In 2015, everyone wants to proclaim him or herself as a “social media expert.” The truth, however, is that there are only a few on the frontline of the industry, and there are only a handful of revolutionary tools and technologies. We’ve done our best to scour the internet and learn from those who’ve had the most success. Ultimately, we came away with a list of 15 tools that you – and anyone who works with social media on a regular basis – must have to succeed.
1. Use Grammarly to Check Spelling
When you’re in a word document, spellcheck is often taken for granted. But what about when you find yourself whipping up a quick tweet or typing a lengthy Facebook reply? Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than poor grammar and incorrect spelling. Grammarly is a free browser plugin that lets you spellcheck anything you write.
Pros: Grammarly is very effective and this can help save embarrassing moments as you send a spelling, grammatical, or even typing error to your boss or a customer.
Cons: I’ve found that the plugin can cause problems on individual webpages, although that is a rare problem.
2. OptinMonster for Capturing Leads
Upon first glance, you may not consider OptinMonster your prototypical social media tool, but it’s a resource that experts frequently use to maximize efficacy. When sending social users from a networking site to a landing page, OptinMonster allows you to A/B test pages for higher conversion rates and fewer bounces. The basic plan starts at only $49 for an entire year.
Pros: Higher conversion rates equals more customers.
Cons: $49. (Although with more customers this is well worth the price!)
3. Discover.ly for Enhancing Networking
Again, not a typical social media tool, but that’s what makes it so great. Discover.ly is a free Chrome browser extension that gives you the capability to see which social networking sites your email connections are members of. It has the ability to take your online networking to the next level.
Pros: Never forget why that name just looks so familiar.
Cons: Too many plugins might slow down your browser.
4. BuzzSumo for Better Market Insights
Do you ever feel like you’re out of the loop when it comes to what people in your industry are talking about? With BuzzSumo, you’ll never feel like this again. It lets you type in any keyword or term and see how many people are talking about it and on which platforms.
Pros: This is a great way to find content to share or even just a list of everything written by a particular person.
Cons: The free version is pretty limited and you have to pay to get more content.
5. Edgerank Checker for Rich Insights
Not really quite sure what’s happening on your Facebook page? Need rich insights to point you in the right direction? Edgerank Checker is an easy-to-use analytics tool that tells you how effective your page is and where you can improve. There are both free and paid plans available.
Pros: This is a super useful tool for delving into your Facebook demographics and can give you a lot of valuable information.
Cons: To get the most out of this tool, you have to upgrade to the pro version.
6. Likealyzer for Improving Effectiveness
Likealyzer is a similar tool to Edgerank Checker and gives you helpful and ongoing tips for improving the effectiveness of your Facebook Page. It tells you exactly which posts your followers enjoy the most and which ones aren’t worth your time. The best part is that it’s free.
Pros: It’s free! And it gives you really detailed information.
Cons: Anyone can use it to look at anyone else’s Facebook page. So your competitor could use your information to their advantage as well.
7. Heyo for Easy Facebook Contests
Do you every wonder how certain companies run such effective Facebook contests? Well, odds are pretty good they’re using a tool like Heyo – which lets you set up and optimize campaigns with no coding skills required. You can start with a free trial and then proceed with paid versions if you like the tool.
Pros: Facebook giveaways are a very popular way to increase Facebook engagement.
Cons: Again, you have to upgrade to the paid version to continue using it if you enjoy your free trial.
8. Contact Form for Connecting with Followers
If you’re looking for a way to make your business more accessible to Facebook followers, you can use Contact Form to effortlessly add a contact section to your Facebook page. It utilizes Google Maps or Bing to show followers where you’re located.
Pros: This makes it a lot easier to communicate with your friends using your Facebook page, which is important for creating conversions.
Cons: You have to pay to remove the ads from your forms.
9. Bit.ly for Shortening Links
Are you tired of links taking up precious space in your tweets? Use Bit.ly to shorten URLs and maximize your tweetable real estate. There are both free and paid accounts.
Pros: Easily track who’s clicking on what links from where to better curate your content.
Cons: People might be more hesitant to click on a shortened link if they’re not sure where it’s pointing.
10. Paper.li for Curating Content
While everyone knows content curation is important on Twitter, it can be very time consuming. That’s why many experts use Paper.li to streamline the process in a sleek newspaper-style format. It’s free to try!
Pros: It’s a very clean design and it’s awesome for finding interesting articles to read.
Cons: The free trial is only ten days. After that, you have to pay to continue using this site.
11. TweetDeck for Managing Accounts
Managing multiple Twitter accounts can be challenging. That’s why you need a desktop app like TweetDeck to organize activity and stay on top of the things that matter most.
Pros: This is great for social media managers who are working on multiple accounts.
Cons: You can’t use this tool to manage other social media platforms like you can with Hootsuite.
12. ScheduGram for Account Management
ScheduGram is sort of the TweetDeck for Instagram. It lets you efficiently manage multiple accounts by giving you the power to upload and schedule multiple posts. This is a paid tool, though, starting at around $5 per week.
Pros: As far as I’m aware, this is the only scheduler available for Instagram.
Cons: It’s by far the most expensive on our list, coming in at $260 a year.
13. Iconosquare for Promoting
Need help promoting your Instagram account to the masses? Iconosquare lets you manage your existing community while simultaneously assisting with growth. It has a slew of other features, including the ability to run and monitor contests.
Pros: Iconosquare has powerful analytics tools beyond having an Instagram page on your Facebook.
Cons: Some of the higher-end features are hidden behind an upgrade-to-pro link.
14. Connected for Strengthening Relationships
Do you ever wonder how you lose track of people so quickly? Well, with Connected, you can strengthen relationships via LinkedIn and continually stay relevant with those who matter most. This tool syncs your calendars and contacts and provides you with insights and reminders about friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.
Pros: This is an awesome tool for helping you remember details about your colleagues
Cons: It’s one more app you have to download.
15. LinkedIn Connected for Mobile Alerts
This awesome tool lets you stay connected wherever you are. The LinkedIn Connected app tells you when it’s someone’s birthday, notifies you when a connection switches jobs, and gives you information you need to know.
Pros: This app will send you alerts when you have networking opportunities on LinkedIn.
Cons: More notifications!
With these 15 apps, you too can become a social media expert. Which one is your favorite?
Featured photo credit: stokpic via stokpic.com