TRUE STORY: A few months ago I attended a conference (no surprise there). Throughout many of the sessions, many, and I mean MANY social media tools and programs were mentioned. I saw people feverishly jotting down the names, looking up the apps on their iPhones and such. People were all over these programs like they had never heard of them before. Owning the business that I do, I have tried just about every single one that was mentioned.
There are SO many programs out there that anyone could spend a month trying them all out and still not know which one to use or what direction to go. Trust me, I’ve been there. After five years in the social media business, I’ve seen so many programs come and go, you have to look for ones that have staying power.
So to make it easy for you, or aynone who stumbles upon this post, here’s my list of social media tools you can use to make YOUR life and your business run MUCH easier…
Social Media Management/Post Scheduling
Being able to schedule out posts will make your life A LOT easier. However, you still have to be available to engage in real time with people – respond to questions, take care of issues that pop up – you can’t brush it under a rug. Here are four programs you can’t go wrong with. I do suggest you take the time to explore each of them on your own, rather than me list out the pros and cons of each 🙂
- Hootsuite – With both free and paid options, this program has both mobile and desktop versions.
- Sprout Social – This program starts out at $59/month but does allow you to try 30 days free. This is the program I have been using since I started so I would say I am biased towards it 😉
- Buffer – A lot like Hootsuite, with the capabilities, Buffer offers a free option all the way to Enterprise levels based on your needs.
- Facebook – Every Facebook page has the ability to schedule posts itself. This I love. For all of the Facebook pages I manage, we do this no matter if we manage their other social accounts as well.
- Schedugram – Even though Buffer and Hootsuite can schedule and post to Instagram, if you just need to only schedule to Instagram, this would be the program for you. It’s not free though – the cost is $20/profile.
- Iconosquare – This one provide analytics and more marketing choices for your Instagram account and starts off at $49/per Instagram account.
- TailWind – If you are seeking a program just for Pinterest scheduling, this would the one for you. They’ve just added some Instagram abilities, but I haven’t played around with that year. For annual cost of $120/account, this is the way to go for Pinterest, in my opinion. They have larger plans, but unless you want mack daddy analytics, which is what you would be paying for (and you can get the majority from Pinterest for free), go with the cheaper version.
- Tweetchat – Tweetchats are a great way to expand your brand online and increase your community. If you are going to hold or participate in a Tweetchat, then this program is the way to do it. You won’t keep up otherwise. Oh, and this is free.
- TribeBoost – This program is based out of Brunswick, Georgia and does a marvelous job of helping you grow your Twitter following.
When it comes to analytics, each platform has their own and they typically provide the best. Google Analytics provide THE best website analytics I have come across. Of course, when it comes to comparing your social accounts to your competitors, well, that could be another blog post all in itself since there are another set of sites and programs you could use. We’ll stick to this list for now:
I’m not going to get into photo editing and such – that’s another post for another day. These tools are here to make your business’ social media run easier so you can get back to running your business.
(Disclosure: Sprout Social link is my referral link as a part of their Sprout All-Star Elite program)