Updated March 23 at 7:53pm

The tools to build presence


No doubt about it. Business owners and startups are piling into social media marketing like never before. But the most successful businesses don’t go naked. They deploy a variety of digital tools to amplify and monitor their efforts.

BizBest has researched over 100 social marketing tools – including some brand new – and come up with this list of standouts every business should try (listed alphabetically):

• Crowdbooster (www.crowdbooster.com) offers tools to measure and boost your social marketing. Lets you analyze performance of individual tweets and posts to quickly grasp what’s working; view engagement and reach metrics for Facebook.

• Disqus (www.disqus.com) is a plug-in for getting more marketing mileage out of blog comments. This takes the old, rather clunky “comments” function and turns it into a social media machine that lets users sign in and comment via Facebook and Twitter.

• LinkedIn “Skills & Expertise” tool (under the “More” tab on LinkedIn) is an effective (and free) way to find world-class professionals with whatever skills and fields of interest you want; an especially rich source of B2B contacts and leads.

• Nimble (www.nimble.com) is revolutionizing customer-relationship management (CRM) for small business by taking it into the social realm in a really smart way. This “social CRM” service makes it easy to manage your contacts, communications activities and sales all in one place.

• Pagelever (www.pagelever.com) is an affordable analytics tool that’s all about measuring the impact of your social marketing efforts. Output charts and graphs showing traffic, fans, users, comments and more.

• Postling (www.postling.com) is several tools in one, including alerts and insights that help you get the most out of social marketing. Publish to all of the major social media sites and schedule posts in advance. It also pulls comments from all of your social media sites into one place – a big time-saver for responding.

• Shoutlet (www.shoutlet.com) is a do-it-yourself platform for managing social media marketing. But it’s a fairly sophisticated service, favored by many larger businesses as well. It offers a wide range of features, including data capture, customer relationship management (CRM) and unlimited accounts.

• TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com), from Twitter, is a dashboard that gives you a good view of your Twitter activity. It allows you to monitor and manage unlimited accounts, schedule tweets to suit your audience and filter content to focus on what matters to you the most. •

Daniel Kehrer can be reached at editor@bizbest.com.


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