Many of us seem to be thinking that social media takes up too much of our time. Sure, that might be the case. Luckily there are some tools that might make your life a bit easier. The following is a brief list of free social media tools that I recommend using on a day-to-day basis. At one point or another, I have used all of these daily and saw the efficiency of my activities rise. Try using these tools for a while and see if you can make your social media management a bit more efficient like I did.
Timelyis a browser application that let’s users schedule tweets. It also tracks the links via bit.ly and has a bookmark extension which allows you to tweet (or add to queue) the page you are currently on. I use it every day to distribute my tweets evenly throughout the day. This is great for tweeting out resources, articles, how-to’s, etc. For time sensitive news, tweet them as you read them!
Hootsuitecan monitor your Facebook and Twitter properties for free and it also allows scheduled publishing. I use it mainly to monitor different Twitter searches regulary. For paying customers HootSuite also allows link tracking, collaborating and integration with Google analytics and Facebook insights. Their subscriptions start at $5.99 per month.
Twittercounterlets you monitor and benchmark your twitter stats against others. Twittercounter’s free version features statistics about followers, people you’re following and tweets. I find it very useful for quick benchmarking but for regular statistics and graphs I use Wildfire APP.
Wildfire APPfor social monitoring and comparison (similar to twittercounter) – it gives you the basic graphs for both Twitter followers and Facebook likes. The beauty is that you can quickly compare your different properties and competitors. And it’s free!
Feedcompare allows you to benchmark your RSS feed subscriber amount against your competitors.
Google Analytics URL builder is what I use to tag my links in order to track them. It doesn’t need to be said how important is to tag the links that you post in social media (Facebook for example). If you fail to tag these links, they will be registered as direct traffic which will give you no measurement what so ever.
Bit.ly url shortener is what I use to make those tagged links short. Bit.ly also provides their own click analytics and they have a Chrome extension I suggest installing.
Google alertsshould be used by everyone involved with marketing and social media in order to monitor what’s being said about your brand or specific keywords in real time.
Focusis not a tool per se but it can become really helpful to find out what others are talking about social media, online marketing and so on. You can connect with experts, research a topic, ask and answer questions. Furthermore, you might even find a new topic for your next blog post there.
And for those of you who are on OS X, Grumlis a free RSS application that I use daily to track my Google Reader subscriptions. Allows you to create different folders, tweet directly from the app and has direct posting capabilities to your social networks such as Tumblr and Facebook.
Do you think my list is missing something? Please comment and add suggestions!
For a more detailed list of free social media tools please see this post!