To be effective marketing online you really have to cover the following areas of your Social Media efforts. Some are obvious but others may not be:
Promotion – how will you promote your company and the great content you are creating to attract potential customers to your site?
Targeting – are you targeting the right people? And another aspect of targeting that’s very important (but often overlooked), are you targeting the right keywords in your promotion efforts?
Management – not “middle management”, but how are you managing your Social Media marketing efforts? Are you doing it manually or do you have some automation and tracking?
Tracking – so, speaking of tracking above, are you measuring your Website traffic? If not, that’s a huge blind spot.
Learning – another less obvious one. The more you know and learn from others about Social Media options and opportunities the better you’ll be at it. You need to keep yourself educated, find new tools and ways to market.
So if we think about these areas, what tools can we use to improve our Social Media Marketing efforts and to generally make our lives easier? Here are 5 free tools that I use on a regular basis that can supercharge your Social Media Marketing efforts:
Tool #1 – Twitter – A lot of people today are still confused by Twitter and what value it brings. The fact is, it’s a very simple connector that allows people with shared interests to communicate with each other on that topic. It can be one-way, two-way or multi-point communication. If you use the right keywords your Tweets can be found in Twitter searches or even now on searches in Google or Bing. Net-net, Twitter is a very easy to set-up and manage tool that allows you to communicate out headlines about your compelling content (including articles, pictures, videos, deals, etc.) to interested parties. These people can either read your content, forward it on or ignore it. The more compelling or interesting the content you send out and the more you promote your Twitter account the larger your installed base Twitter audience will be.
Tool #2 – Google Keyword Tool – As mentioned above, keyword-targeting is an oft-overlooked but important part of getting your message out and having it found by your target audience. Did you know that two similar keyword phrases can have vastly different amounts of searches performed against them? One phrase may have 40K searches/month performed while another, similar phrase might have just 4K or even 400! You would have no way of knowing this without a keyword tool that tracks search volume. I used the Google Keyword Tool (both the free external one and the one in Adwords) all the time to make sure I’m focusing on the right keywords and also discovering new, related ones.
Tool #3 – Hootsuite – You can log into Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and other sites individually and check for interesting messages and post Tweets, Facebook posts, Linked In posts and more throughout the day or week. Or you can log into a Social Media Management Tool such as Hootsuite and check them all at once. You can also track clicks on links in your posts and integrate your account with Google Analytics for your Websites. My favorite feature is the ability to create several posts and to schedule them throughout the week. I can do a whole week’s worth of posts in an hour – now that’s a time- and hassle-saving tool!
Tool # 4 – Google Analytics – When you’re driving your car it’s generally considered important to know your speed, how much gas is in the tank (or how much power is left in your battery) and if there are any emergencies such as an over-heated engine. Similarly it’s critical that you know how your Social Media efforts are turning into traffic to your website. Enter Google Analytics. Google’s free, very robust tool that tracks visitors to your website, how much time they spend on your site, where they came from (what site or traffic source and geography), what keywords brough them and what pages are your most popular. Once you’ve had a taste of analytics you can’t go without!
Tool #5 – AllTop.com – It’s important that you stay abreast of new ways and examples to use Social Media to the marketer’s advantage. It’s also great to know about new tools or sites. Also, following other blogs in your own industry can be very advantageous allowing you to keep up with the trends, comment on industry blogs and bring some of this information to your blog or your Social Media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I use AllTop to quickly get a daily look at what many of the top Social Media blogs have to say and also to follow industry topics. Take a look (you can also subscribe to certain feeds on Twitter).
These are 5 Social Media Tools that I use on a daily basis for my Social Media Marketing efforts. What tools do you find the most valuable for yours? Let us know in the comments.