Welcome to our blog series: Social media for small business.
This is the fourth blog in our ongoing series which highlights how a small business should build its social media strategy.
The other three articles in this series are:
Now that you have chosen the right networks for your business and have learned the ways to build your audience, it’s time to consider the tools you can use to improve your social media efforts.
We have categorized them by their utility for better understanding. So let’s start.
1. Research and Monitoring
A. Google Alerts
Google Alerts notifies you every time your chosen keyword is mentioned in any post or article on the web (websites, or social media). It is useful for tracking marketing results.
This totally free service is very useful to:
- Research about your market;
- Monitor services or products related to your business;
- Constantly check your competitors;
- Track the behavior of your customers, partners or suppliers;
- Know if and when Google indexes the content that you publish;
- Control your brand and web reputation.
B. Google Trends
Google Trends is very useful for charts, research, and segmentation.
It is a free tool offered by Google that allows you to examine the trends related to specific terms used in searches.
In practice, with this tool and its various functions, you can compare the popularity of search terms over time. If you use it wisely, Google Trends is a tool that can be very useful to understand the trends of your product, service, brand and business. In short, anything that might interest you to guide your marketing and strategies, including social media.
Particularly useful for checking seasonal trends. You can also compare two search terms and get the top keywords for the trends. This way Google Trends doubles up as an excellent keyword research tool too.
Tagboard a truly indispensable tool which is perfect for monitoring hashtags (#).
You just need to enter a keyword, and it returns all the content published with that particular hashtag on all (or almost all) social media platforms, also emphasizing on the public sentiment (positive, negative or neutral).
This way you can find people who talk about your business and then engage with them.
SocialMention is good to analyze your business presence both on the web and on social media.
The service is free and allows the tracking of a brand or a person, with their comments.
When you enter your keyword, it makes a search on all social networks (included blogs and forums), updating the data and giving a result as accurate as possible.
SocialMention works as an aggregator of information and user-generated content (including blog posts, events, news, comments, tweets, videos, and forums.
A nice feature of this tool is that you can subscribe to your business keywords via RSS, to receive the alert directly on your email.
ShareTally is an awesome tool for share counting.
This simple tool allows you to get all the social numbers of a specific URL. Just enter the link to get all the likes and shares on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and other shares count, including social sites like BizSugar, Delicious, BlogEngage, Inbound.org, etc.
In a few words, this tool gives you an X-ray of a link, analyzing its social media power.
BuzzSumo is one of the best tools for monitoring and segmentation of social content.
It monitors keywords, competitors, and trends. Select the topic and get what has been most discussed and shared in recent months by the entire online community. You can track conversations on the web of your brand and analyze your business reputation.
There’s a free version with limited features. The paid version gives you complete control over everything BuzzSumo offers. Try it free for 14 days.
2. Social Media Management
SMhack is a simple social media management tool. It helps you to monitor, analyze and publish content to multiple social profiles from the same tool.
You will be able to schedule your posts to Facebook and Twitter and verify the results with in-depth analytics to see how your strategy is working out. Automate your posts for every week or every two weeks. This will reduce the stress of sending out content manually.
You can get your social strategy started using this complete tool which allows you to curate content and also allows you to snoop on your competitors. Identify their strategy and replicate that to kickstart your social media plan.
You will even be able to follow influencers in your niche through their blogs (RSS feed). This enables you to be in constant touch with the industry and share valuable content with your followers.
Buffer is a very easy to use tool. With more than 1 million users, it allows you to manage the social shares on your different accounts.
Use it to plan in advance your publications (determining date and time). You can share links and images, through the integration of Bit.ly to shorten links and access a page of analysis, where you can see how many comments, shares and interactions your posts have received.
Buffer can be integrated with different apps and extensions that will help you manage your social media marketing very effectively.
3. Social Media Analysis
BrandWatch is another platform that lets you locate the mentions related to a given keyword. It’s one of the most advanced services in web monitoring.
The system is based on a mechanism of search queries. You set the keyword and then through a system based on “and” “or” “not” and other logical operators, it refines the search until you locate the cut most suitable for your analysis.
With time, Brandwatch has evolved from monitoring only the classic news and blogs also to include the social networks.
Very interesting are the analysis made on Twitter and Facebook, with good organization of the results of Facebook Insights, while Twitter offers interesting data related to the impression of individual tweets.
The most interesting aspect of the platform is the ability to assess the sentiment of a page. The mentions that can be considered are: positive, negative or neutral. Basically, after launching the search query, Brandwatch gives us information about how the object of your research (a brand or a service) is perceived as positive, negative or neutral. Great for measuring your online business reputation.
Finally, the data can be exported either in graphic format (jpeg, png) or the numerical form via excel file.
Klout is very useful both for analysis and for finding influencers in your market.
It is a free platform that evaluates your reputation and influence online. In other words, it measures the ability of a user to create content and engage its network of contacts on social media platforms.
Influence and reputation are the two key elements of Klout that says:
“The influence is the ability to inspire people to do things, how to share, click on the LIKE or comment on a picture that you’ve published. Social actions are a sign that your content has influenced your friends and contacts on social networks. The higher your leverage, the higher is your Klout score”.
Each user is assigned a value which varies from 1 to 100.
Businesses use Klout to sell or advertise their products/services, searching for influencers (in certain areas) based on their Klout score. Users with a high score, are offered Perks, which are benefits such as discounts and promotions.
These are some of the tools that are essential to growing your business on social media. Have you tried any of them? If you have any other tools which have worked for you, let us know, and I will update this list. Let us know in the comments section below or tweet to https://twitter.com/smhackapp to connect with us.