Our top social media tools for 2013 are more advanced than in past years.
From social ads to analytics to deeper integrations and API options. If you want a more intelligent social media toolset, the tools that we got this year were a gift.
Facebook’s ads got a lot of great new features. Twitter and LinkedIn really upped their social ad options as well. And other platforms (Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+) signed on to the instream ads that are becoming the industry norm.
APIs are getting better and allow tools like ThinkUp and Buffer to exist and improve. And even if the APIs are not where they need to be, marketers now have Zapier, which is kind of a professional version of IFTTT.
Check out the top new social tools from 2013 below and add your own in the comments.
And if you want to review, here are our top new social media tools from 012, and our top new social media tools from 2011. Take a walk down memory lane.
1. Facebook Custom Audiences
The most useful new tool to any social marketing in 2013 was easily Facebook Custom Audiences. Being able to target Facebook ads to lists of emails, phones numbers, or app id’s is incredibly powerful for any business. Not to mention the ability to create subsets of said data using Facebook’s plethora of other targeting options. Facebook launched a lot of new advertising tools this year and greatly improved others (lookalike audiences, retargeting, mobile targeting).
2. Twitter Cards
Twitter made some big moves with rich media this year. The platform is looking more and more like Facebook as inline images, article previews, lead gen forms, and video become an important feature. For marketers Twitter Cards mean more clicks, more interactions. The potential is huge.
From simply including more inline images, like the National Geographic example above, to using one-click lead gen forms inside of tweets, all marketers should be getting more familiar with Twitter Cards options.
3. Vine & Instagram Video
Vine was one of the more innovative social tools that launched in 2013. So much so that it impacted many other social networks, especially Instagram, who also launched their own similar short video feature. Vine’s unique video editing, animated gif style looping, embedding, and auto play features made a big splash and we’ve even see Facebook borrow these ideas.
4. LinkedIn Instream Ads
LinkedIn matched a big Facebook ad feature this year with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. Being able to put custom in-stream content in front of the specific LinkedIn professionals your business wants to work with is invaluable. Being able to target these high performing ads to specific job titles alone is something most B2B businesses should be exploiting.
It’s been called the internet’s API. Or the API of APIs. Here’s the deal. If you have one piece of marketing software that you want to connect to another piece of marketing software, Zapier is your answer. Instead of hiring a few developers to build a custom solution, Zapier gives you plug and play solutions for free or a very affordable monthly cost.
6. Buffer Business Tools
Buffer is one of my favorite social media tools. They keep things simple and offer a ton of time savings and headache savings when it comes to publishing and scheduling large amounts of social media updates. In 2013 they went a step further and launched Buffer for Business.
Besides adding more social accounts and team member options, the new Buffer for Business has better analytics and tons of integrations that are really powerful. The improved analytics allow users to compare the success of different post types of time. And the integrations include some great tools like Mention (social monitoring), Feedly (RSS reader), and Followerwonk (best time to post).
ThinkUp is the social media analytics option for normal people. It is currently in private beta but you can sign up for their waiting list at ThinkUp.com. Created by Anil Dash (first employee of blogging platform Six Apart) and Gina Trapani (founded LifeHacker), the goals of ThinkUp are very simple. They want to store your social updates and interactions, make them accessible, and provide simple and useful insights that help you build meaningful relationships online.
ThinkUp is not about increasing your click throughs or your ecommerce ROI. Their insights focus on interactions, and simple suggestions for improving your social media success.
8. High Quality Social Cameras
The SonyNEX 5R and Samsung Galaxy Camera are two of the top digital cameras that not only take high quality photos but also bring the benefit wifi, apps and filters.
“I take my photos, transfer them to my iPhone. Quick edit with my photos apps. Push out to all my social networks during events and conferences, etc.” said Calvin Lee (@MayhemStudios) of his SonNEX 5R.
“In a social media world where images are everything… having a high-quality camera with the android operating system and all my apps is invaluable… As long as I’m connected to Wi-Fi it does everything my phone does except make phone calls.” said Rich Tucker (@RichTucker) about his Samsung Galaxy Camera.
9. Pinterest Analytics
A big part of Pinterest is organic. Meaning that even if your business does not have a Pinterest account or is posting Pins on a regular basis, visitors to your website likely still are. And that data is important. Pinterest finally gave us access to a piece of that information this year.
From Pinterest, “Find out how many people are Pinning from your website, seeing your Pins, and clicking your content. Pick a timeframe to see how your numbers trend over time.”
10. Storify VIP
Storify, now owned by LiveFyre, has a VIP product that is very niche. But still very cool. Their free product is another one of my favorite social media tools.
The VIP product is a premium service for media organizations, publishers or anyone seeking to deeply integrate social curation and storytelling into their site.
Unique features including advanced SEO customization options, enterprise-class support and real-time story updates. In my words: Storify allows anyone, brands or publishers alike, to add context and take ownership around social conversations and put that on their owned properties.
What did we miss?
What social network, social media software, new hardware, or new social feature really left a mark for you in 2013? Help everyone out by letting us know in the comments.
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