Social media helps you to truly connect with your subscribers and build strong and lasting customer relationships. This formula can grow your brand’s identity and (hopefully) boost conversions.
In the technology-oriented world of today, if your startup doesn’t use social media, you’re basically turning a blind eye to a huge opportunity. And I’m not just talking about online businesses ... brick and mortar businesses can benefit too (and sometimes even more ... considering how much local review sites like Yelp are used to impact offline purchases).
There are lots of great tools available that make social media marketing seem like a walk in the park. The good news is, we’ve done all the legwork, so you don’t have to. Get ready for a whopping collection of the best 188 tools that will help your startup dominate social media.
Let’s get this show on the road!
Small businesses require a lot of work, and if you're anything like me, you're constantly on the lookout for new innovations that can help save you time and money when it comes to marketing.
Of course there's tons of tools out there, but small business owners are usually unaware of at least half of them. They use the first software they stumble upon, and just settle for whatever it does well and whatever it does poorly. They simply don't have the resources to experiment with multiple tools until they find the ideal one. Luckily, there are experts out there that have put in the time, evaluated all the options, and come up with some solid recommendations.
- The 1st is the list of 10 Must Have Social Media Tools for Small Businesses by Ian Anderson Gray
- The other is The Big List of the 61 Best Social Media Tools for Small Businesses by Kevan Lee
These lists include everything from analytics tools (so you know where your traffic is coming from, and what your visitors are doing once they reach your site), to content publishing platforms (so you can connect with your followers as well as get new ones), email marketing services (so you can keep your customers up-to-date), and even password management tools (so you can keep your various passwords safe and retrieve them easily). As an added bonus, many of these tools are 100% free, which is great for startups with small budgets.
Social media measurement tools are used to listen to the buzz about a brand on social media. They scan everything from the top social media sites to online blogs, wikis, microblogs, and even news sites for any information regarding your brand.
Startups need to keep their finger on the pulse of the internet when it comes to their brand reputation. I think this is especially important because of their agility (compared to larger, more established companies). If they hear negative feedback from customers early on, it's fairly easy for them to make improvements.
Just so you're not confused with all the terms being tossed around out there, social media measurement is also known as "social listening", "buzz monitoring", "social media tracking" and "social media monitoring".
To make informed decisions, it's very important for you to know what your customers think about your brand. This will help you in gauging the success of your past social media campaigns and it'll also help you in determining new marketing ideas that are tailored to your audience.
According to the social media marketing industry report of the Social Media Examiner, 87% of marketers want to measure their ROI on social media. Despite the fact that the majority of marketers agree that social listening helps them make better decisions and allows them to measure ROI, most of them don't practice it. This is either because they consider it to be complicated, or because they feel it's simply too much work. Both of these assumptions are myths. By using the right tools, you can keep tabs on your brand reputation without a sweat.
- Here's a list of the best social media monitoring tools - Social Media Search Tools - by yours truly
- And here's another list by Ian Cleary: http://www.razorsocial.com/social-media-monitoring/
Being an entrepreneur means having to wear many hats, including the one of a social media manager. A social media manager is always juggling different tasks trying to keep up with his day-to-day routine. Social media management tools are designed to make the life of a social manager easier by cutting down the time that she spends doing various repetitive tasks like scheduling posts, posting images, status updates, group posting, etc.
These tools are designed to integrate all your social media management tasks into one app so that you can actively monitor and update all your social media platforms at once.
Since you've involved in a startup, you likely never have enough hours in a day. Well, that's why these social media management tools are so crucial. Their automation features let you accomplish so much with so little effort. Effort that you can spend doing more important things, like developing The Next Big Thing :)
- Here's a great list of the 11 Best Social Media Management Tools for you to consider.
- And here's another list of 28 social media management tools rated, scored, and reviewed from VentureBeat.
Social media analytics tools help you analyze how well your marketing efforts are faring on social media. These tools don't just give you numerical data, but they also help make it easy for you to analyze that data by providing clear insights about your social media activities.
What day is the best to send a Tweet? What Facebook Page posts have received the most views? What Google+ post in the last week received the most +1s? These are all questions that can and should be answered by social media analytics tools.
It's tough for any business to run successful social media marketing campaigns without these tools. And it's even tougher for startups to compete with the established businesses in their industry if they aren't capturing and understanding the data from their marketing efforts. Otherwise, how can you possibly know if there's a ROI from your AdWords or Twitter or media buying campaign?
- Here's a great list of 19 Free Social Media Analytics Tools for you to choose from.
- If that's not enough for you, Social Media Today put together this other list of the Top Analytical Tools to Monitor Social Media Popularity.
Being involved in startup marketing isn't an easy task. Often it means running a bunch of different accounts on different social platforms. Handling these accounts and keeping up with their updates can really take a lot out of ya. This is where social media aggregation tools come into play.
They are designed to collect and display all your social media alerts and updates in one place. This way you don't have to suffer the hassle of constantly jumping from account to account. Sounds pretty good, right? You can use all that saved time to develop new products and services, find investors, hire staff, or heck, maybe even take a well-deserved vacation! (just kidding, I know startups don't take vacations)
- Here's a list of some great social media aggregation tools that you can choose from: 10 Ways to Aggregate All Your Social Media Updates.
- And check out this list of the 10 Best Social Media Tools to Aggregate Your Updates from Doug Skordal.
Sharing and publishing content is one of the most important parts of maintaining a solid online presence for your startup. You can't expect to maximize your reach if you're not actively participating in social media channels. That wouldn't have been difficult if there were just one or two platforms to worry about, but we aren't so lucky.
We have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and Instagram. It doesn't even stop there. Being active on at least half of these is no less than a headache, but fortunately we don't have to go through that hassle. Luckily we have great tools that make publishing a whole lot easier by allowing us to schedule and post all kinds of content simultaneously across all our social media platforms.
- Here's a list of some great social media publishing tools: Top 8 Social Media Tools To Publish Like A Marketing Pro. Pick the one that's best suited for your startup.
- And of course I couldn't leave you hangin' with just you one list ;) Check out this awesome article by Kikolani: 12 Social Media Tools for Scheduling and Publishing Updates Compared.
Shameless plug alert! I’d like to throw our hat into the ring too. DoSocial is a newer entry to the social media publishing tool arena, but it has some really neat features (like Sharesly and Facebook Page tabs) that help set it apart.
The success of a good social media marketing strategy depends upon how well you know your audience. After all, how can you think you're influencing your subscribers if you don't know what they're interested in?
Only when you know the likes, dislikes, and interests of your subscribers, can you then get them exactly the kind of content and updates they're looking for. This evens the playing field and allows small businesses (like your startup) to compete with big companies.
So... how do you gather all that data?
This is where social media research tools come in handy. They give you clear insights into your audience and help you understand your consumers. There are plenty of great tools that you can use for conducting research. Check them out below.
- The best social media research tools can be found here: 18 Incredibly Useful Market Research Tools.
- As an added bonus, this article by Lori Taylor explains 4 Ways to Use Social Media as a Market Research Tool.
Google is great if you want to do general research, but it has its limitations. When you want to get real-time information about certain products, services, or even customers, you'll get better results by tapping into social media search tools as opposed to traditional search engines.
A great example of this is Twitter's search tool. Say I had a flight leaving the Vancouver airport during the Xmas holidays. I'm assuming it's absolute mayhem and I should arrive way ahead of time in order to get through the security lines. But how do I know for sure? One easy way is to search Twitter for "YVR" (the Vancouver airport code). There's bound to be people tweeting about how long the lineups are. Problem solved :)
These tools are especially useful for startups, as they can help you study how people view the other products and competitors in your niche, to help you build a competitive edge for your company in the market.
- Here's a list of 4 Social Search Engines To Track User Data.
- And if that's not enough for ya, here's 6 Free Social Search Tools.
Running a kickass social media page means keeping your subscribers engaged consistently with captivating and fresh content. Posting original content is always a good move, but it takes time to create, and you need to keep your subscribers entertained during that time. This is where content curation comes in handy.
Content curation tools help you discover popular and interesting content that you can share with your customers. This doesn't just keep your followers happy ... it's also good for building business-to-business relationships. By sharing the content of other marketers you'll be doing them a favor … and they may just reciprocate your behavior. It's a win-win!
One thing that people love about startups, is the "personal" connection and attention customers generally receive. You don't feel like you're merely a number. You know if you email or call someone, you'll talk to a real person that is passionate about their business, not a computer program or a call center employee in Asia. This is why it's doubly important for startups to captivate their followers with clever, funny, or interesting social media content ... to keep that personal touch alive.
- Finding quality content isn't hard if you have the right tools at your disposal. Search Engine Watch suggests 26 Free (or Free-to-Try) Content Curation Tools that you should look into.
- Another great article is How to use content curation tools to boost engagement on social media by Jessica Davis.
Visuals generate a lot more engagement than text. This is discussed in detail in Socialbakers' blog post - Photos Make 93% of The Most Engaging Posts on Facebook. Also, Hubspot found that Photos generate 53% more Likes and 104% more comments than regular posts. These stats show us that visuals and graphics are very important when it comes to social media. People respond more to visual cues as opposed to verbal / written ones.
This is why it's important for startup founders such as yourself to be comfortable with social media graphic tools. Previously only graphic designers could carve out decent images, but today almost anyone can do it. You just need to have the right tools at your disposal.
- Here are 23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media that can turn almost anyone into an artist.
- And Rebekah Radice put together this list of the Top Tools to Create Stunning Social Media Graphics.
My personal favorite is Canva. It's a web-based tool that makes it easy for anyone to create stunning graphics. You don't even have to have an artistic bone in your body.
Uses of Canva include:
- Twitter post images
- Pinterest graphics
- Facebook post images
- Google+ photos
- YouTube Channel art
- Twitter header
Believe it or not but I even created all the images in this blog post using Canva :)
I'd love to hear what tools you're using for managing your social media accounts and campaigns. Is there anything that you like which I've missed here? Let me know!
Memuna Umber from DoSocial
Memuna is an MBA student who loves learning about online marketing, social media, and conversion optimization. She brings a lot of business and marketing expertise to the DoSocial team.
Bitly Buffer Canva Cyfe DoSocial Feedly Flipboard Google Analytics Hootsuite Hubspot Klout IFTTT Jing Pinterest Skitch SocialBro Social Mention SocialFlow Tagboard Twazzup TweetDeck Zite WordPress LastPass