5 free social media tools for 5 types of business needs

June 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

Social Media ToolsSocial media tools are critical in helping brands efficiently and effectively manage the conversations taking place around their content. Making sense of the data available to you and gleaning insights from it will allow your social media campaign to come full circle, aligning with your business needs and helping you achieve your goals.

There are literally hundreds of social media tools available, but chances are just a few will suit your particular needs.

Altimeter Group has very handily segmented social media tools according to five use cases and here, we suggest a free tool that may fit each need.

1. Buffer for Measuring Engagement Levels

If you’re a brand with a high volume of content and need to respond to customer queries rapidly, you want a tool with the ability to do at least the following:

  • Listen and monitor alerts.
  • Identify brand sentiment and industry influencers.
  • Assign tasks to appropriate team members .

As an analytical tool, Buffer is still in its infancy, but has recently added some great monitoring capabilities. Launched as a Twitter scheduler, it now also includes support for Facebook and LinkedIn, with plenty of app integrations and browser extensions. One of the best things about the tool is its ability to help you see which posts are performing better than others, which in turn can help you determine why and adjust strategy accordingly.

2. Hootsuite for Segmented Broadcasting

Companies that publish a variety of real-time content such as news, deals, coupons, and other types of time-sensitive information typically need a tool for managing their broadcasts, according to their target market’s demographics. These organizations may want to create content in different formats, for different audiences, and promote their brand across social networks.

HootSuite Teams in social media tool

HootSuite empowers teams to engage effectively while maintaining control over content and messaging.


Hootsuite does all the above and is a popular social media tool used by small and medium businesses to large enterprises. Their free plan allows you to monitor and track Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin using a dashboard-style interface. You can assign workflow and manage conversations with your team, receive basic reports integrated with Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, and add multiple apps such as YouTube and Instagram for more insightful reporting options.

3. Simply Measured Social Media Tools for Campaign Management

Some brands choose to maintain a heavy presence on just one or two social networks and launch contests, games and other custom interactivity from these platforms. If you are such a brand, you need social media tools native to the platform you are using.

Simply Measured provides a plethora of free analytical reports downloadable to Excel or viewable on the web. Each report is platform-specific, so you can hone in on how each social platform is contributing to your social media activity. For example, for Facebook, you get a free Facebook Insights report, Facebook Content Analysis report, Facebook Competitive Analysis report, as well as a Facebook Fan Page report.

4. Social Bakers for Global Insights

Some brands have a large network comprised of hundreds or thousands of social accounts, spread over countries, languages and business models. Such firms may need an integrated social media marketing solution that provides regional reports and offers support for diverse languages.

Social Media Marketing Tool - Fake Followers from SocialBakers

Fake Followers app from SocialBakers


Social Bakers is a great social media tool used across 75 countries. They focus on media monitoring of the big 5 – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus and YouTube – and allow you to see user stats segmented by country, industry, region, influencer, etc. They also provide a great resource center for training, which includes industry-specific Key Performance Indicators (KPI) reports. One of their popular free tools is the Fake Follower tool, which allows you to see how many fake accounts are following you!

5. Social Reports from Google Analytics for Custom Analysis

Organizations in heavily regulated industries or those who require full customization might opt for this option. Here, they’ll get a built-in social media training and resource platform, along with custom reporting options.

Social Reports from Google Analytics are a great way to measure the impact of social media on your business goals and conversions. You can see where traffic is coming from, engagement levels for each social network, conversion rates for measuring metrics, and social plugins for amplifying your content across the Google network.

The key to using social media tools effectively is not to use every tool on the block. You may not find a single option with all of the features you need, but a few select tools that answer your unique requirements can help you realize the best results.

These 5 free tools and their suggested applications are just a few of the myriad of options available to suit a business’s multiple needs. For a detailed list, check out this helpful Wiki of social media monitoring tools.

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