Social media has completely changed the way that we operate in today’s society. It has never been easier to communicate with others—whether they are next door or around the globe. This revolution of communication has also completely changed the way that we do business. Today, you can directly interact with your customers like never before.
Social media is especially important for eCommerce merchants. Since you only exist online, you need to be utilizing every outlet possible to get more awareness about your brand. However, with the ever-growing list of social media platforms, it can be hard to effectively use social media as a marketing strategy. Luckily, there are tools out there that can help make it easier for you. Here are our top 12 social media tools for every savvy digital marketer to have in their arsenal.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that helps you manage all of your accounts on one dashboard. With this app, you can connect with over 35 platforms, including:
As well as 3rd party apps for networks like Reddit, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more.
There are 3 account levels: Free, Pro, or Enterprise. The free version only allows 3 networks; however, the Pro level, which is $9.99 a month, allows more networks and profiles.
The dashboard is easy to use and understand, with tabs being divided between each account and individual platform streaming within them. Being able to monitor all of these streams in one place is very time-saving and convenient.
One of the biggest pros of Hootsuite is that it allows you not only to post updates but to schedule them in the future—for a week or month in advance. This means that you don’t have to remember to post an update to your four profiles every single day. It also gives you the ability to post at times when your followers are online without having to manually do it (except when it comes to Instagram.)
Hootsuite also provides Analytics from your social media channels. This tool tracks your progress and then delivers your analytics in easy-to-read charts. Another great feature is that Hootsuite allows you to delegate tasks to other users, which makes it ideal for social media teams.
Buffer is a content publishing platform, which is somewhat similar to Hootsuite. While Hootsuite is much larger and has more features, they both allow you to post and schedule to social media networks. Buffer currently supports the following social networks:
When it comes to publishing content, you can post updates immediately, but the main use is to queue your posts for future publication. You can choose when to post, build a schedule, or let Buffer to decide when is the best time to post.
For Buffer, there are 3 types of pricing: Small Business, Medium Business, and Large Enterprise. The Large Enterprise level gives you unlimited scheduling, RSS integration, and analytics.
Sprout is a business monitoring tool for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and other networks. It allows you to monitor how individuals interact with your brand and your competitors. Sprout has four main functions:
Publishing: Sprout allows you to publish content and schedule posts. It also has a feature called ViralPost Send-Time Optimization which helps you determine the best time to send out your posts in order to receive the maximum engagement.
Engagement: One of Sprout’s most popular features is their Smart Inbox, which collects all of your messages from your profiles in one single place. Sprout also has Customer Profiles, which is included in the inbox so you can personalize messages based on their profile data. Another feature of Sprout is their Influencers Indicators, which tells you in your stream the number of Twitter followers a user has. This can help you determine the importance of engaging with users.
Collaboration: Like Buffer, Sprout gives you the ability to manage your social media as a team. You can create tasks and can have multiple people working through the tool.
Analytics: Sprout helps you analyze data by providing in-depth reporting of all of your accounts. Another helpful feature of Sprout is that it can integrate with your Google Analytics account. This allows you to see all of your traffic information in one place.
Sprout is definitely not the cheapest option—they have three main plans that range from $59 or $99 to $500 a month.
Some people might not consider MailChimp to be a social media tool, but it is a tool that helps you communicate with your customers, so we’re including it. The majority of consumers still prefer email as their communication method of choice. Email marketing has an average conversion rate above 70%, which is astronomically higher than search and social (around 300%, to be specific).
MailChimp is one of the best email marketing tools out there. It has built-in templates that you can use and an easy-to-use editor to help you customize your campaigns. They also have third-party integration for even more customization. MailChimp has very in-depth reporting, with interactive graphs, and it can also integrate with Google Analytics to give you additional insight.
In terms of cost, MailChimp is satisfactory. They have a free plan for small businesses, with under 12,000 contacts. After that, their plans are relatively cheap and accessible.
AdRoll is one of the world’s leading retargeting platforms that works to reconnect merchants with their previous customers. This is a must-have for eCommerce retailer. Retargeting focuses on targeting people who have previously visited your site in hopes of converting them into a customer. AdRoll installs a pixel which tracks every visitor so you can then target them using AdRoll’s tools on various platforms, such as web, mobile, and social media.
BuzzSumo is a tool that can help you determine what keywords or topics are trending. It can show you data on high-ranking content and users who have shared that content. This helps you to find influencers to engage with. Identifying keywords can help you know what type of content is performing well in your industry. You can also set up content alerts, which gives you real-time monitoring of keywords, brand names, links, authors, etc. This is a great tool to help you keep an eye on what is trending and going on in your niche.
We all know what a credit score is, right? Well, think of Klout as a tool that helps to find your online credit score or your Internet Influencer Score. In the past, the tool was only for individuals, but businesses have learned how to modify it for their needs. Recently, they launched Klout for Businesses, which allows businesses to see who their influencers are and how they can engage with them in order to boost their profile.
If you are looking for top-of-the-line analytics and reporting, then look no further than NUVI. While the technology is sophisticated, the platform is easy to use and makes it simple for makers to monitor and report their social media data. NUVI, used by companies like Nissan and Uber, can help companies find and join conversations across social media. This insight can help you further shape your social media strategy.
Canva is a fun tool that allows you to create graphics that you can use on your social media pages. This is great for marketers who might not have the knowledge, time, or money to deal with the Adobe Creative Suite. Canva is easy to use and features a drag and drop editor and simple templates with which users can make visual content. Since visual content gets about 23% more clicks than non-visual content, it’s worth looking into. Also, did we mention it’s free?
Who doesn’t love a good GIF from time to time (or in every single email)? GIFS have become integrated into social media—they are everywhere you look. GIPHY is the largest GIF database. It has all of the moving images that you could ever want or need.
Manage Flitter is a web-based tool that will help you manage your Twitter platform. It is a great tool to help work with your audience—to help grow followers, delete those not following, and better engage with other users. While it is a complex tool, it is very simple to use—and it’s completely free! (Although there is a pro version.)
Popular features include:
Sort your followers by a range of different criteria
Find new users to follow based on search functions
Search for relevant accounts and tweets
Track who unfollows
Track inactive accounts among your followers
Find out when your followers are online
Followers Pro is a popular app for those who are managing Instagram accounts. Before Instagram provided any analytical information, you had to look to other sources for any insight into your strategy. Followers Pro is one of the best tools with which to do so. They provide analytics that help to empower brands and better understand their audiences. Features include the ability to:
Track new followers
Track followers that don’t follow you back
Track followers you don’t follow back
Search for users
Search for users you like
Track users who blocked you
Look at oldest and newest users
Look at your most popular and least popular posts
Monitor your worst followers
Monitor your best followers
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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