With social media as steadfast cornerstone of nearly all marketing (regardless of industry), there’s cutthroat competition for attention across all social networks.
You need all the help you can get to promote your content on social media and be noticed. We’re singling out 24 tools, recommended by industry experts and marketing mavericks, that are promised to supercharge your social media strategy.
A sweet tool to help you make snazzy looking infographics in a matter of minutes.
While you won’t be able to have ultimate customization, with plenty of graphics to choose from and some great drag-and-drop vector art, it’s a fine place for those who want a simple, high-quality looking infographic.
The free version lets you share your infographic and embed it on your website. To download your infographic, you’ll need the paid version.
One of the big names in social media management, Hoot Suite is a tried and true champion. Schedule posts across various social networks, set up feed streams to see what’s happening on different networks, and analyze the results.
In essence, bit.ly is a URL shortener, transforming ugly eyesore URL strings into cute little clickables. However, it can be a heck of lot more if you let it. Sign up for a free account, and Bit.ly will save your “bitlinks,” let you organize your bitlinks into “bundles,” and even track click analytics.
Mention is a handy tool that lets you monitor keywords across various sites. You can ask Mention to track references to your brand name or other specific keywords, and it will populate a feed with mentions from the web.
Hook up your own social media account info, and Mention makes it easy to take action and respond to your brand/keyword mentions. Mention offers a 14 day free trial, and starts at $30/month.
For a cheaper, less comprehensive alternative, consider Google Alerts, which will aggregate keyword and brand mentions across the web.
Buzzsumo is pretty darn cool – it lets you discover the “most shared content and key influencers” on the web. Search a keyword and see which related articles performed the best, complete with social media shares.
There’s a perfectly useful free option, plus paid options, which add the ability to set up alerts, export data, and access content analysis and domain reports.
Rebel Mouse is a digital publishing platform that functions as a social content aggregator, displaying your posted and shared content in a customizable layout. Rebel Mouse is similar to Paper.li, but with more customization.
My issue with Rebel Mouse is that I didn’t find its functionality instantly apparent. You’re abandoned to figure things on your own and, at least for me, it all felt quite complicated and overwhelming. Even after spending half an hour exploring it, I still wasn’t exactly sure what it was supposed to be used for.
The real value with Rebel Mouse seems to be in creating very stylish looking, high-quality pages composed of various content pieces (video, images, articles, etc.). These pages can be used as part of a blog, in a webpage as part of a campaign, or as a newsletter.
If that sounds up your alley, I suggest reading up on the various ways you can use and make the most of Rebel Mouse. I can definitely see the opportunity to do some really cool stuff with Rebel Mouse, so long as you’re willing to put in the time to figure out how it all works. I could see Rebel Mouse being great for specific campaigns. [Free and Paid Versions]
Tint is very similar to Rebel Mouse, but quite a bit easier to wrap your head around, especially thanks to their quick explainer video.
Nothing revolutionary here, but it’s a great tool to aggregate all the conversations happening about your brand. If you’re a big brand or hosting a major event, this could be a pretty cool way to set up a one-stop hub to see all the conversations.
For example, some of our WordStream folks attended the Inbound 2014 conference recently – if you threw the #Inbound2014 hashtag into a tool like Tint, it would be pretty cool to see all the different conversations, pics, and postings.
Of course, you can just type a hashtag into Twitter and see something similar, but tools like Tint and Rebel Mouse aggregate posts from a collection of social networks of your choosing, not just one source. Plus, these tools look aesthetically great, and isn’t style everything when it comes to attracting and engaging?
Tint ain’t cheap though – even the most basic account will cost you $250/month (with the most expensive plan being $1000/month). There’s a free version, but it’s pretty limited – you can aggregate content you’ve posted and not much else (for example, you can’t aggregate based on hashtags, which is a paid feature).
This easy-to-use text photo overlay tool is a social media slammer. Just find an image (or use the built-in stock photo collection for pro uses), hit the Chrome extension tool, and you’ll find an assortment of text overlay options to create a one-of-a-kind compilation.
Currently knee-deep in a online visual economy, text overlay images like these are hugely valuable. Tweak the text, add filters, and then share your creation on social sites (or save it to use later). As Share As Image notes, photo tweets are 94% more likely to be share than text-based tweets! So go ahead, make the most of this awesome tool.
This automation tool lets you link up your various social tools and channels in extraordinary ways. These automation connections, dubbed “recipes,” allow for an infinite number of combinations - have your Pinterest posts automatically update onto your Twitter feed, let your Instagram pics get scheduled in Buffer. With endless possibilities, it’s best if you go check it out for yourself!
Buffer is a super simple and easy tool to queue and schedule social media updates across various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and App.Net).
Buffer also offers story suggestions, and can be hooked up with various RSS feeds for even easier sharing. There’s a nice analytics feature, and with Buffer for Business you can collaborate with team members and moderate contributors too. Buffer has been a long time favorite app of mine, and I can’t recommend it enough!
Slide Share is a great way to repurpose your existing Power Point presentations into awesome slide decks to share with social media followers.
Slide Share is the perfect tool for rehashing and recycling your content for different audiences and channels.
Pixabay is an awesome spot for finding free quality photos for commercial use that don’t need attribution.
While you can scour Flickr for Creative Commons licensed photos, it can be pretty annoying to have to source every photo, and can make your website or blog feel less professional. With Pixabay, all you need to do is type in your keyword, and you can go to town on photos, no credit card required.
There are actually a few sites like this, where photos don’t need attribution. In addition to Pixabay, check out:
- MorgueFile: Another source for free high resolution stock photos.
- Gratisography: Images from photographer Ryan McGuire. No categories or sorting, but good if you are just looking for a general purpose high-quality photo.
- New Old Stock: Vintage photos from public archives.
- Unrestricted Stock: Great free vectors and icon collections
- Little Visuals: Get 7 new hi-res images delivered to your inbox each week, or simple browse them on the site.
The only downside to these sites is that you usually don’t have a ton of images to choose from, but that’s the price for pro bono photos.
If you're not sure whether Facebook advertising is the right step for your business, check out WordStream's Facebook Advertising Opportunity Calculator. The tool will analyze your business page to understand exactly how much your online visibility would increase if you enabled paid ads. Even better, we'll help you understand exactly how much cash you'd need to allocate to do this successfully.
Canva is a bit like Share As Image, but has a ton of extra stickers and stylish text accessories you can use. Canva is the perfect tool for creating bright, colorful text overlay images to compliment your social media posts. Canva really makes it easy to create class act images that will wow your audiences.
The coolest thing about Canva? You can choose from different size setups customized for different social network designs – for example, you can create an artsy cover image for your Twitter account, with the perfect dimensions already built in.
Canva is all kinds of fun and super useful. My only gripe is that it’s very easy to cross over into the paid categories (free options have a small marker showing them as free, while paid elements are unlabeled). Still, this is one sweet tool you need to check out.
I mentioned Click to Tweet in an earlier post detailing a list of 32 Content Marketing Tools, and it’s worth mentioning here too. Click to Tweet makes it easy to create links that prompt users to tweet customized text, selected by you. It's another way to get people to share beyond the standard social media buttons.
You can do most of what you want for free. There’s a limited number of click to tweet links you can make, in which case you can upgrade to the paid unlimited plan.
Nutshell Mail is a free tool from Constant Contact that delivers a summary of your social media activity across various networks straight to your inbox. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it is definitely a helpful monitoring tool, especially for those with hefty workloads who want a nice summary of their social media action dished up to them.
Pocket’s premise is simple – the place to save the stuff you don’t feel like reading right now. You see a cool article about detailing the new iPhone 6, but you’re about to head over to a meeting – pocket that baby!
There are lots of tools like this on the web, but what sets Pocket apart is that it’s compatible with everything from Buffer to Flipboard (Pocket is integrated with 500+ apps). Pocket makes it easy to find a ton of great articles relating to your industry, save them, and then organize them into social posts and schedules at a later date.
Circloscope helps you find and follow the big Google+ influencers in your niche. Find those users that engage, get your Google+ content in front of them, and Circleoscope promises big improvements. [Price: $47/year]
Cayzu is designed to make customer service a breeze. Instantly be notified of a customer complaint, whether voiced on Facebook or Twitter, so you can solve the issue asap.
Cayzu also can aid you in creating a self-service portal to help customers solve their issues themselves. Get customer service metrics to ensure your customers are being cared for and become a stellar service star. [Free and Paid versions]
PowToon lets you easily create animated videos, which you can then use on your website, YouTube, or share on other social networks.
Video content is highly valuable, so PowToon is definitely worth checking out if you want to take a shot at creating the next Gangnam Style (ok, that probably won’t happen, but you could still create an awesome video!) Go for informative how-to videos, or a quick explainer video that gives a rundown of your product or service.
Manage Flitter is a Twitter tool to help you cut out your followers that aren’t pulling their weight. Unfollow users who don’t follow you back, filter out users who never customized their profile photo (a good sign of a bot), and remove followers whose accounts remain inactive. [limited free options and paid options]
Write up social media posts, categorize them based on subject matter, and then Edgar shoots out your posts, based on your customized schedule.
The big thing Edgar emphasizes is the automation of repeat posts – Edgar will cycle through your library of category-based posts, ensuring that your past posts don’t go to waste. Let’s face it – these days you’re lucky if a post reaches even a small fraction of your total audience. With Edgar, you can re-use those past posts to make sure they don’t go to waste and get seen by the ultimate number of followers. [starts at $50/month]
Tweriod tracts you tweets and gives you a report detailing the best times for you to tweet you content for optimal exposure and engagement. This is great info to have, especially when used in conjunction with a social media post scheduling tool like Edgar. And yup – it’s totally free.
NeedTagger is another useful Twitter tool that uses custom filters and keyword digging to show you which Twitter users are the most likely to be interested in your service or product offering. A very informed way to hunt down new Twitter contacts!
Feedly is probably the most popular RSS reader around these days, and no wonder – it looks great, contains a host of handy features, and works across various platforms and devices.
Follow relevant industry blogs and discover cool stories to share on social media.
Rapportive is a Gmail tool that syncs up your contacts’ email addresses with their social accounts. Once you’ve established a new Gmail contact, you can see a contact’s Twitter handle, LinkedIn account, Skype info, etc. Rapportive makes it easy to broaden your connections with contacts throughout the web.
We’ve created a hefty collection of social media tools, but is there anything we’re missing? Share your favorite social media tools in the comments!