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The free tools in my social media marketing toolkit — Part 2: Management & measurement

By Alexandra Reid

In my last post, I shared and reviewed my favourite (free) social media monitoring tools that I use regularly to carry out social media marketing strategies on behalf of clients. Today, I reveal the management and measurement tools I use to organize and keep track of the zillions of conversations I monitor daily across multiple channels.

To summarize, these tools are free and therefore great for small businesses and new ventures. However, they are useless if they are not aligned with a sound social media marketing strategy. They are also far from perfect so we must always cross-examine data with information provided by other tools and sometimes even check information manually to ensure everything is accurate.

I decided to combine my favourite management and measurement tools because many of them do both functions. Technically, some of these can be used for monitoring social media as well. At the end of the day, it’s not so much the tools that matter, but how you use them. These are the ones that I’ve found excel, particularly in the management and measurement departments.

Without further ado, here are my favourite social media management and measurement tools:

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The free tools in my social media marketing toolkit — Part 1: Monitoring

By Alexandra Reid

I talk a lot about social media marketing strategy here, but rarely do I mention the time-and-money-saving tools that streamline my community building activities and make our social media marketing program an effective solution for businesses.

All of the tools I use are free and available to anyone with access to a computer. They are great for small and new businesses with tight budgets and limited time for experimentation and operation. But while I highly recommend that these tools be used to support social media marketing activities, they are useless for businesses that don’t align them with a sound social media marketing strategy. Additionally, while these tools help abridge the flow of social media content so users can siphon relevant information, engage with their communities and track progress, a key challenge cited by numerous businesses is keeping on top of monitoring, measurement and engagement efforts.

We must also remember that these tools are free and far from perfect. In fact, the biggest criticisms of all social media monitoring tools (free and paid) are that they sometimes fail to provide reliable and accurate data, have lag times, bugs, and are confusing to use. That’s why we must always cross-examine data with information provided by other tools and sometimes even check information manually to ensure everything is accurate.

Today I’ll discuss the tools I use for monitoring social media. In a subsequent post, I’ll reveal my favourite management and measurement tools. You’ll notice that I don’t use many tools to do my job. This is because too many tools act as speed bumps in an otherwise efficient engagement system.

Without further ado, here are my favourite social media monitoring tools:

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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