SMM is a very contradictory sphere – some say that SMM is essential, some say that it’s absolutely useless. Where’s the truth? Well, I guess it’s somewhere in the middle. Recently I expressed my opinion in this interview, make sure to check it out.
However, you can’t ignore it – that’s for sure. That’s why I decided to compose a series of articles about SMM. It will consist of three articles, and here’s the first one.
People are sick and tired of SMM posts
How does a typical SMM related blog post look like? SMM this, SMM that… Grow your audience, promote your page… What do you prefer: a list of unclear tips or a list of powerful tools to use? SMM is like a battlefield where you can’t afford wasting your time on some blurry tips. I interviewed three digital marketing experts and asked them about their favourite SMM tools (the weapon) and how they use them (the fire mode). Let the battle begin:
David Leonhardt, President, THGM
I probably should say that my favorite SMM tool is Digg Digg, because that gives me so many more shares than if I had no social sharing buttons on my blog. However, my favorite is actually Share Tally, a little Tool Brad Knutson put together that gives a great bird's eye view on how a particular post (or page) is doing across a wide range of social media, including the big ones like Facebook and Twitter, but also some of the smaller ones like Scoop.it, BizSugar and a number of design-related social websites. Not as useful as Digg Digg, I suppose, Share Tally is definitely more fun if you like to keep score (which I guess I do).
The fire mode:
I have to admit, my main use of Share Tally is for entertainment value. But I can also quickly see if momentum is building somewhere. For instance it has happened once with Reddit and a few times with StumbleUpon that a post has really taken off. If you see this in time, you can make additional efforts to sustain that sprint, by going to your networks and asking for an additional push.
On the flipside, you can also see where a post is not delivering a great response. For instance, if Google Plus is not delivering many shares, you might decide to repost from a different angle, with a different image (assuming you have more than one image in the post) a couple days later.
Whatever your reason for monitoring your social reach, this tool gives you a quick snapshot. If you want detailed analytics, then you will need more targeted tools. However, most people who don't live and breathe social media marketing will find this tool gives enough information to be useful without consuming too much of their time and attention.
Related post: Which Social Network Works Best for B2B
Krista Wiltbank, Owner, Krista Wiltbank Digital Marketing
For content curation:
For blog headlines:
- Co-schedule's Headline Analyzer
- Blog About by Impact
- HubSpot's blog topic generator
- Portent's Content Idea generator
- Pauline Cabrera's Blog Post Title Template
For graphics (and sometimes video):
- Wordswag (iPhone app)
- Photo Art (Android app)
- Color Effects (iPhone app)
- VSCO Cam
- A Beautiful Mess (app)
- Over (app)
Stock Photography sites:
Another graphics tool that I'd like to try, but haven't because it's brand spanking new is Buffer's Pablo. I'm not sure it will compete with Canva, but it looks really cool.
The fire mode:
Of the tools I listed, I think Canva is my absolute favorite. I use it to make all my blog & social media graphics. I love that it has pre-defined templates for all the major social media networks, plus other standard sizes - and that you can also define your own size if you need it. I love that it has a stock photography library built right in, and that the library is only $1/element or image. It's so affordable. It's also so easy to use - my 8 year old can (and has) used it to make her own images.
Canva does have some things to work on - like it's internal "filing" system, for example, or being able to resize an image canvas instead of having to start from scratch every time, but it has a great team behind it and I'm sure these features are coming.
Shobha Ponnappa, Consulting in Digital Marketing Breakthroughs
I use Hootsuite mainly to "listen to the social media". But there is one tool that lets me best monitor the progress I am making on the social media that I depend on most. It is called True Social Metrics. This software is derived from the social media metrics system derived by Avinash Kaushik, the renowned Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.
Avinash has broken all worthwhile measurement down to just four very important metrics and shown us just exactly how to measure these and then what to do with the numbers we get. His big four metrics are “Conversation, Amplification, Applause and Economic Value”.
- Conversation Rate (which is measured as number of Audience Comments (or Replies) Per Post). You can measure this easily for almost every social channel …your blog. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or even YouTube . A brand cannot raise the Conversation Rate unless it has a deeper understanding of who its audience is, what its brand attributes are, what it is good at, and therefore what value it can increment for its followers. Hence the value of this metric.
- Amplification Rate (which measures how far people go with every post e.g. how many retweets, how many shares, how many shares of shares etc). When a brand knows exactly what types of posting or content gets that increased Amplification Rate it then knows exactly what type of content inventory to build. The idea is to have more pieces that go a longer way.
- Applause Rate (which is the number of “likes” or “+1d” or “favorited” or other such symbols of expressed appreciation). This kind of applause for a brand matters even more than we give it credit for, because such applause is seen not just by the brand itself but by other members of the target audience as well. It is an open and public endorsement of the brand and hence has a force multiplier effect.
- Economic Value (which Avinash describes as the “Sum of Short and Long Term Revenue and Cost Savings”). It’s all very well to get loads of “love and gratification”, but in the end the ROI matters. And ROI cannot be measured unless there are clear calls to action that form part of the brand social campaign that can then be quantified in terms of real world target audience responses – such as queries, trials, purchases, referrals and so on. In Avinash’s book, it’s the absence of this Economic Value calculation that makes all the rest of metrics too soft to rely on.
This tool allows me to get the soft and hard data that help monitor my performance online. I encourage its use by my clients and their brands.
The fire mode:
The system is rather simple. Once you sign into the account you have to connect your social accounts as well as your blog so that the comments and engagement factors on your site as well as from the social media can be connected. Further the advantage I find is that I can look at the combined performance of my site and the effect on the social media performance in terms of the sales and transactional goals of conversion I have for my site. I am able to see how my social activity and engagement impacts the conversion factors on my site via the "goals I set for my site in Google Analytics. I would say True Social metrics helps me to not merely listen to and react to happenings on the social media but to take action on data that is both qualitative and quantitative.
1, 2, 3… 32 SMM Tools! Hope you’ll find them helpful. Visit our blog tomorrow to check the second part – best tools for Twitter. Follow us on social media if you don’t want to miss a thing and good luck!