When large corporations like General Motors, eBay, and others shift their marketing efforts toward social media to increase their ROI, there's a lesson for every social media marketer here. 2013 is shaping up to be like nothing we've seen before, and a big part of it stems from an explosion in social media marketing.

It's clear that social media engagement is the key to a sustained following, interest, and greater ROI. Social media is an extension of a person's life; creating engagement at this level is the easiest way to market your idea, product, service, or website.

Managing Social Media Efforts

Like most aspects of online marketing, from search engine optimization to proper web hosting and pay-per-click marketing, social media marketing demands its own discipline. Without proper metrics to guide you, targets to be achieved, or measurements that provide valuable insights, any social media effort can easily become a negative-ROI initiative.

We've come a long way since the time when "social media marketing" meant simply having a Facebook and Twitter account and occasionally posting links to your own blog content. These channels remain the largest sources of engagement, but the possibilities have expanded considerably with services like Google+, App.net, Quora, etc. Social media management is now a scientific process where you should be as much concerned about the metrics as you are about the quality of engagement.

With the Right Tools...

To help media marketers manage multiple social profiles, engagement, relationship building, and other efforts, there are myriad tools to consolidate all your social profiles into a single dashboard. This makes your job easier by eliminating the need to worry about switching between multiple tabs and windows every time you need to post a link, reply to someone, retweet something, or perform any other social activity.

There's a huge and growing number of web services that do will do this, but not all of them are great. I put together the following list of services based on a few key features that are vital:

  • Scheduling so you don't have to worry about the timing of your posts
  • Metrics to assess followers, retweets, and click-throughs
  • The ability to interact/comment/mention/reply, which creates engagement
  • The ability to find trends in social channels from within the app, which saves time

 

1. SproutSocial

  • Excellent interface for social media managers
  • Covers all three networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, along with blogs through feeds and others
  • Pretty decent discovery tool that tracks real-time discussions on a given set of keywords/your company
  • Schedules posts

Has a neat mobile interface, too

 

2. Sendible

  • A thorough and comprehensive social media manager
  • Can also track email campaigns
  • Emphasis on monitoring, analytics, scheduling, and discovery of trends and discussions
  • Mobile-specific features to enable social media marketing/management through mobile platforms/devices
  • Monitors and engages in multiple social channels

 

3. Gremln

  • Relatively new social media management app
  • Covers all three major social channels: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Can schedule posts
  • Team management built right into the system
  • A solid level of stats, with enough metrics to measure your social reach

4. Buffer

  • Covers Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and App.net
  • A simplified interface
  • Built-in team management makes it easy for social media teams to use this app
  • Comes with two options: free or a $10/month plan; no hassles here
  • Focuses on insight metrics so you know where you're going

 

5. Dlvr.it

  • Covers Facebook, LinkedIn, App.net, Twitter, and more
  • Provides Push updates; this means you can manage other things while Dlvr.it monitors your social sphere and prompts you when there's an opportunity for engagement
  • Schedules posts to social channels
  • Basically about posting to your social channels whenever you update your blog/website through a post


6.
MarketMeSuite

  • Has an email-like approach to social media engagement
  • Focus is largely on social lead generation
  • Geo-targeting forms a crucial part of the entire app
  • Real-time tracking, discovery, and engagement
  • Team management and scheduling features available

 

7. Socialoomph

  • Provides a hassle-free service with unlimited accounts, even in free version
  • The usual features of monitoring, posting to, and measuring social media campaigns
  • One of the oldest services; consequently, one of the least developed in recent months

 

8. Yoono

  • Desktop app, browser plugins, and mobile app
  • Focuses more on posting to social networks than on engagement
  • Covers several social channels under one roof; full-featured
  • Schedulers, teams, several social profiles, and a cool interface


9. Bottlenose

  • Arguably one of the finest interfaces amongst social media management apps
  • Completely real-time, interactive social media monitoring
  • Focus is on a great presentation of data to enable easier monitoring
  • Media-specific searches and monitoring (includes Images, Videos, Feeds, etc.)
  • Powerful search feature lets you figure out what's trending


10. Socialmotus

  • Connects to Facebook and Twitter
  • Focus is on Engagement and Relationship through social channels
  • A great interface that allows for seamless monitoring and ROI measurement through effective tracking
  • Think of it as the Google Analytics for social media management

Apps like Simplify360 and Socialite are desktop-based clients that work natively instead of through browsers. Jetpack.me is a Wordpress plugin which lets you control your posts to social media from within your Wordpress account.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. As the emphasis on social media marketing increases, more startups built around social media management and measurement are sure to crop up. For now, the competition is robust, offering social media marketers and managers plenty of options.


June 21, 2013





Jayson DeMers is the founder of the American SEO firm, AudienceBloom. Founded in April 2010, AudienceBloom specializes in SEO link building and social media marketing.






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Search Engine Guide > Jayson DeMers > Top 10 Web Apps to Help You Manage Your Social Media Campaign