Let’s be honest, social media is a jungle. Forget about the flood of apps, integrations, and add-ons, just figuring out which network you should invest in is overwhelming.

What if you could ask today’s most influential online marketers one question: “What social media tool is your all-time, desert-island, can’t-live-without favorite?”That’s exactly what I did.

1. Neil Patel: Entrepreneur and influencer, NeilPatel.com  

“With BuzzSumo you can see what is hot in your space on social media and what isn’t. From there you can craft ideas on the type of blog posts you should write to generate traffic and leads. The best part about BuzzSumo is it also shows you who has shared the content so you can reach out to those influencers and ask them to share your content as well.”

2. Ann Handley: Chief content officer, MarketingProfs

Instagram is my favorite social network because of its social storytelling simplicity. From fun personal accounts– like Small Chalk and Adam Padilla – to corporate brands, it connects more immediately and deeply with people than any other platform. I still haven’t forgiven them for introducing an algorithm. (Chronological was so much more in line with the ethos of the platform.) But I can’t quit you, Insta.”

3. Joe Pulizzi: Founder, Content Marketing Institute

“Right now in my career, I use social media as almost a pure response vehicle. And I won’t start any new social media apps, platforms, or tools until I’m 100% committed to it. My goal with Twitter (my favorite) is to keep in touch and communicate my appreciation to those people that support me. Once I built an audience on those platforms, my goals and execution changed.”

4. Sam Hurley: Founder, Optim-Eyez

Start A Fire is one of my all-time favorite social media tools because it provides shared credit to both content publishers and the curators who spread their material. It’s very simple, quick to use, and integrates with other social sharing tools like Buffer. Your face will appear in a pop-up on the articles you share, along with a custom link where you can direct visitors back to your own best content.”

5. Mari Smith: Facebook marketing expert

“Native video is the top reaching post type on Facebook and gets three times the engagement of link posts and two times that of photo posts. I love using Animoto’s gorgeous templates, themes, and stock music. Its new marketing builder tool also makes it super-duper easy to add text overlays – vital for sound-off autoplay videos in the Facebook News Feed because 80% of video ads on Facebook are watched with sound off.”

Native video gets 3x the engagement of link posts & 2x that of photo posts on #Facebook says @marismith. Click To Tweet

6. Ed Leake: Managing director, Midas Media

“When you ask these types of questions, marketers often overlook one big aspect of social – native advertising. As a paid click and data guy, I love Qwaya because it allows me to treat and optimize Facebook as I would AdWords: robust campaign structuring, split-testing, and automation tool set. If CTRs drop or CPC jumps … pause it. Might sound simple, but when you’re managing big accounts and budgets, it’s a godsend.”

7. Jeff Bullas: CEO, JeffBullas.com

Sumo is a hybrid tool that’s a bit like a Swiss Army knife. It’s helped me thrive and survive in the wilds of the digital world by creating social-sharing buttons – onsite, SMS, Flipboard, and WhatsApp – and tracking my social counts on blog posts. The feature I really love is its Welcome Mat: a pop-up that captures emails. In less than 12 months, it’s collected over 40,000 email subscribers.”

 

8. Murray Newlands: Co-founder, Due.com

“Most B2B companies on social media are missing a huge opportunity. Staff, customers, and clients won’t post positive comments unless they love you. Beyond that you have to get proactive and make sharing easy. Oktopost’s amplify and collaborate features are built to do exactly that: internally and externally. But love has to be the foundation.”

9. Cammi Pham: Partner, ThinkRenegade

“With the new Instagram algorithm change, consistently posting at the right time has become even more important. Grum makes it easier to upload, process photos, schedule, and add hashtags to the first comment from desktop. For hashtags, I use 80% fixed and 20% tailored. This gives my team more time to focus on real-time engagement, which is life or death on social.”

Consistently posting at the right time on #Instagram is important w/ algorithm change says @cammipham. Click To Tweet

10. Jason Miller: Global content marketing leader, LinkedIn

“I like to keep things simple and streamlined: Less is more. So the tool that I use religiously is Elevate: LinkedIn’s employee advocacy tool. I use it to share, organize, and measure all the content I post across my main three social accounts: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I share daily from Elevate and track engagements.”

11. Neal Schaffer: Founder, Maximize Your Social

eClincher is a comprehensive social media dashboard along the lines of a Hootsuite, but it offers some unique functionality. The feature that I most love is auto post with queues. Basically, it’s a killer feature for companies who have lots of evergreen content and want to share it on a periodic basis across a wide variety of social networks. You can choose to post from your queue as often or as little as you’d like and stop sharing on a certain date, which is perfect if you are promoting an event.”

12. Ross Simmonds: Digital strategist, RossSimmonds.com

“My favorite tool is Venngage. As someone who really likes experimenting with the potential of visual content and visual communication, having access to an infographics tool that is so easy to use speeds up my visual output. Whether you are creating graphics for social, SlideShare, or a presentation, Venngage is super versatile and intuitive.”

13. Shane Barker: Digital strategist, ShaneBarker.com

Quuu is a hand-curated and content-promotion platform. I use the promotion side to distribute everything. Each article is reviewed by a real person before it is approved because the goal is to promote only the highest quality content. Once the article gets the green light, Quuu adds it to its huge distribution network, which is cool, as I can then see the amount of shares and clicks for each article.”

14. Michael Brenner: CEO, Marketing Insider Group

“Twitter remains my primary social media platform. But alone, Twitter’s unmanageable. That’s why I use Followerwonk to understand who my audience is, when they are most likely to engage, and to find followers who overlap with similar social profiles and influencers. Their analyze feature – which integrates with Buffer – tells you exactly when to post your most important updates for exposure.”

15. Pam Moore: CEO and founder, Marketing Nutz

“I love using  If This Then That (IFTTT) to enable native posting of images on Twitter that are originally posted to Instagram. You can set specific criteria by using hashtags or set it to post to Twitter automatically by default. IFTTT also offers a nearly limitless supply of social and cross-platform ‘recipes.’”

 

 

 

 

 

 Author: Aaron Orendorff

By night, Aaron Orendorff is busy “saving the world from bad content” over at iconiContent. By day, he teaches communication and philosophy at the local college. Follow him on Twitter.

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