Five Favorite Social Media Marketing Tools
I rely on a variety of technology tools to help me ply my trade as a social media marketing consultant, writer and author, and a number of them have come into daily use. Here is a list of my top five.
1. Sprout Social - Social Media Management
I have reviewed quite a number of social media management tools during my tenure as a Practical EcommerceI contributing editor, many of which offer highly useful features. Though none of them handle every task equally well, for my own purposes Sprout Social has become the "goto" application.
It's a low-cost tool - subscriptions start at $9.00 per month - that enables me to manage most of the social networks in which I actively participate. Not only that, it serves as a social listening tool, facilitates scheduled content publishing, keeps track of new fans and followers, and provides real-time reporting of my social network engagement activity. There is a mobile version, too, so I am not confined to a desktop or laptop when doing so.
2. Bottlenose - Social Listening
I've always said "listening is the new marketing," and where social media is concerned, truer words were never spoken.
A recent find is Bottlenose, which is a social listening platform that tracks in real-time what's happening around the web on topics of interest to me. In fact, Bottlenose refers to itself as the "Now Engine." Though its interface is reminiscent of Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, Bottlenose was built for the express purpose of making sense of all of the conversations you and I follow, and the trends they relate to.
3. Wordpress - Business Blogging
Of all the blogging software platforms I've ever used - a list that includes Typepad, Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr - I continue to come back to Wordpress. No other platform offers the same degree of rich functionality, extensibility, and design flexibility. And while it's not the easiest platform to use, for long form blogging Wordpress can't be beat!
4. RebelMouse - Content Curation
A prevailing trend in social media is content curation, which is the filtering of content based on topical categories, industries and tags.
A new curation platform, and one that I've really come to favor, is RebelMouse. Its ability to automatically capture, display and organize content from my Facebook and Twitter accounts have made it my "social front page." I can also edit content, highlight particular entries, and even move them around the page with drag-and-drop ease.
Due to its visually-oriented, Pinterest-like interface, it's also a tool that merchant's could easily use to aggregate and filter content from their e-commerce sites.
5. Jing - Screenshots and Screencasts
In addition to my own blogging and social media engagement activities, writing "how-to" articles for Practical Ecommerce often requires that I grab screenshots from sites I review. Of all the tools created for that purpose, no other accomplishes the task as easily as Jing.
Screenshots can be "marked up" with text boxes, arrows, highlights, or captions, and users can automatically store screenshots and screencasts at Screencast.com, a free file storage service.
Those are the five social media marketing tools I can't live without. What's yours? Feel free to comment.
Brit Morse Thompson says:
We're totally flattered to have made the list, Paul! Thank you for the kind words about Sprout Social. I'll have to give Jing a try too!
Brit Thompson Social Marketing Manager, Sprout Social
Paul Chaney says:
You're welcome Brit. I call em like I see em. Jing is an indispensable tool in my tool chest, which I use on an almost daily basis.
Dean Iodice says:
Paul, I just signed up for Bottlenose from reading it here in your article. Gold, it's the find of the year, exactly the tool I have beed searching for. Thanks for the info. Great article.
P.S. I'm also a Sprout Social user. I would have also mentioned Hootsuite, because of it's ability to post to Google+ it makes it a very valuable tool.
Paul Chaney says:
Dean, I'm glad you found the post helpful. Bottlenose is an everyday use tool for me.
I have to admit not realizing that Hootsuite provides the capability of posting to G+. I'll have to check that out.
Mijanur Rahman says:
Hi Chaney, thank you for you this nice post. I like it. I will use this must. I have been searching for this list !
Nathan Herald says:
www.coolfanpages.com is great social media marketing tool