17 Little Known Social Media Tools You Should Be Using (and Why)

Everywhere you look there is social media. It’s in our homes, businesses, places of worship and schools. And everywhere you look people are using it and talking about it. And it seems that every week there is a new social site launched.

To make matters worse, for every social site launched, there seems to be two or more services created to measure, track and monitor that service. What’s a marketing professional to do?

To help you cut through the clutter I thought I’d share with you 17 must-use social media tools that have helped my clients and their businesses. You’ll also get my reasons for why you should be using these tools, too.

1. EditFlow

An open source project led by Daniel Bachhuber, Mo Jangda and Scott Bressler, EditFlow is a WordPress plugin that allows you to manage your editorial team seamlessly.

Get a snapshot of your month-to-month content with the calendar:

edit-flow-calendar

Improved content status beyond WordPress’ default draft and pending review:

edit-flow-improved-content-status

Inline comments between writer and editor:

edit-flow-inline-comments

And user groups to help you keep your team of writers organized by department or function.

Who should use EditFlow and why: anybody who manages a multi-author blog and wants a one-stop shop for managing one. EditFlow keeps all of the things that are important to a multi-author blog in one spot so management is easy, clean and documented.

2. TweetReach

This nice, little tool allows you to see how far your tweets travel. For example, with TweetReach I can search my blog (QuickSprout) and come up with these results:

tweetreach-screenshot-2012

Who should use TweetReach and why: From a social media manager to a consultant to a celebrity…basically anybody who is interested in finding out how effective their tweets are based upon the number of people they touch. This is also useful from a metric standpoint when you are justifying results with senior management or partners. By the way, this is one of the tools that helped me learn how to get more retweets.

3. ArgyleSocial

This Durham-based startup is a social media platform hoping to help marketers connect the business dots with the social media dots. And they aim to make it drop-dead simple.

Some of the features ArgyleSocial includes are team-based collaboration and publishing:

argylesocial-screenshot-2012

A single dashboard to monitor Facebook and Twitter that allows you to delegate tasks to your team:

argylesocial-delegate-tasks

And easy reporting on the ROI of your social media efforts:

argylesocial-easy-roi-reporting

If you’d like to be an affiliate, you can use ArgyleSocial’s white label brand and resell the social media platform to your clients. Even the billing of this feature is simple. All of your accounts will be wrapped up into one bill and sent to you to distribute or absorb as an included service.

Who should use ArgyleSocial and why: From the social media manager to the one-man or –woman shop who needs to prove to management, clients or themselves that their social media campaign is paying off. Also useful for those who are chronic testers and want to know if their latest experiment worked or not.

4. HootSuite for iPad

HootSuite users, you’ll be happy with this iPad application that reflects HootSuite products in general with the column approach. Includes a stationary column in the sidebar that keeps track of all streams being tracked.

hootsuite-for-ipad

Among the other things HootSuite says you can do with this iPad app:

  • Check-in and shout via your Foursquare account
  • Translate messages to and from 50+ languages
  • Schedule messages to send in the future
  • Examine click-through statistics
  • Add geo-location coordinates to messages
  • Share and store photos and files
  • Shorten URLs with built-in Ow.ly tool

Who should use HootSuite for iPad and why: For anyone who wants to manage their social media content and engagement away from the laptop or desktop (doing it on a smartphone just plain sucks).

5. TweetLevel

You might be thinking you don’t need another Tweet metric tool, but TweetLevel, a handy tool from Edleman, allows you to specifically search for hash tags, leading to interesting insights on who to follow based upon conversation versus person.

Once you’ve found someone you’d like to follow, you can measure their social influence:

tweetlevel-measure-social-influence

Evaluate the buzz around a certain topic to determine if it’s a trend worth paying attention to:

tweetlevel level of buzz

Then take a peek at related phrases around your topic to gauge the true scope of the trending idea:

tweetlevel-related-phrases

Who should use TweetLevel and why: PR managers and social media marketing professionals who want to analyze a campaign. These tools can help you identify the conversation, where it’s going wrong and how to correct that mistake.

6. ReFollow

When it comes to Twitter, numbers are not important. It’s who you follow and who follows you. ReFollow is a premium application that allows you to lock in those followers that you’ve connected with…and keep them.

Other features include filtering a search on your Twitter circle to uncover insights:

refollow-uncover-insights

And you can also uncover unique relationships…like what you have in common with certain followers:

refollow-unique-relationships

This can lead you to connecting with someone who maybe you’re Twitter conversation has been close to zero, but with a simple DM you can make a connection and build a relationship with that person.

Who should use ReFollow and why: This tool is perfect for the person who wants to grow a list of highly-qualified, like-minded people…very slowly. If you’re concern is quality over quantity, which you should be, then ReFollow is your tool.

7. TwitterSearch

You’ve probably heard of TwitterSearch. It’s one of Chris Brogan’s favorite tools. More than likely, however, you’ve never been taught how to use it correctly.

Here are seven tips from Thomas Baekdal.

  • Uncover top trending topics – Search that topic plus –rt filter:links. For example, “digital marketing-rt filter:links”. That code will remove all of the RTs.
  • Find out who is talking about you – To see who is talking about you in conversations you aren’t involved in, use this search string: Patel-to:patel-from:patel-@patel. Replace Patel with your name.
  • Track multiple profiles – If you have more than one Twitter profile, search using to: plus your Twitter handle. For example, to:patel plus your other handles.
  • Follow conversation about your competitors – To see what people are saying about your competitors, search with to:competitor or from:competitor. Replace “Competitor” with their handle.
  • Follow links from certain people: Search with the search string from:handle filter:links.
  • Look up only the latest on a trending topic – Search with “trending topic” plus –rt –via which will exclude all the RTs.
  • See pictures with trending topic – If there is a picture/s trending with the topic, search for these using the string “trending topic twitpic/post.ly/twitgoo filter:links”.

Who should use TwitterSearch and why: Anybody who’s interested in learning any of the things I mentioned above. By the way, this is very good for finding topics to blog about. When you see trending topics, you can create a blog post with content relevant to that discussion.

8. Traackr

A simple way to find and follow people who are influential in your space is to use Traackr. Whether you are an ad agency:

traackr-agencies

Or a brand:

traackr-brands

You can identify the authorities that will mean the most to your business or your client’s. What’s also nice is that you can watch how social media leaders are responding and contributing to content you are sharing.

As an agency you can see who you should target to help social media campaigns get off the ground, build your engagement strategies based upon Traackr’s unique intelligence and then see results of those campaigns.

Who should use Traackr and why: Traackr is superb for either agencies or brands who want to build social media campaigns that will demonstrate effectiveness from the start…improve over time…and ultimately show how it pays off in the end. Traackr is also superb for the brand that wants to grow its presence based upon certain influencers.

9. SocMetrics

The Topical Influencer platform by SocMetrics is a web-based platform that allows you to identify influencers, understand who these people are, interact with this select list and then monitor that campaign.

You can even validate their influence:

socmetrics-validate-influence

And build a list of these influencers:

socmetrics-list-influencers

Their Competitive Influence feature allows you to specify brands and contrast their influence and drill down for detailed influencers.

What’s slick about this tool is that it allows you to narrow your search to a long-tail keyword, thus seeing who is truly influential on a finite level.

Who should use SocMetrics and why: Any marketing professional who wants to build an effective social media campaign based upon influencers in that field. We’ve all learned by now what power thought leaders have. SocMetrics help you harness that power to build your brand and sell more.

10. Social Scope

For Blackberry users who’ve longed for an app that combine Twitter and Facebook on one screen, like TweetDeck for your desktop, enter Social Scope:

social-scope-screenshot-2012

Plus, on that same screen you’ll see a little thumbnail of an image if someone shares something from TwitPic. The ease of sharing a link is nice, too, since as you surf you’ll get an option to “Send to Social Scope”:

social-scope-send-to

It’s got a built in retweeting feature, hash tag search and will also let you see the entire URL to know where a truncated URL is pointing.

Who should use SocialScope and why: Obviously, anyone who owns a Blackberry and has a Facebook and Twitter account is a prime target for this app. And for the reason you should use it, it’s the closest thing you can come to a desktop as you will get on a Blackberry.

11. Google+

Google+ seemed like it was primed to take the social-site spotlight on its launched. It didn’t do that, but I wouldn’t count it out just yet. In fact, I expect the adoption of Google+ to grow much in the same way that Facebook and Twitter both grew. Right now the early adopters have set up camp in Google+. I recommend you do the same, even if you don’t consider yourself an early adopter.

One feature that will draw more people is the open content approach—everything that happens on Google+ is by default searchable on the web. This includes photos and other rich media. In other words, what you do on Google+ can leave a footprint in the search space.

Who should use Google+ and why: At the moment I think Google+ is most useful for those who are concerned with a personal brand.  But even the big brands can benefit from the growing connection between social and search that Google has monopolized with its site. If you haven’t started with Google+ yet, here’s a nice beginner’s guide.

12. Social Mention

When it comes to real-time of monitoring of keywords and mentions, Social Mention can’t be beat. Drop a keyword in their search tool and you’ll pull up results like the latest mentions across the search world (I searched my blog “QuickSprout”):

social-mention-quicksprout

You can see a snapshot of your influence:

social-mention-influence-snapshot

Then drill down into that data:

social-mention-drill-down-data

You can also get the Social Mention blog widget or sign up for alerts…like Google Alerts, but for social media.

Who should use Social Mention and why: Any professional who is interested in following their brand or their client’s brand, measuring their influence, gauging the general sentiment on that brand. With this data, plus other data from the tools I’ve shared earlier, you can build a comprehensive view of your standings in the social web.

13. Ice Rocket

Probably the best blog search engine out there, Ice Rocket allows you to search across blogs, but the social web as well. This includes images and video.

Here’s a search under “QuickSprout”:

ice-rocket-2012-screenshot

Who should use Ice Rocket and why: Bloggers. I love Ice Rocket because it helps me to research a particular topic…and then to see all the citations of that topic across blogs. This then allows me to create a high-concentration of outbound links that leads to a stronger SEO presence through link building but also helps me to reach out to new people I can help.

14. HashTracking

Whether you want to do research on a current topic or track a future event, Hash Tracking is your tool to do it. Let’s say you are going to Blog World. Simply enter the hash tag and Hash Tracking will start tracking as the conversation with that hash tag starts.

But you can also run custom reports on hash tags, like “networking”:

hastracking-screenshot-2012

With the data reports you can see who is using that tag, total tweet impressions and reach, total tweets and a complete transcript of all tweets.

Who should use Hash Tracking and why: This is another great tool for the marketing professional who wants to gather information in tweets and links from the social web on a particular topic, who the influencers in that topic are and seeing the reach for that topic. Insights might lead you to plan where you will focus your social campaigns.

15. Qwerly

For anyone with an email newsletter, you’ll be interested in Qwerly, a data API that allows you to mine social profiles in your email newsletter list.

You can grab a key and get started right away.

qwerly-screenshot-2012

If you have an email newsletter and want to capture social profile data for the list, Qwerly is a data API for mining social profile information which is somewhat similar to Rapleaf. This way, you can identify the top social sites your email list is associated with and can adjust social advertising, networking, and content accordingly.

Who should use Qwerly and why: This tool is perfect for the email marketer who wants to squeeze as much performance out of his or her email list as possible.

16. Rapleaf

Like Qwerly, Rapleaf gives you useful social profile information about your email newsletter list. Drop in a text file into their system and out they spit the demographics of your list:

rapleaf-screenshot-2012

Who should use Rapleaf and why: Rapleaf is perfect for the email newsletter marketer who wants to get the most out of his or her list. Find out what people like and then create unique offers based upon that data. You can make recommendations to a segmented email list, thus driving up your conversion rate.

17. Page Lever

Last but not least, there’s Facebook analytics tool Page Lever. This will take you beyond Insights that will allow you to grow more fans, traffic comments and newsfeed impressions.

You can see where your fans are coming from:

page-lever-see-fans

The Day Overview lets you get in-depth information from a particular day:

page-lever-day

Page Lever was created by two guys who were consulting with high-profile clients like MTV and YouTube to help them optimize Insights when they recognized the shortcomings of what was available at the time. So they created Page Lever. MTV and YouTube followed them over.

Who should use Page Lever and why: If you manage a brand’s Facebook fan page, you need Page Lever. The unique, granular data will help you pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. As the tag line says, this is data you never thought possible. And if MTV and YouTube use it, don’t you think you should, too?

Conclusion

The first step in any social media marketing plan is to identify which social media sites you are going to concentrate on. Then it’s super important to track your performance across those sites as your campaign proceeds.

If you’re not tracking, how can you know whether your campaign is working or not? If you do know you can tweak to make it work better…and deliver results that will make you happy…or your clients happy.

Which social media tools do you use that I didn’t mention?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the VP of Marketing of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.

  1. Hi KISSmetrics! Thanks for including Argyle Social on your list and thanks for the kind words.

    Eric, CEO @ Argyle

  2. Hi Neil,

    Great rundown of tools. I hadn’t heard of many of them. My favorite from you list is probably Hootsuite. I use it in conjunction with Bufferapp to manage some of my updates. I love the fact that Buffer automatically schedules for specific optimized times and that you can add to your buffer from almost anywhere.

    I’ll have to check out a few of these that you mentioned. What we really need now is a tool for managing all your social media tools!

    - Sharyn Sheldon

  3. Thank you for this review. I like tool so much. And here are 15 I never heard about. :)

  4. Thanks for the mention guys!

    -Jeff
    Cofounder PageLever

  5. Lately, I’ve been using Timely app to schedule Tweets. Great, simple tool to use that offers some neat analytics and does a fine job of spacing content out for you.

  6. Nice post. I learned about some tools that were previously unknown to me, and I’ll definitely use some of them, such as Ice Rocket.

    One new tool not on your list is Seek or Shout (http://www.seekorshout.com). Not exactly a social media community — but kinda — it allows bloggers to connect with brands (for product reviews, e.g.) and to promote their content. Basically, you use tags to follow others and allow them to follow you. That gives you a homepage news feed filled with news releases, blog posts, and more that only pertain to your interests. It also allows you to position yourself as an expert by responding to journalist “seeks” for sources. All around, a nice tool for bloggers, journos, brands, and just your average joe with an interesting story to tell.

    Thanks again for a great roundup!

  7. Thanks Niel, very useful.

  8. Whoops, sorry. Neil ;-)

  9. Hi,
    thanks for this comprehensive list, there are quite a number of them I’ve never heard of. I’ll see how to incorporable some of them into my marketing strategies.

  10. Wow EditFlow FTW!

    Looks like a great plugin!

  11. Hi Neil,
    First of first of all thanks for such a informative article. I have unsubscribe for most newsletter that of I signed in the post because they are not upto the mark. Now I am subscriber of kissmetric, webpronews, searchengineland only.

  12. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this tools!. I use buffer to scheduled my tweets and also use JustRetweet to get my post retweeted by other network users.

    Thanks.

  13. Guys, really excellent rundown of tools – thanks.

    My Thoughts on Traackr:

    One comment I have is that I think Traackr have priced many of their potential customers out of the market, like bit.ly enterprise! They’re validating a market need, then leaving it wide open for a disruptive startup with sensible pricing IMHO!

    I’d be interested to hear some real-life usage stories of its current subscribers, are they seeing real ROI on this?

  14. great list of tools!!

  15. Thanks for the coverage of Edit Flow :) We’re always open to feedback, feature requests, and other contributions

  16. Hi, our company just published E.Life Monitor for iPad, a free Twitter monitoring tool: top users, top retweets, volume and top terms. We think it can be pretty useful and it will always be free.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/e.lifemonitor/id484068460?mt=8

    It is scheduled for June Facebook monitoring.

  17. I noticed that Sendible.com didn’t make the list. We use it to manage all of my company’s social media. Would be worth looking into!

  18. Thanks for the list of tools. Now only if I had a legit twitter following!

  19. Fantastic post.

    Thanks so much – I’ll be using some of these for my next social media campaigns.

  20. Thanks for sharing such useful tools

  21. Wonderful write-up! May I suggest something radically different – a brand new SM tool? RiteTag is a tool for finding the “rite” tags for many social networks based on your query. We also provide stats and examples of recent updates with each tag suggested, so people can learn about the types of content that tends to go with a tag.

    Some tools do tag illustration. Also, they do the job just with Twitter; http://www.RiteTag.com already has 10 social neworks (with topic-tagging) integrated, and will expand to more than 20 – which people can search on simultaneously. RiteTag – to find the rite tags, per network (they vary per network) and learn about tags as well.

  22. Thanks for this Article. I am always looking for new and interesting tools. Never keen on paid tools though as invariably you end up buying something that isn’t really fit for purpose. I have installed editflow though and bookmarked a host of the others.

  23. Social Scope? Been waiting almost 4 years for an invite, which I’ve requested several times over the years. I’ve given up and use other tools now. Don’t expect much from them if you’re not already a member.

  24. Amazing! Never knew all of these helpful tools were available. Another great article from Kiss Metrics.

  25. Great list guys. Just wanted to say that our new tool (http://tweetdig.com) is a great, simple way to organize your Twitter timeline by prioritizing, categorizing and filtering Tweets so your time on Twitter is more efficient.

  26. Matthew James Oct 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

    You’ve listed some great tools! People keep recommending this tool called Blurtster. But I cant find any reviews of it. Is there anyone here who uses this and could point me in the right direction?
    Thanks!

  27. This a very helpful list of analytic tools for those engaged in marketing. I also recommend my own company, Pin4Ever, for marketers active on Pinterest. Saving a copy of all your pins, boards and likes on your computer with Pin4Ever protects the effort you’ve invested, so you don’t lose your data to hackers accidents, or computer malfunctions. If you go to pin4ever.com today, you can backup your whole Pinterest account free!

  28. Thanks for this exceptional blog post as it provides me a phenomenal opportunity to get introduce into various effective social media tools available. Google+ recommended is must appreciated as i myself use Google+ help to draw maximum traffic in the open content approach.

  29. Wow. I found your story super informative, but then went to Social Mention and found it completely worthless. It failed to find much at all and the alerts was shut down.

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