Although many of the tools we covered last year are still great choices and are still highly recommended, there are a variety of other options with great features and benefits. Hootsuite, Buffer, AgoraPulse and Crowdbooster are still favorites this year. However, there are several others that deserve some attention. Post scheduling has grown in importance over the past year, and more users are focusing now on where their traffic comes from and how to increase it. They are also shifting toward a one-on-one contact approach with clients and markets. Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ are growing, and simpler photo posts are trumping word-only posts in popularity.
Although it may not seem like the best commentary on today’s society, we are moving more toward communication through pictures rather than words on social media. Curalate’s visual-focused platform is ideal when followers are mostly on Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. You can monitor conversations on specific topics, schedule posts, track fans, plan campaigns and simplify conversion.
Pros: The Like2Buy feature allows you to turn images into product listings with easy buying options for followers. You can also track who comments on your posts to engage them further.
Cons: Analytics are provided on your products themselves but not your pages or sites.
Reviews: Users like this tool’s instant Instagram revenue and how it minimizes the involvement of their staff or themselves with ecommerce.
Price: Pricing is variable depending on your needs, users and selected options.
This program is great for planning scheduled posts at optimal times. If you want to maximize the amount of people who see your pins on Pinterest, you need to post them at the right times for your market. ViralTag makes that task a breeze. Edit images, find new content and make new posts quickly.
Pros: ViralTag works across multiple social media platforms with a focus on visual-based platforms. This program saves hours of time by making posts in specific time increments throughout the most optimal posting period. You can use it with Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
Cons: No free plans
Reviews: People who rely mostly on Pinterest especially prefer this program.
Price: Plans start at $12 per month (a special rate reserved for new bloggers) and climb up to $500 per month for access to all features, UGC rights and more social profiles. If you can’t afford their plans, ViralTag offers a 60 percent discount on the lowest plan if you write an honest review about them in your blog.
This program mentioned last year deserves a repeat mention for emphasis. It shows your social media content, monitored keywords and social account reports in one convenient stream. Use it to schedule posts on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. You can also send scheduled messages on a computer or with the mobile app. The discovery tool allows you to see who mentions you and who you interact with. A convenient cleanup feature eliminates silent accounts or accounts that do not follow you back on Twitter.
Pros: Sprout Social offers clean and well-organized reports, easy message management and a tool you can use to compare yourself to your competitors.
Cons: The discovery feature is only applicable for Twitter accounts.
Reviews: Users rate this as a good product for beginners and seasoned social media marketers. The program’s ease of use, reliability, centralization of accounts and pricing structure earn it high ratings.
Price: There is a three-tier system starting at $59 per month and ranging up to $500 per month. Each tier comes with a free trial period.
This Facebook and Twitter program allows users to queue their posts and schedule a time for them to be posted. While there are plenty of apps out there for this purpose, this one makes the list because of its unique viral feature and its affordable price. The viral feature highlights photos and posts within your targeted industry and allows you to share them to fuel social engagement.
Pros: The program is easy to use and is powerful at building engagement because of its viral feature.
Cons: PostPlanner is limited to Facebook and Twitter.
Reviews: This is the perfect product for users who have limited time, want to spend less money and need to increase their social media presence.
Price: Pricing plans start between $5 and $7 per month depending on promotional offers.
If search engines were combined with social media marketing analytics, this would be what the final product looked like. Sysomos collects conversations about your brand or product from forums, social media sites, blogs and reviews across the Internet. You can use the program’s tools to monitor the strengths and weaknesses of a brand.
Pros: This program eliminates the need to spend hours browsing search engine results, review sites and market-specific forums for chatter about your brand. You can use this information to determine what to feature more or less of with your future posts.
Cons: The pricing structure seems a bit mysterious and does not come in flat rates. If you rely on regional social media data, this program will disappoint you with its lack of regional information.
Reviews: People who want to know what is being said globally about their brand call this product a time-saving tool. However, those who want a wide range of social networking sites do not find this program as useful.
Price: You must contact Sysomos to discuss your individual needs for a specific price.
This tool works with Google Analytics. If you find it tedious to sort the data from Google Analytics and do not have the time for it, this tool is your summary of only the most relevant details. Learn about the site’s decline, growth, traffic and previous data collection.
Pros: Convenient reports are gathered and sent directly to your email every week.
Cons: QuillEngage only works with Google Analytics.
Reviews: Users rave about having all of the most important information condensed into an easy-to-read report.
Price: Free for weekly and monthly website reporting on 1 GA View. Upgrade plans for additional website reporting, data analysis and customization options like selecting your KPI’s, adding a logo and color to the report and turning sections on and off.
Engaging content is just as important as a catchy title for your blog posts. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, this program will get you hooked and instantly become your best friend. Its content idea generator suggests topics that will attract attention.
Pros: The program generates multiple title suggestions in addition to content creation ideas. They range from witty and shocking to gripping and insightful.
Cons: Broader keywords may not yield the most useful results. Use targeted or specific keywords for best results.
Reviews: Bloggers and marketers who are responsible for generating content say this tool is addicting because of its helpfulness.
Price: This content idea generator is free to use without download on Portent’s main site.
Every good marketer knows the tediousness of testing blog headlines. KingSumo is a WordPress plugin allowing users to enter up to 10 possible headlines to simplify testing. When the blog is published, the tool rotates headlines and tests the performance of each one. It automatically displays the best one the most often.
Pros: SEO-friendly KingSumo provides detailed reports and automated features that eliminate maintenance work after initial posting. The company promises at least a 20 percent increase on visitors per month or you get your money back.
Cons: Pricing is too steep for some budgets, and the money-back guarantee is only for 60 days.
Reviews: This testing tool is great for users who rely on catchy blog titles for email marketing and sending newsletters with blog updates.
Price: Pricing is based on visitors per month. It starts at $99 for a lifetime membership for 50,000 visitors or $500 per month for 500,000 visitors. Contact the company for larger plans.
PhotoSync is perfect for users who communicate mostly with photos. This app shares photos between a mobile device and a computer. Set the mobile device on the same WiFi network as the computer, use the sync feature and watch your photos appear on your computer instantly. You can share them to an editing or publishing app to publish from the computer or send them back to the mobile device to be uploaded.
Pros: This app is great for saving time on sharing a large number of photos.
Cons: The app only shares photos to the computer and in editing apps but does not share them across social medial platforms.
Reviews: Users who don’t want to lug their computer along to upload photos during the day speak highly of this app, and users who use mostly photos for their marketing find this tool a time-saving blessing.
Price: This app is $2.99 to download in the Apple AppStore or from Google Play.
This is a great tool for users who want open source code for social media marketing purposes. It is full of source codes for everything from information about finding popular or unpopular social media topics to creative ways to interact with social media followers. There are codes for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and all other social media sites.
Pros: There are free codes or proposed ideas for nearly any creative social media interaction idea imaginable. If you don’t see the type of code you need but see an idea or partially developed idea, you can usually hire the programmer behind it to complete it for you.
Cons: There may not be codes for every idea, and some ideas may be out of some budgets for development.
Reviews: This is a great resource for people who think outside the box and have creative ideas for social media interaction.
Price: GitHub is free to use. You will only have to shell out money if you choose to hire a developer.
For large enterprises, this social relationship management platform offers plenty of useful tools. As a product of the Involver and Virtue acquisition, this program features social data, a social network and cloud services.
Pros: Users can receive email alerts when the keywords they choose ahead of time are used in replies or shares on social media posts.
Cons: This platform is not ideal for small businesses or individuals.
Reviews: Oracle SRM is an ideal option for enterprises and some midsize businesses. Marketing specialists find this tool useful for scheduling posts, tracking success of posts and monitoring levels of engagement with masses of followers.
Price: Pricing plans start at about $4,000 per month. Expert consulting services are available, and entry level setup is offered for an additional fee.
This is the post management tool for B2B or B2C users. Its capability for managing accounts across the four primary B2B networks makes it one of the most powerful tools in its category for managing social engagements. The program lets users schedule posts and manage interactions on one convenient stream.
Pros: There is an advocacy board feature that connects trusted Oktopost content between users for sharing. Feedly integration also makes it easy to search and find the most engaging relevant topics.
Cons: More integration is required with social networks.
Reviews: This product is highly rated for ROI, post management and CRM integration for corporate and agency use.
Price: Basic plans start at $55 per month and increase past $450 for business plans with multiple users.
If your top goals are increasing reach, managing engagements and pushing click-throughs on Google+, this tool is for you. It seamlessly makes all three tasks easy with features such as viewing people who liked one of your last 10 posts, people who comment on activities and more. Reach out to your biggest followers to promote future posts and click-throughs.
Pros: This program simplifies the task of identifying your strongest base of followers, keeps them engaged and helps you reach out to them on a personal level.
Cons: It only works with Google+.
Reviews: Overall, users like how this app simplifies the organization, identification and engagement of different circles.
Price: Circloscope is free to download from the Chrome Store.
Woobox is one of the greatest social media contest platforms out there. We use it for many of our clients and it makes putting these together a snap.
Pros: Contest software not reliant upon any specific social network, making it easy to run cross-platform promos.
Cons: Like most social contest software, there is little to no help when it comes to setting up your rules and regulations, so be prepared before you plan on launching a contest.
Reviews: Using the proven idea that more involvement from followers means more traffic and sales, Woobox is good for keeping a followers actively engaged and expanding a brand to more followers. Social media contests are just one of the things you can do with Woobox.
Price: There are free basic apps. For the full features, pricing starts at $30 per month for limited pages and participants and ranges up to $3,000 per month for unlimited pages and participants. There are discounts for paying membership fees annually instead of monthly.
Power Twitter marketers can use this program to monitor, maintain and grow their Twitter reach. If the majority of your social media marketing is focused on Twitter, this program makes organization and analytics a breeze. You can also use it to schedule tweets.
Pros: ManageFlitter features account cleanup to reduce accounts that do not follow back. The analytic tools and remote account management make it simple to track what is popular from anywhere. You can also grow your account by with features that help you discover and follow your target audience. The Remote Management (RAM) is a feature where ManageFlitter does the clicking for you. Twitter does not allow for bulk/mass actions to take place. RAM will not break any Twitter Rules due to all actions being processed by real people, but will effectively feel like automation for the user. They also offer full content development services. All content posted through ManageFlitter appears native in all three social platforms. Therefore if you post from ManageFlitter to Facebook, it will appear as if you went directly into Facebook itself and posted content. You can post to Personal as well as Business or Like pages through ManageFlitter. Same goes for LinkedIn.
Cons: The free plan has limited engagement features and do not come with priority customer support, however, ManageFlitter answers 99% of all support tickets within 24 hours of receiving them. Even low priority requests.
Reviews: Users like this program for being an all-in-one analytic and management tool. There is no need to use multiple programs for different Twitter management tasks.
Price: Although there is a free plan with limited features, paid plans are affordable at $12 per month or $49 per month.
We hope you find these options helpful. If you have used any of these programs, we want to hear about your experiences and opinions in the comment below.
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I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?
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