Our team tries new social media tools at least monthly with a few old favorites standing the test of time. Which in social media means we’ve have a subscription for more than a year. Don’t be afraid to go back and try a tool that you didn’t find useful the first time around — chances are you weren’t the only one who had complaints. As APIs change, so do tools, reports and features.
Don’t get too comfortable with an old favorite — keep looking for newer and less expensive options. What was industry standard for a few hundred dollars a month a year ago might be available now for less than $50.
There is no right or wrong set of tools, and what you need will change over time. As you become more proficient with social media and expand your skill set, your tool kit must also continually be upgraded. The tools that work for you will be heavy on features for your preferred networks and give you reports that you can data mine easily.
Postwire — Easiest to describe as a visual form of Box, Postwire allows you to share collections of web links, documents and more, securely, with infinite combinations of your team. We use this in house and with many of our clients. Postwire is also HIPPA compliant.
Instagram — We’re working on an entire Tips & Tricks guide to Instagram, it’s that powerful.
Klout — Once you become proficient on basic social media, you’ll wonder how you stack up. You’ll also start the quest to find influencers in your industry. Klout ranks influencers by an often skewed popularity scale, but their new Klout Expert feature is neatly integrated into Bing, with queries that Bing has found “unsucessful” being pitched to experts in those fields. Expert answers now show up as search results, which gives you an opportunity for organic search that can’t be purchased. Klout is also useful when you research influencer circles (who influences the big target you’d like to be networking with?) and their analysis of your efforts can be telling.
Kurrently — A real-time search engine for Facebook and Twitter. Search who is talking about you, your industry or keywords in real time.
WooRank — Enter your website and get basic SEO analysis back at no charge. Not a replacement for a SEO professional, but useful for tracking your site against a competitor’s or for finding large problems.
SlideShare — Think PowerPoint, but shareable, private if you need that, SEO building and generally awesome.
Cyfe — An all-in-one dashboard app that helps you monitor and analyze data scattered across all your online services like Google Analytics, Salesforce, AdSense, MailChimp, Facebook, WordPress and more from one single location in real-time.
Agora Pulse — Facebook centric suite with applications for contests and promotions, competitor benchmarks, fan ranking and qualification, advanced statistics and content recommendations and workflow moderation.
Quozio — Create simple quotation-style images quickly.
At some point, you’ll want to learn to update multiple pages, schedule posts to appear on days when you’re too busy to post or just want to make it easier on yourself. You’ll also build a network that’s too large to touch daily without some help. The main contenders are HootSuite, Buffer, Cloze, SproutSocial, Crowdbooster and Vocus. Buffer has a neat browser extension that allows you to schedule Retweets if you need to space them out.
GaggleAMP — Built to facilitate sharing of your data with your sales force, retailers, employees and other partners, GaggleAMP lets you push your messages once and then your “gaggle” chooses what they want to share and how often. There’s a point system built in so you can reward the best sharers.
Pocket — Formerly known as “Read it Later”, Pocket is an app that bookmarks content that you want to read later or share to your networks. It integrates with Buffer and Bit.ly (other networks are also supported) for full trackability. No more trying to remember what you wanted to share in the morning or sitting at the computer with poster’s block.
Lithium — Community management platform.
If you’re looking for an enterprise solution, something like Sendible might even be an option. A big part of your decision will be based on the mobile devices you use and whether you’re blogging with multiple platforms at the same time.