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16 Essential Tools for Social Media Marketers

social media toolsIf you want to be a successful Social Media Marketer you must learn to adapt quickly and use the latest tools available to you.

You rely heavily on mobile devices and apps to:

  • run successful social media campaigns
  • keep in touch with clients
  • stay in contact with team members
  • manage your schedule
  • and watch the latest Miley Cyrus video!

But you don’t want or need to get bogged down with tons of apps and sites — so which ones should you focus on?

16 Essential Tools for the Social Marketer

By leveraging these tools you should be more efficient at your work and still maintain a healthy personal life.

Social Media

Facebook — Perhaps the most essential site to join if you’re going to call yourself a “Social Marketer”. You’ll need to be on the site to manage pages of yours and clients. But also to connect with others in the social space. The hardest part is not getting too distracted and just looking at memes all day!

LinkedIn – I joined LinkedIn before any other social site I’m currently a part of — yet I neglect it the most! If you are looking to build a resume and connect with business types you’ll want to have a polished profile and join plenty of groups in the social space or niche that you are in. But don’t expect lots of engagement on your posts as no one is really paying attention to the “news feed” on LinkedIn.

Google+ – The so called “Facebook Killer” is still very important for a social marketer. It’s a great place to connect with others, learn about new trends and by posting there get more of your links to show up in Google searches! The thing you will notice though is hardly any of your family or friends will ever join, and that’s probably ok!

Twitter – My love affair for Twitter has been re-kindled lately. Namely because some well known people have retweeted me recently I think! It’s good to have an active profile and retweet content of those you look up to a few times per week. But don’t get on just to post pics of your food or follow Justin Beiber!

Tumblr — Tumblr can be useful as it integrates Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to share content such as images, video, audio, quotes and short posts with others. Remember not everyone is on Facebook! (I know crazy right?!)

Instagram – Instagram — now owned by Facebook — is a great app and I personally am addicted to it lately. But for me I don’t use it for business, it’s purely a personal site for me. However you can use it to promote your business or your client’s businesses. I see some guys in the social media training space use it to push their products, and honestly it’s a huge fail IMHO..

YouTube – As a Social Marketer YouTube is a great place to find trending topics and news, as well as offer training of your own. You can easily connect your YouTube account and Google+ account and offer demonstrations or live events through your channel.

Blogs – Every Social Marketer should be following a few blogs in the social media niche — but don’t try to follow too many. I have made the mistake of trying to follow 50+ blogs and that’s impossible.

Pick out 3-4 that you can really dive into and be a fan of. Comment on posts, share posts and etc.

Here are a few I’d recommend:

File Sharing

When you’re on the go as much as most Social Media Marketers you need an easy way to share and store files. Here are 2 great tools to use.

DropBox – Dropbox offers an easy solution for sharing large files with anyone anywhere. You can get a free account with them that allows up to 2GB of storage. And it works seamlessly on any mobile device!

Google Drive – Personally I favor Google Drive over Dropbox. It’s simpler to use and easy to access. I can store images, documents and etc in Google Drive and access from my phone or any computer I hop onto.

I live an almost 100% Google life (Minus Facebook and Twitter — although I access them on Google Chrome!) — I have an Android phone and use a Chromebook, which makes Google Drive even more important for my lifestyle.

Collaboration & Conferencing

As a Social Marketer there will be times when you need to communicate privately with others and clients.

Below are a few ways to easily do that.

Skype — Skype offers a cost effective — free — solution to communicate with those around the globe. The great thing about Skype is pretty much everyone can download and use it (except Chromebook users) and if you’re only looking to text chat there is no cost to you.

Voice and video calls may have data charges that apply.

I have used Skype on a daily basis the past 3 years after starting work virtually. I will admit there are times when I’d rather keep all my chats on Facebook, but I also know that not everyone is on Facebook all the time.

You can download on your mobile devices, but at times it doesn’t seem to sync the conversations correctly, which can be frustrating.

WebEx – Webex is useful for on-demand collaboration, online meetings and video conferencing from remote locations. You can collaborate with colleagues across your organization, or halfway across the planet. Meet online and share files, information, and expertise. WebEx solutions increase productivity and keep you connected.

Webex offers a mobile platform to connect and collaborate on the go as well.

There is a free plan as well as paid plans depending on your needs.

Basecamp – If you need to manage long-term or short-term projects Basecamp is the tool to use!

You and your team can set up to-do lists, projects, calendars and more all in one easy to log into site.

I’ve been a part of 2 teams that have depended on Basecamp to get items done for our apps and websites — and it’s been a crucial piece in keeping things organized.

Especially with members of the team spaced out around the globe!

There is no free version, but you can get a 60 day trial.

If you’re doing work for clients Basecamp can come in handy as you can organize the process of setting up and managing their accounts easily. It’s worth the money even if you’re by yourself just to stay organized.

MeetingBurner – There are many different platforms out there that let you run webinars — both free and paid — but I’ve been a big fan of MeetingBurner since they launched about 2 years ago.

The system is super simple to use and very inexpensive — the most expensive plan lets you have up to 1000 attendees and is only $99 per month!

I really love the screen sharing possibilities with MeetingBurner as I don’t have to share my entire screen, can just share 1 tab, app or even just an image, while continuing to do other things privately on my computer.

It also works on iPad and iPhone (no Android app yet).

They also will record your meeting to quickly upload to YouTube later! And the registration forms can easily be integrated with Aweber.

Compared to the cost of Goto Meeting and other platforms MeetingBurner wins hands down.

Social Media Scheduling

Whether managing your own accounts or accounts for clients a smart Social Media Marketer schedules their posts and content in advance.

No one in their right mind sits on Facebook, Twitter and etc all day waiting to post!

That’s why scheduling your content is the right thing to do.

Buffer – You probably weren’t expecting me to mention anyone but Post Planner here were you?

But I have to give Buffer the props they deserve.

Their app hands down does a killer job of allowing users to quickly post content to Twitter — and yes other platforms as well.

I only use it for Twitter as it’s quick and easy to share to multiple Twitter accounts from their Chrome extension. I don’t use it to share to Facebook as I don’t like the url being the buffer url or showing others that I was using a tool to schedule my posts. But on Twitter it uses Bit.ly so it works great.

They have a very cheap plan called the “Awesome Plan” that’s just $10 per month that lets you post to up to 12 social accounts. Not a bad deal at all.

As a Social Marketer you want to constantly be sharing the latest updates and tips you can with your followers and Buffer is great for that on your mobile device. I use it quite a bit inside the Feedly app so I can quickly share articles when I’m sitting around on my phone.

Post Planner Hands down THE best app to schedule posts to your Facebook Business Pages!

Not only does the app allow you the quickly schedule content to multiple pages it lets you find content to post.

No other app on the market does this, not even Buffer…

The hardest part as a Social Marketer at times is finding relevant and hot content to post to your pages or the pages of those you manage.

The Content Engine is that solution.

With it you can search for content based around your niche and quickly schedule to your pages.

In addition to finding content you can organize and store your favorite sources into folders in the Source Engine so you can come back to it again and again to share content to your pages.

If you’re looking for quick ways to get your fans engaged a text update from the Status Ideas Engine is the solution.

There are literally 1000s of ideas in various categories to choose from:

  • Questions
  • Fill-in-the blank
  • Deep Thoughts
  • Facebook and Tech
  • Family and Pets
  • Seasonal
  • Trivia – New Category!
  • Contests – Brand new category to help you quickly run Timeline Contests.
  • and more!

If you’re a small business that doesn’t post often our free version is a great solution for simply posting a few updates per day.

By using a combination of these tools you as a Social Media Marketer are well on your way to being highly organized and productive!

What are some of your favorite tools to use on social media that I didn’t mention?