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Another year has passed, and marketers must evaluate industry trends and success stories in order to develop an effective social media marketing strategy that wins new leads in the New Year. While you may not be a full-time marketer, there are tools available to improve your 2013 social media strategies and help you better understand how to use certain platforms over the next 12 months. At Contentlead, we make it easy and seamless for businesses to share content across social platforms. Whether you’re trying to manage your social media yourself or you’re looking for someone who can, we suggest you get familiar with these five social tools to jump start your social outreach:

Crowdbooster – Discover content that reaches your audience at the right moments

This tool makes it easy to visualize who is seeing your Facebook posts and Tweets on Twitter in one handy interface. With the free plan, you can manage one Twitter account and one Facebook Page. When it comes to Facebook, you can see your Facebook Fan Page metrics to analyze your top posts, number of impressions (impressions count how many people saw your posts), fan growth, top fans and more. You can even craft new posts to be published later via Crowdbooster for both Twitter and Facebook.

Crowdbooster Image

The graph above shows Facebook Fan metrics with the horizontal axis indicating “PTAT” (People Talking About This), representing people who are commenting and “Liking” your posts.  The vertical axis measures fans and “friends of fans” who have seen your Facebook posts.  The bigger circles have more people interacting with posts and seeing them. Hover over a post to see how well it is doing.

How Are My Tweets Doing?

For Twitter, the graph looks slightly different and is pictured above. The horizontal axis represents how many Retweets your posts have received and the vertical axis is “Impressions,” or how many people saw each tweet.  

Crowdbooster also has a nifty tool that lets you know the best times to post to both Facebook and Twitter to reach the maximum audience.  The times are adjusted as your followers respond.

Tool Recommendation

Crowdbooster also gives you recommendations based on follower growth, influential followers, Retweets and more. The company’s customer service is also extremely friendly and approachable when it comes to troubleshooting problems online.

Social Media Resource

Bit.ly – Don’t mince words, just shorten shared links

One thing about posting links on Twitter is that URLs can be long and take up too many characters in standard Tweets. This is not good when you only have 140 characters to work with on Twitter. That is why it is essential to have a link shortening tool to keep URL length below 20 characters – made possible by http://bitly.com.  

At bit.ly, you can publish your links to Twitter and Facebook and even to emails. You can also keep track of which links were most popular by tracking  the URLs that got the most clicks. This actionable insight lets your adjust your social strategy to include more content based on the links that get clicks. Bit.ly is free to use.

URL Shortening service

Reachli – Create more Pinteresting content

This tool (formerly known as Pinerly, found at http://reachli.com) helps optimize Pinterest marketing strategies. Users can pre-schedule pins and view data on how many clicks each pin obtained according to click-through rates or the number of repins for specific posts. The user-friendly tools helps create effective social campaigns on Pinterest.

The metrics provided by Reachli help you develop a Pinterest marketing strategy based on the posts that generate the most repins and clicks. While Reachli is free, brands can also opt to use Reachli paid advertising. This service uses a unique algorithm to match content with its most relevant online audience across social media.

Social Analytics

Unlock to Share Plugin – Get more social visibility for content marketing

The Unlock to Share plugin allows people to view exclusive or premium content on your website only after they share published media on their own social profiles. This tool encourages your social followers to engage with and share your content across the web, and it’s a great alternative to putting branded content behind a paywall.

This tool is free, but it does require your developer to handle the “back end” work such as coding to your website. Notably, Contentlead’s technical support team can handle this for our clients.

Viral Lock Demo

HootSuite – Content sharing and brand interactions made simple

Last but not least, HootSuite is the perfect tool to manage all of your outgoing posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ on one screen.  The interface has “tabs” for each social network you manage and withinthe sections are “streams,” which show you what your followers post after engaging with your publications. It also offers options to see interactions such as who has @mentioned you on Twitter or wrote on your Facebook Timeline so you can respond appropriately all within one screen.

HootSuite also has its own link shortening option for links you post to your social networks. For example, the HootSuite shortened links are commonly seen on Twitter as http://ow.ly. The company’s “free” plan allows you to manage five social networks and it automates to two RSS feeds so you don’t have to manually post each article or blog post from two brand content feeds (or from RSS feeds of  websites you choose). HootSuite also has a “Pro” plan that allows for an unlimited amount of social profile management and RSS feed automation. 

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With these five simple tools, you should be able to manage your social media campaigns effectively in 2013 without having to be a full-time marketer. You’ll also have plenty of time to manage your core business without having social media get in the way. Make your New Year’s Resolution to have a social media strategy your competitors will envy – and we can help you with more insights on totally custom, killer social content.