Beyond the Buzz: The Ultimate List of the Best Free Social Media Management Tools for Your Healthcare Marketing
Would you like to spend your time more efficiently and productively on social media? Today’s article will show you which applications and tools can help you be more effective and proficient in your healthcare social media marketing. These tools are those that I use regularly to better manage my time on social media. They are categorized according to functionality, but many can be used for more than one function.
1. Social Media Monitoring
Monitoring helps you with brand reputation; provides you with deeper insights into what your healthcare community needs; improves customer service and assists you in responding and resolving issues in real time. Experiment with the following tools to see which work best for you.
This tool shows you positive and negative sentiment towards your keywords, including mentions of your healthcare brand.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.
Free aggregator that tracks user-generated content in a similar manner to Google Alerts, except the focus is on social media sites.
Twitter version of Google alerts; it sends email alerts everytime someone mentions the “exact phrase”, @mentions, #hashtag, tweets that you have pre-selected.
A Twitter tool which allows you to search, monitor and analyze tweets. A key feature is that it has an archive of tweets going right back to the beginning of Twitter.
This Twitter tool helps you track and instantly get real-time updates including top retweeted images and links, most active top influencers, and the top 10 keywords relating to your search.
2. Social Media Analytics Tools
How do you know if all that time you’ve invested in your social media marketing is paying off? You don’t know unless you put a system in place to measure and analyse your efforts. The following free tools will help you analyze your social media return on investment.
Google Analytics provides detailed analytics which lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.
Klout uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the “Klout Score”, which is a numerical value between 1 and 100. Find out your influence and those of your peers with this tool.
Measures data gathered from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, to show how many people you’ve reached and whether or not your target audience is engaging with you. The data is clearly presented in formatted graphs. Other useful features include a calendar that shows you when the optimal tweeting times occur.
This tool presents you with visually optimized information about your Twitter influence.
Check your Twitter follower growth, mentions, and engagement with SumAll.
A freemium service; the free plan comes with analytics, best time to tweet, follow/unfollow tools, and community segmentation.
A dashboard of analytics to help you analyse your twitter engagement,
This tool generates reports of how far your Twitter handle, keyword or hashtag has reached including information on the number of impressions, top contributors, most retweeted tweets.
This url shortener gives you useful realtime information about who’s clicking your links. I’ve also recently starting using Sniply which has similar functionality.
Blogs written by doctors, nurses, health researchers, patients, and healthcare and digital marketers and innovators add much to the richness and diversity of the online healthcare conversation. Many of these blogs are widely read and shared through social media, establishing their writers as authorities and go-to experts on a particular illness.
Triberr is less a tool, than it is a community of bloggers that share out each other’s content. Simply plug your RSS feed in and members of your tribe will tweet each new post. It’s a great way to help promote your content.
Use this Twitter tool to track seasonal, cultural and industry events and write a blog post which fits the theme, for example, “How To Eat Healthily During The Holiday Season.”
This is a very useful online tool to help you store notes, urls and content ideas for your blog. Evernote allows you to manage your notes from your desktop or a mobile device with all content synced. You can add tags and create folders for easy retrieval. The Evernote Chrome extension makes it simple to save links as you browse the web.
A WordPress plug-in which sends you notification of any new comments on your blog.
Select social media updates and media from across the web to build your own social story to embed in your blog. Use it to provide highlights from a conference, Twitter chats and more.
Use this handy tool to generate a new link to your blog content. Then hyperlink whatever words and images you’d like in your blog post and track the results.
Mobile is no longer a secondary channel; it’s fast becoming a first-choice, This tool will analyze your blog’s URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
Research has shown that nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Use this tool to check the speed at which your blog loads.
Although designed for advertising on Google, this powerful free tool is a must—have to help you optimize your blog posts for keywords.
A trending topic can get you noticed quickly; even more so if you add your unique perspective and expertise. Google Trends can help you find out what’s trending right now, giving you an opportunity to blog about it.
Addictomatic shows you “the latest buzz” on your chosen topic from Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Google, WordPress, Bing News, and more. Also see BuzzSumo and Bottlenose for more real-time insights on what’s trending across the major social networks.
4. Content Curation Tools
Creating original content is time and resource intensive. Curation helps you provide your audience with relevant, high quality information on a regular basis without sacrificing your time and resources. I use and recommend the following tools for curation
5. Social Media Image Tools
This is my go-to tool for creating images. I tend to use it in combination with PicMonkey which is a great easy to use image editing tool.
This toool is invaluable for resizing images to the recommended dimensions for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
Get creative with your screenshots by using this tool which allows you to speedily add graphic elements right there in the tool.
Turn your screenshots into video tutorials which you can upload to YouTube.
Piktochart helps you create infographics which you can then embed on your blog.
This is a great tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.
Use this tool to create impressive graphics to share on your blog.
A free Flickr search tool, will makes image sourcing easier.
Pinterest’s free analytics provides users with data on reactions and responses to their pins.
Alllows you to browse from a preselected set of images or upload your own and schedule to Pinterest as well as Twitter, Facebook, and others.
Pingraphy allows you to schedule posts on Pinterest. It works as a browser plugin that lets you pick images from the web and then schedule them out for sharing at a later date.
PinAlerts sends an email notification when a user pins something directly from your Pinterest site.
Pinvolve converts your Facebook photos into Pins and places your Pins on your Facebook page.
Use this tool to find group boards on Pinterest where you can join and contribute.
Facebook’s free built-in analytics tool provides metrics based on Facebook content.
Provides you with information on reach, engagement, feedback, virality of your Facebook page, while comparing your results to results of pages with a similar amount of fans.
LikeAlyzer analyzes Facebook pages, generating reports highlighting areas for improvement. The page-rank section allows business to see how they stack up against similar brands and by industry standards.
ShortStack helps you create Facebook apps to build social media marketing campaigns such as contests and promotions.
Create Facebook tabs, run contests, design a cover image or visual post, and schedule updates with Pagemodo.
8. Twitter Tools
This Twitter tool allows you manage multiple Twitter accounts, save tweets as templates, and schedule your tweets.
Desktop tool similar to Hootsuite, with features for monitoring multiple Twitter accounts, creating and managing custom timelines, automated searches for keywords and hashtags, and sending out scheduled tweets, and more.
I’ve written here about the value of scheduling your tweets and Buffer is a tool I recommend for its ease of use. It’s free to schedule up to ten tweets at once and provides basic analytics so you can quickly see which of your tweets perform the best with its “top post” icon. You can also choose to connect your Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts (but remember my advice about synching your platforms).
List.ly is a collaborative list building tool which can be integrated with Twitter to help you create and manage lists.
This tool creates reports that allow you to see at a glance the reach and exposure data for your tweets.
Commun.it analyses your followers on Twitter and segments them into lists which help you identify your high-value relationships. It also provides you with insights into who you should follow or unfollow.
Social Rank groups your best followers on Twitter into those most engaged and most valuable.
Use this tool to analyze the best times to post your tweets. Tweriod gives you hourly graphs of when your followers are online the most during a 24 hour cycle. It also gives you separate graphs for weekends, Sundays, Mondays and weekdays.
This browser plugin reveals insights into any Twitter user you choose. Discover statistics, popular hashtags, most shared links, connected profiles, and much more.
Use this tool to follow key influencers in healthcare them, reach out to them online or offline, comment on their tweets and build a relationship.
This is a freemium service that allows you to schedule tweets, track keywords, extend your Twitter profile, and much more with an unlimited amount of accounts for free.
This app allows you to add RSS feeds (yours and others) to be shared automatically through your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts each time there is a new update to them.
Unfollowr allows you to see a list of people who have unfollowed you and it’s useful to catch “scammers” (people who follow you and then quickly unfollow you).
9. Miscellaneous Social Media Management Tools
This tool allows you to save interesting content on the web and save it for reading later. Works on and offline.
Flipboard is single place to keep up on the news, follow topics you care about and share stories, videos and photos that influence you. To start, follow a few topics, and Flipboard creates your personal magazine. You can always add more as you find new topics, magazines or interesting people to follow.
IFTTT stands for ‘If this, then that’. Start by activating your chosen social channels and then set up your own ‘recipe’ or shared ‘recipes’.
Staying on top of your social media activities can be time consuming, but as today’s article has shown, there are many tools to help you manage your time more efficiently and effectively. I am sure that you will find this list helpful in achieving better results with your healthcare social media marketing.