We compile a list of six key tools for communications and PR people looking to make the most of presence on social.
Social media is the dominant force in professional communications today, impacting strategies in everything from marketing to publishing to public relations. For PR professionals and communicators in particular, a strong and carefully planned social media strategy is vital in order to ensure maximum reach for a client or campaign.
Social media tools are a key resource for professionals looking to implement a campaign effectively across different platforms. Most also provide analytics on performance and engagement, allowing users to tailor future campaigns to increase efficiency. While there exists a vast array of such tools, the sheer number of them can be daunting, and testing different ones to gauge their usefulness to your company or client can be time-consuming.
With this in mind, and following on from our previous tips for newsrooms and marketers, we’ve compiled a list of six key social media tools for PR and communications professionals in 2015.
Analytics report

1) Hootsuite

The go-to media management system for many in the industry, the long-running Hootsuite’s easy-to-use interface and wide compatibility has earned it consistent praise. Users can publish and schedule posts from one dashboard-like window, tracking engagement across each platform. Hootsuite works with everything from Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr and is a key tool in the arsenal of PR and communications professionals.

2) Oktopost

Similarly to Hootsuite, Oktopost allows you to post content across different social media channels. However, it goes one step further by allowing targeted posting around campaigns. Users can post a series of linked updates to various platforms and then use the tool’s in-built analytics to see which opened up leads and drove the most engagement. For PR professionals, this is particularly useful in planning and evaluating individual campaigns for clients, and also helps to identify key influencers or contacts in particular sectors.
Hubspot social inbox

3) Social Inbox

This allows users to combine social media monitoring with a database of contacts. Essentially, users can monitor how a campaign is received across different social media channels. This in turn enables you to build a full overview of a particular contact or customer’s history with the company, from email opens and page views to customer status. In an industry where consistently effective communication is key, this is a highly useful tool for evaluating how many leads social media is generating and how best to build upon previous efforts.

4) Buzzstream

Building solid relationships is the backbone of good public relations, and this widely-used tool allows PR and communications professionals to manage their networks more efficiently. Buzzstream enables users to research potential contacts and import data and information into a spreadsheet, which then forms the basis for planning outreach and follow-up. When looking to build a network of bloggers or influencers for specific campaigns, few resources are more useful.

5) ConnectUp

While many of these tools allow industry professionals to monitor communications across social media, the value of personalised email outreach should not be overlooked. Indeed, many insiders are touting the virtues of old-fashioned, direct and personalised communication in a world swiftly becoming immersed in tech. ConnectUp offers PR and communications professionals a means of managing messages and outreach in a more personal manner. It imports contacts from LinkedIn, Gmail, Outlook and even your phone, allowing for messages to be directed through text as well as email. This is a good option for those looking for a way to maintain and enhance relationships with those contacts who may not be particularly active on social.

6) NewsWhip Spike

Our tool Spike tracks over 2 million pieces of content across multiple platforms, revealing which stories are gaining traction in real time. For PR and communications professionals, this allows for detailed analysis of current and breaking stories and opportunities. Used as a complement to social monitoring tools, Spike allows you to see content and conversations around your clients, and identify whether a particular story is gaining sufficient momentum to necessitate a response. This is equally useful in determining when not to respond, as the absence of a trending signal around a negative comment or story can help PR professionals evaluate how likely it is to pose any threat to a client. As Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist at Edelman noted, “News data is one of the best indicators of what’s trending on social media and [NewsWhip] has its finger on the pulse of this dynamic.” Spike tracks content in Facebook (including live video), Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. You can sign up for a free trial here.

Have we missed anything? Feel free to send us your tips for essential PR and communications social tools. Tweet us @Newswhip or email contact[at]newswhip[dot]com.

Featured image credit: Niuton may/Flickr

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