BEST Social Media Tools: Are You Using Them? (Collective Mastermind)

We are talking social media tools today!

In our panel today:

Questions we’ve been discussing:

Q. Which tools let you multi-task between various social media sites?

shannonA. ldylarke (SEO Consultant)

For managing my social media tasks, I have found Hootsuite to be the most cost effective for multiple accounts. I prefer Hootsuite because I can add unlimited social media accounts for Twitter, Facebook AND Google Plus. When I post content via social media, I can select up to 5 accounts to post to at once. For instance, I have a personal Twitter account and a site related Twitter account. When I post content related to SEO, I want to post to those two different Twitter accounts, the site’s Facebook and Google Plus pages as well – for a total of 4/5 accounts per posting. All done at the same time and from the same place.

A. BarbaraBoser (CEO)

I am an avid user of Hootsuite. :) I use the bulk scheduler to upload my monthly status updates. I have all of my networks added to Hootsuite and can easily go back and forth between each. Mind you I have never used anything else, but Hootsuite serves it’s purpose for me and does exactly what I need. I typically get all of my statuses updates and then review each one then add images. Doing this for the month can take about 3 hours, but it is well worth the time. I feel that it has helped me immensely in terms of building my brand.

A. Meghan Riley (I Love Social Media Tools!)

I primarily use Hootsuite, because I can set up my social media sites to appear on separate tabs that I can quickly flip between. It doesn’t have all the features I want, but it helps me see multiple accounts at once, so I can keep on top of trends and information I might want to share. It also allows me to schedule multiple updates at once, which really comes in handy when I know I’m going to be away from the computer for an extended period of time. I use it for my personal accounts and the accounts for my real estate team.

Q. Are you using any scheduling tools?

shannonA. ldylarke (SEO Consultant)

Hootsuite Pro also allows me to schedule posts quickly and easily. I have also used Buffer, but why pay for more services when you can get the same thing done at the same place? I find Hootsuite more than able to handle all of my usual social media tasks for all of my social media profiles. Why go anywhere else to use a tool when one can use a single tool to do everything one needs to do all at the same place and at the same time? Hootsuite Pro is not only reasonably priced, but it provides everything I need.

A. Meghan Riley (I Love Social Media Tools!)

As I mentioned before, I use Hootsuite to schedule posts when I know I’m not going to be near the computer for an extended period of time, like on the weekends or days I’m at luncheon events. I can’t schedule all of the posts types I like, so if I need to post, say, a video, I’ll schedule it directly through the Facebook scheduling tool. Hootsuite also allows you to shorten URLs in the program, which helps with tracking click-thru’s. But, when possible, I try to post directly to a social media site, because they often have more options to choose from, like the picture to use while posting on Google Plus.

A. ClaytonWood (Managing Partner)

We schedule our social media posts using Hootsuite. Since we’re a content marketing company, we manage dozens of different social media projects every day. This helps us stay on top of our posts. The thing I like about Hootsuite is that you can monitor different social feeds and networks in 1 simple view.

This allows me to publish great copy for my clients regardless of where they are located around the world. Timing is everything in social and this tool helps ‘strike while the iron is hot’. We use the Hootsuite Enterprise solution because of the flexibility and scale it brings to our organization.

Q. Do you use any tools to track who of your followers have influence?

shannonA. ldylarke (SEO Consultant)

I don’t really track which of my followers have influence. I know who is noteworthy in my industry because their name pops up in social media or is well-known. If I needed to find out who was most influential, I could refer to (I do get notifications now from this site), Followerwonk, or Klout. I find is more than sufficient for me when I want to know more about a specific social media profile or account. I have searched for other social media tools that help you find influential profiles to follow, but I always end up back using just Hootsuite.

A. ClaytonWood (Managing Partner)

I like Kred, as a social influence tool. This tool measures both social influence and outreach on the same platform. With it’s influence metrics it mainly relies on retweets, follows, replies and mentions on Twitter. The same goes for how it measures Facebook.

The way it measures outreach is interesting too. it’s a total of how much you retweet, share, reply and mention other people. This way, it can tell you how much your effecting other feeds. Each social action you or your followers make gets a score. On the activity page you can see what actions specifically have contributed to your over all Kred score.

Q. Best tools to manage and grow social media interactions?

shannonA. ldylarke (SEO Consultant)

I like to manage and grow my Twitter accounts. I especially like the “consider to re-engage” feature. It lists who you haven’t spoken to for a while and will send a “hello, how are you?” kind of Tweet. This is especially helpful to remind you to keep in contact with those you want to. I also use to unfollow people who are either not following me back, or who don’t make very many updates (or at least fairly frequent updates) to their social media account. No point following these kinds of accounts. If they aren’t interacting much, then there’s no point keeping them on your social media list.

A. Kyle Sanders (Head of Search)

We primarily deal with clients in the industrial and mechanical spaces and LinkedIn has become an increasingly important channel for us over the last couple years. A colleague suggested trying Rapportive and it has proven to be a great asset. Cannot recommend it enough. Not only are we able to seamlessly connect via LinkedIn without a opening a separate tab (I have a proclivity for too many tabs), we’re privy to a litany of contact information and social updates, which basically morphs Gmail into a micro-CRM.

For anyone working client/customer management, it’s a great plugin that can streamline your communications and makes Gmail more useful and interesting. Plus, it’s free.

A. ClaytonWood (Managing Partner)

I use Followerwonk for helping to grow interaction with relevance. It’s a great tool because I can find active people with similar views or interests and start creating great relationships based around that. My strategy is basically to find, connect and learn from the person based on his tweets.

Research is the key to using this tool. So make sure you find the profile’s website, and other social media outlets. You want to build quality connections so that you can learn more about your field. There is a great ‘retweet’ tool in Followerwonk that allows you to filter our more spammy type of Twitter accounts.

Q. Any other social media tools you are using on a regular basis? Please share!

donA. Don Sturgill (Writer)

Hootsuite has been my go-to tool for monitoring Twitter accounts … and I love TwChat for group chats. My real consternation is cutting loose enough time to stay in touch across multiple platforms. I look forward to tips from other members about time-saving tools and methods. I know social media interaction is important, but the time drain can be significant. Being able to simultaneously post across multiple social sites can be helpful … but it can also be redundant.

Another thing: It may be that listening is as valuable (or even more valuable) than talking on social media. Tools that allow me to search for pertinent terms and follow/join the conversation can be critical to social media success.

shannonA. ldylarke (SEO Consultant) is really the only other social media tool I’m using. Other than Hootsuite Pro, I sometimes use RebelMouse but more often, to find and share relevant content to my followers.

While I understand why there is a minimum word requirement, I find I have to try to be overly wordy just to meet it. Especially where my answers do not require elaboration. Just saying.

A. Steve Toth (Content Marketing Manager)

Facebook text detection: This is a tool my company TechWyse built. It allows you to see if your ads meet Facebook’s 20% text guidelines. The tool has saved people thousands of hours of revising their ads due to them being rejected for having too much text.

We were written up in All and our tool has a steady user base that swears by it.

It works by placing a grid over you ad and it’s up to you to “punch out” the areas that have text. Once you have reached 20% of the area, the tool alerts you and it’s up to you to alter the image.

This tool is very handy for designers and social media managers. We hope your readers enjoy it, too.

A. Meghan Riley (I Love Social Media Tools!) is my new favorite tool, because it allows me to create visually appealing graphics quickly right in my browser. There are templates to choose from or you can build a graphic from the bottom up. You can choose from multiple sizes of graphics (Facebook Post, G+ Cover Photo, Business Card, Blog Graphic, Pinterest Graphic, etc.). There are hundreds of free pieces to choose from (frames, stamps, text bubbles, infographic pieces, etc.) or upload your own. Additionally, you can choose from many other pictures and artwork, and pay $1 each for them, which is pretty cheap considering what stock photo sites are charging nowadays. I definitely recommend everyone checking them out.

A. ClaytonWood (Managing Partner)

I took the plunge and start using Signals from HubSpot. I’d classify it as ‘social’ because it shows you when people open your emails, and with the Insights tool, you can see social media data on any website your browsing in 1 click. From what I can tell, it’s using a LinkedIn API or something third party to gather all the website data and display it for you in 1 click.

Information like how large the company is, how many people work there, how old is the company, and what social connections do you have with the company is all there to see. It’s pretty awesome!

What’s your take? Please share in the comments below!

5 Useful Facts About StumbleUpon Traffic

StumbleUpon may have been around for awhile, but marketers have been mixed in their advice about using it. As far as social media tools go, it is much different than most. Rather than allowing for interaction, it is used as a discovery tool. You introduce people to your website through this randomizer, increasing the chances of your users finding you based on how many pages you have to share.

***Take part in the thread: Is SstumbleUpon any good for building traffic to my site?

They also have a paid advertising program. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery service links people directly to your pages without any clicks-through from ads. It is supposed to remove the most difficult step, as so many users are jaded about following real advertisements thanks to an increase in shady pop-ups and sidebar ads.

How StumbleUpon Paid Discovery Works

Using the Paid Discovery tool is simple enough. You sign up and then pay a rate per Stumble, so you are only paying for the people who see your link. There is a base pay, and then you add ala cart based on specifications.

For example, the base Stumble is $0.10 each. Adding things like location and age targeting are between $0.02 and $0.06 each, upping the price of each Stumble to as much as $0.35 a piece.

What you are ultimately paying for is traffic that comes directly from StumbleUpon. But is it worth it? Here are five facts about StumbleUpon traffic that you can use to decide if it is the right tool for your campaign.

  1. SU Is Still a Social Platform: Don’t make the mistake of assuming just because it is a traffic driver that StumbleUpon is just another marketing tool. It is still a social platform, and one that is increasing its user base by the month. People like a content driven social network, as it provides a unique formula that takes it out of the usual micro or connecting spheres (think Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn). It is more comfortable among the category of Pinterest and YouTube, as it is there to push traffic through content itself, and not engagement. While you have to change your tactics of interacting, you still have to look at it through the same lens. For example, sharing your own content is fine. But it is not likely to get you a large following on its own. Instead, you have to engage socially by sharing third party content relevant to the interests of your target demographic. This will ultimately increase the numbers of users who regularly return to your stumbles, and so your site.
  2. Mint Has 180,000 Unique Visits From SU Alone: In probably its most enticing case study, Mint is a primary success for StumbleUpon. The financial site itself stated that SU was the most effective and cost-efficient form of advertising they had used, including an unnamed social network (ahem, Facebook) they had used for PPC. That number isn’t in total, it is per month. They managed to both increase traffic on a consistent monthly basis that continues today, while increasing their user demographic to include the elusive 18: 25 women category they had wanted to more strongly influence into using their product.
  3. Only a Percentage Of Traffic Will Be Paid: Looking at the Mint example again, all of the primary traffic came from free campaigns. Only 44% came from Paid Discovery. An additional 20% came from shared Paid Stumbles, so when they said it was cost efficient, that was obviously very much the case. SU’s other case study, the Wisconsin Milk Board, saw an addition 60% traffic increase from Paid Stumbles. So while you use Paid Discovery to increase your traffic boosts, there is evidence to suggest a fair amount of what you see will come from free Stumbles.
  4. Good Content Provides Increasing Traffic Over Time: Nicholas Tart of Income Diary presented an interesting look into his own use of StumbleUpon. He said that he had submitted a single, high quality piece of content that was “content StumbleUpon users like”, and measured the results. Case studyOn that single piece of content, he got an astonishing 158,000 Stumbles over time. Most of this started to happen five months after it was initially submitted, which teaches an important lesson: timing is different for SU campaigns. Where with other social networks you would hope to see a quick increase in shares, and possible viral status once in a blue moon, SU is a more patient form of marketing. It has to be planted and allowed to grow. Be sure to check out Tart’s article for some interesting advice on improving your results. Here’s also a very actionable article on getting traffic from StumbleUpon (supported by my own case study).
  5. SU Might Be The Best Hidden Treasure On The Social Web: Check out this post by Shareaholic. In the beginning of 2014, SU saw a 30% increase in referrals. In fact, it saw the highest increase of all of the social networks, along with Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sites like Twitter, Youtube, Reddit and LinkedIn saw a fall in referral rate. Granted, the numbers for SU could be because marketers started to really catch on to the platform’s potential in the last two quarters of 2013. But it doesn’t change the potential seen in those gains. StumbleUpon might be the best hidden treasure on the social web, and really worth a shot if you are failing to see the traffic or influence you hoped on more saturated, less content focused social networks,


Nowadays StumbleUpon may not be the most talked about social tool out there. But it is one of the most promising, and it is growing by the day. The statistics speak for themselves, and seeing the progress made by sites like Mint using it is nothing short of inspiring.

If you are looking for a traffic driver that will be based more on content than on links, you might want to try it out. Less focused on building through clicks-through, you can see how it might be more appealing to the average social user. Plus, the competition is less fierce, thanks to its status as being under the radar.

Have you used StumbleUpon for marketing? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!

Twitter Advertising FAQ

[Check out our unofficial Twitter FAQ and contribute your questions and answers!]

Advertising – in particular mobile advertising – has become a big deal on Twitter. While they have struggled behind Facebook when it comes to establishing such a service, it does exist and is gaining traction. People are realizing the benefits of having an actually structured, paid advertising campaign beyond just the usual optimization and marketing techniques they have been employing. Agencies are spending literally millions for promotion, and the results are extraordinary.

Twitter has an FAQ, and it has plenty of information for the average user. But it isn’t complete… there are many questions left unanswered, especially when it comes to their advertising services and policies. If you are trying to establish your brand on social media, run a website, have a small business or even are promoting yourself, you need to know more about your advertising options. Twitter is, after all, going to be one of your most powerful tools for engagement.

Here is an “unofficial” Twitter advertising FAQ that you might find helpful.

How Does Twitter Measure Impressions?

Unlike many social sites, Twitter does not measure anything from organic content or traffic. Their impressions are measured using promoted content, specifically. According to the site, they collect data on how many times a user is served a promoted tweet in either search or timeline.

The good news about that? The more promoted tweets you post, the most your rate of success is going to be.

What Is a Twitter Profile’s Average Engagement Rate?

This is a question that is asked a lot, but it doesn’t have a solid answer. Twitter profiles are not all created equal; the klout of each is going to be different, as is the number of followers, the reach of a brand outside of Twitter, the amount of money put into marketing and advertising, other social media engagement efforts, ect.

Your best bet is not trying to find an average, but trying to measure your own Twitter engagement. Then using that information to improve it.

When Looking At Tweeted Links, What Is The Click Through Rate?

There is no way to estimate this for sure, but you can usually be sure of 3 – 5 clicks per link, depending on your overall engagement rate. The higher your engagement and followers, the more click through you are going to see.

Retweets of links are another factor. If you can encourage people to retweet your links (asking them is a simple way), you will spread it further and improve the potential for clicks.,

How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On Twitter?

This will depend on what kind of advertising you are seeking. There are three different types:

  • Promoted Tweets

The least expensive, these are charged per engagement. They average between $0.50 – $4.00 per engagement, and usually fall somewhere around the middle.

  • Promoted Accounts

This is the promotion of an entire profile, and it is also per engagement. They adverage between $2.00 – $4.00 with each engagement. Usually, it will fall around the higher end, the more popular it becomes.

  • Promoted Trend

With this option you can trend a hashtag. This is a very expensive promotion tool meant to inject a great deal of traffic into a trend itself. Usually used by marketing firms for high profile clients, it may cost a whipping $200,000 per day.

How Much Should I Spend On Promotion To Bring In 10k Followers?

Promoted tweets will focus on the content you post. Promoted accounts will bring you actual followers by taking the user not to the tweet, but to your profile. But Twitter carries a minimum for this service, so you should start at $15,000 per three months.

That should take you over the 10k mark, and with further growth you should be able to double it as your exposure grows. But keep in mind that your budget might not be enough…on the high end of $4.00 per engagement, that could easily take you to $40,000 to get your 10k.


Twitter advertising can be an amazing social media marketing tool. It gives you exposure, but fits in with your budget. It allows you to set clear parameters, and also decide on the exact results you want to see. It is versatile, powerful and effective. Isn’t it about time you gave it a try?

Also: Read more about other social media paid placement options.

Image Credits: 1, tweets