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Tools to Enhance Your Social Media Engagement Efforts

Part of the Social Media Engagement For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you have a social media engagement task, a third-party tool can help you accomplish that task. Whatever you do, don’t get so caught up in the technology that you forget the human beings on the other end of the electronic device or application. At the same time, don’t ignore how these tools can make your life easier. You can find tools that

  • Help you monitor and handle messages and posts

  • Add more interactivity to your website or blog

  • Pull together numbers to help you measure and assess what you’re doing in social networks

  • Enhance everything you do, from sending e-mail to publishing content online

Social media dashboards

A good social media dashboard allows you to pull together content streams from a variety of your social networks, respond easily, post to them all, and, if needed, schedule your posts. The table briefly describes popular dashboards.

Dashboard Description
TweetDeck Allows you to monitor Twitter only
HootSuite Publish to and monitor your social media accounts, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ Pages

MarketMeSuite

Organize your social engagement efforts, publish content across social network and find local prospects.

SproutSocial Streamlines engagement, publishing, and analysis
Radian6 A more robust solution for major enterprises

Schedulers

Automatically scheduling some of your social media messaging can be beneficial, but only if used strategically and sparingly. If you schedule your key messaging each month or each week, you can then spend your time in your social networks paying attention to the conversations, responding in a timely manner, and initiating fresh dialogue. Don’t overautomate, or you risk alienating your followers. The table describes a handful of schedulers.

Scheduler Description For Which Network(s)
Buffer Find the best time to post; then schedule and release content at those intervals. Twitter, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn
Pingraphy Schedule pins and track their performance. Pinterest
Reachli Create Pinterest campaigns and get analytics. Pinterest
Do Share This Chrome web browser extension lets you schedule posts on a personal G+ account. Google+

Enhancement tools

Enhancement tools, like those described in the following table, add features and functionality to your existing website, blog, or social networks that expand ways others can engage with you via these sites. Not all social networks can be easily enhanced by third-party applications. For example, most tools help you manage or measure your Twitter activity rather than enhance the experience for your followers.

Tool Description For Which Platform(s)
Woobox Easily add apps to your Facebook Page that you can edit for free; also has a paid version. Facebook
Shortstack Add multiple apps to multiple Facebook Pages starting at $30 per month after the more limited free level. Facebook
WiseStamp Add social media links or graphics to your e-mail signature file. E-mail
Constant Contact This popular e-mail marketing tool has tracking analytics. E-mail
MailChimp This popular e-mail marketing tool also has tracking analytics. E-mail
Disqus Add this social commenting tool to your Wordpress, Blogger, and Tumblr blog, or to one built on Drupal, to increase engagement. Blog
Livefyre It features live, real-time commenting and an administrative tool to moderate comments and control spam. Blog

The following table describes tools that offer live-streaming video features.

Tool Description
Google Hangouts on Air Share and record live hangouts or conversations with everyone; archived to YouTube.
Spreecast This free social video platform allows for face-to-face conversations.
Ustream On this network of channels, known for lifecasting and live-streaming events, everyone can broadcast their own shows.
Livestream Use its tools to share your live event with others online and via social media.
Veetle Mobile App Broadcast or live-stream instantly from your mobile device (iPad, iPhone, or Android).
Qik Mobile App Share mobile video, including live feeds, to the web and social networks.
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