As marketers, what return are your receiving on your investment of time? Set monetary investment aside for a moment and consider time, an equally precious resource. Are you putting your time and your team’s time to best use?

Social media marketing is time consuming, contrary to what most companies believe. As marketers you are aware of the time concept creation, execution and promotion take, assuming they’re required to be of the highest quality.

As a marketer with an engineering background, I’m drawn to efficiency, structure and optimization of results, and this write-up is a simple recipe of 6 social media marketing tools that can transform your marketing efforts instantly.

1. DrumUp – a complete social media content management system


DrumUp is known as a content curation app, but you could use it for much more.

Begin by connecting your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to the app. You can choose different keyword themes for content recommendations for each of your accounts to source a wide content range that completely covers your industry.

Next, connect RSS feeds of the top blogs in your industry to DrumUp’s RSS tab. Say Jeff Bullas Blog, Convince & Convert and Business2Community for social media marketing.

Now you have all the best content in your industry on one platform, in one stream. Goodbye content hunting. Browse through the stream and store interesting articles to the content library to use, and schedule the ones you want to post weeks or months in advance. The time you save and the resource you can build with this process is really incredible.

2. Quora – the best place to search for content inspiration


Quora has over 300,000 active users posting and responding to discussions. In other words, it is a great place to discover compelling discussions that deserve a spot on your blog.

First, use the right search keywords. Suppose you’re searching for content marketing issues because you’re a content marketing expert who is looking for a great topic to discuss on a blog post or podcast.

Note that a simple ‘content marketing’ and ‘why content marketing’ search will yield interestingly different results.

Adding the question words to search keywords matter, and you could have a list of keywords to monitor on a regular basis. Of course, you could circumvent this process by using Google Alerts.

Once you find the questions just answer them with your content. It is that simple.

3. Brand24 – the smart way to monitor important social media activity


Use the same approach (discussed above) to set keywords on Brand24. Monitor your industry’s important keywords, your company mentions and your competitors activity.

After setting the keywords, opt for desktop notifications, or email, whichever suits you best.

The keyword reports come with sentiment analysis. Set some time apart each day to check your reports. When doing that I suggest that you first check the negative mentions of your brand and handle them quickly and courteously. Remember that negative mentions could be insights in disguise, your audience telling you what they wish your product or service had.

Benchmark your competitors’ statistics against yours. If they’re performing better, it is time to compare your approach with their and see what’s missing.

4. Canva – professional design for the design-challenged


With visuals performing the way they are on social media, no company can afford to ignore them. Even if your company lacks the resources to hire designers, you can compete with the help of the right tool. Canva’s plug and play design format makes designing easy.

First, Canva allows you to pick from a host of canvases of different sizes. The canvas options include social media posts and cover photos. All you have to do is select the canvas based on where you intend to use the image.

Next, choose from the long stream of backgrounds to begin creating your image. The backgrounds have fonts and color schemes already done quite well. The only content format left to you is the text. Compelling text and a smart Canva template choice can mean the difference between increased visibility and an ignored post.

5. InkyBee – an interesting means to develop invaluable relationships


How you get yourself featured on other blogs? You get noticed by the people who write them. If your product in an application or something easily accessible from the internet, you could request experts to review your product. That’s one of the best ways to get them to write about you.

Otherwise, there are alternative ways to get on writers’ radars.

InkyBee is best described as a social media specific search application. Based on the keywords you enter, InkyBee builds lists of people, websites, blogs for you to build relationships with. You can even apply search filters – for SEO, engagement and location to find exactly the right people to reach out to.

Once you begin the networking process, InkyBee also tracks your outreach activity.

6. Socedo – a smart way to target potential customers


With social media the focus is typically on reach, leads and conversions. It is rather uncommon to find marketers who specifically focus on demand generation.

Socedo is an interesting B2B tool that does just that. It automates lead generation so a large portion of the work is done without necessitating your involvement. Through your social media channels and using keywords based on your demographics, the tool identifies and acquires leads. All you have to do is focus optimizing revenue.

With the right mix of five or six tools you could make the repetitive tasks of social media marketing functional without having to do it yourself. This is invaluable because it makes room on your schedule for important things that are otherwise sidelined – a focus on strategy, brand building and one-oh-one interaction with your social media audience.