The digital landscape as it pertains to Community Management is constantly shifting and revolutionizing. There are literally thousands of applications out there that claim to make your life as a CM more simplistic, more streamlined, more intuitive, more this, more that. Building my toolbox has not only taken time and experimentation but the process is a perpetual one. Being an entrepreneur or an employee with a start-up doesn't always facilitate the process either. On a small budget, Radian6 and Compete.com are the stuff dreams are made of. CM with little cash to spend on tools? Start here: 1. Google Apps This one might sound obvious but I know several people who don't utilize the Google suite to the full extent of its capabilities. Gmail, Calendar, Docs, goo.gl, Chat, Reader, AdWords and Analytics are the backbone of my infrastructure. The best part? The mobile version is incredible and naturally, there is also "an app for that": G-Whizz! 2. Viralheat & TwentyFeet Cost-effective monitoring. The learning curve for these tools is also a little easier than a complex application like Radian6 (which I love but still figuring out). Both Viralheat and TwentyFeet consolidate valuable insights from your social properties in a sexy and easy to understand interface. Community growth, sentiment, influencers, keyword mentions, etc. are simple to track and display graphically - which is key for reporting. TwentyFeet bills you based on each incremental Page or Account that you link (vs. the standard Basic / Pro / Enterprise pricing model). They consolidate Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and bit.ly. Viralheat is more focused on who's talking about what and where. You don't need to log-in to your Facebook account to monitor it...first thought that comes to mind? Great for Competitive Intelligence. 3. SocialMention A free tool, Social Mention identifies a key metrics based on a keyword search. You can search for mentions of your brand across the web, forums, Facebook, Twitter and the like. The output lists the mentions in addition to Strength (likelihood that your brand is being mentioned), Reach (number of Unique mentions), Sentiment, Passion (% of people who mention your brand repeatedly), Mentions per Hour, and more. 4. Twitter Karma Follow and unfollow the people who follow and unfollow you. Easy peasy. And free. 5. Tweet Spinner Freemium model. Behavioural targeting to follow meaningful people on Twitter. 6. Postpo.st Real-time Twitter search for keywords and mentions - specifically from the people you care about most: the ones you follow (oh, and yourself). 7. Facebook Insights Another obvious one. Much like Google Apps, several people aren't using Insights in an meaningful manner - simply focusing on growth in Page Likes. While this is important as well, understanding where these Likes came from, what pages they are interacting with, what media they are consuming, what language they speak (the list goes on) are crucial to your overall engagement strategy. 8. Formulists Create Twitter lists worth following (using behavioural and keyword targeting). 9. Hoosaid / Twellow / Thoora Hoosaid and Twellow find top influencers for most any topic on Twitter. Thoora allows you to follow topics (that you or others have created) - consolidating mentions of that topic from across various digital properties. 10. Trendsmap Super cool visual output for Twitter trends by location. 11. Openbook Allows you to search mentions of any keyword from Facebook statuses (any and all from those individuals who have chosen to leave their profile open). Pretty cool. 12. Hootsuite Monitor mentions, replies, retweets, topic trends, schedule posts (my favorite part), collaborate with your team and gather analytics. Oh, and there's a rad desktop and iPhone app to boot.
Community Management Toolbox: StartUp Style
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