5 Types of Social Media Tools You Should be Using

Guest Post by Spencer Spellman, freelance travel writer and social media expert

Social media comes with a whole host of tools to help you effectively use it for your business. Many third-party applications have tapped into Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to help users be more efficient. While I could have discussed some of my favorite social media tools, I instead wanted to discuss the different types of social media tools available and how each one can help your company.

Directory. I don’t recommend just randomly picking people and companies to connect with on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other outlets. While you can do a search for people, you’ll be much better served by using a directory to connect with the proper brand. While Facebook and LinkedIn have one directory for browsing, there are many different Twitter directories available. I recommend Twellow, which features a wide-range of users classified by different categories.

Scheduler. One of the ways you can be most efficient on social media is by scheduling out some of your posts. However, I don’t recommend scheduling out all or even most of your posts, as this takes away from the real-time conversation features that social media is all about. Instead, consider scheduling out things such as blog posts. HootSuite and CoTweet are just a few tools I recommend for scheduling posts.

Cross-platform publishing. Similar to using a scheduling tool, I recommend using a tool that allows for posting across multiple social media channels. Some tools, such as Hootsuite, allow you to post across a few different outlets, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, while services like Ping.fm allow you to post to many more websites. Instead of going to each of your social websites to post something, you can, instead, post something once and Ping.fm publishes it to the websites you designate.

Search. Search can come in very handy for finding relevant information about topics or people. While many social media sites have their own search feature, there are some tools that search across multiple channels at once. Websites such as Topsy and Social Mention search across multiple platforms for posts that include users, topics, and multimedia.

Analytics. One of the most important parts of social media isn’t the execution itself, but measuring the success of the execution. While many companies choose not to use social media because they don’t believe it’s measurable, many tools are available to track metrics such as page views, visitors, and conversions. If you’re already tracking your website and / or blog’s analytics using Google Analytics, consider starting with that. There are other available tools that exclusively measure social media.

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