Social media is everywhere. It’s in our homes, places of worship, schools and, and our businesses. Everywhere you look; people are using social media and are talking about it. And it seems that every week a new type of social site pops up. And as the number of social networking sites grows, so does the number of services that are created to measure, track and monitor those services.
If you run a business, one thing that you probably don’t have a lot of– is time. You don’t want to spend a huge amount of time learning how to find and learn how to use the best tools to achieve your goals. You don’t need to use all of the tools available because businesses have different cultures, different goals and are at different stages in integrating social media into their marketing mix. You need to find the tools that work best for your business.
If you have a website or a blog then it’s highly likely that you already have Google Analytics installed, and if not– you should! Google Analytics was launched back in November 2005 and is a completely free enterprise analytics product. That means it doesn’t just tell you how many hits you have to your website– it tells you how many actual visitors you have, where they’re from, how long they stay on the website, where they come from and much more!
GA was completely overhauled back in 2011 to include custom dashboards and real time statistics and it also has a very powerful social media analytics report built in. If you don’t track your visits and visitors on your website then how can you tell if your social media presence is actually making a difference? Whatever business you are in, Google Analytics is a must. Sure there are other analytics tools that you can add in addition that can do some cool things like Crazy Egg, but I think for the majority of websites GA is the tool to use.
Another tool I researched is Buffer. Buffer is a tool that allows you to easily post or share to all your social networks. Buffer is mainly for scheduling your posts. The advantage of this is that you can post to Twitter or Facebook when your followers or fans are more likely to be there. Your followers might be using Twitter or Facebook in the evening once you’ve gone home from work– Buffer posts automatically at times you choose throughout the week.
Buffer allows you to post to Twitter, Facebook profiles and pages, LinkedIn profiles and groups (currently not company pages) and the niche social network app.net. The only big omission is Google+. Whenever you add a post to Buffer you choose which network or networks you want to post it to (for example you might want to post to your Facebook Page, your LinkedIn profile and a LinkedIn group) and it gets added to each network’s queue. When it comes to the next time to post for your Facebook page, Buffer will post the first post in that queue and the same for each other network. You don’t have to wait for your Buffer queue either, if you want to post something straight away, then you can do.
Sharing articles is easy to do by using a button in your browser. If I find an article that I know my Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections will find interesting then I just need to click my Buffer button in my browser and I can instantly add the link and title to those social networks either straight away or add it to their queues.
While researching for social media tools, I could not believe the immense amount of tools that are out there! I knew there was a lot, but I did not know just how much. I just picked two to talk about, but basically there is a tool out there for everything. If you have a business or just want to use tools for personal use, there is definitely a tool for you!