(Second of a series on creative communications tools. The first was: Creative communications tools that help you attract leads to your business.)
Where to begin? There are thousands of cool and creative communications tools to monitor and optimize the function of social media sites. Many are simple tools that have only one function and are novel to play with, but don’t have a lot of practical applications. Other tools are like Swiss army knives that perform multiple functions.
Some of these tools are real time savers. They help you perform functions that would otherwise take hours. When you don’t have a social media team to help you keep up with posting, following and answering comments, much less blogging and other content marketing, you need all the time-savers you can get. These tools do just that.
Twitter has the most off-site tools because of its open API that allows collaborators to design programs to work with its content stream. It’s not unusual to see Twitter tools come and go as some catch on with users and others go by the wayside. We’ll take a look at a few of the most useful apps for social media we’ve found here.
8 Creative communications tools for social media you should know about:
1) Topsy: Topsy is to social media what Google is to the web. It’s a free search engine for all social media. It allows you to search topics in general to see what content is being shared, or you can break that down by links, tweets, photos, videos and influencers. In addition, you can view a chart that analyzes a comparison of up to three terms trending over a month, and there’s another page to track social trends.
2) Followerwonk: Followerwonk is a sophisticated Twitter tool that analyzes, tracks and sorts your Twitter followers. You can sort your followers according to whatever criteria you decide, and it allows you to weed out dormant followers. You can find your most influential followers and analyze those they follow; compare your social graph to competitors, friends or industry leaders; and search all Twitter profiles to locate profiles you want to follow, whether it’s new talent, customers, or just friends.
3) ManageFlitter: This app is another that helps you sort and manage your Twitter followers, track who unfollowed you, helps you manage multiple Twitter accounts and track keyword mentions.
4) Twixonomy: This tool allows you to analyze your competitor or anyone else on Twitter. You can see the type of content they send and how it performs so that you can emulate their content for your own distribution, check out your competitor’s followers/friends so that you can engage with them; and identify the hashtags your competitors use so that you can monitor their content.
5) PicMonkey: PicMonkey is a free online photo editor that allows you to add text to your pictures for sharing on social media. It also allows you to create a photo collage. There are apps and extensions for Facebook and Chrome.
6) Tagboard: With Tagboard, you can research topics across all social media platforms based on hashtags.
7) Nestivity: You’re probably familiar with TweetChats. Well, Nestivity offers TweetCasts, which are TweetChats on steroids. With this site, you can share rich media, conduct presentations, stream live video and showcase your products using the social amplification of Twitter, all in the same chat.
8) Brook: With this app, you can subscribe to get the five best tweets from the people you select. It’s a way to cut down on the ubiquitous Twitter “noise.”
These are just a handful of the creative communications tools available to help you manage and get more value from your social media. Tomorrow we’ll focus on tools specifically dedicated to blogs and websites. Note: blogs ARE social media. Just because I’m separating them from this post, doesn’t mean that I’m saying they aren’t social media — they are. I’m only pulling out the blog tools and running them with the website tools because I had to draw a line somewhere.