Content Marketing, Social Media Tools, Blogging and Content Creation, Email Marketing Advice, Integrated Marketing and Media, Social CRM, Social Media Marketing

The 39 Social Media Tools I’ll Use Today

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Amazingly, it seems like there’s more social media tools than Jonas brothers, with the gap growing every day.

I don’t feel the need to experiment with every new piece of software that emerges from its chrysalis, but I do feel a responsibility to you and my clients to have some idea of what’s out there and what’s worthwhile.

Also, at my social media speaking engagements hither and yon I’m often asked what tools I use. So, I took a personal inventory and created this overview of the 39 social media tools I use daily.

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google + (combined)


I use Buffer for scheduling and sharing my posts to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google + throughout the day, at the optimal times. It;s a super easy to use tool, and includes detailed analytics so you know what’s working where, why and when. The best part is their browser extension that let’s you “buffer” and share any web page, photo, even a text excerpt. You’ll also see that you can use Buffer to share content right on this blog (see the Buffer icon up next to Twitter and Facebook).


I use Tweetdeck for serious twitter sessions. I find it to be especially valuable and hassle-free for updating Twitter, Facebook, and LInkedin simultaneously. I do this only occasionally, however, as my friends/followers on each site don’t have much overlap.

This extremely intuitive Mac-only app is my hour-to-hour choice for Twitter. It doesn’t have the advanced functionality of Tweetdeck (such as cross-posting to Facebook), but it’s so easy-to-use that it’s my favorite Twitter app. It takes up a lot less screen real estate that Tweetdeck, and I always use Tweetie when conducting my live, Twitter 20 interviews.

Objective Marketer
This power-user Twitter app is the preferred vehicle for Guy Kawasaki. I use Objective Marketer for all of my in-advance Tweets, and when I want to engage in some headline and/or time of day testing. Lifetime statistics, cross-posting, multiple accounts, etc. If you’re serious about Twitter, this is a great app. It’s a good choice for agencies, too. (Disclosure: Objective Marketer gave me a free account)

Note: There are thousands of Twitter apps (literally). If you really want to roll around in the possibilities, spend some time over at Laura Fitton’s (@pistachio) One Forty, the app store for Twitter.


I don’t use a lot of apps for Facebook, preferring to play it pretty close to the vest there – for now. (I’m working on a Fan Page that will be launching next month). Meanwhile, however, I do very much like Facebook Lite, which strips down a lot of the shiny distractions, and gives you a threaded News Feed, birthdays, and events – and that’s about it. I think Facebook Lite makes Facebook engagement easier – maybe you will too?

Blog Comments

(The blog is on WordPress)
This is what I use to manage comments here at Convince & Convert. There are some elements of Disqus I don’t like, especially that it doesn’t always play nice with other plug-ins, but it does make commenting easier and faster for most of you who already have a Disqus account. I’ve seen my average number of comments increase since I moved to Disqus.

This is a nice little tool that finds Tweets about your blog posts, and automatically adds them as comments. This is one of the plug-ins that doesn’t sync well with Disqus, so it’s not working as well as it used to, pre-Disqus. Also, some bloggers (including Ari Herzog and Valeria Maltoni) don’t favor including tweets as comments, since they are not true “comments.” But, if you want to organize and harvest the tweets about your posts, this is the plug-in you want.

Virality & Search

One part virality tool, one part tracking mechanism, one part social listening post, Topsy is becoming one of new favorites. I’ve moved from Tweetmeme to Topsy on my embedded tweeting, due to improved metrics, and Topsy’s competitive intelligence capabilities are impressive. Find a tweet your competitor sent, and see how many times it was retweeted, by whom, which among them are influencers, etc. It works like, but incorporates all URL shorteners into the data mix.

Sexy Bookmarks Plug-in
My friend Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner (where I guest post monthly), turned me on to this excellent plug-in that improves upon the social sharing user interface. See an example at the bottom of this post (the little squares that animate when you put your cursor over them).

What Would Seth Godin Do
Technically, I don’t use this plug-in any longer, as my apres-post appeals are now hard-coded, but this is an excellent little nugget that not enough people utilize. Use WWSGD to include a little message before or after each of your posts, asking readers to subscribe to your RSS feed (or buy you a drink). The genius of this plug-in (and the reason it’s named after Seth Godin) is that you can set one message for first-time visitors, and a second message for repeat visitors. Smart.

All In One SEO Pack
Like many bloggers, I utilize the excellent All in One SEO Pack plug-in to optimize posts for search engine rankings. This nifty piece of software allows you to specify page title, description, and keywords for each post. A must.


Although I don’t use it all the time, I find myself turning to it with increased frequency. Apture is a handy plug-in that finds photos, videos, links and related content that you can embed or link to within your posts with a single click. Extremely handy for locating and adding links to specific Web pages (see link to Seth Godin above).

Flickr Creative Commons Search
This is my go-to source for photos for the blog and presentations. Using Flickr’s advanced search, you can browse photos that are specifically made available under a Creative Commons license, allowing you to use them with attribution in blog posts, etc.

When I want a slightly higher grade of photo, or more precise searching, I utilize Shutterstock. This robust source for inexpensive stock photography is my secret lair of images for my presentations and workshops. Pricing is very reasonable, as you can download and use 60 images a year for just $229.

I’m no Photoshop wizard. In fact, I’m basically illiterate at photo manipulation. That’s why I use Skitch, an incredibly intuitive image grabber and cropper (for Mac) that has the very attractive added benefit of being free.


Google Analytics
No surprise, this is my primary statistical source for Convince & Convert. Despite being free, Google keeps adding functionality to Google Analytics. I have a few goals set up, including visits to my speaking page; visits to my consulting page; time spent on the site, etc.
The dominant URL shortener is also the best – in my opinion – at tracking and analytics. I implement URLs whenever possible, and make liberal use of their “+” feature. Add “+” at the end of any URL to see how many times it’s been clicked on, and by whom. Try it yourself. Excellent for down-and-dirty competitive analysis.

This is a slick new social media dashboard program that I’ve been trying. I’m planning to write a full post about it soon, but the real genius of Swix is that it allows you to easily create a unified scoreboard of all your key social media metrics like blog traffic, subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, and much more.

Authority Labs
By far my favorite tool for tracking search engine positioning, Authority Labs shows you at a glance whether you’re #4 or #40 in Google, Bing and Yahoo! for whatever search terms are important to you and your business. Owned by my friend Chase Granberry in Arizona, Authority Labs gave me a free account.

Content Creation

For still photos, I typically use my iPhone 3GS or Panasonic Lumix TZ5. I use the Panasonic a ton with my family, as I find it to have the best combination of zoom and wide angle capabilities.

For videos, I recently got a Kodak ZI-8 which I prefer to my old Flip because it has an external microphone jack. This is an important advantage, as I bought a $30 lavalier microphone and can now grab good audio even at crowded conferences, etc. The one downside is Kodak’s built-in video software pales in comparison to Flip’s, forcing me to use iMovie on the Mac, which I can barely tolerate.

For video upload and syndication, I often use TubeMogul, which allows you to upload a single video clip to dozens of video sites – not just YouTube. The real advantage of TubeMogul, however, is that you can get comparative statistics. For example, how many views did your video get on each site, and how long on average did viewers watch your clip on each site? It’s a great tool for moving beyond video upload to strategic video optimization.

I upload most of my presentations to SlideShare, and find it to be a valuable resource for growing an audience. My presenation “7 Ways to Build Stunning Business and Personal Brands in Social Media” was originally given in person to 35 people. Since I uploaded it to Slideshare, it’s been viewed 12,360 times. That’s the magnifying power of Slideshare – which also now allows you to upload audio tracks to accompany your presentations.


For quick Twitter searches, I prefer Twazzup, due to its straightforward interface, and overall speed.

For more comprehensive social media searching, I use SocialMention, which indexes blogs, tweets, message board posts, and a lot more. See my post on How to Create a Share of Voice Report for a free worksheet that uses SocialMention.

Google Alerts
Like most marketing professionals, I have several Google Alerts set up for my name, my company name, and topics of interest to me. This is invaluable for finding bloggers that have linked to my posts, so I can go to their blog and thank you in the comments – a practice I highly recommend.

For advanced social media listening, I often recommend my friends at Radian6, who have – in my opinion – the most robust feature set and product development roadmap of all the widely available social listening platforms.


To produce, send, and track my free, twice-monthly email newsletter “The Social Media Messenger” (sign up here if you don’t receive it yet), I use my friends at ExactTarget. Given the simplicity of my newsletter, sending it via ExactTarget is like flying on a jet plane to go get a quart of milk, but it’s nice to know that massively advanced functionality is available if I need it. (disclosure: ExactTarget is a client, and I have worked with them for more than six years)

To power my RSS feed and to send daily emails whenever I write a new post, I use Google’s Feedburner service. It’s not perfect, but it’s free and easy to implement. Note that nearly 40% of all subscribers to this blog are via email, not RSS. Are you pushing email subscriptions to your blog hard enough?

As mentioned in my post last week, this is my favorite new tool. Flowtown allows you to take email addresses (like the people subscribed to my newsletter) and determine in which social networks they are active. This is especially handy when you need to segment your audience. For example, when I’m ready to invite people to my new Facebook Fan Page, I can use Flowtown to determine which of you are active on Facebook, and send an email only to that group. Nifty.

See tomorrow’s post for a deeper look at this tool, but NutshellMail brings your social media activity to you via email, instead of you having to surf around and use tools to see what’s happening. Extremely handy while traveling, I also highly recommend Nutshell for casual social media users.


Just about anyone that builds a social media audience partially does so because they create a lot of content, and are responsive. Mobile access to the social Web is a virtual requirement to do it well.

Tweetie 2
I’ve used at least six iPhone apps for Twitter, but for now I prefer Tweetie 2, which makes the best use of the iPhone’s swipe features. You can do more in less time with Tweetie 2 on the iPhone, and it’s super fast and bug-free.

The original Facebook app on iPhone was just okay, but it’s been massively improved, to the point that Facebook access via mobile might actually be easier than on a computer. (100 million people use Facebook mobile every month, by the way). The single best aspect is photo and video upload and captioning, which is integrated so tightly with iPhone that it truly is better than laptop or desktop uploading.

Similarly, the Linkedin iPhone app has made major strides, and I find myself rarely using Linkedin via a computer any longer.

For presence-based status updates, I use Gowalla. I’ve tried Foursquare, too. But for me, more of my three-dimensional friends who are close enough geographically that I care what restaurant they are at are using Gowalla. I push Gowalla updates to my Facebook friends, but not to Twitter where I figure my geographic status is less illuminating.

The WordPress iPhone app is slick. You can write, edit, update posts; add photos; and approve comments (although not with Disqus). Great little app for on-the-fly blog management.

For basic stats tracking, this app is better and faster than Google Analytics on the computer. It also includes a handy “today” reports that shows you what’s happened on your blog since last night – a report that Google Analytics still doesn’t offer.

Print n Share
For true device-agnostic types, this is a great app that allows you to print from your iPhone to any printer. You probably won’t use it every day, but when you need to print a boarding pass or slide handouts from your iPhone, you’ll be delighted you have this one.

This is a no-frills to-do list app that syncs between the Web and iPhone. Indispensable for me, and I’m constantly checking it to see what projects I have due, what posts I need to write, etc.

Bonus: DirecTV
If you have an iPhone and DirecTV, this is uber-handy. If you forget to tape a show, or just want to tape some super crazy show remotely to freak out your spouse when he/she looks at your playlist, this is a must-have.

I’m sure you have your own ideas about tools I’ve overlooked, or things you use that readers (and me) could benefit from. Please leave a comment and let’s discuss.

Facebook Comments


  1. Dean says

    If you like Authority Labs, check out STAT (

    I’ve recently switched to using them, and I’m really pleased. They’re a bit more advanced than Authority Labs, and cheaper too…

  2. Dean says

    If you like Authority Labs, check out STAT (

    I’ve recently switched to using them, and I’m really pleased. They’re a bit more advanced than Authority Labs, and cheaper too…

  3. says

    What a list! By the way, you can get all the Twitter functionality you’re using 3 apps for by simply moving to HootSuite – list import, tabs, URL tracking/stats/charts, queuing up posts, posting to FB/LinkedIn/Wordpress. Their iPhone app is also great, you can do all of the above with it (and it never crashes) but they haven’t yet made it possible to post to anything except Twitter via the iPhone app (they’re working on it though). No – I’m not a paid spokesperson for HootSuite! But I was also using a number of desktop and mobile clients for all these things and found that HS gives you the most comprehensive service – without the annoying “hurr” alerts from TweetDeck. You should try it :-)


  4. says

    What a list! By the way, you can get all the Twitter functionality you’re using 3 apps for by simply moving to HootSuite – list import, tabs, URL tracking/stats/charts, queuing up posts, posting to FB/LinkedIn/Wordpress. Their iPhone app is also great, you can do all of the above with it (and it never crashes) but they haven’t yet made it possible to post to anything except Twitter via the iPhone app (they’re working on it though). No – I’m not a paid spokesperson for HootSuite! But I was also using a number of desktop and mobile clients for all these things and found that HS gives you the most comprehensive service – without the annoying “hurr” alerts from TweetDeck. You should try it :-)


  5. Christy K Schutz says

    Jay, do you ever SLEEP!? Sheesh, you are busy. You've shared a slew of new tools I'm gonna check out. Thanks!

  6. says

    This is a great summary of tools. I am excited to try out SWIX and will be watching for your post about it. This could be very useful for some of the monitoring and metrics that we are doing with our touchpoints.


  7. says

    Thanks for a great list. I have several, am off to explore some news ones like Twazzup and Facebook Lite, and even discovered I had two of your iPhone apps and forgot about them. LOL. Guess I'll have to go check them out now :)

  8. ericboggs says

    Don't you think it is a tab problematic that you have to use 39 different social media apps everyday?

  9. says

    Jay! Thank you! Thank you! You're an ardent guide in navigating the socmed universe and its continued expansion. Next time you're near Cave Creek, touch base — we have tequila here. -Mike

  10. says

    This list is fantastic. Some I already know and love but others are completely new to me. I'm really interested in testing out Swix – looking forward to your longer post on it.

    Anyways, my delicious account and I thank you for all this great info! 😉

  11. says

    Jason – great post! I haven’t heard about Objective Marketer but I’m going to look into it now. I’m not one for scheduled tweets, but I find that if I’m reading through my Google Reader I end up tweeting a lot of great content in a short amount of time, probably pissing off a few people along the way. Thanks for the Radian6 shout-out!

    Katie Morse
    Community Manager

  12. says

    Jason – great post! I haven’t heard about Objective Marketer but I’m going to look into it now. I’m not one for scheduled tweets, but I find that if I’m reading through my Google Reader I end up tweeting a lot of great content in a short amount of time, probably pissing off a few people along the way. Thanks for the Radian6 shout-out!

    Katie Morse
    Community Manager

  13. says

    Great List! I am with you on quite a number of them especially tweetdeck, bitly & of course disqus; I started commenting on your blog simply because its disqus. But I wonder where you place PingFM in the whole equation?

    Honestly Jay, keep up the good work!

  14. crogersaz says

    Great list, Jason. I definitely need to check out some of those. As a music fan, I have recently added to my tool shed. Not sure how you feel about integrating personal tastes with more work-related posts, but I find that I'm running into new people in the biz who share similar interests this way.

  15. says

    I hadn't thought about it that way. Certainly, I don't HAVE to use all of these tools, but since all I do is social media, I try to cover a lot of ground. It would indeed be great if some of these were rolled up into a single tool, but I'm not holding my breath.

  16. says

    I think my Mom the English teacher would qualify that as a hanging participle (or something like that). I live in the forest, true. And I review restaurants in town (it's about a 3 mile drive).

  17. says

    Happy to share it Nate. I certainly don't have all the answers, but at least it's a getting started list that people can refer to when needed.

  18. says

    Thanks Mark. I saw Jason Falls' post about ViralHeat, and it sounds great. I was thinking about trying to squeeze it in here, but I don't have enough personal experience with it yet. It looks terrific from what I've seen.

    Just looked at the GIST site, and I'm definitely intrigued. Since I try to cover the email/social convergence a lot, it's on my list to try, and review. Anyone I should talk to over there? Thanks for the heads up on both. I appreciate it Mark.

  19. says

    Zeenat, I'm really glad you mentioned Hootsuite. I used to use it all the time, and I agree it's very, very good software. In fact, I prefer their interface to Objective Marketer. But, I can't get past the annoying toolbar that gets added to all the links I post on Twitter. It just pisses me off. Otherwise, I agree 100% with you, and I've heard the iPhone app is sweet.

  20. says

    Do you not like the bar for aesthetic reasons or tracking reasons? The reason I ask is because I have always suspected that until someone clicks the bar away they are technically not tracked as a true visitor to your site – which would be a massive downer. Do you know if this is the case?

    It's interesting how so much of which app you pick is about what pisses you off least and makes you feel most comfortable. I knew I could turn off the TweetDeck “hurr” sounds and get rid of the ominous black skin but somehow I just couldn't get past them and happily switched to HootSuite. It helps that I love their owl mascot too, it's just too cute :-)

  21. says

    Then be sure to stop by, I'll share the adventures of our opening here. $1.2 million in revenue in 4 months (pretty decent in a down economy for a non-profit), and $75k from FaceBook in 4 days. It's been a wild ride up here, learned a ton in the last 18 months.

  22. says

    This is such a great comprehensive list! It is always so nice to see the other things people use — and what for. Helps us all in the industry!

    Excited to be on the panel after your presentation at LEAD San Diego!

  23. says

  24. agrigirl says

    This is a great list Jay. As a new blogger, I appreciate your candid reviews. I'm looking for a quick but informative read on tags vs. categories but haven't been able to locate one. Any ideas?

  25. theblogbuilderguy says

    My first reaction was WOW!! What a great list! Swix looks very interesting as does Authority Labs. Thanks very much for the great tips.

  26. Judy Blair says

    Thank you for the summary. This information was helpful for someone who has not used social media.

  27. says

    Jay, thank you so much for an awesome post. Topsy is a tool that I will definitely check out for my own blog. I've been a big proponent of the Tweetmeme button from the start, so I'm excited to see what this tool has in store.

  28. says

    What a great list! I'm totally with you on Tweetdeck and Tweetie! I use TD on my iPhone as well, it's great to be able to synch between all my computers and phone. Huge fan of Disqus, although I am thinking to give Echo a whirl.

    Will have to try out Zenbe, I now use Teuxdeux, and I love their web interface, but there's no mobile option (yet), and that's where my to-do list is so important to have: on the go!

    For listening and measurement: let me know if you want to check out Biz360 Community. It's ridiculously easy to use, and has a powerful topic creation tool. You can ping me at @themaria or @biz360.

  29. sue_anne says

    This is a great list and definitely some that I want to check out. A couple that I would add:
    – Seesmic for the Web is a great tool for those that aren't able to install Tweetdeck (or other desktop apps) on their computers at work.

    I have a Blackberry, and I am still trying to decide if I like Seesmic or UberTwitter better for the Blackberry. I also use Foursquare on the Blackberry.

  30. Anonymous says

    Jay, fantastic post. Convinced and converted, I am.

    When introducing a new app to your personal suite of tools, how do you ensure you remember it? For example, I would love to try skitch, but am afraid I’ll forget about it when the time comes. Do you have tricks for integration?

    On another note, is it possible for links to default to opening in a new window? Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer that a blog post link leave the original post intact in the existing window. I haven’t figured how to do it in wordpress.


  31. Uma Subramaniam says

    What a fantastic list. Thanks, Jay. I will definitely check out your recommendations. Plus, I'm going to follow you.

  32. erin_m says

    Great article, Jay. Thanks for the tips and looking forward to trying a few new ones out. Despite the daunting number 39 in the title, it seems like using some of these can actually simplify things!

  33. nancysyzdek says

    I'm with you on Tweetdeck and the iPhone Facebook app, but, as a commenter, I find Disqus incredibly annoying, especially if it autosubscribes me to the comment feed.

  34. says

    Another useful tool is which allows social marketers to assess the effectiveness of any online brand and then map out the necessary steps for improvement. Disclaimer: I tweet and blog for the company.

    Type any domain and scan the site. You’ll get a score showcasing how well you are doing in six areas: 1) Actionable: Do you make it easy for your site visitors to engage & transact with you? 2) Measurable: Do you monitor your site via web analytics software and/ or advertising tracking beacons? 3) Portable: Have you optimized your site experience for the major mobile web browsers? 4) Searchable: Is your site SEO optimized, with an emphasis on local search? 5) Shareable: Does your site make it easy to send and receive data feeds in multiple formats? 6) Sociable: Does your brand actively participate in social media across a span of external communities?

    Sign up for free during the public BETA and get access to 60% of the ‘pro’ tools that are normally blocked to non-subscribers. Not a bad deal while it lasts.

    Peace out,