Social Media is a rapidly growing medium for businesses everywhere. People love staying connected with their friends and their favorite brands as well as seeing personality coming from businesses. The difference between Social Media and other mediums such as eBlasts, websites, or television advertisements is that Social Media allows for a much more personal connection.
Many businesses have been slow to adapt to social media – partly because owners don’t see the value, and partly because they don’t think that they will be able to accurately track the return on investment. Others feel that they simply don’t have the time to take to get started with social media. If you are in any of these positions, here are five free tools that can make learning and implementing social media strategies a breeze for you.
Buffer is a great company that has a goal of helping you share content to your social networks with minimal management. Essentially, Buffer allows you to pre-load posts and schedule them (or have Buffer schedule them for you), whenever you want.
The first step is to visit their website and sign up. Second, you have to connect all of your social networks to Buffer. Currently, Buffer supports Twitter, Facebook, Facebook pages, Google+, Google+ Business Accounts, and LinkedIn.
You can create your own plan, but an example would be to focus for one hour a week and create a collection of posts to distribute to your social networks. This way you don’t have to stress about what to post, and instead let Buffer post for you.
As mentioned, one of the biggest complaints of employing Social Media as a business is that there is very limited information that you can gather from your networks. People want to be able to figure the return on investment, and if you can’t, what’s the point? Well, Bitly solves part of this problem by providing information on how many clicked on a link you shared, and from what social network.
How does it work? Simply go to their website—https://bitly.com—and register. After this, you can take any URL and plug it into Bitly, which then will shorten the URL, and anytime it is clicked, it will be tracked.
A great pattern to get into is to check your Bitly account weekly and see what posts got the most clicks. After looking at which posts were the most successful, you can see what worked and what didn’t. This way, you can change the way you present the information you share.
Social Media Today
Social Media Today is a website that puts together the most prestigious information on Social Media from all over the world. People who have found major success with Social Networks share extremely valuable information with everyone on this website. Really, it’s like a gold mine of social media information and data.
Spend 30 minutes a week reading this information, and learn from what other people are trying!
Sprout is a great company that offers a handful of guides, tools, and articles about Social Media as a whole. Additionally, Sprout offers a program (which isn’t free) that can help you gather more information from your social networks than with any other program.
However, if you don’t want to pay for Sprout, you can easily gather an enormous amount of information and “How-Tos” on their website.
Twitter is one of the most popular Social Networks in the world, and is a great source of information and up-to-date news. Tweetdeck is a tool that allows you to organize who you follow in an extremely easy-to-read format, making your task of reading through mentions much faster.
One of the best ways to locate great content to share with your clients, customers, or friends is to create an RSS feed for yourself. If you don’t know what this is, think of it like an extremely personalized newspaper that comes to your front door as soon as the story gets released.
Find interesting and niche blogs to follow (being relevant doesn’t hurt either), and start reading! One of the greatest RSS readers out right now is called Feedly and it’s available for free with a wide range of applications.
Mashable’s “92 Essential Social Media Resources”
For further information on Social Media Marketing Tools, click the link below.