Social media channels can take all the time you are willing to throw at them and then take the same again. Yes, we need social channels for marketing, but it needs to be on our terms and work for us, not against.
Luckily there is a wide range of third-party apps that make Twitter and Facebook easier to use for marketing your business. These apps represent the best way to a positive ROI on your social media activities. Some of these have free versions that you can use to test out; others are paid. All represent excellent value when you consider the time savings and extra benefits they offer.
Here are 5 tools you can use to dominate social media.
Cyfe is a business dashboard application that has many uses. Users can have five widgets for free, and premium users have an unlimited number of widgets and dashboards as well as access to the historical data that is essential to study trends.
A social media dashboard is a common choice, but users can have analytics, marketing, sales, project management and other dashboards as well.
The premium version of Cyfe is $14 per month when paid annually in advance. The free version has no time limits, so you can try out various widgets to see how helpful you find the app.
Tweetdeck is a big improvement on the basic Twitter interface. Tweets are divided into columns that you set up. Column headings can include messages, tweets, trending, scheduled, mentions and notifications. Tweetdeck' dashboard is a live stream and is updated with new tweets automatically, just as Twitter is. Scheduling tweets are simple, even if you are managing multiple Twitter accounts.
Tweetdeck is free, so is something everyone should have connected to their business Twitter accounts, even if other options are discounted on grounds of cost.
Hootsuite is a freemium scheduling app for social media, and is a successful content marketing tool.
Hootsuite is a great tool for finding mentions of your business. If you know what people are saying about you, then you can respond and affect public sentiment towards you by the appropriate positive response.
The free version lets you use three social media profiles on Hootsuite, and you get basic engagement analytics. If you choose the Pro option, then Hootsuite lets you schedule posts in bulk, add more users and allows you to add paid integrations. There is an Enterprise version that includes a custom URL, more linked accounts, and more users, but you will need to contact Hootsuite about pricing because the pricing is not made public.
Oktopost is a B2B Social Media management platform .
The platform lets you have access to social publishing just like Hootsuite and Buffer to allow you to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ but the real value is with its Social Analytics and Lead attributions specifically for B2B marketers. With Oktopost, you can actually measure your social ROI and quantify your social interaction, forget vanity metrics.
If you want to fully exploit the platform, the higher paid options will grant you access to the powerful social advocacy boards, integrations to SalesForce and in-depth social Insights.
People talk about getting leads from social media activity, but it takes a massive amount of time and effort unless you have the right tools.
Socedo is paid tool marketers need to have to generate qualified leads from Twitter. It searches for influencers in your industry according to criteria you define and sets up automated workflows to interact with many people at once, while still sounding personal. There is an A/B testing system so that you can find the most effective messages over time.
The program monitors your prospects social activity and pulls professional data from LinkedIn. Once you have this data, you can then prioritise your prospects and devise follow-up strategies for each one using Socedo's integrations with Marketo, Salesforce or Hubspot.
As business people, we have to be where our customers are. The basic social media interfaces and capabilities are insufficient for business use, which means that using third-party integrations is essential, rather than optional. There are many applications that aim to provide businesses with the ease and speed of use they require.
For scheduling posts businesses have a multitude of apps to choose from, but in other areas, there are unique applications such as Cyfe and Socedo that are very attractive to any business user.
What are your favorite apps for social media?