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.
|TweetDeck||Allows you to monitor Twitter only|
|HootSuite||Publish to and monitor your social media accounts, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ Pages|
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|
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.|
|Reachli||Create Pinterest campaigns and get analytics.|
|Do Share||This Chrome web browser extension lets you schedule posts on a personal G+ account.||Google+|
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.|
|Shortstack||Add multiple apps to multiple Facebook Pages starting at $30 per month after the more limited free level.|
|WiseStamp||Add social media links or graphics to your e-mail signature file.|
|Constant Contact||This popular e-mail marketing tool has tracking analytics.|
|MailChimp||This popular e-mail marketing tool also has tracking analytics.|
|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.
|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.|