Anyone who has been working as an online marketer, for any period, knows the crucial role social media plays. No marketer that is serious about making money online can afford to ignore it. Social sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are the main way people interact on the web. These sites attract tens of thousands of visitors every single day. Each one of those visitors is a potential buyer, so using social media in your marketing campaigns is vital.

A Time Consuming Task?

There's little doubt that setting up and managing social media campaigns can be very time consuming. Fortunately, there are some very good tools available to help you. They will help keep you organised, save you time and help you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

HootSuite

If you only buy one social media tool, Hootsuite should be it.

Using HootSuite you can set up and manage social media campaigns on all the big platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and Mixi. You can even use it for WordPress.

In addition, you can add other social media sites to your subscription. For instance, if you want to run campaigns on Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube, SalesForce or dozens of other lesser known platforms, you can with the help of HootSuite.

HootSuite provide a range of mobile Apps. This allows you access to your dashboard whilst on the road, which for modern marketers is very important. The nature of social media means that a campaign can take off out of nowhere. In that situation you will want to quickly set up campaigns on other platforms, to ride the wave and take full advantage of the buzz. With the right mobile HootSuite App, you can do exactly that.

MarketMeSuite

MarketMeSuite is a relatively new social media marketing tool. It is great for those who are new to social media, or for a small business that wants to simply promote themselves on the bigger social sites. The package allows you to manage multiple Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. The interface is extremely easy to use. The dashboard looks, and works, just like an email account.

There is little or no learning curve and the basic package is free. You can respond to individual posts or tweets, send out information to all of your followers and fans or just choose to send something specific to one group. Real time search gives you the ability to find current social leads. Geo-tagging helps you to find customers who are nearby and market to them, which for local companies can prove very powerful.

Crowdbooster

One of the most difficult aspects of social media marketing is identifying which campaigns are working and which are not. There is a vast amount of data to wade through, so anything that helps with this is invaluable.

Crowdbooster tracks responses across the two major platforms; Twitter and Facebook. It picks up impressions, likes, dislikes, re-tweets, replies and comments. Each day you receive an automatic results email. This helps ensure that you analysis your social media campaigns at least once a day. Using this tool, you can see when is the best time to send out information and updates. You can also see which kinds of customers respond to which type of marketing.

Muck Rack

This is an unusual tool, and one that is rarely mentioned, but it can be amazingly powerful. It is a social media application which allows you to connect with mainstream journalists. You get to see, in live time, what journalists are discussing on Twitter. You can therefore use the package to send pitches to journalists who are looking for leads on your kind of stories. A single press release in a national newspaper can make sales go through the roof, so this is a tool that is well worth looking into.

Postling

Postling allows you to manage campaigns across multiple platforms. It interfaces with Facebook and Twitter, but also works for Bitly, Typepad, Squarespace, Drupal and many others. You can also use it to alert you when your brand, product or relevant keywords are mentioned online or on major sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. It provides good analytics and scheduling, which is great for automating social media marketing campaigns.

There are many other social media tools out there, but these are some of the best available at the moment. Try not to spend too much time worrying about which tool to use, simply take the plunge and try one.

Don't Rest on Your Laurels!

You will quickly understand what works for you, so can find another package that better meets your needs later. Doing nothing simply means that you will continue to waste a lot of time struggling to manage your social media campaigns. Perhaps now is the time to buy a tool or try a free one.

 

Article written by Agnese Geka - a blogger and online marketing manager for - SurveyCompare - which is one of the UK's leading online surveys specialists, breaking myths about working from home and offering loads of advice about making money working for yourself.