Prevent your content from getting lost amongst the infinite streams of information on social networks by using a variety of tools to jumpstart your social media efforts. There are many social tools to choose from with a variety of purposes, price points and effectiveness, which can often be confusing for business owners. These tools can save your business time, improve the quality of your content, increase interactions with your audience and help achieve your overall business goals.
Here are five tools businesses should use in 2014 to strengthen their social presence:
Feedly. Considered the modern-day RSS feed, Feedly allows business owners to follow their favorite websites from one place using a beautiful interface. Choose your favorite cooking, tech, business, news, sports, photography, design, fashion and other websites to follow based on your interests.
This tools work across devices allowing business owners to keep up with industry trends, competitors and the latest news happening around them from one location. Feedly Pro is affordable at $45 a year and offers integration with Pocket, Evernote and HootSuite.
Bottlenose. When it comes to gathering ultimate intelligence from social media, Bottlenose is the key to revealing real-time insights on what’s trending across the major social networks. The tool uses natural language processing, sentiment analysis, statistical algorithms, data mining and machine learning heuristics to quickly determine what’s trending across the web based on the topics that matter to your business.
This tool’s dashboard allows business owners to quickly identify trending topics, hashtags, people, links, messages and companies of interest to your organization. It can also be used to identify potential influencers in your industry, all of which help your business become more agile since you’re able to make better informed decisions about social.
Mention. Many have argued that Google Alerts has been broken for a while, which is why Mention is an effective alternative to getting alerts regarding the social web. The monitoring tool allows your business to keep track of keywords of your choosing to help monitor and manage your reputation across the web effectively, whether that involves reviewing tweets or a recent article about your company.
To actively listen to the conversation around your business online, an account can cost anywhere between $6.99 a month to $6,499 a month depending on the size of your team and the range of features being used.
Buffer. Posting content across the many social networks can be time consuming without a proper social media scheduling tool to streamline the process. Use Buffer for your business to help save time and become more efficient when it comes to sharing content at scale across your company’s social accounts.
As of today, your business is able to connect a Twitter account, Facebook page, LinkedIn group or page, an App.net account and a Google+ page. Small business accounts are $50 a month, $100 per month for medium-size businesses and $250 a month for enterprise businesses.
Zapier. Integrating the many apps your business regularly uses is made simple with Zapier without having to wait for a developer to create an integration or dive into any coding yourself. Zapier automates interactions between hundreds of popular apps such as Etsy, Gmail, Google+, Evernote, MailChimp and more to make your life easier. For instance, you’re able to send a Wufoo form entry to Salesforce as a lead or add a new Twitter follower to a Google Docs spreadsheet.
The service is free up to 100 tasks and five zaps (app integrations), then rises from $15 to $99 a month depending on the amount of tasks, zaps and how often your zaps occur.
Which tools are you using to help grow your social influence in the coming year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.