10 Social Media Management Tools

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

With so many social media platforms on your docket, managing your brand’s content can become overwhelming. What you need is a social media management tool, and many are available to help you get control over your little piece of real estate on the Internet.

Plan ahead with HootSuite

HootSuite makes it easy to manage multiple profiles across multiple social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress, Myspace, and mixi. Sign up for a free account with HootSuite and connect it with your social media accounts for an efficient interface for all your social media management, monitoring, and analytics.

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HootSuite also enables you to preschedule posts to multiple social media sites and run powerful searches to see what topics are trending.

Keep in touch with Nimble

Nimble is a social media tool that makes it possible to manage your e-mail, contacts, social media messages, and more all in one central dashboard. The company was founded by the developer of one of the most successful customer relationship management (CRM) tools, GoldRush, and is designed to bring a sales management focus to social media.

With Nimble, you can integrate your contacts and then read, write, and organize all your communications across Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more in one program.

Nimble allows you to try it for free for 14 days, but then the cost moving forward is $15 per month.

Manage social sites with Sprout Social

You can use Sprout Social to manage multiple social media accounts from one program. Use it to coordinate your social media activities and then to review the results. This tool handles both management and analytics.

Using Sprout Social, you can track conversations, follow specific keywords, and assign tasks to different team members.

Sprout Social offers a few plans, each of them available through a free trial. The three plans are

  • Standard: Basic Sprout Social tools for up to 10 profiles ($39 per month).

  • Deluxe: Deluxe users may include up to 20 profiles and receive enhanced reporting ($59 per month).

  • Premium: This option allows users to manage up to 50 profiles while receiving enhanced reporting and training ($99 per month).

Sharing is easy with AddThis

On well-designed websites, you’re likely to find a row of links to the most popular social media sites. That’s where AddThis comes in. After you register for this free online service, you can use the service to add social media icons to your website or blog.

Simply choose the size and design of the social media icons you want to use, copy and paste a little code from the AddThis site onto your site or blog, and you’re done.

Simply copy and paste a little code into any website and you can share any article or blog post on your website.

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Use bitly to shorten URLs

bitly is an online service that you can use to create shortened versions of any URL.

If you take the time to set up an account on bitly (it’s free), the service also tracks how many people click each link you post, which can help you determine which links are most successful, who in your audience is responding, where they are located, and even the best time of day to post social media updates.

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Use SharedBy for more than short URLs

Use SharedBy to shorten URLs so you share them more efficiently on social media sites. Additionally, SharedBy adds an extra feature to URL shortening by building in a special bar that appears across the top of the screen when someone follows one of your SharedBy Links from Twitter, Facebook, or another social site.

The bar can include your name, business name, links to your social media sites, and of course, a link to SharedBy.

Clean Up Twitter Followers

JustUnFollow, a free Twitter service, can help you manage the people you follow as well as those who follow you back. What makes the service different is that it can also help you manage some of the common problems with Twitter followers.

After you sign up with JustUnFollow, you can use it to identify anyone who has followed you — and then, after you followed them back, “unfollowed” you.

JustUnFollow also gives you lists of people you follow who are not active on Twitter as well as people you have followed who have never followed you back. This allows you to unfollow people who aren’t following you back, which prevents your following to follower ratio from becoming unbalanced.

Identify the fakers on Twitter

Twitter is now home to a growing number of fake followers, which are accounts created by one person trying to appear to be more influential or who may be selling followers to others on the service.

If you’re wondering whether all those followers your friends claim to have are real or not, you can use Fake Follow to check whether your followers, or anyone else’s, are using fake accounts. This tool offers a free level and premium levels of service.

Grow your audience with Wildfire

Run by Google, Wildfire is best known for helping manage social media promotions and giveaways, a great way to boost your followers and build your network — legitimately.

Wildfire is a comprehensive promotional service used by big brands as well as large nonprofit organizations. Visit the website to explore the services Wildfire offers.

Create contests, coupons, and quizzes with AgoraPulse

The AgoraPulse Facebook management and analytics tool is for advanced users who want to build apps for friends or customers to use. You can use AgoraPulse to create quizzes, sweepstakes, photo contests, coupons, and more.

The AgoraPulse services starts at $29 per month and can handle large accounts with highly complex needs. The Medium price package at $99 per month is deemed the best value by AgoraPulse, but the company is also willing to work with you to create a custom price.