PR Niblets

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Social Media Grad School: Our Favorite Tools

The following is part of a series about understanding social media

Now that you’ve graduated social media 101 on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we’d like to share some of our favorite tools to take you from beginner to social media extraordinaire.

Bitly – Let’s start with one of the most simple social media tools available out there. Bitly at its most basic is a link shortening service. This type of service is particularly helpful when sharing content on Twitter as it reduces the number of characters in your link. This means you have more characters to use for your own commentary. Other common link shortening services include and TinyURL. Anyone can use Bitly without signing up for an account. However, a Bitly account allows for better social tracking as you can view how many people clicked through to your link.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools available today. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts across a number of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Posts can be scheduled with a specific time or in a bulk, automated queue (the latter feature is only available with a paid plan). Hootsuite also has an extensive dashboard to monitor your social accounts. You can set up feeds to watch Twitter mentions, trending topics, Facebook posts… anything your social media heart desires.

Buffer – Buffer is very similar to HootSuite in that it allows you to schedule posts across various social media platforms but in a much simpler format. While Buffer does allow time-specific scheduling for posts, it also allows you to set up a queue of content to be posted throughout the day at pre-selected times. Buffer accounts are available for free or on a paid, premium basis. One downside to a free account: you can only add up to ten posts in your queue.

Topsy – Topsy is a great tool for discovering the social reach of a link. While Bitly analytics show how many people engaged with your link, Topsy shows how many people have shared a link. Perhaps the most helpful element of Topsy is that it searches beyond proprietary sharing. Even if someone copies and pastes the link into their own tweet rather than retweeting yours, Topsy will find it.

What are your favorite social media tools? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter or even pen your own guest blog.