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The social media landscape changes at such a pace that it’s nigh-on impossible to keep up with all of the various tools and platforms that emerge.
With that said I do try to keep abreast of new developments and over the past few weeks have begun using a variety of free tools which may have slipped under your radar.
,I thought it would be useful to run through a few of them here. If you have any new favourites then please do add them in the comments below as well.
SocialBro is a handy desktop app that enables you to break down your Twitter followers in a variety of useful ways:
As well as carrying basic post/schedule capability, the desktop carries a number of filters and analytics, enabling you to search through followers according to follower count, location, bio information, influence scores and more - think of it as a supercharged Twitter list tool.
You’re also provided with a set of interesting realtime analytics. I particularly liked this option as it lets me see which of our followers are active at any given time, and the potential RT range the collectively possess:
Follower facts and figures are displayed in a variety of ways, with charts and graphs that give clear overview figures (and certainly help when the monthly reports are due). These helped a lot when I was building our 100,000 Twitter Followers infographic recently.
In addition the service can be synched directly to your account to provide more in-depth information, and remained stable when I plugged in our main Twitter account - always a concern.
This feature isn’t instant, but was happy to run quietly in the background for an hour while it compiled lists of influence data for me. A useful all-rounder for social media managers who want additional info about who follows them and why.
SocialBro is available as a free download or as a chrome extension, or offers a premium paid version with expanded functionality.
SocialCrawlytics is a relative newcomer who may be of particular interest to the PRs amongst you, and to a lesser extent, social managers with an interest in SEO.
The service displays total shares and reach metrics for links from your site across various social platforms, useful as you try to work out the exact extent of your social reach beyond your own brand pages.
Not everything here is perfect yet (The service seems preoccupied with our /US/ domain currently, but localisation represents challenges for any measurement service), but the overview is a handy indicator of your social influence and organic content marketing, particularly if, like Econsultancy, you run a blog from your site.
It was nice to see a reiteration last week which added in Pinterest figures, and it’s handy to get further information on who is sharing our reports pages.
There’s also a (ridiculously) huge sunburst breakdown showing shared URLs across the web, and various breakdowns of content by platform. SocialCrawlytics is free to use, but requires that you use earnable credits for more detailed information.
Definitely a tool to add to your ‘ones to watch’ list.
It’s been a while coming, but finally, a quick and easy infographic generator that even a social media manager can get the hang of quickly.
Here’s an example:
Admittedly, that example is terrible (there’s a much better one here), but it gives you an idea of the sort of images you can create.
Simply choose your juiciest facts and figures, select from a pre-made template, or build your own using drag n’ drop shapes, text, banners and more. Piktochart also contains a small graph generator should you need a pie chart or bar graph in a hurry, and tools to create multiple versions of images.
PiktoChart has a free version which limits the size of infographic you can create, and adds a watermark, or there’s a subscription-based premium model.
Very easy to use and makes content creation a doddle - I also use it regularly to create quick graphics to add to Facebook posts in addition to full infographics.
Pinterest continues to grow in importance as an industry platform, but as yet there are few in-depth analytics platforms out there.
Of the few I’ve seen, Pinalytics is one of the most in-depth, with a quick search function that allows the user to find pins, boards or people related to various subjects and keywords.
There are also displays showing the virality of your content, allowing you to easily optimise top performing boards.
The platform also supplies useful information and links to individual Pinterest accounts (so you can find out easily where great content is coming from), and tracks Pinned URLs as they appear across the wider social web - handy when figuring out if your popular pins have legs on other platforms as well. Interestingly, you’re also supplied with citation flow figures via majestic SEO.
Pinalytics is free to use, but for in-depth data and the option to export info you’ll need to request an invite.
Finally, let’s look over at Google+, a platform which is continuing to expand its userbase rapidly (despite the jokes at its expense) and should probably be taken into account when figuring out future search strategies.
Of course, G+ is a data hub partner, meaning you can source a huge amount of data from Google Analytics, but occasionally you just want a neat overview of your progress, without the need for too much rooting around in multichannel funnel reports.
SocialStatistics takes the SocialBakers approach to Google+, ranking popular pages and individuals.
Once you’ve added your own page, will give you some neat graphs showing page growth and content performance, Facebook insights-style. There’s also an optional chrome extension available that tracks the G+ performance of various sites as you roam around the web, always handy for keeping an eye on the competition.
Not the most in-depth tool here, but for social managers wanting to keep up to date on progress without too much hassle, it’s a useful addition.
Hopefully you'll find something useful here, and again if you know of any new tools that you've found useful then it would be great to hear about them in the comments.