Today’s guest post comes to us from Jenny Weigle, organizer of TheCR Live in Chicago and the community and social media manager at CareerBuilder and Jordan Sanders, the president of Social Media Solutions and head of community for KnowYourBank.
During the October gathering of TheCRLive Chicago, our group got on the topic of great resources/sites/apps that make our community management efforts a little easier each day. (Note: Not all of these resources were necessary community management tools, which made the discussion that much more interesting.) There was so much interest in this topic that we decided to make it the focus of our November meeting. We had a wide range of professionals attend the table. Some ran private communities on their site, others managed external social media communities, and still more moderated public forums. As a result, we had a diversity of tools to share and had a great time asking questions about them. So what tools were discussed and what did we learn?
Buffer App has two primary benefits:
- Auto-scheduling post updates: To save on time, you can “load up” your Buffer with posts and also set when they go out (this feature only available with the paid version).
- Analytics: Free, real-time analytics on all your posts. See how many comments, likes, clicks, shares, retweets and mentions you get with one glance.
This Twitter management tool came highly recommended by attendees Hope Bertram and Rajpreet Heir. Although some of its features can be found on similar tools, the cleaning/management capabilities are truly unique. You can force unwanted or spam followers to unfollow you. As Hope shared with this, after using this tool, her Klout scored jumped five points. Free and paid versions available.
This nifty tool tracks keywords, hashtags, or usernames from Twitter and Facebook. It pulls in reports based on different criteria (i.e., how many links you have versus no links). It can also export stats to Excel for a ready-made report. Free and paid versions available.
This is an iPhone app that lets you “drop” (like “checking-in”) from wherever you are. You can also add a brief tweet-style message when you drop. This can help businesses stay connected to their customers and respond to them in real-time. Evzdrop also offers advanced analytics and custom campaigns.
Bottlenose has TONS of features, too many to describe here. The free version gives you access to one of the best social search engines on the market. Type in a term and get a whole slew of real-time results, including trending hashtags, Twitter users, links (articles, posts, photos) and recent comments from the social sphere. The paid version offers many more monitoring capabilities, including a dashboard similar to Hootsuite’s.
Both Delicious and Pinboard do almost the same thing: they let you bookmark sites, add a description to your bookmark, include tags, and store it as a private or public bookmark under your username. Unlike Delicious, Pinboard is said to be easier to use and more efficient.
Rapportive is a unique tool that links to your Gmail account. When you receive an email from anyone, it will automatically pull up that person’s social profile based on the public accounts they have set up with their email address. It’s perfect for finding out a friend’s social accounts and latest updates (if you weren’t already following them).
Since Hootsuite is a fairly well-known tool in the social media world, we won’t go into too much detail on everything the free version offers (which is a lot). We’ll just say that it was a big hit with our group! Hootsuite Pro has many benefits, such as adding an unlimited number of profiles, a direct link to Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and archiving 100 past posts/tweets.
Eventbrite is an event marketing tool. It’s easy and intuitive to use. It also integrates with Google calendar and streamlines almost every step of the event-planning process.
This could possibly be the best meeting-coordination tool in existence. It’s free, extremely easy to use, and quite effective. Everyone invited to a meeting is sent a link. The invitees then check a box for the dates/times they have free, and everyone else’s responses are visible below.
This site is used to recap events and chronologically tell a story based on tweets. These tweets can be published in a blog post any way you want. They can be organized around a hashtag or keyword.
This site was the only content resource mentioned at our gathering. It’s a free service that allows you to sign up to receive the most relevant news and articles relating to your industry.
One of the original social media management tools, Tweetdeck offers many similar management tools to Hootsuite, including customizable feeds and tweet scheduling. One of the features that makes TweetDeck stand out is that you can easily discover who’s followed you, plus you can view recent activity of the folks you follow, such as who they’ve just followed.
In Polyvore, you can easily create images and collages out of your products. Polyvore is ideal for content creation, especially for companies with tangible products. Tip: Adding text to your images can get you more comments when sharing on sites like Facebook.
There were so many resources recommended that we could easily have a Round 2 of this lunch. Many thanks to everyone who attended this meeting and shared their favorite resources! Our group would also like to extend thanks to Greg Hedges, from Protiviti, for hosting our lunches for the last three months. Greg provided an ideal location and setting for these great discussions amongst community managers!
The next TheCR Live will be held tomorrow in Boston at Summer Shack at noon. Also, save the date for the next Chicago edition of #TheCRLiveCHI: Thursday, January 31 at 11:45 a.m. The Eventbrite invitation will come out in mid-January. We’ll be holding this lunch at the newly remodeled offices of Legacy Marketing Partners in River North.
Do you have any experience with the tools mentioned? Please let us know.