Ian Anderson Gray joined me and Kelly Kranz on the Superheroes of Marketing podcast to talk about the tools every business needs to use. While we use HubSpot for many clients, I’m using MailChimp, WordPress and other tools for this blog. So, it seemed a good time to pick Ian’s brain about other options for smaller budgets!
I met Ian in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World and we really hit it off. He’s a great guy with a curious mind and giant heart. We also love his accent. Though he wouldn’t sing on-air for us (even after Kelly rapped), he is a professionally trained singer, and you can check out his SoundCloud account below.
Here’s our edited podcast, but if you want to catch the unedited Periscope version, scroll down.
Here’s a quick run-down of the tools we discussed:
Email is extremely powerful for keeping in touch, even if it seems a little “old fashioned.”
2. Analytics, Monitoring, and Reporting
If you’re marketing in a forest and no one retweets you….
- Google Analytics (of course) – free, but it can be tricky to mine the data you need.
- Mention.net – a free way to keep on top of mentions of your business.
- Talkwalker – Powerful but pricey.
- Raven Tools – See above 🙂
- QuillEngage – free, and will alert you to trends related to your content. I already signed up and can’t wait to see what happens…
3. Social Media Publishing, Monitoring, and Interacting
Sometimes you want to engage in a platform directly (Facebook seems to favor this), but to keep things consistent with publishing, you can’t beat these tools.
- HootSuite – HootSuite definitely has the corner on this market. Depending on your needs, it can be free or pricey. While you can add many streams for monitoring, some (and by some, I mean me), cumbersome.
- AgoraPulse – Ian says it can’t be beat for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
- SproutSocial – If you can swing $59/month, go for it – people LOVE it.
- Buffer – Buffer is really only good for scheduling, but it is SO good at that. You can get a powerful free account, but for just $10/month get the “Awesome” plan so you can schedule pins and repins
- SumAll – Insights and reports for your social and email platforms. Many free options. I just signed up and can’t wait to try it!
- Twtrland – Helps you make more powerful social connections. Playing around with it now.
4. Content Curation Tools
Unless you are creating loads of your own content, you’ll want to supplement your sharing with other people’s content. These tools can make finding good sources easier.
- Feedly – Free! Collect your favorite blogs here and quickly find great stuff to share.
- Triberr – Connect with like-minded people and share each other’s content. Ian attributes much of his exposure to tribemates.
- I’m going to add AllTop even though we didn’t talk about it.
5. Website Builders
You really have to have a website. Really. You can get a one-click installation from many hosting companies, so my suggestion is to get a managed WordPress hosting account and have it installed. Other easy options include:
- SquareSpace – Starting at $8/month including ecommerce.
- WordPress.com – Free and relatively easy to work with.
Whatever you choose, make sure your data is being backed up. Unless your hosting company specifically promises to maintain backups, YOU are responsible for doing so.
6. Hacks to Make Things Work Better
Ian and I are both fans of IFTTT, where you can get recipes to automate an amazing array of tasks. From sending Instagram photos to Facebook pages (natively they will only go to a profile), to sending Pinterest images to Twitter, the possibilities are nearly endless. IFTTT is free. Also check out Zapier. It is perhaps even more powerful.
Did we leave out any of your favorites? Should Ian continue to try to say the American “Schedule”? These are pressing questions, and we want your answers.
About Our Guest, Ian:
Ian is the owner of Seriously Social, where he keeps us all informed about social media and blogging tools. He’s also partner at Select Performers, a family-owned internet marketing company. He organizes techy events in his local town of Cheadle in the UK AND he is a professional singer (check out his SoundCloud account)! He is also the Chief Executive Research Dude for the Web Search Social podcast and a very nice guy with a cool accent.