The Best Tools to Manage Your Next Social Media Campaign

best free tools for social media campaignsNot long ago, I had the opportunity to compile an e-book called 83 Top Social Media and Mobile Marketing Tools for Business. I wrote it with my friend Erik Qualman and we’ve both been flattered and honored by the buzz it’s created on the Internet.

The e-book was so popular that our good friend Shelly Kramer suggested that readers of the V3 blog might benefit from it, too. So, with that in mind, here’s an excerpt that includes 32 of the most important tools to help you manage your social media campaign. (If you’re interested in downloading the entire e-book, just click 83 Top Social Media and Mobile Marketing Tools).

Marketing Grader: HubSpot’s Marketing Grader is a free tool that allows you to see how well your website promotes your organization across the web. It provides an overall grade along with more than a dozen suggestions and tips on how to improve the performance of your website and social media channels.

Google Analytics: Though Google Analytics isn’t specifically for social media, it can provide valuable insights into which social media channels are driving traffic to your site.

Disqus: Helpful in attracting more comments to your blog or website, Disqus allows your readers to include media such as YouTube videos in their comments, receive alerts when their posts have been responded to, and reply directly from their email.

Janrain: Best for companies with a large website presence, Janrain allows visitors to your site to easily share your content across their social networks. Janrain also lets visitors sign in to your site with their Facebook, Twitter or other social accounts and tracks their behavior to help you provide a personalized experience for each visitor.

twitterfeed: What’s the point of blogging if no one knows about it? This tool monitors your RSS feed and updates your Facebook and Twitter accounts when you have a new blog post.

Crowd Factory’s Social Campaign: Think social networking is confined to Facebook and Twitter? Think again. Crowd Factory, part of the Marketo family, lets you embed social elements into any marketing experience including videos, emails, ads and more.

North Social: Enhance your Facebook page by creating custom applications that allow your brand to do things such as integrate with Google Maps or Yelp, post HD videos, run sweepstakes, and more.

Sprout: Not to be confused with Sprout Social, this cloud based software company creates interactive ads and applications perfect for bringing social content to the web and mobile devices.

Lithium Community Platform: This software as a service company creates a social community right on your website that provides a place for your brand advocates to converse, tools to spread the word about your product through social channels and even generate ideas for innovation.

ePrize: This company helps your company create promotions specifically tailored to your social media channels.

Storify: This tool lets you collect photos, videos, tweets and other social media content to create a single, integrated story that you can embed anywhere.

MediaFunnel: This platform aggregates, manages and monitors your social media activity, with a focus on hard numbers and measurable outcomes. They also have a few cool additional features including their Tweet-to-Lead tool, which allows you to turn all tweets into new Salesforce leads and a mobile component that allows you to receive SMS updates or even text updates to your accounts.

SproutLoud: This platform helps manage brands and promote marketing messages at the local level with a web-based Marketing Resource Management solution. Their solutions are easily adaptable for any type of local network – sales channels, franchises, retailers, dealer networks, VAR Programs, distributed employees/offices, affiliates and more.

SocialBakers: SocialBakers is a user-friendly social media analytics platform that provides a leading global solution that allows brands to measure, compare, and contrast the success of their social media campaigns with competitive intelligence.

Wildfire: This web application, now part of Google, helps you to integrate your traditional promotions such as sweepstakes, contests and giveaways with interactive sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s an expensive tool, so it may not be perfect for small businesses, but it’s a great tool for mid-sized (and large) corporations.

Sprout Social: Sprout Social manages multiple social networks from one dashboard, allowing you to optimize your outreach in each channel, identify people interested in your brand and convert them to loyal consumers.

MarketMeSuite: With MarketMeSuite, you can build client relationships and organic, targeted leads very quickly. It can update Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools rapidly and lets you manage multiple apps, schedule posts and allows multiple users to login at any time. This is one of the more intuitive tools on the list.

Crowdbooster: The beauty of Crowdbooster is that it lets you manage your social media profiles while also providing suggestions on how to improve your engagement and interaction. This is perfect for the businessperson on-the-go who doesn’t have much time to analyze data and derive insights of their own.

HootSuite: This is a tool that allows you to manage multiple social media channels through one dashboard. If you have a company with more than one contributor to your social media program, HootSuite is a good solution.

TweetDeck: Like HootSuite, TweetDeck provides a way to track many of your social media channels on one dashboard. It can be a time-saver and a productivity-enhancer and is owned by Twitter.

Sendible: This social media management tool allows you to publish across multiple platforms while also monitoring your brand mentions across the social web.

Viral Heat: This analytics-based social listening tool allows you to see each mention of your brand along with analytics about it. Viral Heat also shows you overall trends concerning your brand.

Conversocial: Meant for small- to medium-sized businesses, Conversocial lets you set up automatic moderation to delete or flag posts based on keywords, drives all comments to your email inbox, sets up a team workflow and provides limited analytics.

ExactTarget: ExactTarget’s Social Media management platform is perfect for companies who have multiple people contributing to their social media campaigns. In addition to organizing and monitoring your Twitter and Facebook pages, it allows you to assign updates and social streams to members of your team based either on their expertise or who is “on duty” at a certain time.

ThisMoment: ThisMoment’s publishing platform claims to be the only software platform that helps brands build and manage immersive, high-engagement brand experiences across the web, social and mobile simultaneously.

Awareness Social Marketing Hub: This platform is ideal for larger social media campaigns with multiple people monitoring and executing the program. In addition to aggregating social network information, the Hub allows marketers to set up workflows in order to coordinate efforts across a marketing team.

Expion: Built with multiple-location business or franchises in mind, Expion allows corporate offices to oversee and manage each of their locations’ individual social media accounts while still allowing store managers or franchisees to have some control over the account. This helps brands maintain continuity across locations while still allowing for regional-based promotions or content relevant only to the local stores.

Syncapse SocialTALK: Perfect for mid-sized businesses, this tool helps you control your presence across different platforms, manage multiple social media accounts from one platform, establish multiple user access levels, and monitor incoming traffic.

Postling: Designed for small businesses, Postling helps organize and update your social media accounts, alerts you when your accounts are active, and searches Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and more to see who is talking about your brand.

NutshellMail: If you’re easily distracted, NutshellMail may be the tool for you. This tool helps you track all of your social media channels, but instead of constant updates, sends you a single email per day describing your accounts’ activity.

Venntive: This is a powerful suite of marketing, sales, social media management, and collaboration tools that provide businesses and individuals with everything they need to build their brands online. No third-party plugins or applications necessary. Venntive is the most comprehensive business solution on the market.

Vocus: This is actually more than just a social media management tool. It’s a tool that allows you to integrate search, social, email and publicity into on all-encompassing dashboard.

Jamie Turner is the founder of 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, an agency that helps businesses use mobile marketing to acquire new customers.

Image: zzpza via Compfight cc

  • http://twitter.com/Soulati Jayme Soulati

    Oh yeah; if this doesn’t get 80 gazillion shares nothing will. This is the #RockHot list of all time. Thanks V-3 for posting!

  • http://www.BigDealPR.com/ Carri Bugbee

    Great list! I’ve used or evaluated nearly all of these, but hadn’t heard of Venntive, so now I’ll check that one out too!

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  • http://twitter.com/JasonMillerCA Jason Miller

    Great list Shelly! Crowdfactory is now Marketo Social Marketing and fully integrated. We also integrate with several of the other tools above as well. I think the real question starts to become, how do I as a marketer leverage these tools as part of a complete integrated marketing campaign where each tool is working to compliment the others. That seems to be the big challenge happening now.

  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for sharing far more than the usual run-of-the-mill social media management tools here. Social media campaigns are a big job for any business. It’s nice to see the tools there to add the necessary productivity. Thanks to Michelle Mangen for sharing this post with the BizSugar community.

  • Donovan Shinobu

    Excellent post. But I think you should also mention quintly. This tool
    helped me a lot to improve the social media performance of my company.

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