Whether you are just getting started or are all about social media this article is for you. Just as a boxer cannot win a fight with his hands tied behind his back, a company cannot maximize its online presence without a robust toolbox to support its social media strategy. A serious social media strategy cannot exist without the support of game-changing tools and, even more importantly, the right people to appreciate and leverage them (you).
Here I look at 10 top rated tools that help B2B companies listen, engage, promote and analyze in the realm of social media. The past couple of years have seen a huge growth of add-on tools to help companies with their social media strategy and monitoring. Some of the tools are free, with many others requiring a monthly subscription. You’ll find that several of the tools overlap in their offerings, but as you check out individually, you’ll quickly find out which ones align with your needs, and which don’t. I suggest you pick and choose the tools most relevant and helpful for you and your marketing strategy.
10 top rated tools for B2B social media monitoring
HootSuite – Hootsuite allows you to monitor multiple social accounts from a single web-based dashboard. Collaborate with fellow employees, schedule messages, and assign tasks to your team – a powerful feature for the community manager in dealing with their own social media team or other departments in the company.
Best feature: HootSuite can link with the majority of social networks and dashboards can be tailored with multiple streams with the exact information flows you wish to monitor.
SocialBakers – How does your company or brand compare with your competition and industry? Measure your own social media engagement against others at SocialBakers.
Best feature: Even non-users can gain industry and geographical ranking data of companies in the marketplace on the public portion of SocialBakers.
TweetReach – Measure the impact of your tweets into the Twittersphere with TweetReach, a social analytics tool that will capture this information for you. Results are limited in the free version to the last tweet made when searching for the reach impact of a specific twitter account.
Best feature: Results are especially good when searching the reach stats for a particular hashtag topic.
SocialMention – Who’s talking about you? SocialMention will keep you up-to-date on any relevant mentions regarding your company or brands in the social sphere.
Best feature: Pulls data from hundreds of social networks (even video sharing sites and lesser known social networks).
Topsy – Find the most influential Twitter users, measure your exposure from posts, and analyze any topic or term in the social web. Measure conversations and sentiment for your brand, product, industry and competitors.
Best Feature: Set it up to alert you of any comments posted about you on Twitter (either positive or negative).
Crowdbooster – An interactive scatterplot shows the impact of your most successful tweets, posts and brand updates. For now, the tool is both powerful and free. It even sends weekly reports to your e-mail with recommendations on when the ideal time is to post to your specific community.
Best feature: Identify the top twitter and facebook brand page influencers from lists that can be filtered by engagement type. This allows the social media manager to follow and build relations with the right people.
Sentiment140 – Measure the sentiment on Twitter about any given brand, topic or hashtag by simply entering the term into the search bar and analyzing the results.
Best feature: Simple UI to quickly gauge sentiment of anything relevant to your industry.
Followerwonk – Search Twitter bios to connect with relevant people, compare Twitter accounts to find key influencers, analyse your followers based on their location, bio, or who they follow, compare your relationships with your competitors. Both your followers and followings are analysed to great detail as part of large report that can be saved to your account.
Best feature: The detailed lists of followers are of particular learning value for social media and brand managers.
Quintly – Benchmark your social media profiles with competitors and best practice examples while using up to 30 different metrics to track and compare your social marketing performance. While the free account limits you to only three facebook pages, this is the most powerful free facebook analysis tool I’ve found. Like Crowdbooster, reports are also generated and e-mailed to managers on a weekly basis.
Best feature: Compare yourself with your competitors.
Klout – Find the people who carry most Klout in your industry, these are top influencers who deserve special attention to drive awareness and favourability about your business. Klout is emerging as the industry-leader in terms of calculating social media influence on the individual level (or at least the most hyped). There is a similar tool worth checking out, called Kred.
Best feature: Find the followers who deserves special attention.
These tools will help B2B companies listen, engage, promote and analyze their engagement in the social sphere.
Listen. The social sphere is abuzz with comments and opinions and links – you will never be able to participate in and monitor all of these conversations, but you can try to re-capture a bit of awareness and control with the help of monitoring aids. Some of these tools allow companies to more quickly and easily monitor the vast amount of activity that now occurs around their industry and in their industry at large. By browsing through user friendly dashboards with multiple newsfeeds, they can keep up to date on any relevant news in much less time and adjust your social media strategy accordingly. These conversations have occurred around brands for a long time, however the ability to listen to them online and at a large scale is a new superpower of community managers.
Engage. Social networks are not one-way streets, these tools let you do more than just listen to what is being said, but also actively engage with people as well. Scan through newsfeeds from multiple accounts and re-post things that are interesting, follow interesting people and direct message other users to build up credibility. Engagement also means finding the relevant groups and people to join and follow, many of these tools help to find the relevant and important people worth paying attention to. Find them, and engage with them.
Promote. To be seen, heard and discovered in the online social realm, you need to have a voice and leave a footprint, and you need to gain followers. Spend some time each day posting interesting and relevant articles, thoughts, or comments. These tools allow you to quickly trawl through newsfeeds to help you find and retweet interesting items or comment on those of others. By linking all your accounts from a single platform, it’s easier to spread the message far and wide.
Analyze. It is important to monitor the results of your social efforts. Several of the tools can help you keep focused and constantly refining your social media strategy based on the results and trends you see. You may soon seen new trends in your community, in that of your competition, your potential customers, or even gain a more socially-constructed view of your own company from the eyes of your customers and consumers.
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Guest post by Hugo Ludbrook. Hugo has worked in numerous areas over the past years ranging from corporate governance to international development. Currently he is ensuring a consistent flow of high quality content working as Content Editor for TIA Technology. Did you like this article? Let us know in the comments and be sure to connect with Hugo on LinkedIn to continue the discussion.Like this post? Subscribe now and get notified about new content!