Following on from our first post in this series (21 Free Social Media Tools Anyone Can Use – Part 1), let’s continue our look at even more free social media tools that anyone can use.
Twitter, the world’s favourite microblogging site is also a social media powerhouse. Twitter is, in my opinion, a bit more effective at building relationships with the right people than Facebook. The popularity of Twitter among the media has even further drilled this social network into the worlds consciousness. The character limit means you have to make your messages short, snappy and direct. A great way to get information in real-time! The number of tools to help Twitter users is huge. Here’s a few of my favourites:
This is one of my favourite Twitter tools. It was recently acquired by the brilliant SEOMoz. The power of Followerwonk is evident. You can find exactly the people you should be engaging with in the blink of an eye.
There’s also the ability to analyse other Tweeps to see what their follower demographic is. If you are an SEOMoz pro user you can get even more information!
Hashtags are one of the most important features of Twitter. They can help you reach new audiences and help new visitors find you. You can get involved in Twitter chats to highlight your authority, or use trending hashtags in your space to increase the visibility of your Tweets.
All in all they are an essential part of any Twitter user’s activity.
Hashtags.org is a great asset. You can search for any hashtag and see the popularity of that hashtag, the latest tweets containing that hashtag and see the most prolific users of that hashtag. This is all great information that will help you find more members of the community you’re trying to reach! Remember, engaging with users who are interested in your content is the key to social media success.
Have you ever wondered what time you should tweet? When is twitter busiest?
These are all interesting questions, but if you’re attracting followers from all around the world, how do you work out when your tweets are likely to get the most attention?
Tweriod is a system that “gives you the best times to tweet”. This report is produced via an analysis of both your own tweets and the tweets of your followers. Many people are surprised when they see how much of a difference a perfectly timed tweet can make!
SocialBro is another tool for analysing your followers. In the free, downloadable version of the tool you’ll be able to analyse the influence of your followers, analyse Twitter lists, get a best time to Tweet report and more!
It’s also useful for keeping a count on the track of your new followers and recent unfollows. Having this kind of data can, like so many of these tools, help you see what content is working and what content is actively losing you followers.
A really interesting tool for finding people on Google plus is this website, FindPeopleOnPlus.com. It’s a huge Google+ directory, which helps you find an audience on Google+
You can sort or filter the directory using a huge range of properties, from Age to Verified Status. It’s a great way of targeting a group of Google+ users that you want to engage with. You can also search a keyword to find users that use that keyword in their profile.
There are also two other great features of the site, Twitter2Plus and Linkedin2Plus. Using this simple system you can see which of your followers on Twitter, or which of your connections on LinkedIn are already active on Google+! What better way to start your new community!
Another resource that will help you identify new users to engage with on Google+ is SocialStatistics.com. You can see a list of the top 100 people that currently use Google+. You can view your own Google+ statistics. You can also see the most popular pages and posts on Google+. You can get some invaluable information from this data.
Instagram is an image sharing network that is taking the world by storm at the moment. With native apps for iOS and Android, deep integration with other social networks and a collection of filters that you can easily apply to your photos; there’s no doubt that this is a great social network to take part in! Here are some tools that will help you become an Instagram influencer!
Simply sign in with your Instagram account and get access to a whole load of stats. This really is the definitive tool for Instagram users at the moment.
You can view your photos, comments, likes and followers all from this simple interface. Dig a little deeper though and you can see a huge range of metrics, such as ‘Love rate’, ‘Talk rate’ and ‘Spread Rate’. All useful statistics which will come in handy when thinking about your next snapshot!
On a lighter note, you can also create pillows, albums, stickers or iPhone cases from your favourite Instagram shots.
Social Media Scheduling
There may be times when you’ve going to be away from your social networks for a while, perhaps taking a well-earned holiday! However, if you want to keep active while you’re away from your laptop, there’s a huge number of ways to schedule some messages to be submitted while you’re away! HootSuite, which I mentioned earlier, has a great scheduling function, but we also felt that the following app was definitely worth sharing!
Buffer is quite simply the best way to share content to your personal social media accounts.
Using the browser plugins, iPhone or Android apps and website integration, you can make sharing content to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles ridiculously simple.
Not only that, but you can add as many shares as you like to your Buffer. Then, through some magical coding wizardry, Buffer will consistently share your content throughout the day.
This is a great way to keep your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds full without leaving your browser. It really is a two-click process and is one of the most popular apps of its kind. Give it a try and see what you think!
General Social Media Tools
This is a great tool for the newbies of social media. If you want to get an overview of the availability of your chosen username across a wide range of networks, this is the place to be.
This will quickly check the availability of your username on 157 social networks. This is incredibly useful for checking how original your name is, before you start building a brand around that username! It’s also good for identifying new networks that you may not have been aware of. Take the time to have a look around these other networks every now and then. You may find that there is lots of engagement in your particular industry, or that your content might work really well there!
Since the shutdown of Google Reader we’ve been investigating all kinds of alternatives. I even wrote a blog post about the best Google Reader alternatives. However, I feel I should mention Feedly again as I’ve become more and more used to using it recently and it really is incredibly user friendly.
Social media users always need to find the right content to share at the right time. Feedly, or your favourite alternative RSS reader will help you do this!
You can subscribe to the RSS feeds of all your favourite blogs and get a daily snapshot of all your favourite content from all your favourite sources.
Klout is my favourite social influence metric. You can add your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to Klout and see exactly how influential you are in relation to other users.
You can also search for influencers in your space. Engaging with influencers is key to growing your following on social media and becoming an authority figure.
That might not be an aim for everyone using social media, but even so, following people who are influential in your space will give you great content to read and interesting questions to ponder.
21. Nutshell Mail
Nutshell Mail is a fantastic product from ConstantContact. You can keep a close eye on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, with email updates containing key stats. This is a great way to keep yourself up to date on the progress you’re making with social media.
It also means you’ll be able to track longer term trends and analyse what’s working for you. You’ll have a wealth of data available (as long as you keep hold of the emails!).
So there you have it! There are 21 amazing social media tools that everyone can use to get better results when using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.
The range of tools doesn’t stop here either!