Social media is a growing platform that can help you grow your business, but it’s not a magic bullet. If you don’t have your social media marketing strategy down, then your efforts can be wasted. Having a good strategy will help gain more traffic and conversions from social media so you can build a community around your brand. In this article, I explain the best social media marketing tools to help you get started.
It’s perfectly normal to wonder what social media marketing tools you should be using on your social media profiles. The tools offered by social media networks are limited and don’t cover all of your needs. You can get more out of your social media profiles by testing out different social media marketing tools to improve the way you market on these platforms. But with so many available tools, it can be difficult to find the right ones for your brand.
Is Social Media Marketing That Important?
Absolutely! It’s been one of the most cost-effective online marketing strategies for some time. Social media lets you grow your visibility and brand awareness without having to pay for it.
However, when it comes time to scale your social media campaigns, you need something extra. You simply can’t dominate social media without some important marketing tools in your arsenal.
Good social media tools help you find more content to share. Use them to schedule posts at the perfect time, as well as to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. What’s more, they give actionable insights you can use to improve your social presence.
Ready to find out which social media marketing tools are best for your business? Let’s dive right in.
Social media schedulers make staying active and engaging on social media easier for us mortals, making our load easier and paving the way for greater impact.
If you want to get your social channels in shape in 2021, you should seriously consider adding the following tools to your marketing toolkit.
Creating content for social media is an essential part of the game. Visual content gets three times more engagement on Twitter than plain ol’ text, so good visual content can help you take it to the next level.
With Biteable, you can easily create engaging, entertaining, and informative short videos to share on social media.
With a host of free video templates, footage, music, and animated scenes, Biteable is a godsend for anyone who wants to create studio-quality quickly without needing expensive resources like film or sound recording equipment.
Biteable was created to be super easy to use and one of the cheapest tools of its type on the market. Most features are available even with free accounts (it’s pretty cheap to upgrade to Premium anyway) so why not add a bit more excitement and spark to your social media content by creating some short, super-shareable videos?
Buffer started as a scheduling tool for Twitter. Today, it supports all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google + (for the one person who still uses it.) Let’s take a look.
You can do some pretty neat things with Buffer:
- Use the chrome extension to add articles and content from the web to your Buffer queue or share content on the go.
- Automatically shortens links you share. If you’re Bitly user, you can connect your accounts.
- Upload custom photos and videos (or use ones pulled from the article you shared).
- Access complex analytics to track your content’s performance.
- Create a posting schedule so your content gets spread out throughout the day.
- Reply to posts from inside Buffer.
- Add team members.
A social media dashboard like Buffer helps you fill your social media feed with relevant and exciting content without spending half your life logged in to Facebook and Twitter.
Research is a crucial part of marketing. If you want to do well and leave your competitors in the dust, you need to understand what they’re doing and if what you’re doing is working or not.
Buzzsumo is a research tool that tells you how your content is doing and who’s spreading the word.
Sometimes when you sit down to create content, you’re on fire. Other times it’s like pulling teeth and you’re just grateful to have met a deadline. It’s impossible to guarantee success, but a tool like Buzzsumo can help you increase the odds.
One of the most powerful research tools on the market, the functionality includes:
- Find content that’s most shared on social media channels – you can enter your own or someone else’s domain and see what’s been shared socially.
- Find influencers related to particular topics.
- Get alerts based on keywords, brand name, links, author name, or domain.
- Track competitors and do an analysis based on their content.
- Use it to research keywords and trending topics your audience is interested in. You can use it to find interesting new posts to share or to search for content ideas based on what’s performing well.
- And, if you’ve got some cash to splash, Buzzsumo Pro is a powerhouse for competitor research.
Social media promotion is vital to success in the online world, but the act of scheduling posts may not be the reason you bounce of bed every morning. Even if you use a tool to help you speed up the process of blasting all your channels at once, you still need to manually input the text and images for each post. Rinse and repeat to re-promote the posts.
Missinglettr helps you automate the process of creating social content by scraping your blog post content and creating a year’s worth of social content for you: nine individual posts dripped out to your social channels over a year.
This means you can focus on writing long-form blog posts while someone else takes care of the creative side of social promotion and the scheduling of posts, so there’ll be one less thing on your to-do list.
With templates for content creation, scheduling, and facilitating client approvals, plus a custom URL shortener to export campaign assets so they can be used in other marketing initiatives, Missinglettr has some great features that’ll lighten your load. You even get a weekly report so you’re on top of your marketing performance.
In the chaotic world of social media, Hootsuite handles multiple social media accounts, bringing them under one login into a single dashboard, and you can sign up free of charge.
One of the most popular social media management tools around, Hootsuite allows for collaboration across team members and an approval process. Alongside the major benefit of seeing all your comments and mentions in one place, you can also assign tasks, plot a social media calendar, and schedule updates.
Through Hootsuite Podium you can check out free online social media courses to develop better social media management skills and learn the fundamentals of social media marketing.
Beyond that, for the more experienced digital marketer, its tools integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube, giving you an in-depth breakdown of your analytics and allowing you to interact with prospective customers.
You can even integrate other community-based platforms including Reddit, Tumblr, and Storify, which helps gather even more feedback and customer data.
Mention is an extremely comprehensive social listening tool. Monitor mentions of your brand, your products, or your competitors in real-time.
Staying on top of the conversation is easy: you can respond to social media comments and mentions from inside the platform, and you can use Mention to find relevant influencers for influencer marketing campaigns and analyze your competitors.
Sumo has a whole suite of useful traffic and social media tools that can help improve your marketing strategy. The most relevant for social media is the social shares feature, which makes it easy for visitors to your site to share your content to social media, and it keeps track of the number of shares.
IFTTT: If this, then that. This tool lets you set up rules that make running your social media marketing empire much easier.
Create rules that trigger specific actions when something happens. For example, you can create a rule that means every time you get a Google notification for a specific alert, it gets added into a Google doc so you can check it all at the end of the day.
These rules can eliminate some of the manual back-and-forths, and help you streamline your process in a way that emphasizes and enhances individual productivity.
Zapier is another tool that encourages automation and does share some similarities with IFTTT. One writer summarized the key differences rather well. IFTTT is easier to learn and great for light automation, while Zapier is a great tool for businesses that want to take their automation to new heights. A lot of marketers use both for different tasks. As a bonus, Zapier plays nicely with most of the tools on this list.
If you’re looking for some neat automation ideas, to get you started the Zapier team has a list of suggestions about how you can use Zapier to better manage your social media accounts.
Already got Buffer? To simplify your work even further, i.e., to eliminate the part where you are the one looking for valuable content to share, start using Quuu. This is a social media marketing tool that curates content for you: it takes hand-picked, always relevant content, and adds it to the Buffer queue. This eliminates any trouble of curating and sharing any content other than the stuff you most want to share (i.e., your blog posts and promotional content).
Price: plans start at $15/mo
MeetEdgar is another social media scheduling tool that stands out for one reason: it allows you to recycle old posts. This is more important than it seems: Content, even good and popular content, gets forgotten and left behind. Recycling that old content so it can get views again is low-hanging fruit, and too often a missed opportunity.
With MeetEdgar, you organize posts by category, schedule content by category, and then, every time the tool has gone through your scheduled posts, it will automatically post old content from each category so it can get attention again.
Social media marketing tools: Monitoring
Organic social media marketing is divided into two processes. One is about the content that comes from you and your brand. It’s the content you create, the content you aggregate and share with your audience, and promotional content. Social media marketing tools that automate and optimize this part of the job are discussed above. The second aspect of social media marketing comes from the audience. It’s the mentions of your brand online, reviews, questions, compliments, and complaints directed towards you.
While posting may be more important for increasing brand awareness, keeping an eye on what people say about you and responding appropriately is important too. It’s pretty much impossible to manually find all mentions of a brand on social media, as even on social media platforms people don’t always tag the brand. That’s why social media monitoring tools exist: to make communication with an online audience comprehensive. Here are a few that stand out:
Awario is a social media listening tool made for solopreneurs and small businesses. It doesn’t require a large budget, yet it covers all major social media listening features: finds mentions of your brand or any other keyword on all major social media platforms, including influential forums like Reddit; breaks mentions down into positive, negative, and neutral ones; shows you a list of influencers; and offers reports with all the stats on the authors that mention your brand.
Price: starts at $29/mo
Mention offers real-time social media monitoring, and you can set up alerts for your brand, your competitors, and your industry. With this tool, you can view and respond to each like, tag, or mention (ah, see what they did there?) right in the app. You can also sort mentions by importance or significance, and even set up filters, including by source or by language.
Mention also offers two options tailored to the different who need social media monitoring: small businesses focused on their branding and agencies working on behalf of their clients.
Price: starts at $29/month
If your budget is much larger, then Brandwatch may be the tool for you. Brandwatch’s analytics data is highly visual: perfect to illustrate the meaning of social media marketing to clients, if you’re an agency.
Another feature that makes Brandwatch stand out is Signals. You have an option to set up an alert whenever a keyword is mentioned by the authors you choose. Signals alert on significant changes in the data set, such as a sudden peak in the number of mentions or an increase in negative mentions.
Price: starts at $800/mo
Talkwalker is another enterprise-level social media marketing tool that’s undoubtedly one of the most powerful on the market. It offers a huge range of filters, sub-filters, and platform coverage. Not only does it cover social media, news sites, blogs, and forums, but also broadcast, TV, and print. The data available is almost endless. It combines information from Google Analytics and social media, sentiment analysis, and image recognition to show you the most accurate report on every aspect of the audience.
Talkwalker is aimed at teams of marketers and PR pros, and it makes working in teams easy. It allows you to manage a smooth workflow within a department and easily share data across departments.
Price: starts at $9,600/year
Socialinsider is an analytics and benchmarking tool for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.
With this tool, you can see where you stand against top competitors, optimize your clients’ social media strategy with advanced analytics and competitive benchmarking, track social media KPIs, and share branded reports with your clients. Add your logo and brand color to give them a more personal touch.
Using Socialinsider, you will save time and impress clients with data they haven’t seen before.
Price: Starts at $59/month or gets a free 7-day trial.
Social media marketing tools: Paid advertising
Social media marketing is tricky. Sometimes it seems as if everything can be achieved organically and for free, as long as your efforts are creative and authentic. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, and it becomes less and less common to achieve social media marketing success without any advertising budget. This is especially the case with Facebook. However, as appealing as Facebook makes advertising look, it’s pretty hard to make it work if you don’t have the right tools. So here’re the chosen ones:
1. Facebook Ads Grader
Although Facebook offers some analytics on ads, it’s often hard to tell whether your ads are worth the money, and if not, what has to be improved so that they could be more effective. WordStream’s Facebook Ads Grader lets you know just that: it provides a completely free assessment of your Facebook Advertising performance.
The report-based social media marketing tool generates a detailed summary of the areas in which you’re succeeding and falling behind. The analysis includes metrics that show you how much the Key Performance Indicators differ based on who you’re advertising to; how your best and worst-performing ads compare to your competitors; whether you’re paying too much; whether you’re targeting the right audience; etc. It also shows if your campaigns, ad sets, and ads adhere to the industry standards established by Facebook. The Facebook Ads Grader is the easiest way to see if you’re getting the most out of your budget and how you can improve.
You probably know a lot about social media marketing. You know that building a following is an important part of the process. You also know that having a strategy in place to reach out to people can make a big difference in your results.