Friday, February 7, 2014

4 Social Media Tools to Grow Your Startup


When you run a startup, the last thing you have is time. Social media is now necessary to build one’s brand — and unfortunately, it takes a ton of time to cultivate and maintain.
Luckily, there are a myriad of social media tools created to help you save time and accomplish your goals. Since there are so many, it might be hard for you to gauge which ones work the best for their value.
This list gives you some of the top must-have social media tools for growing your startup.
1. Feedly (Free)
If your social media brands are all about curating and sharing outside content, it can be tough to keep track of all the websites you visit. You may even have a list of all the sites you have to go through each day. On top of that, you still have to individually visit each one and scroll through a bunch of unrelated articles until you find one that’s relevant.
That’s where Feedly comes in. It’s a free tool that gathers RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds from your favorite websites and presents them in extremely easy-to-navigate lists. You can divide up the websites into different categories for easy searching, and even share articles directly from the app, as well as save articles to post a later date.
And if you’re worried about still having to scroll through a bunch of unrelated content before finding anything relevant on multi-category sites, Feedly allows you to look only at articles in specific sub-categories of a website.
2. Mention ($6.99 – $6,499/month)
Regardless of the size of your business, someone somewhere is bound to be talking about it. It’s important that you monitor what people are saying about your brand so you can engage with them, as well as identify your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and reach. But how can you keep track of every little time someone drops the name of your company online?
Say hello to Mention! The tool is arguably the best for alerting you when someone on the social web is talking about your company. Regardless of whether they mentioned or included you in a hashtag, all you have to do is give Mention keywords to track and and it crawls every social network to alert you the second your keywords get published — by anyone in the world.
3. Sprout Social ($39-$99/month)
If your business is serious about maintaining their social presence, it’s likely you have multiple accounts on different platforms. It can be incredibly time-consuming to go through each site and post a unique status for each one, and it can be even more challenging to consistently check on posts to see how they’re performing.
Sprout Social is a social tool that allows businesses to oversee multiple social profiles, all in one place. The app lets you publish content to every major social platform — and most importantly, lets you schedule each and every post. This allows you to curate a bunch of content and schedule posts a whole day, week, or even month ahead of time. Scheduling also lets you post at peak engagement times without having to stop whatever you were currently doing to post your status.
And what about checking performance? Sprout Social has a very detailed analytics system that gives you weekly or monthly performance reports. These reports are incredibly easy to understand and process, yet still include vital information that help you make important research-based decisions.
4. Google Analytics (Free, if your site generates 10M or fewer hits/month)
Last, but not least, is the analytical powerhouse that is Google Analytics. It’s arguably the best tool to track not only social media stats, but also blog, website, and digital advertising stats. If you don’t use this already, get it now.
Analytics is able to track every social media post and tell you everything you need to know about it — including how many people clicked on the link, their demographics, the duration of time they stayed on the website, the amount of revenue you’ve made from clicked posts (if you’re promoting a sale/product), and an unbelievable amount more.
The analytics that Google gives you for social media are critical if your company is serious about establishing a social strategy, because you can see exactly who’s engaging with your brand and focus your efforts on targeting them.

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