Most Architecture, Engineering, and Construction firms are just beginning their journey into social media. We’ve recently stepped up our game by publishing eBooks and increasing our blog and social media presence. We’re bringing in more traffic and leads than ever, and we want to spread the love. These social media tools have been helpful in our journey and may help jumpstart your efforts as well. While many follow a “freemium” price scheme, firms just getting started will probably find most of their needs met with the free versions of the services.
1. Tweetbot - Twitter Client
Tweetbot is fantastic for managing multiple twitter accounts and keeping up with your various Twitter lists. The affordable $1.99 cost for the iPhone App is a drop in the bucket when compared to the amount of time I have saved switching between accounts and feeds. Because of the time-savings, I took the plunge and bought their Mac client earlier this week. While it’s a little pricier at $20, I’ve been thrilled with it so far. Their lightning-fast interface makes managing multiple accounts on your desktop a breeze. Easily scroll between lists, favorites, retweets, followers - really any feed from twitter that you want to see - with one or two clicks.
2. ManageFlitter – Freemium Twitter Follower Management Tool
Remember that random Twitter Follower that followed you three months ago that you followed back? No? That’s what they’re counting on, because there’s a subset of twitter users who follow nearly anyone in hopes of a follow back. Then, after waiting a while, quietly unfollow their new followers to inflate their follow ratio. Manageflitter makes it easy to find and unfollow these folks. Even if the preceding situation doesn’t sound familiar, Manageflitter can also help users find accounts they follow which have become inactive or alert you to times when your followers are most likely to engage. Their premium services start at $12 a month and include account and keyword analytics, as well as unfollow notifications.
3. Buffer - Freemium Social Media Scheduling Tool
Buffer makes it simple to curate high quality content across different social media platforms. They support Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ Pages. Buffer helps you post at the optimal times for engagement everyday with set posting times that you can manage. Buffer offers analytics on clicks, likes, retweets, etc. They don’t support as many networks as Hootsuite, but they make up for it in the details. They offer integrations with Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, which pull the article name and a shortened link to whatever you’re reading with one click, making for effortless sharing. They also integrate with great reading apps like Pocket and Feedly. That’s all in the free version. You really only need their "awesome" plan - yes, that's what it's called - if you're trying to queue up more than 10 posts at a time, or trying to manage multiple accounts one social medium.
4. Hootsuite – Freemium Social Media Scheduling Tool
While Hootsuite doesn’t offer the same agility as Buffer, Hootsuite’s functionality is way more robust. They support pretty much any social network known to man. And while Buffer and Hootsuite both start free, Hootsuite supports a lot more accounts for free. For example, Hootsuite allows you to add multiple Twitter handles without going pro, unlike Buffer. They also offer way more in depth reporting, though the more detailed reports are only available with pro accounts (starting at $9.99 a month). In short, if you’re managing a more complex social media presence with multiple users and accounts, this is probably the solution for you.
5. Feedly - Freemium Cloud Reader
While Feedly caught some flack initially for not being Google reader, I find their service quite useful. You pick what sources/blogs you want in your feed and Feedly organizes them by date and popularity. You can review what’s new and most successful at a glance. I was never a user of RSS feeds, but this service has really helped me curate relevant AEC and Marketing content and given me an additional resource when I run out of content to share. I use the free version. The Pro accounts come with a better Evernote integration and more search functions, but I don't find I need those features for the way I'm using the service.
What do you think about these tools? What are you using to run your social media campaigns? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section!