Whether you're an entrepreneur, small business owner, or working at a larger organization, you know that social media is a necessity. Andyou know it's a challenge to keep up with monitoring every social platform.Instead of getting overwhelmed, make your life easier by using a tool to schedule, share and monitor all the content and activity that you're interested in. What should you be using? Here are five of themost reliable and effective tools I have found in managing my social media needs.

One of the most powerful tools you can use for managing your social accountsis Buffer. Besides using it to schedule and share your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, you can also use Buffer to spread those posts throughout the day simultaneously. If all that weren't enough, you can use the serviceto collaborate with team members. The platform alsohas built-in tools so that you can track number growth, engagement and social interactions with your accounts. Buffer alsointegrates with Google Analytics and has an extension that allows you to "buffer" and share everything from web pages to photos.This postgoes a little deeper with informative tidbits to helpyou use Buffer for managing your social accounts.

Bitly exploded in popularitybecause it shortens links, which comes in really handy when you're sharing within the 140-character confines of Twitter. Youcan also use Bitly's dashboard to track those shortened links and see how many times it's been clicked by adding the "+" feature at the end of any bit.ly URL. Because of this feature, Bitly is one of the best tools at tracking and analytics.

"I recommend using Bitly's 'bitmarklet,'" says Jose Fernandez, CEO of FastKitPack. "It's their button that you can drag to your bookmark bar at the top of your web browser. That way, all you have to do is push a button and you can share a shortened link of whatever web page you are on. It also tells you how much that link has been shared recently."

This tool was originally intended to be a replacement for Google Alerts and has since become a solid optionif you want to monitor your social media mentions in real-time. Butthe additional features packed intoMention made it an essential social media marketing tool. Itlets you quickly react and respond to the activity around yoursocial media accounts, view stats of your mentions, and share real-time alerts with your team.

One of the oldest social media marketing and monitoring tools out there, HootSuite has many millions of users at this point. Through its dashboard you can schedule posts and keep track of all of your social media accounts. It can connect with 35 different social media platforms, has real-time social analytics, mobile apps for when you're on the go and can be used to collaborate with team members. HootSuite offers Free, Pro and Enterprise plans depending on how large your business is. Much like Buffer, the company offersan excellent blog if you need advice or want to keep up with the latest trends.

What's really amazingabout IFTTT is that it builds "recipes" that automate your social media presence. That probably sounds more complicated than it really is. The recipes are based on two factors: a "trigger" and an "action." So, for example, someone tagged you in a picture on Facebook. The trigger would be "I'm tagged in a photo on Facebook." The action couldthen be to automatically "create a status message on Facebook." Another example would be, you share something on Twitter. That trigger automatically sets off sharing the same thing on G+ (the action). IFTTT works across 109 channels.

 

Published on: Aug 12, 2014