5 social media tools to kickstart your business

social media tools

By Ian Cleary, Contributing {grow} Columnist

As we start into a new year it’s a great time to reflect on how we can improve our marketing efforts online with social media tools.  One area that we can always consider is emerging tools to help us be more productive and efficient. Social media is a moving beast and we need to keep moving with it!

Here are 5 great tools that you can kick-start your business in 2013:

Convert Facebook Fans to customers with Agorapulse

It’s very easy to get caught up with the number of fans you have on Facebook but we’re in the business of selling our products and services and your time spent on Facebook needs to be rewarded.

If you’re on Facebook and you want to take it to the next level invest in a Facebook marketing platform that will help.

Agorapulse is a Facebook Marketing platform which contains a broad range of functionality, including page management, 14 applications and the facility for building up a profile of your fans to help turn these fans into leads and ultimately sales.

Here are three highlights of Agorapulse:

Fan Profiling – As Fans interact with your content and applications, Agorapulse records it and builds a profile.  Having this profile allows you to segment your fans so you can target your offers.

Suite of Applications – There are 14 useful applications for a broad range of functionality you can use to interact with your fans and further enhance build the fan profile. 

Viral Sharing – All apps support Facebook Open Graph.  This means that more friends of your fans will see your content.  When you’re using applications getting access to friends of fans is where you will reap the benefits and Agorapulse has the necessary functionality to allow you to do this effectively.

Be more social using Nimble

social media toolsTraditional CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems are dated.  More and more of our interaction is with current and potential customers through social media channels. It’s important to have a CRM system that reflects that.

Nimble is a Social CRM tool which is tightly integrated with social media channels and helps you manage and grow relationships with your contacts to ultimately leads to sales.

What’s particularly nice about Nimble is how it builds up a profile of each user by retrieving their social details across a range of networks including Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and Google +.

Would you like to see your contacts activity across all these social networks in one place and then have the ability to interact within Nimble?  Yes, I thought you might!

Monitor your brand more effectively with Mention

Google Alerts is a well-known, free application that allows you to track mentions of keywords on the web.  It’s useful but it’s not very comprehensive.

Mention is one of the best and most cost effective solutions I have come across. With a small team they have done amazingly well to deliver a web-based app, an iPhone app, and a desktop app that you can use to monitor keywords that are relevant to your brand.

You set up filters based on keywords you want to track and through a really nice interface it displays what it finds.

When you click on any item you see additional information related to the user and the item.

The following shows a filter based on my name that was mentioned on blogs.  This identified an article on Mark’s blog {grow} that was featured on a blog post from Aaron Lee, based in Asia.


Mention is a very powerful tool with a reasonable price.

Grow Pinterest with Pingraphy

Pinterest was hot in 2012 and is destined to be even hotter in 2013.  As you build your presence on Pinterest you’ll need some tools that will help.

Pingraphy allows you to upload your pins (pictures you put on a board) in bulk, schedule these items and then view statistics related to how they progress.

social media tools

If Pinterest is a growing platform for your business check out Pingraphy.

Automate Actions with IFTTT

IFTTT (If this then that) is a useful tool for automating some tasks related to social media.  If a particular event happens than another event is triggered.

Most tasks within social media cannot be automated but there are some that make sense.  For example, when you create a new blog post it makes sense to automatically share this out on twitter.

Within IFTTT you create a ‘recipe’.  This recipe contains the source and the destination.  When a trigger happens an action configured kicks off.

So for this recipe the trigger is when a new post is published on the blog and the action is a tweet generated which includes the title of the post and a link to the post.

social media tools

There is a selection of recipes already built that you can use or customize and you can also build your own recipe with a broad range of applications supported.

Social Media is not free.  Your time is your most precious asset and Social Media eats into your time.  Using the correct tools is only part of your social media strategy but it’s an important part.

Are you using the right tools for your business?  What are your tool tips for 2013?

Ian Cleary is founder of Razorsocial, a website that provides sharp insight on on social media management tools.  Follow Ian on twitter @iancleary

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