5 Online Tools You Can Use to Increase Your Value and Productivity as a Social Media Expert

When you use social media professionally, it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by all the activity.

Let’s say you are working for two or three clients, all of which have accounts across several social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Whatever the scope and details of your engagement, you’ll probably be tasked with keeping an eye on what’s happening across those channels. You might also be responsible for adding to them, with tweets, updates, comments, and more.

Or, you might be asked to find some key influencers within a client’s industry. Or, to determine the best time to send out tweets. Or, the best copy to use when writing social media updates.

As I said, this can quickly become overwhelming, unless you stay organized, and use some smart tools to crunch the data and give you the answers you need.

I’m going to talk about a few of the tools you can use. Each is either free, or offers a free version. For most, there are competing services you can try. But, these are among the tools I use on a regular basis, and I have found each of them to be helpful.

If you use other tools, and find them to be particularly valuable, please share your finds by telling us about them in the comments box at the end of this article.

Hootsuite.com

Use Hootsuite to manage multiple accounts across different social media sites. Put simply, the Hootsuite page is a dashboard on which you can create separate columns for accounts at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, WordPress, MySpace, Foursquare, and Mixi (a Japanese social network).

If you are using or tracking multiple Twitter accounts — each for a different brand, for example — you can add columns for those as well. Same for Facebook and the other networks.

Features include being able to have a group of team members working together through Hootsuite, assigning tasks, scheduling messages, and producing detailed, custom reports.

In other words, this is a great way to keep track of what is happening across all of your accounts with a single dashboard. If your needs are simple, get the free version. If you need more, you can get that by paying.

If you are managing social media for clients, you’ll love the custom reports feature. You’ll be able to print out detailed reports, with your logo in the header, direct from the Hootsuite site.

TweetWhen.com

You may have wondered sometimes why it is that some tweets get retweeted a lot, while others don’t.

Certainly, the words you use in those 140 characters can make a big difference. Writing great “headlines” for tweets is an important skill.

But, there is another, equally important factor when it comes to retweets. And, that is the day you tweet, and the time of day you tweet. Not all days are equal, and neither are all times of day.

To make matters more complicated, the best day and time for company or website A may not be the same as the best day and time for company or website B.

If this is the case, how on earth can you figure out when to publish your most important tweets?

One thing you can do is figure it out by trial and error.

Far better, and faster, is to use TweetWhen.com.

When you enter your Twitter user name in TweetWhen, it goes back and looks at your last 1,000 tweets, the days and times they were published, and the number of times they were read and retweeted.

Wait a few seconds and you’ll see a chart, telling you which days have worked best for you, and which times during those days worked best.

How do you use this information? First, you make a list of the five or so best days and times, in descending order of quality. Then, you match those days and times against the importance of the tweets you are going to send.

For example, if you have a really important tweet, announcing a new product, a discount, or an event … publish it at the very best time. Then, take your second most important tweet … and so on.

Postpo.st

Even if you use lists on Twitter, groups on TweetDeck, or some other way to identify the tweets of the most important people you follow, it is still easy to miss the good stuff. None of us has time to monitor every single tweet.

This when you use Postpo.st.

Here is how Postpo.st describes their service: PostPost search results are filled with super-relevant information from the people you follow on Twitter — the links, photos, news, reviews, and insights totally missing from real-time search.

This means that if I want to see what @RobinGood has tweeted about web content today, or over the last few days, I can select his name, and then conduct a search for “web content.”

Or, I might want to see what everyone I follow has tweeted about “copywriting.”

I can do the same for photos and videos.

In other words, I can drill down and find the most important and relevant Twitter content being published by the top influencers I follow.

If you are working for a client, simply make sure the client’s Twitter account follows big names in that industry, and then use Postpo.st to identify the most recent and relevant content being shared.

Retweetrank.com

When you are building and developing a new Twitter account, whether for yourself or for a client, you want to be sure you follow a good percentage of true influencers in your niche. This means following people who have significant reach and, more importantly, who are retweeted frequently.

How do you do this? One tool you can use is retweetrank.com.

Just enter any user name and you’ll be shown the person or company’s retweet rank, and their retweet percentile among all Twitter users.

Summify.com

Summify provides another way to identify the best of the best for you.

Based on your followers, friends, and connections, it looks through the most recent entries on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader, and then delivers the best of the best to you — online and by email.

You can adjust your settings, depending on the number of items you want in your summary, and the frequency with which you want to be updated.

For myself, I have asked to see the 10 most important stories, and to have them delivered to my email once a day.

I find this enormously valuable, especially when I am busy. Some days, I barely have time to follow my social media channels at all. So, it’s good to be able to scan my email, find one or two good stories, and then read them and share them.

Summing it all up.

These are five of probably ten social media tools I use frequently. And of those ten, I maybe access two or three on a daily basis here.

The challenge here is to find the tools that best meet your own business needs.

You’ll probably find you do the same as me, more or less. Sign-up for ten services and check them out from time-to-time.

But, rely on just two or three to get your social media heavy lifting done each day.

This article, 5 Online Tools You Can Use to Increase Your Value and Productivity as a Social Media Expert, was originally published by Wealthy Web Writer.

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Published: June 8, 2011

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