The Best Social Media Marketing Tools You Never Heard Of
By David Leonhardt
Every small business is being told to hop on social media, but where do you start? It’s no brainer to set up an account on Twitter or Facebook and to start following people. But what next? What tools are there?
Lots. But I’m not going to tell you about the obvious ones, like Hootesuite and Buffer. Any article can talk about them, and most of them do. Today, let’s look at some really cool social media tools that you probably never heard of.
MEASURE YOUR SHARES
Let’s start simple. Sharetally. This is simple, because it is little more than a script. Actually, it is a series of scripts, one for each social media outlet it covers. You simply type any URL into the bar, and you instantly (well, almost instantly) get a tally of how many social shares that URL has earned.
The only weak spot for this tool is that it no longer shows Twitter shares since Twitter cut everybody off. But you still get all the other big ones, including Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Power user tip: grab the toolbar button for quick tallies of any page.
Here is how the results look:
We started simple, so let’s get complex. Socedo. This is an enterprise level tool that can also be used just as easily by small businesses to generate leads through social media.
As you probably know, social media is more of a place to build relationships than to make a sale. So why use a social media lead generation tool? Because you can almost automate the process of finding and selecting the people to build those relationships with.
Depending on the nature of your business, you might lead them straight to a funnel, or you might do triage and get to work building those relationships one on one. Sometimes, automation is best; other times, there is nothing like the personal touch.
Here’s the dashboard:
AUTOMATE EVERYTHING…AND MORE
IFTTT stands for “If this, then that”. Although the concept is simple – mash-up various online services – it is a powerful social media marketing engine. It mashes up 272 services, and counting! You can choose from thousands of recipes, or create one of your own. A recipe might be to automatically share to Facebook and photos you add to an iPhone album.
Imagine if you could automatically tweet, post to Facebook and share on Instagram anything you wished, without even having to lift a finger. Imagine if you could get an email every time somebody interacted with your content. Or if you could automatically add them to an email list. IFTTT enables much of what you could imagine.
Confession time: I have never actually used IFTTT for social media marketing (I know, I am soooo ashamed!), but I have used it to find prospects on Craigslist. It’s a pretty cool tool. See what I get in this screenshot:
BUILD A TEAM
Would you like to direct message a group of people on Twitter? Tweetguru to the rescue. Your fans might not see your news on Facebook, given how Facebook likes to hide our posts, but if you can get their permission to send occasional notices via Twitter DM, you can make sure that your cheerleaders are well-armed to lead your cheering.
Get their permission first! Don’t be a sinister spammer.
As you can see by the screenshot, it has not yet adapted to the post-140-character-DM world:
KEEP ON TARGET
Sorry, I was away for a moment running a Crowdfire unfollow operation. If you follow lots of prospects and people who might be interested in sharing your content, you will find some will follow back. Others won’t.
Crowdfire helps you painlessly ditch the “won’t”s. Just be careful not to also ditch people you want to follow for other reasons (Sorry, mom.)
And maybe you’ll just follow them all back, hoping that the second time you follow them, they will notice.
IMAGES RULE SOCIAL MEDIA
Everybody knows that pictures are worth a thousand words, and nowhere is that more true than on social media. Pictures get shared. Pictures get clicked. Pictures get you noticed. I don’t mean stock photography.
I mean real custom pics that send a message, which usually means including text on those pics. In the world of online marketing, everybody seems to know about Canva. That’s a tool for making custom pics.
But this post is about the best social media marketing tools you never heard of, so instead I will share with you my two favorite image creating tools: PicMonkey and BeFunky. You don’t need to learn any software. Spend an hour playing with either of these tools, and you’ll find that it takes just 15 minutes to create a custom image that will pull social media interest to your website.
Everybody has their favorite social media marketing tools. The Huffington Post’s Sherry Gray shared some fairly obscure “social sharing apps”. Do you have a favorite secret to share – a tool that most readers have not yet heard of? The comments are waiting for you below, and I would love to have you spill the beans.