Trying to be a social media guru? If so, you might be overwhelmed with the amount of fun tools you can use. Using Facebook Pages Manager, Facebook Insights and TweetDeck is good and all but if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty then you’ll need to start looking at some of these amazing third party apps.

Note: it might sound like we’re advertising on behalf of these apps and platforms but in reality we speak highly of these apps because we really love them!

 

Content Management

Although Facebook Pages Manager and TweetDeck now allow you to schedule posts and tweets in the future, there are still some limitations. For example: if you want to post something across multiple platforms.

Sprout Social allows you to easily cross-post through both platforms at the click of a button. You can also geotarget your posts and save drafts using their Publisher tool.

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… and allows you to see your whole calendar in an easy-to-read format.

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This will help plan out your brand’s content calendar and see if there are any days that need filling up or if certain topics should be spread out more evenly throughout the month.

What’s also great is that Sprout Social can recommend the optimal posting times for you… so you can get the best possible engagement for your community.

Unfortunately, Sprout Social does have some drawbacks… it is relatively pricy when compared to other similar tools and currently doesn’t support Instagram… but there are other third party apps that will help out schedule your Instagram images. Both ScheduGram and Latergram are good options for that

HootSuite, Sprout Social’s chief competitor, does many of the functions listed above. One reason many people favour HootSuite is its ability to integrate a wide variety of platforms, like Instagram and Pinterest (for listening) and its lower costs. However, one reason we’d still recommend Sprout Social is that it offers more robust and deeper analytic tools with unlimited reporting.

Speaking of Analytic tools…

 

Social Analytics

Although Sprout Social does a great job with their reports in terms of appearance and substance, in order to get really deep with industry benchmarking then look no further than quintly.

Courtesy of quintly.com

Courtesy of quintly.com

Quintly boasts some of the deepest analytics ever and features direct competitor comparisons. See how you rank with your main competitors in Twitter follower count, Facebook fan change rate or Youtube video subscriptions (that’s barely scratching the surface).

Another handy tool, Bitly, is not only helpful because it helps shorten long URLs, but also gives you full analytics on how your links are performing.

Courtesy of bit.ly

Courtesy of Bitly

Besides content management and analytics, the last big piece you’ll need to be a successful social media connoisseur is to the master the art of listening.

 

Listening

Circling back to Sprout Social: one great tool that they have are Brand Keywords, where you can input any keywords relevant to your brand to observe conversations that are happening. Additionally, you can also Geotarget these keywords as well.

For example: we could see all the people discussing branding who live in or around Toronto:

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This is a great tool to proactively start conversations and how customers are interacting with your product or service.

There are a lot of other great tools that are designed for listening. For more robust (albeit pricier) options then look no further than Radian6 or Sysomos… both are ideal for larger brands.

On a tight budget? Try Topsy… which is one of the most powerful Twitter search engines around. Lastly, Social Mention is one of the few apps that can help you measure your brand’s sentiment in the social sphere.

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Social media management is a large arena and these tools not only help us do our job, but they constantly ‘wow’ our clients with all the data and analysis that we are able to provide. What are some of the social media tools you use?