Top 100 Social Media Tools & Resources You Can Benefit From Today

In writing my new book on social media strategy and from teaching social media marketing and digital marketing for years I have collected a list if valuable references. Below is a list of what I have found to the be some of the top social media resources and tools in marketing, advertising and PR. Hopefully I have provided some references and links that you have not heard of and can benefit from today.

Keith A Quesenberry Social Media StrategyFor a view of the bigger picture. Look for my new book that lays out a comprehensive social media planning process for any brand, organization or individual. “Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution” is coming out in October 2015 with Roman & Littlefield publishers.

It provides a step-by-step system for creating a social media marketing plan, but also looks at social media outside marketing for silo smashing integration across strategic business units. You can read about it here:

If there is a valuable tool or resource you use for social media that I have not listed, please let me know in the comments below!

Social Media News & Insights

  1. Social Media Examiner:
  2. Social Media Explorer:
  3. Social Media Today:
  4. Social Media Marketing Magazine:
  5. Chris Brogan:
  6. Hubspot’s Inbound Hub:
  7. RazerSocial:
  8. Social Mouths:
  9. Mashable Social Media:
  10. Gartner Digital Marketing:
  11. Jeff Bullas:
  12. Convince & Convert :
  13. Grow:
  14. FTC Disclosures:
  15. Social Media Law Bulletin:

Social Media Podcasts

  1. Social Media Examiner:
  2. Social Pros Podcast:
  3. This Old Marketing:
  4. The Marketing Companion:
  5. Content Inc.:

Social Media Monitoring & Metrics

  1. Hootsuite:
  2. Social Bakers:
  3. Lithium:
  4. Brandwatch:
  5. Oracle Social Cloud:
  6. Radian6 (Salesforce):
  7. Sysomos:
  8. Nielson Social:
  9. Critical Mention:
  10. Cision:
  11. Social Mention:
  12. Addict-o-matic:
  13. How Socialble:
  14. Meltwater Ice Rocket:
  15. Simply Measured:
  16. Trackur:
  17. Row Feeder:

Online Data Collection

  1. Quantcast:
  2. Google Analytics:
  3. Kiss Metrics:
  4. SEMrush:
  5. Mention:
  6. Social Bakers:
  7. Talkwalker Alerts:
  8. Omgili:
  9. SharedCount:
  10. Topsy:
  11. Twitter Advanced Search:
  12. Tweetreach:
  13. Cyfe:
  14. Keyhole:
  15. YouGovProfiles:
  16. Google Trends:
  17. Soovle:
  18. Klout:
  19. Kred:

Social Media Research

  1. Pew Research Center:
  2. Nielsen Social Media Reports:
  3. Forrester:
  4. Social Technographics Profile:
  5. Social Media Collective:
  6. Social Explorer:
  7. Global Web Index:
  8. Statista:
  9. Affinio:
  10. Gallap:
  11. Roper Center:
  12. Kantar Media SRDS:
  13. Simmons:

Social Media Graphics Tools

  1. Canva:
  2. PicMonkey:
  3. Piktochart:
  4. Easelly:
  5. Design Seeds: design–
  6. Word Swag:
  7. Over:
  8. Pictaculous:
  9. Adobe Kuler:–wheel
  10. Google Fonts:   

Social Content Scheduling & Automation

  1. HubSpot:
  2. Sprout Social:
  3. SocialOomph:
  4. Buffer:
  5. TweetDeck:
  6. Crowdbooster:
  7. Later Bro:
  8. Post Planner:
  9. Buddy Media:
  11. Edgar:
  12. Zapier:
  13. IFTTT:
  14. Short Stack:
  15. Woodbox:
  16. Zendesk:

Trade Associations, Awards, Conferences

  1. Word of Mouth Marketing Association:
  2. Online Media Marketing Awards:
  3. The Webby Awards:
  4. The Shorty Awards:
  5. The Mashies:
  6. Social Media Strategies Summit:
  7. Social Media Week:
  8. SXSW:
  9. SXSWedu:
  10. Social Media Marketing World:
  11. INBOUND:
  12. Content Marketing World:
  13. Brand Innovators:
  14. Summit:

FoMO: Why Fear of Missing Out Could Hurt Your Social Media Efforts.

Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) has been described as “the fear of regret, which may lead to a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity.” This fear can apply to missed social interaction, experiences, investments, new movies, apps, anything. Ultimately FoMO is fearing that we made the wrong decision on how to spend our time. I believe FoMO is pervasive among marketers, advertisers, entrepreneurs and business owners when it comes to social media. Fear of missing out on the latest social app or network can seriously hurt social media marketing efforts.

Social Media MarketingSome report there are over 800 social networks, apps and services. That number is overwhelming and it feels like there is a hot new social network popping up every other week. A couple of years ago it was Pinterest, then Instagram, Tumblr and Vine. Now it is SnapChat, Yik Yak, Yo, Meerkat and Periscope. What will be next? With the changes in social media happening so quickly, marketers and advertisers always feel left behind and like they must rush into every new thing.

The truth is that you should never rush into any social media action because of FoMO. Any good social media effort should first start with listening. If you are jumping into SnapChat because it is the latest channel to get buzz in the press, how do you know what to say? How do you know what works? How do you even know your target audience is there? Did you ever meet someone who only talks about themselves and never listens? Fairly quickly you learn to avoid those people. The same thing can happen in social networks with businesses that rush to start talking in new channels.

You should also never rush into any social media action because social media results take time. Results only come from significant planning and time investment into creating valuable content. Despite all the talk of ROI and immediate measurement, social media marketing doesn’t give immediate return, like a new TV campaign that can spike retail sales the weekend you run it. You must put in significant effort over time to see real results in social media. How much time?

Tom Martin from Converse Digital polled digital marketers and asked how long it takes to see results from social media marketing. Most respondents felt 6 months was a fair average, but only if you were doing it right. Comments to the post from people such as Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute chimed in with time frames of 6 to 9 months or 12 to 18 months.

Susan Gunelius in an Entrepreneur article explains that successful social media marketing requires following the Law of Patience. She says, “Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.”

Raffe at Transcending Social Media asks and answers this question in a different way. How long does it take for you to create a loyal following? Social media is all about engagement, relationships and listening. It can take months to curate a community by targeting them with articles, pictures, videos and other content that fosters engagement. Raffe concludes by saying, “Don’t be fooled into thinking that because social media is an instantaneous means of communication that a community will simply spring forth from the ground. Your customers will support you, if you work at it.”

Jaybird Social Media brings a dose of reality simply by saying, “If your social media consultant is suggesting that you can make it big overnight on the Internet, she is relying too heavily on the idea that memes and campaigns can go viral. Going viral is like winning the lottery.”

Hopefully by now you are feeling less fearful about missing out, but what does it mean to do social media right? Converse Digital suggests investing your time in three key areas:

  1. Invest in a solid strategy. Spend time to go through a social media marketing process. For example, always start with business objectives, target audience and listening.
  2. Invest in great content. People don’t share “blah.” What you create and share has to be excellent. It has to entertain, educate and simply be interesting to get shared online.
  3. Invest in quality people. Who is going to be the voice of your brand? Invest in experience and knowledge and training. No offense against college students, but don’t put your entire brand’s social presence solely in the hands of an intern.

Jaybird Social Media adds some great insight by saying you should spend your time on social media where your clients, prospects or customers spend their time. No need to jump on a trendy new network if your customers and prospects are not there. Jaybird also suggests optimizing your time with tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Buffer or HubSpot.

In a past blog post I wrote about David Higdon, NASCAR’s IMC Managing Director and how I heard him talk about the brand’s remarkable overhaul at a conference. Through social media they were able to achieve amazing results and engage a younger fan base, but it was accomplished through a 3-year plan.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t experiment with new social channels, but don’t let FoMO rush you into to not taking the time to do it right. And don’t let FoMO scare you into pulling needed resources from your existing social channels to rush to that trendy network or app. It reminds me of a saying from my advertising days that says, “There is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over.” Do it right the first time and you won’t miss out on anything.

Take a breath. Take a step back and listen before you leap. If you are not on any social networks yet then you probably are missing out. The good news is that by waiting you now have over 800 to choose from!

This post originally appeared on Social Media Today here.

Can You Win the Content Marketing Arms Race?

Every minute there are 100,000 new Tweets, 40,000 Facebook updates, 40,000 Instagram photos and 30 hours of YouTube videos added to the Internet. That is an enormous amount of new content being generated every minute of every day. Much of this content is coming from marketers and the deluge will only get worse as more marketers become content marketers.

Social Media Marketing Keith QuesenberryThe volume and frequency of content is increasing. In a Content Marketing Institute survey, 69% of marketers say they are creating more content in 2015 than they did one year ago. Looking ahead, 59% expect their organization’s content marketing budget to increase in the next year. Of these content marketers, 48% publish new content daily or multiple times a week and they are creating content for an average of 13 different content marketing tactics.

The amount of content being created is exploding. Yet the more content we create the harder it will be to get our content seen. Each individual piece of content will become less and less effective. This will lead to more content creation and more frequent publishing.

A similar thing happened with advertising over the last several decades. More ads were placed in TV shows, more banner ads were placed online, more and more ads were placed everywhere such as sidewalks, elevators and bathroom stalls. The end results was an enormous amount of advertising clutter. One look at Times Square in New York City gives you a visual depiction.

Social Media Marketing Keith QuesenberryIt is said that in 1970, the average person was exposed to only 500 advertisements a day, but by 1990 they saw an average of 5,000 ad messages a day. 

Because of this clutter each ad has become less effective. In 1965, consumers recalled 34% of commercials they saw, but by 1990 recall of TV commercials dropped to just 8%. By 2007 people could only remember two commercials they saw in a day.

Social media was a way to get away from advertising clutter. However, now it seems that social media may become just as cluttered as advertising. With each social network being flooded with more content, reach is dropping. New social channels spring up only to increase the content clutter.

For example, Facebook reported that the average person saw 1,500+ newsfeeds whenever they log onto Facebook This was too many to possibly read. So they narrowed the feed to show only about 300 through adjusting their algorithm resulting in a drop in organic reach to 3%. Competition is increasing and it is becoming harder for any one piece of content to gain exposure.

I believe the answer to this content race may lie within one-on-one engagement. Despite the explosive growth of social content, the medium number of friends a user has on Facebook is still only 200. Even if you have thousands of followers on Twitter, how many of those user’s Tweets do you see in a day? How many do you engage with on a regular basis? No matter the increase in content and channels we sill have a limited amount of time to engage.

Social Media Marketing Keith QuesenberryThis makes me think of a long tail strategy for SEO. Here you use key phrases to narrow to a smaller audience of those more likely to be interested in our content and convert. Perhaps this thinking can also apply to social content where the long tail focuses less on reach and more on engagement with a smaller group. Thus content becomes more important for engaging current fans rather than for generating awareness – something traditional advertising in mass media can do better.

So perhaps as social content gets more crowed we should not abandon traditional advertising. Use paid advertising for mass awareness and concentrate social media on interaction. Social can still generate awareness, but without paying you will mostly likely gain that awareness through engagement.

. This leads to a renewed call for integration of traditional and social. One effort is not enough. Social media is more effective when you add paid media to help meet your goals.

In 2009, the trade publication Advertising Age, pronounced that the ad age was over after the prestigious advertising award show Cannes was swept by PR, integrated and Internet winners. David Lubars, chairman-chief creative officer of BBDO said, “The way the world is heading is voluntary engagement.” I believe they were half right. We have entered an age of engagement, but the ad age cannot be left behind. To win in this race you need both.

This article originally appeared on Social Media Today.