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How Important is Social Media to a Brand?

Social Networks Influence Behaviour:


Humans are super social animals and we thrive best when connecting with other people. New ideas, products and behaviour spread through our social networks. Consequentially social media has massive potential if used to connect with the right individuals at the right time.

Research by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC) of over 20,000 consumers worldwide found that almost half (45%) of digital buyers indicated reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behaviour. The influence of social media is probably much greater than this for because many of our  interactions happen offline via word of mouth  and may be so subtle that they are very difficult to identify and measure.

Indeed, research suggests that we often copy other people without being consciously aware of our behaviour. This is because we have developed an almost automatic ability to replicate the behaviour of those who we admire or aspire to be like. As a result the potential power of social networks  should not be underestimated. Indeed, online social networks continue to grow rapidly.

To help you in this important area of marketing I have summarised below over 50 tools that you can employ to get the most out of your social media activity. A number are free or have free trials available, so check them out if you think they could assist your social media planning and implementation.

 Over 50 Solutions To Optimise Your Activity:

1. Analytics for Social Media:


1. 33Across: This tool allows you to integrate social media
analytics with your marketing efforts. 33Across offers traffic building and monetization tools for content publishers. SiteCTRL provides real-time insights on how people consumer and share your content. This includes Copy&Paste which monitors on-site copy and paste activity and auto-inserts the page URL to create organic back-links which improve search rankings.

SpeedShare enables and tracks sharing of your content across multiple social networks. The analytics tool helps you to understand how your users share your content in the public domain and privately.

RevCTRL generates insights into the best places where you should focus your marketing efforts and allows for better placement and
more relevant ads for users. Select customized ad signals including social, search, contextual and more. As a result RevCTRL aims to provide higher CPMs and more revenue with fewer ads on your site.




2. Brandwatch: Supports 27 languages and is an ideal tool for
international organisations that require a multi-language solution. It is able to monitor conversations across the vast majority of social networks and offers highly targeted searches with industry leading queries powered by 22 Boolean operators. Using an advanced algorithm it offers spam-free data from millions of online sources.

Brand Watch


3. Circloscope: A circle management tool for Google+ It allows you to analyse a Google+ post and filter by the amount of engagement and then add those people who re-shared it to a circle. You can also drop in a link to an event and filter for attendees so that you can add them to a circle.


4. Crowdbooster:  A social media strategy tool that gathers data
from your Facebook and Twitter feeds. It allows you to analyse impressions, total reach and engagement and can inform you when people are most likely to view your latest blog post or video upload. This will help you adjust your strategy by understanding what is working and what is not. It also provides you with alerts about new Twitter members who may find your content or brand of interest.


5. Facebook Audience Insights: A Free tool from Facebook that allows you to better understand the audience you plan to target before you begin any campaigns.


6. Leadin App (from Hubspot): This is a Free inbound marketing tool which can tell you who is visiting your site and what content they are engaging with. When a visitor signs up to your site the app  automatically identifies the social networks they are on and adds those details to their profile information. The app also allows you to set up contact and lead capture forms on your website, or synchronise your existing forms to your Leadin database.

Leadin app


7. LikeAlyzer: For Facebook growth this tool allows you to keep
up-to-date with Facebook stats. LikeAlyzer weekly provides information on your Facebook page such as the number of posts per day, Likes, comments and shares per post, timing and length of posts.

8. Moz Analytics: Provides you with a single dashboard to browse your social media performance and other marketing efforts. As Moz is an SEO tool as well it will show you how your social media activity is affecting your SEO standing.


9. Qualia Media: The company has developed an Intent Quality Decision Engine to measure a person’s propensity to purchase. The engine identifies intent across screens and digital journeys by collecting and analysing signals of intent and selects your ideal consumers to deliver highly targeted ads.

10. Social Analytics: This is a Chrome extension that allows you to track real-time social engagement of any website to understand how popular a page or post is on various social networks. This helps you  understand how content on a site is shared and where you might focus social engagement.

Social Analytics

11. SocialFlow: Employs an optimisation algorithm that analyses your Twitter and Facebook data to ensure your content is sent at the optimum time. The tool uses three key criteria to determine when to post content. Message relevance, which of your messages in most likely to connect, your audience (who is currently online), and timing (when is the best moment to post this content).

Social Flow 2

12. Socialmention: A popular Free monitoring and listening tool. This covers over 100 social media networks and measures metrics such as sentiment, strength, passion and reach. Combined with an easy to use interface and the ability to export the data into an Excel sheet if required this is a highly useful tool that does not have any subscription to pay.

13. Sysmos:
A suite of social monitoring tools that help you collect and analyse relevant data within a framework that you can define to identify insights on what matters to you. It incorporates a workflow system that enables you to process large volumes of mentions to allow you to make data-driven decisions.

14. ubervu: Powered by Hootsuite, this is a popular real-time social media analytics tool that gives you access to primary data on social media activity which provides insights to improve your social media marketing activity.

2. Content discovery and creation:


1. Anews: An iOS app that allows you read all the news, blogs and social networks on topics that interest you in one place. The app also enables you to share any articles with your social networks.

2. Atomicreach: This tool analyses the emotional appeal of your content and evaluates whether your articles are written appropriately for the kind of people that read your content.  The app uses advanced data analytics to uncover how writing patterns impact your audience and machine learning to identify when they are interacting with your content.


3. EMV Headline Analzser: The Emotional Value Headline
Analyzer is provided by the Advanced Marketing Institute for evaluating how emotional a headline is to provide an indication of the chances of it being shared.

4. Nuzzel: A social discovery tool that aggregates the stories and posts that your Facebook friends and Twitter followers are sharing and then sorts them by the number of friends who share an individual piece of content or by most recent. It also allows you view other friends’ feeds to see what their friends are sharing with them to identify what is important to your immediate network, your
friends’ networks and your friends-of-friends’ networks.


5. Pocket: This is a content curation tool that allows you to store articles, videos or other content for when you need it. It allows you to tag posts for easy sorting and filter by video, image or article.


6. Portent Idea Generator: If you ever need a bit of help
with what to write about a certain subject this tool provides instant headline suggestions to build an article around.

Portent Idea Generator

7. RebelMouse: A social networking aggregation tool that allows you to use flexible, dynamic rules to auto-publish content from social platforms and gather content from RSS feeds and APIs. It also offers a CMS and mobile app platform which allows you to choose from a variety customisable designs.

8. RefreshBox: Is a social curation and email marketing solution.
The app allows you to package and send five links via email each week. There is a Chrome extension which will capture the title of any post you’re read and add it to your list which is automatically sent to your subscribers every Friday.



3. Content Management:

1. Buffer: Offers a Free account manager for one Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn account with up to 10 updates in each of your buffers (account schedule).  You can also have a 7 day trial to include Pinterest in your account.

This a great tool to optimize and automate the times when you post on social media. Further, it provides detailed analytics of the
number of clicks, favourites, shares, comments and the potential reach of individual posts. The browser plugin for the tool means that you don’t need to access the Buffer website to schedule or share content.

You can go Awesome for $10 a month to manager 12 social profiles, with unlimited posts in your buffer, and have two users to manage the account. This allows you to decide on whether to send posts out of one account or multiple accounts across different social networks

2. CoSchedule: A Wordpress plugin that allows you to plan, schedule and promote your blog content across multiple social media channels. CoSchedule integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Buffer. You can also track post links though or Google tracking tags.  You can manage all your content creation calendar and social media sharing schedule from the
backend of your WordPress website or blog.
The tool will also monitor social media engagement from your posts and produce an activity report which ranks posts based upon the level of engagement.



3. Edgar:  A paid for solution that automatically adds your new posts to a library which allows you to recycle all your social media posts so that you end up with a never-ending queue of content. You can determine what to post and when it goes out.



4. Everypost: A Free social media app that allows you to manage all your posts onto the major social networks in one place. The app enables you to send updates simultaneously to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest and also allows you to post via email. For Twitter it has a text shortener that automatically shortens
updates to keep them under 140 characters.

5.  Hootsuite: This one of the most well-known and popular social
media tools that helps you manage multiple social media accounts by monitoring, posting and delegating tasks within your team. This includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Foursquare, Instagram and many more.

In addition Hootsuite offers customised analytics, including scheduled reports, and they have partnered with Brandwatch to further enhance analytical capabilities.

Other features of the tool include the ability to collaborate as a team (e.g. delegate replies, Tweets, track messages etc.), RSS integration (post updates from an RSS feed) and mobile apps.



6. IFTTT: This app allows you to connect many of your favourite apps to create automatic actions from one app to another when you complete a set task. These automated actions are called recipes and there are many to choose from.

Recipes include Tweeting your Facebook updates, share your Instagrams to Facebook, forward emails to save attachments to Dropbox, posting Vimeo videos you like to Tumblr, saving new texts you receive in Google Spreadsheet, copying any Instagram
pictures you take to Google Drive, adding your latest iPhone screenshots to a Dropbox folder and saving articles saved for later in Feedly in Pocket too.



7. Salesforce Marketing Cloud: The Digital Marketing Platform enables you to monitor and engage with customers across every channel, including email, social and mobile, automate and manage campaigns, publish content, analyse the results and optimize as you go.

8. SocialOomph: This tool allows you to schedule tweets in
advance and auto-follow your new followers. The dashboard enables you to combine Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plurk and your blog into one place to schedule posts and monitor social media activity.


9. Spredfast:  This is a social media management, listening,
analytics, sponsorship and content marketing tool.   It is particularly
good for gathering data from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr on audience reach and engagement.  You can assess engagement and campaign performance with unified social media dashboards.

It also includes a calendar feature which informs you of the optimal times to send updates. The tool integrates with digital analytics solutions such as Omniture, Google Analytics, Brandwatch, Crimson, Hexagon and more.


10. Sprout Social: A management and engagement platform for social business.  You can manage, post, monitor, and analyse multiple social media accounts from the tool. It allows you to post updates simultaneously across Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Monitor your messages across social networks through on streaming inbox and their ViralPost algorithm analyses your followers’ engagement patterns to identify the best time to
publish content. Their analytics reporting allows you to customize social media reporting across networks and profiles. Offers a 30 day Free trail.



11. Tagboard: This is a social search and display platform which
allows you to get a snap shot of sentiment surrounding your hashtag. This allows you to identify where most engagement was generated so that you prioritise effort in the right social networks. In addition Tagboard allows you to reply to people from the snapshot page, which works well for conferences and generating conversations in real-time.


12. Tailwind: An app for saving you time with managing your
Pinterest account. It allows you to schedule pins in advance, schedule re-pins, easily pin any visual content from any website using the Tailwind hover button, obtain easy to understand analytics and get reminders about boards that you need to optimize.

The app also allows you to organise your Instagram photos based on likes, comments or most recent photos. Further, it allows you to post Instagram photos on Pinterest and connect with Pinterest users on

4. Design and presentations:


1. Canva: A free web-based design tool that has some of the best elements of Photoshop and a range of designer templates. A very easy to use tool which offers an excellent range of design templates, fonts and layouts.

There are also free tutorials that show you how to produce better graphics. A great tool if you wish to customize images to post on social media.



2. Haiku Deck: A web-based and iPad app for creating awesome looking presentations and with   the additional benefit of integrating with SlideShare. A great tool for reinventing content as you can choose from a range of stylish fonts, layouts and image filters to create a really polished looking presentation.



3.  LeadPages: Offers you the ability to create landing pages to encourage desired conversations from your social media activity. It provides a powerful (WYGIWYG) visual editor to design and launch
landing pages within minutes.


4. Markr: Is an app for creating visual hashtags for photos and videos.  Connect your Facebook or Twitter account to capture trending hashtags or you can create your own hashtags, You can then add an appropriate hashtag directly to an image or video to help it stand out from the crowd.

5. Studio: A useful app that you can use with Instagram for image
design. Studio is a photo-based social network that allows you to easily add text-based designs and layers to your photos. It also allows you to remix designs that you come across and share it as one of your own photos.


6. Word Swag: This is an iPhone app that allows you add awesome text effects to your photos to create professional-quality posts and photo-quotes.


 5. Outreach:


1. This is a Free Chrome extension that shows you the social networks that your email connections use and you can even cross-reference other social networks as you browse on individual social sites. This allows you to identify if you have the potential
to connect with individual people across multiple social networks or how you might connect with someone new through a mutual connection.



2. Little Bird: A tool for identifying, targeting and engaging with
the most influential people on the social web. It uses the collective discovery of other relevant people to find influencers and maps influencer networks to focus your social media strategy on the people that matter.





3. Zoho SalesIQ: This is platform for tracking website visitors that
enables you to connect and engage with your users in real-time. It includes a language translator, integration with Zoho CRM and advanced triggers to segment visitors by how long they’ve been on your website, pages visited, type of visitor and many more classifications and responses.

6. Planning:


1. Chase’s Calendar of EventsA platform that monitors events, holidays, landmarks, anniversaries, birthdays and many more items in the social calendar. The online calendar will plug you into the theme of the day and provide you with ideas for topical and interesting content or conversations.


2. Process Street: A free process and work flow management solution that also provides downloadable, step-by-step checklists for your articles to make your content more engaging. The tool also allows you to add images, videos and other files to your checklist.



3. Todoist: A useful tool to manage your daily task list. It also allows you capture ideas via mobile device, browser, email or desktop. You can then prioritise, schedule and add actions against each item on your list. It keeps individual project separate by using folders
and labels and everyday it notifies you the day’s actions.


7. Podcasts:


1. RINGR: Is an iOS and Android app that allows you to connect with someone you want to interview remotely and record the entire conversation over the phone. They simply have to install the app,
enter an invite code and begin the recording.

2. Smart Podcast Player: A WordPress plugin for
podcasters that is compatible with any podcast RSS feed from any podcasting hosting service, including Libsyn and SoundCloud.

The design of the Smart Podcast Player allows you to display
your podcast artwork, customise the colour of the adio track bar and adjust the colour of the full player between a light or dark coloured theme.



8. Share Content & Grow Traffic:


1. Bitly: A Free service that provides link shortening to post your content on social media accounts, together with real-time analytics, bookmarking your favourite sites and  allows you to track clicks.


2. This is an awesome URL link shortener that when clicked shows a customised call-to-action snippet at the bottom of the page. This is a fantastic way of driving traffic back to your own website by sharing great content from others. also has a Chrome browser plug-in that automatically snips links you share or create when used with All your links will then automatically add the messages to your updates on social media.


3. SumoMe: This offers a suite of 11 free tools to help you grow the traffic to your site. The visitor heatmap tool allows you to see what your visitors are clicking on so that you can make more informed decisions about improving the design of individual web pages.

The Scroll Box allows you to ask visitors to submit their email addresses as they finish reading your latest post or learning about your product. Smart Bar is positioned at the top of your website to remind your visitors to join your email list, read your latest blog post, or whatever else you want them to do.





 9. Social Selling:


1. PeopleLinx: This is a tool for driving social selling behaviour using
gamification Users are allocated to a team so that you can view activity across teams and at an individual level. It allows team managers to set up profile “optimizations” and “to-do’s” that get assigned to people in each team. Automated alerts are then sent to team members to take action.

10. Twitter Analytics and Account Management:


1. Followerwonk: A great tool to analyse Twitter profiles. 30 day Free trial is available.

2. Tweepi: A useful tool for managing your Twitter account as it
allows you to remove unfollowers, clean up inactive followers, reciprocate by following new followers and follow accounts that may be of interest.



3. Twitalyzer: A comprehensive Twitter analytics platform that
combines basic Twitter measures with demographic data, commonly used metrics such as Klout, and their own proprietary scores.

4. Twitonomy: A dedicated Twitter account management and
analytics tool that will give you insights on the people you follow and those that follow you. It allows you to see who you follow, but do not follow you back, and those that follow you, but you don’t follow.

 11. Video:


1. Overvideo: This is an iPhone app that creates visual calls to
action when you share video content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The app allows you to create and customize the call to action or link in the video and you can even select the moment you want a graphic or message to display in the video.


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  • About the author:  Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as, and  He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.  By  aligning each stage of the customer journey  with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.

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