07.05 2017 02:10h
07.05 2017 02:10h

The 10 best Free Tools For Middle East Influencers

For every need you can think of…
by @Ethan Zach

From monitoring what people say about you, scheduling and improving your content, and even coming up with titles for them. There’s practically a tool for everything.

And a lot of these cost little to nothing.

Here are some of the core functions you might need help with:

·  Analytics  & Reporting – Seeing how your content is performing, allowing you to set and re-evaluate goals

· Listening & Insights – As implied by the term, concerned with listening in on conversations surrounding you brand, those of your competitors, and the industry. Think of it as eavesdropping, but the more socially acceptable kind.

· Content Marketing – Assist in preparation and/or curation of fresh, relevant and engaging content.

·  Influence Measurement – To see where you stack up amongst the elite

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at what we can use to make your life easier.

1. Hootsuite (hootsuite.com) - Social Media Management / Listening / Analytics

A powerhouse in the realm of social media management, this one can be used for everything from management of pages, to social listening, scheduling of content, etc.

The interface is sleek, clean, and very easy to understand, considering, you’re the one who makes it.

No, not literally. Hootsuite’s dashboard allows you to create multiple tabs where you can assign particular streams of data i.e. mentions, pages likes, post likes, etc, that are most important to you. It’s up to you, you can create individual tabs for Facebook and Twitter, where you have the stats of your choice displayed, or you could have one massive dashboard with data from multiple channels.

Furthermore, they have a very sophisticated listening tool to say the least, not only tracking and displaying everything that is said about your brand across multiple channels, but also displaying the average sentiment i.e. positive, negative, behind those comments.

Their free account allows you to manage up to 3 profiles, with basic analytics, and post scheduling.

The professional package, which has everything you’d need when just starting out, is about $9.99$/month.

2. Buffer (buffer.com)  - Social Media Management / Listening

Amazing tool, in addition to the management capabilities above, get this, it tracks follower activity, and suggests the best times for you to post.

Also part of every package, including their free one, is it’s very own ‘Pablo’ image creator if you want  quotes, inspirational images and memes to be a  large part of your content strategy.

With the exception of Pinterest, their free account allows you to manage 1 profile for each platform. To add Pinterest into the mix, along with a RSS feed, calendar, etc you would need to opt for their professional package at 10$/month.

3. TweetDeck – Social Media Management

Exclusive (and 100% free) platform for managing multiple twitter accounts and scheduling tweets. Twitter especially requires a lot of activity, so this one comes in handy when just starting out.

4. Google Alerts (google.com/alerts)  - Listening / Content Marketing

Google Alerts, an oldie but a goodie. This simple and easy to use tool has been abused by content marketers for ages now.

What it does is, it allows you monitor and receive alerts on anything from the web, on a specific topic.

All you need to do is visit the site, enter the keywords you’d like to track, could be your brand, or topic, and enter the email you’d like the notifications sent too. You can even set how frequently updates are sent, and whether to focus only on stories ranked on the first page or just everything.

5. Google Trends (https://www.google.com/trends/) - Content Marketing

Shout out to Google, killing it on this list! Amazing tool, used for similar purposes as mentioned above, allows you to keep track of trends by region and/or topic.

6. Sprout Social (www.sproutsocial.com) - Social Media Management / Analytics

Very easy to schedule and manage posts, provides you with a virtual content calendar. Convenient for when planning integrated campaigns and promotions.

Baseline analytics like page growth, engagement levels, rates, etc are all provided as well, in well laid out formats.

But you don’t need to take our word for it, they offer a 30 free trial on any of their plans. But they are on the pricier side, with their starter package at 99$/month.

Best suited for those with loads of content to manage across multiple platforms, for an individual, we’d suggest Buffer or Hootsuite.

7. BuzzSumo – Influence Measurement / Content Development

An absolute gem and must have for any content marketing professionals in our opinion, not only does it allow you to survey the field for the top influencers by industry, it tracks what’s trending regionally.

Which if used right, is great for coming up with new and fresh content ideas. Give yourself the best chance of going viral, by jumping on trends whenever possible.

Great for content curation as well; curation being the process of finding and gathering valuable information from other sources and sharing it with your fans.

This comes at a hefty price though, starting at 99$ a month. To dip your toes in, they do have a 30 day free trial.

And in general the service can be used for free, however, your search is limited to one page of results.

8. Feedly - Content Marketing

Compiles and create streams of content from various sources, can be organized by topic for ease of use. Mainly used for coming up with great ideas, and content curation as well.

Fyi, try and keep curated content to a minimum, ideally around 20%. As an influencer and expert in your field, a majority of your content should be your own. Yours fans are there for your opinion at the end of the day.

Similarly, while not technically an app, you could also use the site Buzzfeed regularly, to get a picture of what’s hot and what’s not.

9. Klout (wklout.com)– Influencer Measurement

Eager to put a number behind your influence, well, this is the tool for you. Using data from your social networks, Klout assigns a score ranging from 1-100, the higher you go, the harder it gets to increase your Klout score. It's a  well-respected measure of gauging influence. Keep cranking this number up, and sponsors will have no choice but to take note of your presence.

10. Social Mention (socialmention.com)– Listening

Absolutely free and real-time tool, that scours the web and over a 100 social media channels, including the mainstream favourites Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and collates everything with a mention of your name (or whoever you search for) in a single list. The list can be filtered by blog, images, videos, etc.

It also provides you with a more detailed analysis of your presence and influence, judging it on the basis of four factors Strength, Sentiment, Passion, and Reach.

Hope this article was helpful. If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover, drop a line on our social pages.

#sorelevant

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