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Smart Monkeys Use Tools: A Review of the Best Time-Saving and User-Friendly Tools to Manage Social Media

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    Smart Monkeys Use Tools: A Review of the Best Time-Saving and User-Friendly Tools to Manage Social Media Smart Monkeys Use Tools: A Review of the Best Time-Saving and User-Friendly Tools to Manage Social Media Document Transcript

    • “Smart Monkeys Use Tools: A Review of the Best Time-Saving and User-Friendly Tools to Manage Social Media”<br />Do any of these sound familiar?<br />
      • “I like the idea of using social media to grow my business but I just don’t have the time to sit in front of the computer all day.”
      • “Facebook status updates, LinkedIn updates, tweeting, email newsletters, blogging, commenting….it’s so much writing! Who has the time?”
      • “How do I remember how to use all these different services? There are so many places, and they’re so confusing.”
      • “How do I know if any of this is helping me grow my business?”
      We are all smart monkeys and know that for every problem, there’s a tool to solve it! From Ping.fm to Tweetdeck to Google Reader, this roundtable will be a discussion of our favorite time-saving and user-friendly tools to help manage social media’s potential for overwhelm and track its effectiveness.  <br />Remember, there are no silver bullets. Pick the right tool(s) for your situation, based on your needs.<br />Categories of tools:<br />
      • Tools to manage all the Info that comes in (desktop or mobile)
      RSS Feed Readers (some people skip these and go straight to a full SMM tool like Hootsuite)<br />
      • Google Reader (can also use iGoogle to organize all Google services in one place)
      • NetNewsWire
      • Bloglines
      • Feedburner
      • RSSOwl
      • Feeddemon
      SMM (Social Media Managers) -- desktop or mobile<br />These tools allow you to group people you are following in “stacks” and see them all in one place. Also allow you to post easily to different accounts (e.g. personal and work) and to different social networks (e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn as well as Twitter). Allow you to focus on specific searches (e.g. for your name or product).<br />
      • Tweetdeck
      • Hootsuite
      • Seesmic
      • Postling
      • CoTweet
      • Twhirl
      • Twittelator
      Alerts<br />
      • Google Alerts
      • Notify.me
      • Tweetbeep or Twilert: allow you to set up email notifications for keywords or phrases from Twitter
      Lists (Facebook and Twitter)<br />
      • sort all your friends (and pages) into lists for easy skimming
      • on Facebook, friends can’t see what lists they’re on, but on Twitter they can (so watch out!)
      Finding New Content<br />
      • Technorati, Networked Blogs (search and find blogs of interest)
      • LazyFeed (simultaneous real-time updates on every topic you care about)
      • Google Trends (track terms of interest to you, or find new trends)
      • Tools to manage all the info that goes out (and don’t forget to repurpose content!)
      • Ping.fm: and Hellotxt: allow you to post the same update to various social media services (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
      • Tweetdeck, Twhirl, Hootsuite, etc: Allow you to post easily to different accounts (e.g. personal and work) and sometimes even to different social networks (e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn and Foursquare as well as Twitter)
      HYPERLINK " http://cotweet.com/" " _blank" CoTweet and HYPERLINK " http://www.postling.com/" " _blank" Postling allow organizations that have multiple social media managers to monitor and engage with their audience. You can assign updates and follow-ups to specific managers with particular knowledge, skills or personalities. Responders’ initials are included at the end of the updates, so that the followers know who is responding. CoTweet has an “OnDuty” status, which allows the manager assigned to a specific time slot to receive emails when something pops up that needs attention. CoTweet works for Twitter and FB. Postling works for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Tumblr and Flickr.<br />
      • HYPERLINK "http://cotweet.com/" "_blank" CoTweet, HYPERLINK "http://www.postling.com/" "_blank" Postling, TweetLater, Twuffer, Later Bro, FutureTweets: allow you to compose tweets ahead of time and schedule when you want them posted, and receive email digests of keyword activity so you can track trends. Some also allow you to post to Facebook later.
      • Feedburner, Twitterfeed, Networked Blogs: lets you post your RSS feed to Twitter (e.g. so you can notify followers of a new blog post)
      • Dlvr.it is a service that lets you distribute content via RSS feeds to your social networks and manage multiple content sources and outputs. You can also measure audience engagement and reach across your social networks, and quantify the impact of retweets and mentions on your audience size.
      • TwitPic, Pikchur, yFrog, Plixi, Pic.im, Twitgoo, Twicli, Virl: let you share photos and videos on Twitter (and sometimes get stats on who viewed)
      • URL shorteners (let you shorten URLs so that you can fit more in a tweet or update)
      • Bit.ly
      • HYPERLINK "http://www.owl.ly"Owl.ly
      • TinyURL
      • BudURL
      • HYPERLINK "http://virl.com/" "_blank" Virl
      • Tools to Measure and Track Social Media (some free, some paid)
      • Twitter Search, Backtweets: let you search for phrases or key words or URL of interest to you (e.g. your company or product names)
      • Twitter Grader or TwitterCounter: provides all kinds of analytics for Twitter
      HYPERLINK " http://www.postling.com/" " _blank" Postling: every morning Postling sends you a daily digest email recapping the recent activity for all of your social media accounts. See your newest comments, Yelp and CitySearch reviews, and tracking results in one place.<br /> HYPERLINK " http://spredfast.com/" " _blank" SpredFast: Mashable says: “Its biggest advantage over other SMM tools is analytics. Measurement is determined by the amount of content distributed, how many people were reached and whether the intended audience was engaged. Spredfast integrates analytics from clicks by tracking bit.ly links as well as data from each social network. This information is formatted in presentation-ready graphs, which is ideal for agencies bringing clients up to speed on outreach progress. Most useful is Spredfast’s benchmarking feature. Managers can compare social campaigns to other strategies in the industry or to the same type of campaign as it was run in another industry. As businesses continue to experiment with social media as an outreach tool, this context answers key questions about how to best leverage each network. These first class analytics come with a hefty price tag; Plans range from $12,000 to $1 million a year.”<br />
      • HYPERLINK "http://monitter.com/" "_blank" Monitter, a service that monitors Twitter mentions in real-time in a multi-column interface. Simply input a search term into a column, add or remove columns as desired, and get an automatically-refreshing picture of what people are saying about your brand or competing brands in your space.
      • Socialmention – Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. It also gives you idea about the general “perception” of the brand in terms like positive, negative or neutral.
      • SocialToo – SocialToo can help you be a social networking power user. It let you keep your follower lists in sync across networks, and learn more about your relationships. Impressive features would include – creating surveys and sending them to multiple networks, track social media stats, auto follow, auto filtering and much more.
      • Twitteranalyzer – It is an interesting tool that helps to get all kind of statistical charts about your and your friends’ Twitter behavior. You can see how many followers are online presently, who retweets your messages, what people are writing about you, Twitter following stats, your Tweeting habits and many more.
      • Twitalyzer – Twitalyzer is a free tool that gauges your presence and popularity in Twitter. Some interesting features would be your virtual influence, Links to URLs, the signal-to-noise ratio, your clout, generosity, your tendency to share good info and tweets with others by retweeting and other useful measures of success in social media.
      • Scout Labs social media monitoring tool is web based, and with an interface like HYPERLINK "http://www.google.com/" "_blank" Google Analytics it tracks almost all the online social media channels. It measures all the negative/positive signals and gives you reports based on the overall performances.
      • PostRank is a scoring system developed by PostRank (formerly AideRSS) to rank any kind of online content, such as RSS feed items, blog posts, articles, or news stories. PostRank is based on social engagement, which refers to how interesting or relevant people have found an item or category to be. Examples of engagement include writing a blog post in response to someone else, bookmarking an article, leaving a comment on a blog, or clicking a link to read a news item. PostRank measures engagement by analyzing the types and frequency of an audience's interaction with online content. An item's PostRank score represents how interesting and relevant people have found it to be. The more interesting or relevant an item is, the more work they will do to share or respond to that item so interactions that require more effort are weighted higher.
      • HYPERLINK "http://www.swixhq.com/" "_blank" SWIX is like Google Analytics for social media. You wouldn’t run an important web-site without tracking your traffic patterns, nor should you invest in social media without understanding how it’s working for you. It allows you to have a dashboard of all your important numbers, such as total visits to your website, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Facebook friends, Youtube subscribers, page rank, RSS subscribers, and much more. Free while in beta.
      • Radian6 provides organizations with the software platform to listen, measure and engage in conversations across the social web. Our social media monitoring and engagement software is used by public relations, marketing and customer service and support professionals to better understand and serve their customers. Radian6 tracks mentions across over 150 million social media sites and sources and returns the results for exploration, understanding and action.
      • Objective Marketer
      Last helpful hint: search Mashable.com for “tools” and you will find a bunch of helpful tool reviews and recommendations, along with links.<br />