for mentioning Topsy, I’ve been using it personally for a while now.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    We’d love to hear from you about how these work for you :)

  • Scott Linklater

    I agree with Buffer, it’s a brilliant tool! First tool that has effortlessly ensured my social assets are never without fresh content! 

  • http://adelemaxwell.com/ adelemaxwell

    Great Information. I use most of these but there is a few I am glad to learn about.

  • http://www.callbox.com.sg/ Cathybishop

    Thanks  for sharing with us the 13 tools for simplifying social media marketing. And to think I’m only familiar with Hootsuite, Google Alerts and WordPress tools. I think I have to be patient in learning these.

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  • http://www.AKQUISEscout.de Alexander E. Schröpfer

    http://ping.fm is a very powerful tool to grow your effiency na your range

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  • Leon Altman

    Like hootsute myself. but very interested in Marcus Sheridan’s Hubspot success story. Couldn’t ask for a better testimonial.

  • alexandra.kwc

     QR code is a great invention people made. I’m making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I’m amazed at QR code coupons http://www.Snappii.com app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

  • M Gear

    Wow, it’s a lot to take in, I’ll have to take notes or print this page for future reference. I have a web site already but I think I need to start a blog, do you think that wordpress is the best platform for me. I really like the sound of Hubspot so I’ll take a look at that but my biggest problem is time. I run a small factory with only 6 staff members, a manager and myself. We are all working to our maximum, doing quotes constantly to keep the work coming in and even working in the factory to keep the work coming out, I need more staff but ones that work not computer people. So I decided to outsource my social media marketing to a company called Magicbuz that has teams of people who do inter-personal marketing for me, not spam. I still would like to make a blog though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/klhorne K.L. Horne

    Wow, social media is here to stay!  Evernote is the truth!! I use it daily for helping me organize my thoughts while blogging.

  • http://twitter.com/DonFMitchell Don Mitchell

    Cindy, thanks for posting. I’m all about #7 (Hootsuite), but I will take the time to check out some of these other platforms.

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  • http://www.socialdon.com/ Noel Gil

    Cindy king simply amazing thanks alot for fantastic tools some of them i didn’t new, it helps me alot thanks

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  • http://twitter.com/Gigajob_UK Gigajob UK

    Cindy thanks for this very informative post… some of the tools are very new to me, will definitely explore them… I have set my google alerts also, its like its been their forever but some how I missed it… 

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  • http://www.greathomeremedies.com/ Home Remedies

    Thanks for this list!Social media is one types of Channel maker. As the process to moving a marketer or finder to easier, Also real time change can make more things to do it.

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  • http://www.webs4soft.co.uk/ SEO Services UK

    Thanks for this super list. Now I know what
    tools should I used to detect my social media activity for my sites. :)

  • Daniel Kushner

    Great list. You should also look at Oktopost (http://www.oktopost.com)

  • http://racecargames.us/ RCG

    Nice list of social media marketing tools. At least it wouldn’t be a big hassle to the company or business to monitor all their accounts individually. Manage everything in one place, less time and less effort as well.

  • http://www.yoyosocial.com/ Twitter Management

    Thanks for sharing this, you run a wonderful blog filled with good posts.

  • Anil

    wildfireapp seems a good app too. I’ve not used it but they have some
    big names in their customers. Fbsmm is another one I found useful.

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  • Scott

    Cindi, great post! I am new to social media but am trying to get better. I am using the trial version of Verticle Response Social. It’s $8 a month which I like but what I like most is that it let’s you set the the type of content I am looking for through a web search, then I can choose which articles I want to post and I can schedule them at any time. It just makes it easy to have the article search in the same place as scheduler. Then it does everything else for me. I’m still in the free trial but am open to other ideas. Do any of the others work this way? I really want to find the best solution for my small business that’s easy an doesn’t take alot of time.

  • http://twitter.com/myfbfans myfbfans

    I helped with this article, Thanks for the information

  • http://twitter.com/myfbfans myfbfans

    I helped with this article, Thanks for the information

  • http://www.facebook.com/prabir.mandal.501 Prabir Mandal

    I never know there were so many social media management tools available though I have been using Hootsuite for my social media activities. Thanks for the list of tools.

  • davidgannaloNorwalkCt

    HootSuite Publisher make tweeting so simple. Definitely include Disqus to engage your subscribers and longevity to your chatter. David Gannalo Norwalk CT

  • http://fcreporting.com/Locations_Lakeland.php Lakeland Court Reporters

    Nice collection of social media tools, It will definitely help me to monitor my website’s social media activity.

  • http://twitter.com/HaiNamTravel Hai Nam Travel

    thanks for sharing. I like Hoosuite the most and i found it convenient to promote my new project:

    Halong Bay Cruises

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  • http://www.merchantloans.com/ Business Loans

    I have never tried the SocialOOmph….I am interested how this will help me. 

  • http://www.allthehighstreet.com/ Price Comparison Site

    Thank you so much for this Article!! Yes Social media is great, but it is hard keeping track of it all. I also heard the other day about Twitter stopping 3rd parties (even LinkedIN) from integrating twitter into their members feeds, which is a shame.

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  • JulietWoods

    Thanks for the info! Being in the advertising agency can be tough. These tips were really helpful. Thanks again!
    -Juliet

  • Richard Hartley

    Hi Cindy. Thanks for the article. Being involved in SEO Manchester I am constantly using social media for brand enhancement and content visibility. I have been using Hoot Suite for quite some time but these new services have definitely given me food for thought.

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  • B Chiru

    great tools for social media marketing.some of them are new for me i have to learn.

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  • Rod

    Since the variables are constantly changing it is super difficult to stay a internet marketing expert

  • http://twitter.com/egstu EG Studio

    Great resource, we usually use Google Alerts and Oktopost which is a very nice tool for publishing on LinkedIn.

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  • http://www.anthologysocial.com/ Chad Jordan

    Google alerts may be the most underrated social media or business marketing tool. We are going to try Crowdbooster very soon.

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  • Deedee

    Im looking for a tool that will allow me to post my own written ads with pictures and links to multiple facebook groups at once or on a schedule or possibly put all my groups into groups so that i can set each group for a specfic time of when to post. I am currently using postplanner but it does not allow me to post pictures to the groups. Any suggestions for tools that I can use for this????

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  • http://twitter.com/TNETTES_TAKE A. Govan Campbell

    This is a great list! Time management is very important in the social media world, and with so many new options available, these tools offer a great place to start. You offer tools that help with content planning and development, scheduling posts, and optimizing email for maximum use.

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  • Reynold Beckers

    Fantastic list of tools. I have been using many of them but not all. I will check them and start using. Thanks for sharing this valuable guidance.

  • Sam Simon

    Thank you Cindy, this is a very useful list, some of these tools are really handy and save quite a lot of time. Nevertheless my preferential tool is quintly (http://www.quintly.com). It helps a lot to benchmark social media statistics with those of competitors.

  • Flo

    Hi Cindy, I’ve just registered on Buffer… this is what I have been looking for for ages! Thank you :)







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