I often get asked what tools, apps etc I use for my work within social media, so I thought I’d whip up a post that answers exactly that. You’re all busy people, so I’ll crack on shall I?

Social media management

These are the tools I use on a daily basis to manage content for all social media platforms, interact and all that jazz.

Sprout Social

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I’ve been a user of Sprout Social for a long time and have never found any reason to jump ship to another service. It’s the social media management tool of choice for me and the Velocity associates. What do I like about it?

  • Very pretty user interface
  • Excellent built-in Twitter search function
  • Super-slick apps
  • Lovely graphical reports, great for simple client snap-shots
  • Top team-working features
  • Their customer service is excellent

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Buffer

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Buffer is another tool that’s been by my side for a long time. Kind of like the one screwdriver I own. It plays a very simple role in my social media system – rapid-fire content sharing. If I’m on the move and I read something that I think would work well for either my own, or a client’s Twitter account, I’ll share it using Buffer, often via their integration with Feedly. What do I like about Buffer:

  • It just works!
  • Simple interface
  • Easy to create a posting schedule
  • Very responsive customer care team

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Audience analysis and growth

It’s important that we understand who is following and engaging with us, our clients etc on social media. While I’ve always found the data supplied by Facebook to be helpful, it was always a struggle to really analyse a Twitter following, until I paid real attention to…

SocialBro

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I tried SocialBro years ago when it first launched, and if I’m honest, it was pretty poor. First impressions count and I gave it a body-swerve from then on. That was until mid-way through last year when I thought I’d give it another go. Thank Britney Spears I did as it’s now an integral part of any work I do on Twitter. What SocialBro does to float my boat:

  • It allows me to easily segment current followers and create target segments
  • The reporting is very detailed and I use many of the graphics in reports
  • Its Twitter list creator is so slick and produces Twitter-ad ready files
  • Its analysis of your tweet impact is just so sweet
  • The new monitoring feature is like nothing I’ve seen for digging deep into Twitter activity
  • There’s so much in there that you really do benefit from a run-down with a SocialBro team-member

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Content discovery

When it comes to trawling through the web for content that may be great for sharing, it can be tough. Aside from Google and Google News, what else do I use?

BuzzSumo 

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BuzzSumo launched in 2014 and I was quick to try it out. In a nutshell, it searches the web for the most socially shared articles. Very handy when looking for content to curate that you know is popular. While you don’t always want to focus on the biggest pieces of content, it does allow you to dig deeper than the big winners. Key cool things about BuzzSumo:

  • Highly customisable – cut out certain content types, sources and much more
  • Always pushing it forward – seems like new features are announced every week
  • The free version gives you a good amount of content (I’ll be upgrading soon)

Reddit 

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Reddit is a crazy world, and until you’ve spent some time there, you will most likely struggle to understand it, but I suggest you take the time! It’s a content gold-mine and I can pretty much guarantee there’s a r/ that will be your path to awesome content discovery. Top Reddit plus-points:

  • Highly active community, which means the content never stops
  • Niche topics thrive
  • Simple interface means efficient use

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Please note – always be a good citizen and credit your content sources!

Content planning

I’ve tried all manner of options for creating content plans and it has taken a long time for me to settle on one tool. Until I discovered…

Trello

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Trello is a column-based tool that allows you to create stupendous content plans (Trello is for way more than just that), and is the best solution I’ve found for this highly important task. Why’s it ideal for content planning?

  • Simple to collaborate as it works across teams
  • The calendar view couple with the column approach is slick
  • The apps work as well as the web version which is rare!
  • It’s colourful and pretty and just smells so good

If you want tips on creating a content plan with Trello, feel free to contact me!

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Analysis

It should go without saying that you need a robust approach to social media analysis and as far as I’m concerned, you cant have this without a solid web analytics package. That package is of course…

Google Analytics

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We need to know what effect our social media and content marketing activity is having on our sites. Without that, the rest is fluff! Why does Google Analytics have it covered?

  • The social media functionality is excellent, especially when matched with Goals and e-commerce
  • It’s free!
  • With a little practice, it’s easy to understand and use
  • Neat graphics for use in reporting

Are you adding Google URL tags to everything you send out on social media and beyond? You should be! Give me a shout if you want more info on that!

There you folks! The tools I swear by for a happy social media marketing life! What would you add to the list?

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