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I simply have to share two exciting tools that I recently discovered: Crowdbooster and Buffer.

 

 

 

Going beyond the functionality of useful free tools like TweetReach, these new tools don't just provide stats, they help you manage your social media success by engaging more effectively.

 

Another tool I am testing, and have had good recommendations for in my network, is Hootsuite. Stats are not free but seem very comprehensive.  

 

1. Crowdbooster

 

A free tool that lets you get stats for one Twitter and one Facebook account. Impressions, @mentions, retweets, follower growth,  influential followers, top retweeters ..find out how you are doing in a daily email or on the site in your dashboard.  Get suggestions on the best times to send your Tweets, who you might want to consider engaging with in your network and more. I was intrigued by their recommendations.

 

They helped me thank the people who RTed me most last week, plus showed me an easy way to engage with top influencers. Let's see if it pays off.  Great also that you can connect your bit.ly account for link shortening to Crowdbooster . And if you pay, you can add more accounts.  The site states "We have your follower growth data back to your first day on Crowdbooster.

 

For tweets and mentions, we can go back further than that - up to 3,200 tweets from before you first signed up and everything since then. For Facebook, we can get the complete history for most pages." That is a huge advantage over TweetReach, where you can only get data for 50 Tweets at a time, unless you pay. 

 

Positive: Get quick stats and tips to improve your engagement. Bit.ly integration. 

Negative: I don't see an easy way to create a suitable report that could be shared with management at a big company.    

 

2. Buffer

 

This is a simple tool to help you spread out your Tweets throughout the day, so that you can manage your social media accounts more efficiently. You can add up to 10 Tweets and either schedule each for a specific time, or let Buffer send them out in intervals throughout the day automatically. If you recommend Buffer to others, you get rewarded with more Tweet-scheduling bandwidth. There is also a mobile app. 

 

When you read an article you like, simply click the "buffer" icon on your tool bar (I use Firefox) and you can schedule the Tweet (or send it right away). There are other add-ons for more social media sites, e.g. you can buffer directly on Twitter.com. Now combine this with the knowledge you gained from Crowdbooster on when the best times are for you to send your Tweets and you are truly optimizing your impact. 

 

This is not an excuse not to listen to and engage with your followers.  Think about what kind of Tweets you schedule and remember your objectives. For example, some believe that an insensitive Tweet by the NRA right after the Colorado movie theater shooting went out at this point in time due to scheduling.

 

Positive: Very easy to schedule your Tweets. Bit.ly integration.

Negative: Be careful what you schedule. Could backfire.   

 

 

Conclusion In my research, the Hootsuite analytics package for $9.99/month came up as a good option and many in my B2B network use and like it; especially when using multiple accounts with heavy traffic.  It seems, one of the big upsides of Hootsuite is that you can create comprehensive reports easily - of a quality that would satisfy most managers and executives - instead of having to compile and track the data yourself in a spreadsheet.  Make a decision based on your needs and resources. The main downside I have discovered about Hootsuite so far is that there is no Bit.ly integration and Ow.ly does not provide the same sophistication.   

 

Read this blog if you'd like to learn about more free tools: Time Tested Tool to Measure Social Media Success.

 

Any other great tools you'd like to share?

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