July 24, 2012 | By:

Top 5 Social Media Management Tools

Ilfusion’s Top 5 Social Media Management Tools

We love social media at Ilfusion, whether it’s for a client or for our own personal enjoyment. However, the sheer volume of tools, monitoring sites, and apps available out there for managing social media is truly staggering. To make things a bit simpler for our readers, we thought we’d share the tools we like best!

1. HootSuite

It’s one of the most popular tools for a reason: HootSuite is the simplest tool out there for scheduling posts on Facebook, Twitter, and recently Google+. It’s free, provided that you don’t want any fancy “team” tools, and pretty easy to learn how to use. It’s especially useful for those of us who like to settle in for an hour or two on Twitter: you can easily view a slew of columns featuring recent tweets by the people you follow, tweets that mention your account, and even posts from the lists you’ve created on Twitter.com. You can also search tweets; even by location, so a local business can look and see who’s nearby and in need of their services!

2. EdgeRank

You’ve been working on your Facebook for a month or so now, but you’re not sure you’re really seeing much improvement…are you? Facebook’s Insights only go so far, but EdgeRank will score your page for free to see how well you’re engaging your fans. If you’re willing to pay, EdgeRank will also give you a report on other pages within your industry and grade your individual posts so that you can see which ones are working and which ones aren’t. They have a unique algorithm for determining effectiveness, and it’s definitely worth a look.

3. Sprout Social

This up-and-coming social media management tool is designed specifically for businesses and offers a variety of tools and a variety of prices. Starting at $9/mo for basic services and up to 10 profiles (sufficient for a single small business) and running as high as $899/mo for unlimited everything, you can plug in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even your Google analytics to get a complete picture of how your social media efforts are driving traffic to your website. Sprout Social also provides reports with useful information, some of it not available on Twitter, like demographic breakdowns of your followers.

4. Facebook.com

Surprise! It turns out that one of the best ways to manage Facebook is right on Facebook.com. Schedulers and monitoring programs like HootSuite try, but no one has quite managed to make an easier way to browse Facebook than Facebook itself, and with new tools popping up all the time; like promoting posts, varied administrative roles, post scheduling, and language/regional options coming up soon; it’s no wonder that many people like to check in on their pages right on the site itself.

5. PostCron

A lesser-known social media scheduling tool, PostCron offers unique features that are hard to find. Most notably, they have somehow managed to solve the problem of trying to link to a page on Facebook but not being able to display a picture, or the right picture. It will actually allow you to upload your own custom picture, or even just find an image’s URL and use that as the preview thumbnail. Why no one else is doing this is beyond us, but it can be incredibly useful because visual presentation on your social media posts is absolutely key!

Honorable Mention: Klout

If you haven’t heard of Klout, you should take a look at it: like EdgeRanker, Klout assigns you a number. Unlike EdgeRanker, though, your number is supposed to give you an idea of how wide-reaching your influence is. You can incorporate Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and (mysteriously) Last.fm, and the site will track your posts, retweets, retweets of retweets, etc. There’s debate within the industry about how seriously to take the number, but checking in on it once in a while to see if it’s going up or down can give you an idea of how you’re doing…as long as the number’s not being impacted by an update to Klout’s algorithm!

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