If you’re a young, up-and-coming social media strategist, more than likely, you’ve already become familiar with a couple of different things: how difficult it is to juggle a variety of different social channels and the daily consumption of Ramen Noodles.
Yup, that’s the cost, at least when starting out, of making a living off of the very thing that most people do in their free time. Fortunately, apart from Hootsuite, there are a number of other free social media tools which, when properly used, make the professional lives of starving social strategists slightly more enjoyable. Here are three of my personal favorites:
1) Facebook Insights
As a far as free social tools are concerned, Facebook Insights is easily in second place, directly behind Hootsuite. If you consider yourself an expert marketer on Facebook and have yet to have explored all that Facebook Insights has to offer, it might be time to strongly consider a career change.
Sure, Facebook has made some recent changes making advertising a more difficult endeavor, but that shouldn’t stop you from using Facebook Insights. Through the free service, you can easily come to better understand the behavior of your target audience. Furthermore, likes, engagement and post reach are all presented in an easy-to-read format for account managers.
I’m a fan of pushing as much content as possible and no social platform is better for that than Twitter. If you’re like me and use Twitter on a regular basis, you’ve probably already heard of TweetDeck. Shockingly, there’s a reason for that—it’s incredible.
Similar to Hootsuite, TweetDeck allows users to schedule tweets and keep up-to-date with the latest hashtags, topics and events that Twitter has to offer. Simply put, if you’re serious about Twitter and haven’t made this happen quite yet, hop on over to and give things a look. You’ll be happy with what you find.
Okay, so this one’s a bit different from the previous two tools. Originally launched in 2004, IceRocket was intended for bloggers and, seeing as how many of us PR pros regularly produce engaging blog posts, this resource is pure gold.
Serving as more of a search engine, I use IceRocket to to not only track blog and client mentions on the Internet, but also on Facebook and Twitter. Even better, use IceRocket’s trend report to add a visual twist to more effectively monitor mentions. While the interface isn’t as in-depth as you might like, it’s better than forking over a few hundred bucks a month for more expensive social scanning systems.
Additionally, as time goes on and the social movement gains even more steam than it already has, there are bound to be more tools made readily available for public use. Needless to say, keep your eyes peeled. Things are only going to get better.
Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list of free social media tools, by any means. With that in mind, which social tools have you used to help build your clients’ images out on the World Wide Web? What’s worked efficiently? Conversely, what’s tools are more imposters than anything else? Let me know in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.