CO-AUTHORED BY RACHEL TOUGHER: Rachel is a colleague of mine who spends much of each day maxing out emerging social media tools in an effort to get the most traction from her client's posts in the channels where she plies her trade.
This 'Internet of things' we call the web has naturally morphed into The Facebook, Twitterland and numerous other social media channels, where a generation of millennials and select old people (generation x'ers and the like) spend their every waking minute contributing and curating content in hopes of engaging 'someone.' They are the social media managers and directors of the world - those that live in a constant state of, 'what if?' At any moment a brand's post could go viral in a good, or bad way. The job is not for the meek, that much is for sure.
My own social media efforts have always been organic, and sadly DIY since I've never invested the time to find a tool I trust to automate my activities. It is important to me that it seems like a real person is actually behind the wheel of @reidwegs. That's why I'm grateful for people like Rachel, who not only manages the difficult 'what if?' part of the PR business, but also takes the time to advise and educate her peers and elders on what's hot (or not) in the world of managing brands' social media channels. I thought it would be cool to have her share that same wisdom with you and so, without further ado here are seven new social media tools with sizzle:
Meet Edgar: social media management and scheduling
• Tougher's Take: Meet Edgar, the tool to help you maximize the blood, sweat and tears you pour into your client's beautiful copy by making sure it gets seen. Based on the principle that frequency is key, and the belief that content should be organized into buckets and concepts, you can now just sit back, relax and watch your Edgar account do the heavy lifting in posting and scheduling.
Hashtracking: analytics for hashtag tracking
• Tougher's take: This hashtracking tool can be pretty valuable if you have a large volume of user generated content implementing hashtags, like a product hashtag, event, contest, campaign and (hopefully not the case) a PR crisis. On an ordinary day of managing social this tool may not be super valuable but it's definitely one to keep in the arsenal for reporting on a major crisis or a big contest. Hashtracking gives you valuable data, metrics and sentiment around your hashtags, making it easier than ever to gather intelligence on hashtag use for both Twitter and Instagram.
Toucan: keyword alerts
• Tougher's take: Full disclosure? This tool is not just for your average social media manager but a PR-minded social media manager. In today's era of rapid-fire journalism you can't win earned media with just an email pitch and a phone call. Standing out from the crowd with journalists is a must and Toucan allows you to do just that. One way to get to know journalists--and thus pitch better stories--is to engage with them on the topics they're interested in. With Toucan you are immediately notified when journalists start talking about your product or company on Twitter, creating an opportunity to start building a relationship without filling up their voicemail (because we all know they don't listen to those). Toucan comes fully equipped with lists of journalists it's already listening to and they just kicked it up a notch with the ability to add your own lists to make sure every journalist, contributor, or influencer on your hit list is being heard.
Iconosquare: Instagram analytics
• Tougher's take: Iconosquare is not a newcomer by any means but deserves an honorable mention here. They are one of the original Instagram measurement tools out there and do a great job at it. Anyone can sign up for a free account and get details on how their account is doing, how popular their content is and the best times to post. A must for Instagram beginners!
Socedo: social media lead generation
• Tougher's take: Socedo is a great way to build your sales leads using the power of social media. CRMs often come built-in with social integration but typically lack the kind of social research and engagement Socedo owns. With Socedo, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles using specific keywords and set-up engagement rules to fill your pipeline with new social leads, get them engaged, feel valued and spark interest in learning more about your products.
Latergramme: Instagram scheduled posting and outreach
• Tougher's take: Hunting for the perfect tool to post to Instagram? Well you may never find it but Latergramme is the closest thing you'll get! It is a reliable and safe tool to schedule Instagram posts and regrams, and to stay on top of your Instagram community. Latergramme can't actually publish for you (no legitimate Instagram tool can), but it gets you pretty darn close, and is frankly the best option out there right now. Pair this with Instagram for Chrome and you'll be on your way to expert level -- it's the closest thing you can get to Tweetdeck for Instagram.
Buffer for Pinterest: share, schedule and measure pin performance
• Tougher's take: Buffer, like Iconosquare, has been around a bit longer than the rest of these tools, but what makes it noteworthy is the new Pinterest functionality. Anyone who's spent a day or two around Pinterest knows that your pinning schedule is key. Pinning when your audience is most likely to engage is critical and now more manageable with Buffer. Buffer finally gives you the option to schedule pins and on top of its integrations with 4 other big social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+) it's just about a one-stop shop!
There you have it! Moms and dads, now you know have a better clue about how your sons and daughters spend their days in professional social media land - where no one really Tweets, 'Grams or Facebooks organically. It is all done ahead of time, strategically using technology tools and targeted messaging designed to get users like yourselves engaged with content these brands just know you'll love. And the tools discussed above represent just the tip of the iceberg of what's out there.
For those of you who have suggestions for emerging social media tools that you have evaluated, or currently use and endorse that did not make this list please post them in the comment field below.