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Social media tools that marketers shouldn't miss - Messaging tools, Google resources, and the 2010 star

Social media tools that marketers shouldn't miss - Messaging tools, Google resources, and the 2010 star Lori Dicker

For messaging

Tool: Sendible
Although social media marketing is about dialogue and two-way communication, we like Sendible to communicate our clients' messages through SMS, social network messaging, and good old-fashioned email. There are price packages for all budget levels, and the interface makes it a breeze.

The world of Google tools

Tools: Google Alerts, Google Trends, and Google Analytics 
Rather than a set of tools with a specific function, this entry is composed of my favorite Google tools that help us plan, deploy, and measure social media campaigns. Not only are they easy to understand, they are free and get the job done. Beauty in simplicity couldn't be truer when it comes to these tools.

Google Alerts. In my opinion, anyone running a social media marketing campaign should be setting up Google Alerts. These notifications are instant email update alerts of the latest Google results -- whether it is a blog or site placement, news item, video, or tweet. You will sometimes have to experiment with Google Alerts for a few days before choosing one that delivers the most meaningful results for you. Google lets you create up to 1,000 alerts.

Google Trends. No list of tools would be complete without the mention of Google Trends. Google Trends can be used to monitor the popularity of certain search terms and enables marketers to gauge how top-of-mind their brand or message is. You can easily export Trends data to be opened with most spreadsheet applications.

Google Analytics. Many people we work with already have a social media presence or are in the process of developing one. The question becomes: Now that we've built it, is it working? For a simple and inexpensive way to track activity on a website or blog, it is difficult to beat Google Analytics. Easy to set up and use, and pretty self-explanatory, we recommend using this tool for many of our client campaigns.

Prediction: Favorite marketing tool of 2010

Tool: Foursquare
I'd be remiss if I didn't throw in my pick for the social network and marketing tool most likely to gain popularity in 2010: Foursquare. While already gaining popularity with iPhone and Android users, I think there is a great deal of marketing potential. To summarize, users check in when they visit locations and are awarded points for various activities. The opportunities for marketers are huge: from special offers at locations, to gaining valuable insights through consumer behaviors, to promotions. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on Foursquare and look forward to what's in store in 2010.

Lori Dicker is co-founder and CEO of KARMA Media Labs.

On Twitter? Follow Dicker at @LoriDicker. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.


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