Social media has changed the way we communicate and socialize. It’s become an invaluable tool in marketing that is used by companies of all sizes. The social media tools you use can make or break your social media campaign, so it’s important to choose wisely when deciding which ones to implement.
In this article, I’ll walk you through social media tools, what they are and how they work, and show you how social media tools can be used effectively in a social-media marketing campaign.
What is social media?
Social Media refers to social networks and websites that allow users to create profiles, share content (photos or videos), send messages as well as stay connected across multiple devices. Social media has become a way for companies of all sizes reach their target audiences in an efficient manner through marketing campaigns on social sites like Facebook.
What are the types of social media?
The social media landscape is vast and ever-changing. That makes it difficult to define social media in simple terms, but here are some types of social sites you’ll likely encounter:
- Community Sites: This type of site brings together people with specific interests or beliefs. You can engage with these communities by joining the conversation, sharing your own content, or just listening in.
- Entertainment Sites: These social sites are all about fun and entertainment, with a heavy emphasis on video and photo sharing. They’re used for everything from connecting with friends to finding new hobbies.
- Industry Professional Sites: This type of social site brings together people who work within the same industry. You can use social sites like these to network with other professionals, find jobs, or research your competitors.
- Location-Based Sites: These social sites are designed for people who want to connect based on their location in the real world. For example, Foursquare is a popular site that helps you identify and follow your friends’ locations on social media.
What are social media tools?
Social Media Tools are websites and applications that help you manage, publish, or engage with social networks like Facebook. They can be used in conjunction with social sites to streamline your marketing efforts on social platforms by providing a central hub for all of the various social profiles and activities related to your business.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social networks. This includes things like creating content with a business objective in mind, engaging customers across social sites (like Twitter), developing trust among potential buyers/customers, and staying active on social networks with regular posts to build a community.
How can social media tools be used in a social media marketing campaign?
Social media tools provide businesses with the resources they need to create and publish content, schedule posts ahead of time, monitor social networks for mentions or messages from customers, distribute targeted ad campaigns across social sites, and more. They’re an absolute must-have when it comes to social media marketing.
Are social media tools effective?
Social media tools are valuable for businesses because they provide resources that help them save time and money, improve the consistency of their social-media presence, measure its effectiveness in terms of ROI, and much more. They’re certainly worth putting your efforts into if you’re serious about social media marketing.
What are the top social media tools?
There’s no shortage of social-media tools available, but here are some of the most popular:
- Buffer: Buffer is a social-media tool that lets you schedule posts ahead of time for Twitter and Facebook, monitor mentions or messages from customers, and much more.
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to monitor multiple social networks at once for mentions or messages from customers, schedule posts ahead of time, distribute targeted ad campaigns across social sites like Twitter and Facebook, track clicks on your links in social posts (and which ones get the most), and more.
- Sprout social: Sprout social is a social-media dashboard that provides all of the basics like monitoring mentions, scheduling posts ahead of time across multiple networks, segmenting your audience into lists for better targeting with ads and messages, tracking clicks from social media to website (and which links are getting clicked on most), and more.
- Social Oomph: SocialOomph is a social-media tool that lets you schedule posts ahead of time for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and RSS feeds; monitor mentions or messages from customers across multiple networks at once; track clicks on links in social media posts (and which ones get the most); and more.
- Spredfast: Spredfast is social-media tool that provides businesses with the resources they need to create content, schedule posts ahead of time across multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; monitor social media mentions or messages from customers at once; distribute targeted ad campaigns on social sites like Twitter and Facebook; track social media clicks to website (and which social networks are getting the most); and more.
- Socialbro: SocialBro is a social-media tool that provides businesses with insights into their social accounts, so they can monitor who’s engaging on social sites like Twitter; get ideas for new content based on what people in different audiences are talking about; schedule social media posts ahead of time; track clicks on links in social media posts (and which ones get the most); and more.
How do you choose a social platform for your business?
There are a few things to consider when choosing social media platforms for your business. First, identify which social network you think is best suited to your industry and audience. Then take into account where your competitors already have an online presence and how much time it will require on the front end before seeing results (which social networks could be managed with less time and resources). Finally, consider whether social media marketing aligns with your overall business goals.
You can also use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout social to schedule posts ahead of time across multiple networks at once for convenience.
What makes for a good social media tool?
Social-media tools can range in quality, depending on their features. Here are some of the most important things to look for when considering social media tools:
- A large network or reach (e.g., Twitter, Facebook).
- Customizable scheduling (to post across social networks).
- Segmentation (to target social media posts to different audiences or lists of people you follow on social networks).
- The ability to monitor social signals like likes, comments, and shares across multiple social platforms at once.
- Integrations with other social tools for convenience (e.g., Buffer integrates with Hootsuite).
- The ability to automate social media (e.g., scheduling social posts ahead of time or distributing targeted ad campaigns on social networks like Facebook and Twitter).
What makes social media marketing unique?
Social-media marketing is unique because it allows businesses and organizations to communicate with customers at scale in real time. It’s also a two-way conversation between brands and the people who engage on social media (customers, prospects, influencers).
In social media marketing campaigns it’s important to track social signals like likes, comments and shares across multiple social platforms at once. Then there are tools that allow you to schedule posts ahead of time for convenience or automate social media with features like scheduling social posts ahead of time or distributing targeted ad campaigns on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
What is the history of social media platforms?
Social media platforms started with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, which were both founded in 2004. Since then social-media tools have evolved to serve more purposes beyond social networking (e.g., monitoring social mentions or messages from customers; distributing targeted ad campaigns on social sites). More recently there has been a rise of new types of social media platforms like social news sites (e.g., Reddit), social sharing sites (e.g., StumbleUpon), social bookmarking sites, and video-sharing sites (like YouTube).
Beware of scams like Instant Cash Solution.
If you’re looking for social media tools, make sure to avoid scams like Instant Cash Solution. While it may seem too good to be true at first glance (i.e., earning $500 per day), that’s because it is! This “cash gifting” scheme requires you to pay a membership fee or sign up as an affiliate to make money.
It’s also important to watch out for social media tools and services that charge you a fee but don’t deliver on their promises (e.g., offer social-media analytics or report generation). Social-media marketing is its own industry, with competitive marketplaces like Fiverr where social media tools are plentiful and cheap (e.g., social media monitoring tools, social media scheduling apps).
Don’t be fooled by social-media scams like Instant Cash Solution. Stick to trusted social media tools that deliver on their promises and don’t charge you a fee up front (e.g., use social ad platforms that cost per click with no monthly subscription fees or require paid social media tools to track social signals like likes, comments and shares across multiple social networks).
If you’re interested in learning about Instant Cash Solution, which appears to have shut down, read our Instant Cash Solution review here.