If you want to learn more about a situation or get to the bottom of something important, you’ve probably been told to “follow the money.” You can apply this advice to business and leadership, too.
If you want to keep a pulse on industry trends and stay ahead of the curve, one of the first things you can do is look at how money in your space is being budgeted. Take influencer marketing, for example. Last year, influencer marketing took off, and so did the budget that companies allotted for it.
Now, look at social media through the same lens. Social media spending in the U.S. alone is expected to increase to more than $17 billion in 2019. A dizzily impressive figure, no doubt, but that kind of budget makes sense when you look at just how important social is to the way companies engage with their audiences, amplify their content marketing, and measure their successes. In fact, “The State of Digital Media” found that 66 percent of publication editors determine content success based on the number of social shares each piece yields.
Because social is so critical to building strong brands, it’s important for your team to maximize how they use it (and what tools they use) to make that job easier. There are plenty of free social media tools out there to help your team save time and money. To stay current on those options, check out the updated list below of eight free tools that can simplify your team’s social media marketing:
1. Facebook Insights
According to the same “The State of Digital Media” report, Facebook is still the most popular platform for sharing and engaging with content, so tools designed for that platform are especially valuable — and Facebook Insights is a good one.
Further, not only is Facebook Insights free; it’s easy to use, too. Your team can access it through an existing page, and the Insights feature can help your business track metrics on page performance, times your audience is on Facebook, and posts that receive the most engagement. Your team can even export these insights for more analysis.
I love Twitter; it’s probably my favorite social platform. I’m not as active on Instagram, but I know a ton of people swear by it. This is why SocialRank is so great. It helps manage your followers on both platforms — Twitter and Instagram — so you’re not just accruing followers, but you’re also getting to know who they are and what they like. Honestly, it’s great to have a ton of followers, but what good is it if you don’t try and get to know most of them? After all, they’re your audience — if you care about appealing to them, SocialRank is a solid social tool to add to your toolbox.
3. Likeable Local
Likeable Local is a unique social tool thatany company can find useful. Driven by a passion for small business success, Likeable Local helps generate leads and referrals through its platform, as well as share content to social platforms. It also offers tools to boost your reach and manage your online reputation through built-in keywords so you can engage in the right conversations.
Social media is evolving and only becoming more important to the way companies communicate with their audiences. Do your team a favor: Look into these free tools to make it easier to increase the reach, engagement, and impact of your social media marketing.
4. Social Mention
This tool can help your team track brand mentions and social interactions. Through a single search of your company’s name, your team can discern how often others are mentioning the name, whether it’s on the receiving end of positive or negative feedback, the reach of its posts, and more. Plus, it shows the top keywords and hashtags involving your company.
If your team maximizes content by sharing it via multiple accounts, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of logging in and out of each account to launch posts. It takes time to sign in and out of different accounts to ensure as many possible audience members get the chance to engage with your content. Major headaches can surface when you’re bouncing around from sharing original posts, researching hashtags, tagging the right people, and replying to messages. With TweetDeck, your team can effectively manage multiple Twitter accounts with ease, all on one screen.
Free TweetReach snapshot reports provide fast, easy tracking of analytics for up to 100 tweets. Find out who’s been interacting with your company on Twitter, as well as what keywords, hashtags, URLs, or account names are receiving the most engagement.
The snapshot also includes insights into things such as: reach, exposure, tweet activity, tweet types, top contributors, top tweets, list of contributors, and tweet timelines. If your company uses Twitter daily or your company leaders are trying to identify potential influencers to work with, this is a great tool to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. TweetReach also offers paid plans in addition to its free snapshot reports.
Yes, I’ve mentioned Buffer in the past, and that’s because it really is a great, easy-to-use tool. Keeping up with sharing your content each day can be hard, and Buffer allows you to schedule multiple posts on different channels at once. This way, you can knock out a good amount of social distribution in one sitting, which is helpful for busy social media teams (and the thought leaders whose content is being shared).
You’re probably already using this one, but hear me out. LinkedIn just released a new extension of its platform called LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. This helps businesses accumulate and track leads. Because most people view the app on their phones, it can be a hassle to fill out a contact form. So instead of relying on users to fill out the forms, LinkedIn’s new application uses an in-app form that populates already stored information about an individual LinkedIn user, making lead generation for your business easier than before.
What are some social tools you’re currently using? Share them in the comments.
John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of “Top of Mind.” You can book John to speak here.[“Source-forbes”]