By itself, social media is a powerful tool. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram empower both startups and established brands to connect with customers in an environment that's friendly and highly engaging.
However, a growing suite of social media marketing tools are enabling brands to maximize the utility of social media.
These Nine Tools are Changing Online Marketing
Social media marketing is a rapidly developing specialty that transforms itself on a regular basis. Though it's becoming difficult to imagine marketing without social media, we must remember that social media has only become familiar within the past 10 to 15 years.
It's essential to take advantage of every tool and learning opportunity you have. You need to identify what does and does not work for your brand.
Here are nine tools that are expanding the reach and effectiveness of social media marketing.
1. Quill Engage
As anyone who's worked with Google Analytics knows, it's one of the deepest reporting tools available. This can also make it a challenge to find exactly what you're looking for, however.
There's simply too much data and too many options to choose from. This is where Quill Engage comes in. It's a free tool that connects to your Google Analytics account and sends you weekly summaries of the data.
In terms of social media, Quill Engage enables you to see where your traffic is coming from, which posts have performed best (that is, in driving traffic to landing pages), as well as other critical analytical data.
This will save a lot of time and help you to get just the information you need the most.
As you probably know, headlines are of paramount importance for driving traffic to your website or blog. The right headline can potentially mean hundreds and even thousands more conversions -- even if the blog post's content remains unchanged. You can't afford to merely guess which title is going to be the best.
KingSumo is a tool that makes A/B testing and headline selection easy. This plugin gives you the option of creating multiple test headlines for your blog posts, up to ten at a time, and then it rotates these headlines to show which ones perform the best.
Based on this information, over time the winning headline will get featured the most often. Using the data from KingSumo, you can adjust the headlines you choose to run when you share content on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.
3. Real Geeks
Sometimes the best tools are the ones that are geared to a specific industry or purpose. There's nothing wrong with general tools -- and that's what the majority of tools on this list are -- but the more specific a tool can be, the more value it will yield for the end user.
So we have to include Real Geeks on this list. Real Geeks has a Facebook marketing tool that's killing it right now. The tool is designed for real-estate agents, and it allows users to streamline the ad creation process.
Normally, the process of creating a quality Facebook ad takes an agent anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes. Armed with Real Geeks, the same level of amazing ads can be developed in just three to five minutes. The tool also offers robust reporting features that track your ad performance.
As everyone knows, visual content is key to engagement on social media. In order to make finding and using visual content easier, many marketers have turned to Canva. This tool offers an array of templates that can make even the most inexperienced designer look like an expert. It's an absolute lifesaver if you can't afford to hire a professional.
5. Bundle Post
One of the toughest aspects of social media is that it doesn't ever allow you to stop. In order to remain relevant, you have to push content constantly.
This typically means a massive time investment, which is unrealistic when you have other facets of your business to run. Enter Bundle Post.
When you have Bundle Post, you can schedule several days' worth of posts, shares, and curated content in just minutes. In fact, many people are able to schedule three to five days' worth of posts in less than half an hour.
As a result, you can spend more time engaging users and less time having to compose content.
This is without a doubt one of the coolest tools out there ... and it wasn't even designed with social media in mind. IFTTT stands for "If this, then that" and is often described as the Swiss Army Knife of digital productivity.
IFTTT is an app that allows users to connect other apps. Simply input the "if" variable, then establish a "then" variable. The result is automation between unique processes.
For example: "IF I post something on Facebook, THEN send out the same post in tweet form." The options are nearly endless. The program currently works with more than 300 different apps so it makes social media management much more efficient.
If custom hashtags play a substantial role in your social media campaigns, you'll undoubtedly find Tagboard valuable. This tool acts as a search engine that lets you register your custom hashtags in order to see mentions and other content across pretty much any social platform. That will save a lot of time and ensure you don't miss anything.
Content curation is a big portion of social media success, but the time it takes to find content often outweighs the returns. The key is to reduce the amount of time it takes.
This is exactly what Feedly does. It streamlines the content curation process by organizing all relevant articles, blogs, videos, and websites into a single platform that you can quickly browse.
Since Twitter and Facebook share features that integrate directly into the platform, it's a simple matter to engage your audience in a timely manner.
One of the most fruitful activities in social media is finding other influencers and forging partnerships with them. This increases the odds they'll share your content, which benefits your business in the long run.
The tricky part is identifying and connecting with the right people. This is where Inkybee helps. This tool assists in searching for bloggers and influencers in your industry and ranks them based on visibility, engagement, relevance, and more.
Using this information, you can tailor your outreach strategy so it yields the maximum benefits. You can also save lists and return to them at a later date.
Are You Using the Right Tools?
Investing in social media without using any tools is similar to buying an apartment but not putting any furniture in it. You can still use the apartment -- i.e., social media -- but you won't get anywhere close to maximizing its potential.
In the coming days, ask yourself the question: "Am I using the right tools?" If the answer is no, or at best "I'm not sure," then explore various opportunities that could enhance your social media marketing strategy.
You may find some of the tools on the above list valuable, but there are hundreds of other solutions that could help move you in the right direction. The possibilities are almost endless ... but make sure you aren't overlooking the growing suite of social media marketing tools that are currently on the market.
They'll fundamentally transform your strategy for the better.