What Are The Best Social Media Tools? 40 Experts Reveal All

As individuals and as marketers we are both content producers and consumers. Our digital worlds are growing through the various social media platforms at our fingertips and we need social media management tools to make utilising them easier. Or do we? We engaged with social media influencers, subject matter experts and top social sellers to ask them this one simple question:

“What Social Media tool should every marketer be using in 2015?”

The answers were very mixed. Hootsuite was a popular choice as a social media management tool and Buzzsumo for social share analysis. Others recommended going old school and sticking with e-mail and the telephone for social interaction. Some of our experts were merely advocates of a certain platform such as LinkedIn and Twitter and using their native features such as analytics. Finally, there were a few experts who argued that the biggest asset in social media is in fact you; using common sense, not automating and building real relationships.

Here’s what the experts had to say…

Guy Kawasaki.jpeg“In late 2014 my team figured out how to add a graphic to my automated tweets. I saw engagement double. There’s no doubt in my mind that every post needs a graphic—and not a tiny, thumbnail but one that’s optimized for each service. My company, Canva, enables people to create such graphics in a fast, inexpensive, and easy way. Sure, I’m conflicted here, but this tool is so good that I went to work for the company.”
Guy Kawasaki – Chief Evangelist of Canva@GuyKawasaki

Mari Smith copy“A robust content scheduling tool, ideally one that also provides solid metrics and other critical features. Popular choices include HootSuite, Buffer or Edgar. However, I’m seeing a growing need among my top corporate clients for an all-in-one solution that includes these features: curation of the best content, schedule posts, repeat popular posts, community management including assigning cases, listening/brand monitoring, measurement, and even Facebook ad management. Sprinklr is a great enterprise level choice that meets most of these needs. For sure, see also Socialbakers Marketing Suite for a competitive solution.”
Mari Smith – Social Media Thought Leader, Premier Facebook Marketing Expert – @MariSmith

Glen Gilmore.jpeg
“Social media marketers have a constant demand to find and share relevant content for their clients. Zite is a great content curation tool that lets you customize your feed and share the content directly to the social accounts you manage.  Content curation is a key component of content marketing. Zite’s mobile app makes it easy to do this work on the go, as you have spare moments in your day.  I use several tools to help me do this, but Zite is one with high marks.”
Glen Gilmore – Digital Marketing Strategist, Lawyer and Author – @GlenGilmore

“A blog (or some other flexible content platform). Why: Own your own house, don’t rent it. Also Instagram. Why: Even if you can’t figure out a business reason to use it right now, you should be using it personally to get a sense of the visual story potential and community there.”
Ann Handley – Author, Speaker and Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs@MarketingProfs

Ted Rubin.jpeg
“The very personal tool of relationship building. 2015 needs to be the year of doing what I call… Looking People in the Eye Digitally. The last few decades of marketing tactics have made us lazy communicators and I’ve had just about enough. Most often we don’t even pay attention to who we are talking to other than via the data we collect (and even that’s a maybe). In order to fix this and really start to benefit from social relationships (both as individuals and as companies), we need to start looking people in the eye digitally. It’s time to stop making excuses, and start bringing in-person social skills to the digital world. All of the positive benefits are out there waiting, and it’s up to us to make the effort to realize them.”
Ted Rubin – Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker and Brand Evangelist – @TedRubin

“2015 needs to be the year of doing what I call… Looking People in the Eye Digitally” @TedRubin Tweet this

Pam Moore.jpeg
LeadPages.Net. Social media success roots in the ability to drive desired action that helps your customers, audience and community members. LeadPages helped us grow our email subscriber list to over 35k in less than 6 months. This is more than double what we started with at the beginning of the six month period.”
Pam Moore –CEO and Founder of Marketing Nutz@PamMktgNut

Rand Fishkin.jpeg
“I think very highly of Buzzsumo – it lets you see what content has performed well around given topics/keywords and what social networks (and specific influencers) have helped it spread.”
Rand Fishkin – Wizard of Moz@randfish

Evan Carmichael.jpeg
“Hands down it’s YouTube. If you want people to connect to you and your message do it with video. The lifespan of a YouTube video is way longer than any other social media platform and the opportunity to make a real impact on someone is unmatched.”
Evan Carmichael – Founder of EvanCarmichael.com, one of the world’s most popular websites for entrepreneurs – @EvanCarmichael

#FordBWE Viral PhotoStudio
Twitter. Not a service attached to Twitter, but the Twitter web site. I sit at a desk and try-out searches on questions being asked around my topics… Answering questions if I can, but mostly to get a feel for what real people are talking about in real time. You could do this full time without finding an end, but just 15 minutes a week will put you head and shoulders above marketer who blasts messages without understanding what’s in the mind of consumers.”​
Warren Whitlock – Author, Speaker and Social Media Strategist – @WarrenWhitlock

Scott Stratten.jpeg
None. I would like marketers to stop breaking social media with tools, myself included. We broke social by trying to automate and schedule everything. Looking for opportunities for “real-time marketing” instead of reinvesting back into the social capital of the very platforms that only survive from being social with each other.“
Scott Stratten – President of UnMarketing@unmarketing

“I would like marketers to stop breaking social media with tools, myself included.” @unmarketing Tweet this

Deborah Lee.jpeg
“We need to be focussing our attention on anything that allows us to gain a better insight as to how our brand is perceived by our online audience. That extends beyond the simplicity of how many retweets, likes or mentions we’re getting. 2015 will demonstrate more succinctly than ever before that we do and say is only effective if it serves to enhance our reputation. In terms of how to go about achieving that I’d look at the tools that a company like Nielsen has to offer.”
Deborah Lee – International Social Media Speaker, Writer and Advisor – @debsylee

Laura Fitton
Social Inbox because until you integrate social monitoring and publishing with your marketing analytics and customer database, you’re really only just guessing at what to do and whether your efforts are effective.”
Laura Fitton – Founder of OneForty and Co-Author Twitter for Dummies – @pistachio

Renee Blodgett.jpeg
“How about common sense? There’s a ton of great social media tools out there that can be useful but a fundamental thing missing is common sense when using them.”
Renee Blodgett – Founder of Magic Sauce Media and We Blog the World@MagicSauceMedia

David Meerman.jpeg
SlideShare . I’m stunned by this result (so far), the fastest sharing of any of my content in more than a decade of sharing free stuff on the web. The SlideShare has spread my work way beyond my own network to reach many people who have never been exposed to my ideas.”
David Meerman – Online Marketing Strategist and Author – @dmscott

jessica-miller copy
“My favorite new social media tool to manage my relationships is called ConnectUp. It’s in beta but I love that it helps me strategically manage and build those personal relationships with my already established network. It’s my newest go-to social media tool.”
Jessica Miller-Merrell – Author, Speaker and Founder of Blogging4Jobs@blogging4jobs

Neal Schaffer copy
“I’m a big fan of BuzzSumo, and I believe it is a tool that should be in every social media marketer’s toolbox in 2015. Marketers are all trying to either create or curate shareable content, and BuzzSumo is simply the best tool to help you analyze what is the most shared piece of content for any given keyword on any given social network. BuzzSumo provides a lot of functionality including; analyzing which influencers you should target who share similar content to yours, as well as being a great tool to help compare your website with others which helps you optimize your editorial calendar.“
Neal Schaffer – Founder of Maximize Your Social and @NealSchaffer

“BuzzSumo is a tool that should be in every social media marketer’s toolbox in 2015.” @NealSchaffer Tweet this

Pam Dyer.jpeg
“I use Hootsuite Pro for all of our social platforms. It supports Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, and its dashboard is very user friendly. It works great, it’s inexpensive ($10/month), and it enables team collaboration. I try to schedule the majority of my posts in advance so I can set it and forget it.”
Pam Dyer – Marketing Chief at Agile Alliance@pamdyer

Jay Oatway copy
Feedly. Great way to keep your content marketing / social media marketing pipeline full of thought-leadership without having to do so much original content creation. Content curation, with a tool like Feedly, is a powerful, fast and effective way of keeping your community engaged.”
Jay Oatway – Leading Social Media Authority, Public Speaker and Best-Selling author – @JayOatway

Steve Rubel
NewsWhip Spike – news data is one of the best indicators of what’s trending on social media and this company has its finger on the pulse of this dynamic.”
Steve Rubel – Chief Content Strategist at Edelman@steverubel

Calvin Lee.jpeg
“I know everyone is using automation tools for their marketing and social. I don’t believe in automation. I still manually push all my social curated content to my social networks individually. I feel it’s more social this way. I can answer any questions and engage live. The only real tool I use is Twitter, Twitter Lists. I have lists of trusted Twitter accounts for news, info, inspiration, etc which I follow and reshare tweets and articles.”
Calvin Lee – CEO of Mayhem Studios@mayhemstudios

Jason Falls.jpeg
“Every marketer should certainly be using their own discretion… that’s a hell of a tool to use. It’s not about what software or hardware or approach to analytics or set of tactics you use. It’s about caring for the brand or client in question, finding the right combination of strategies, tactics, tools and approaches that deliver results and singling out the results that matter, not vanity metrics that don’t move the brand forward. Critical thinking, personal analysis … discretion. That’s the tool we should all be using a lot more than we’ve shown to date.”
Jason Falls – Senior Vice-President, Digital Strategy at Elasticity@JasonFalls

“Every marketer should certainly be using their own discretion, that’s a hell of a tool to use.” @JasonFalls Tweet this

Jeffrey Hayzlett
You. Not trying to be glib but there is no one tool that works for everything.  Social media is as different as the people who are active in it every day, so use them all.  Try different ones and the ones that most work for you.so that you’re participating and developing your own process for interaction, monitoring and in some cases —activation.”
Jeffrey W. Hayzlett – Primetime Television & Radio Host Chairman of the C-Suite Network – @JeffreyHayzlett

Kristi Hines
“I would suggest Oktopost. Instead of just scheduling individual social media updates to your accounts to be tracked separately, you can create campaigns to measure the effectiveness of a group of related updates. Updates within a campaign can be spread out over multiple days and across all of the following networks: Twitter, Facebook (profile, pages, and groups), LinkedIn (profile, pages, and groups), and Google+ pages. You can also set up conversion tracking to see which updates lead to leads or sales on your website. It’s extremely useful for serious social media marketers who want to measure ROI.”
Kristi Hines – Freelance Writer and Creator of Content Promotion Plan@kikolani

Matt Heinz.jpeg
Snip.ly. Keep curating great content from other sources, but drive more of that traffic right back to your own content as well.”
Matt Heinz – President of Heinz Marketing@HeinzMarketing

Anthony Iannarino.jpeg
LinkedIn. No professional salesperson can afford to be without LinkedIn. You need to be able to learn about your customers, and they need to be able to quickly determine that you are someone with the chops to create value for them.”
Anthony Iannarino – President and Chief Sales Officer at SOLUTIONS Staffing@iannarino

Shama Hyder.jpeg
“I recommend using native analytic tools within each platform. Platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest provide social media demographic analytics so you can determine your true audience – including specifics such as location, age, gender, likes and interests. This can allow you to better cater to their interests, and keep them engaged with your brand.”
Shama Hyder – Founder and CEO of The Marketing Zen Group@Shama

Diane Rayfield twitter.jpeg
“Hands down I have to go with HootSuite. I’ve been using it for over 6 years. This social media dashboard just keeps on getting better. Not only can I schedule content for our agency and multiple clients, HootSuite is also a great monitoring tool.  With hundreds of apps that it integrates with, including Mail Chimp, Sales Force and one of my favorite, Riffle–there’s no end to its productivity and uses. HootSuite also recently introduced a new content suggestion feature making it easier than ever to curate relevant content.”
Diane Rayfield – Social Media Marketing Strategist – @dianerayfield

Vanessa DiMauro
“An online community platform is a tool most marketers should consider using in 2015. Forrester research declared 2015 the year of the online community, and many firms benefit greatly from having a branding online customer community across the entire buyer/customer lifecycle. While online community is not perfect for all firms, the strategic impact of the use of the tool should be critically examined by marketers to determine its value for the firm. . Some of the online community tools that are enterprise ready include (in alphabetical order) DNN, Get Satisfaction, Jive, and Lithium.”
Vanessa DiMauro – CEO and Chief Digital Officer of Leader Networks@vdimauro

“An online community platform is a tool most marketers should consider using in 2015.” @vdimauro Tweet this

Geoffrey James.jpeg
Vine, because by the end of the year nobody will have an attention span longer than six seconds.”
Geoffrey James – Author and Contributing Editor at Inc.com@Sales_Source

“I recommend a trio of products to help scale brands, networks and community in 2015; Nimble, BundlePost and HootSuite. We use Nimble to identify top influencers of our core community in around the areas of promise of our product. In our instance it’s thought leaders in sales, marketing, social media, social selling, social business as well as customer experience, entrepreneurship and startups. We then feed their Blog’s RSS feeds into a product called BundlePost which enables us to create bundles of content feeds of content that would inspire and educate our Nimble Community. We share this content through Hootsuite across the social identities of our company brand and our key customer facing Nimble team members because it’s not just your brand identity that you want to be inspiring and educating customers with, you need to empower the emerging social employee to engage the emerging social customer.”
Jon Ferrara – CEO at Nimble, Pioneer and Creator of CRM solutions @Jon_Ferrara

Andrea Vahl
“Every marketer should be looking at using Facebook Ads.  One reason is that they are going to help your content reach more of the right people.  You can precisely target your ads to reach your ideal client.  I recommend having a really compelling free offer to use Facebook ads to get leads for your business and then continue to connect with those leads to deepen your relationship.  With tools like website retargeting ads and conversion pixels you can be more effective in getting in front of your potential clients and measuring your return on investment.”
Andrea Vahl – Social Media Coach, Strategist and Speaker – @AndreaVahl
Learn more about retargeting by reading our Ultimate Guide to Retargeting.

Mike Weinberg.jpeg
“The Telephone. It’s the most underappreciated and poorly used social selling tool of all. And it is still a great way to deliver your message, start a relationship or secure a discovery meeting with a prospect. Yes, I just said that the telephone is an essential social selling tool and I wasn’t joking”
Mike Weinberg – Author of the Amazon #1 Best-Seller New Sales. Simplified@mike_weinberg

Rich Brooks.jpeg
Email. There, I said it. The killer social media tool is, and will remain for some time, the lowly email. If it wasn’t the killer app, why would Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the other popular social media platforms fill our inboxes to remind us that people are trying to follow us, share with us, and connect with us? Social media is a great opportunity, like in person networking, but it works for business when it drives people to your website and gets them to opt in to your email list.”
Rich Brooks – Founder of The Marketing Agents Podcast@therichbrooks

“The killer social media tool is, and will remain for some time, the lowly email.” @therichbrooks Tweet this

Tibor Shanto.jpeg
“The Telephone! Facilitates direct contact that allows me to share complex thoughts and ideas faster and more succinctly than 140 characters. Minimises confusion, facilitates one-to-one, and one-to-many communication. It’s a thing of beauty, and truly social is as much as it actually connects people.”
Tibor Shanto – Award Winning Author, Speaker and B2B Sales Execution Specialist@TiborShanto

Paul MacCord
LinkedIn is the foundational social media tool for B2B marketers. Most know that it can be used to gain some background information on potential decision makers and companies, but networking through the groups area is one of the most powerful online tools any seller can hope to encounter. Yes, in today’s world LinkedIn is looked at by many as “old”, but it’s still the number one social media tool for marketers.“
Paul McCord – Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Authority on Lead Generation and Personal Marketing @paul_mccord

Mark Roberge.jpeg
“I am biased toward HubSpot‘s social media tool.  Social media is not a stand-alone channel.  Instead it is one awareness medium in a vast set of mediums through which prospects interact with your business, such as you website, blog, sales team, support team, product, etc.  When engaging with a prospect on social media, it is important that marketers understand the prospect’s full context with their company.  For example, is this person already in discussions with one of your enterprise salespeople?  Is this person already active in a free trial?  Is this person new to your organization or are they an active reader of your blog?  If the latter, which content do they tend to gravitate to?  Today’s buyer greatly appreciates a higher level of personalization to their context.  Marketers should strive to deliver this experience with the social media tools they use.”
Mark Roberge – Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot Sales Division – @markroberge

Stephanie Sammons.jpeg
CoSchedule is a lightweight WordPress plugin that allows you to easily plan, schedule and promote your blog content. What I love about this social media tool is that it fits perfectly within the workflow of publishing a blog post. Within your WordPress dashboard, you can simply select which social networks you want to share your blog post to and create your own social sharing schedule on a post-level basis. CoSchedule is also a great tool for sharing top blog posts that you have previously published and increase the shelf-life of those posts!  Last but not least, CoSchedule will show you which blog posts received the most shares and allow you to re-share those posts right from the report. This is a very powerful tool that will save you time and potentially increase your website traffic and social media engagement levels.”
Stephanie Sammons – Founder and CEO of Wired Advisor@StephSammons

Dave Stein.jpeg
“HootSuite. The best tool for executing your Twitter strategy, from listening to establishing and nurturing relationships.”
Dave Stein – B2B Sales Consultant, Speaker and Author – @davestei

Jamie Shanks.jpeg
“Tool: Hubspot, or Marketing Automation in general.  Empowering your sales team to drive opportunities socially requires your team to be able to link marketing assets, drive opportunities through a conversion funnel and measure a buyer’s behavior.  Marketing Automation is a necessity for Social Selling.”
Jamie Shanks – Social Selling Expert – @jamietshanks

“Yes, I’m going to give my two cents on my own question! I use Buzzsumo to analyse how popular content is on social media platforms. I also use Buffer to manage Facebook and Twitter updates across multiple accounts. Another great tool for social media monitoring is Buzzbundle which we use at FEI.”
Amar Hussain – Marketing Director at FE International and Founder of Gap Year Escape @gapyearescape

Let us know on Twitter what social media tool you think marketers should be using…

The Best Social Media Tool is… Tweet this