Every now and then I get asked what tools I use to keep tabs on social media. Since it’s part of my daily job at Flattr and I’ve been active blogging/tweeting/sharing pics etc for ages I’ve tried quite a few different tools and for now seem to have stuck with the ones listed below.
Something worth mentioning is that I work at a very small startup and manage all of our social channels and content creation myself so team-aspect of tools has not been high on my priorities.
TweetDeck is the real work horse I’m spending the most time replying to our customers, following discussions, getting useful links for material to be used in our own channels. There are weaknesses (no auto-translate of non-English tweets is my biggest gripe) but it’s invaluable for me.
SocialBro is something I launch once a week to quickly check new followers/unfollowers, analyze best times to tweet and import the schedule to Buffer (more on that later). It shows some other insights into your followers as well like their geographic location, what languages they speak etc.
Buffer helps you spread out tweets so your followers on Twitter don’t get pissed if you fire 4 links that you are super interesting in short succession. Together with SocialBro you can aim your tweets to hit the sweet spots during the day with most followers online and attentive. Or just schedule one tweet per day before you go on a vacation.
Old school but super useful – email alerts on specific keywords and phrases helps to stay on top of who’s blogging/writing about your brand, competition, topics your interested in. Often reveals stories relevant to your brand and thus creates more material that inspire your own blog posts or just quick post on Facebook or Twitter.
Google+ – wait, what?
Yes, Google+. First if you’re a company/brand then you have to have a brand page on G+ and link to all materials you post on your company blog or news section on your G+ page. Why? SEO. I’ve seen my blog posts get indexed in 10 minutes.
2nd reason why to use G+ is when your audience is on it, doh. For Flattr we’ve realized that a strong vocal subset of our users are very anti-Facebook and embraced Google’s solution quickly. They’re more tech savvy, early-adopter types and engaging with them on the platform of their choice is a simple decision for us.
Google+ has a very good search on it’s own so I don’t use any special software to track what’s happening there.
Bit.ly for short URL branding and tracking
I used bit.ly to set up our own custom short URL (fl.tt) that is used on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere and in addition to the subtle branding it also allows to track how popular links in specific tweets or messages have been – how many times they’ve been clicked on.
WordPress + Google Analytics + MailChimp
Obviously most of the content I create ends up in our company blog which runs on WordPress and Google Analytics is the standard web traffic analytics tool but I thought I’d mention them here.
MailChimp is my weapon of choice for marketing emails although you better collect those addresses as opt-in or you’ll bump into their polite but firm reaction to high bounce/spam rates.
By the way, Community Managers, Advocates and Evangelists is a super nice and active group of people on Facebook discussing these and other tools on regular basis.