Creating content, sharing content, measuring content all takes a lot of time in order to be effective. These tools should help you work more efficiently with your social media plan of action and give you the results that you need.

Monitoring Tool for Listening & Engaging:  Two key aspects of social media are listening and engaging with others. Social media provides an opportunity to hear what your audience has to say in order to improve your marketing strategy. There are so many monitoring tools to choose from and the best way to find out what works for you and your firm is to try them out. As a small business, we need to find solutions that are not only cost effective but efficient. Below are 2 free monitoring tools that I recommend:

  1. Hootsuite – Hootsuite offers management tools and covers multiple platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn (Company pages and Groups), Facebook Pages, WordPress, Google+ and Foursquare. It also enables scheduling, autoscheduling (posting at optimal times), and provides weekly analytics reports. The paid version provides an excellent platform when you have more than one person handling the social media accounts, allowing you to delegate assignments to others on your team. (mobile app available)
  2. Buffer – This app offers a free or paid version and manages Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts with the ability to set a posting schedule unique for each. It also provides analytics for all of your posts. (mobile app available)

Measurement Tool for Successes (and Fails): Measurement is so important, but for service-based firms in the commercial real estate industry, the number of followers or number of page fans isn’t as important as it is to know WHO your audience is.

  1. SimplyMeasured – SimplyMeasured offers both free reports and paid reports. The free reports offer a great analysis of who your followers are (keywords that they are talking about) and how active your followers.
  2. HootSuite – HootSuite offers a free report for each social media channel. It is very limited but offers you the click-through rate of your links you shared through HootSuite.

Content Tool: Trying to find something to post? Something to share? Something to comment on?

  1. Google Alerts – Google Alerts allows you set up email notifications (daily, weekly or as-it-happens) of the latest relevant Google results based upon your search query. Track your key topics, clients, partners and competitors to get the news first.
  2. Feedly – This is a great news aggregate that you can set up from your most read and favorite news resources. You can share your news directly from this great tool or it can take you directly to the article. (mobile app available)

There are so many tools out there, but I wanted to give you some options to get started. The most important rule to remember when starting social media is the 80/20 principal. Only 20% of your social media posts should be promotional and about your brand, while 80% of your content should be educational and interesting that caters to the interest of your audience. Good luck!

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