This was a long time coming, and I’m half happy and half nervous about talking about social media marketing tools. See, the problem is, depending on what you consider to be a tool, there’s either a billion little things to discuss, or only a few major ones. Well, we’ve done our part in discussing plugins for various SaaS suites to work with social media, and we’ve talked about BI software in the past, which is useful for tracking logistics over social networks. So, there’s no point in rehashing those. What I Want to Do: I want to talk about some other tools that are actually very useful to facilitate marketing over social media. These are tools you’re going to need to have to assist you in maximizing your use of these networks. These tools let you make material, host material, and other things, which you need to do, before deploying anything over most networks. A lot of this stuff is actually free, even. And some of this is very, very familiar. The Familiar: #1 – Real Word Processor (OpenOffice, Google Drive, Word) Ok don’t accuse me of being blatantly obvious here. For most social media platforms, you’re going to be writing more than just a blurb of text. Especially if it’s content marketing over the likes of Facebook or Tumblr. It’s tempting to write in the submission field, because browsers do have spell checkers. But, don’t do this. Use a real, solid word processor. The ones in the header above are all more or less the same inside, aside from Google’s being SaaS. If you lose your connection or something, these will auto save. The browser won’t! #2 – YouTube Account I mean a channel here. You need a YouTube channel. You will want to release videos for your marketing strategies, and you’ll need to host them. YouTube is the best place. You broadcast to YouTube, and can embed to broadcast the videos over most social networks out there. The Less Familiar: #3 – Image Hosting (Imgur, Imageshack) You need an image hosting system, free and cloud based. This lets you host the images off the social network, where they won’t be poorly encoded and resized from submission. Imgur is the best one now. Imageshack works when it wants to. #4 – Graphic Design Software Yeah, you’ll be needing to use graphic design software, even outside GD done on the advertising material. You have to template your channels and pages on them, create headers frequently and the like. Photoshop is of course the best, but if it’s not in your budget, consider GiMP or Paint Tool SAI. They’re pretty strong. #5 – An Android Mobile You need to have an Android mobile device on hand for someone on the marketing team who works with the social networks. You must be responsive on these channels, and without a mobile device compatible with these platforms, that’s not usually possible. I know this one sounds like an odd point, but trust me. You need a mobile tool if you’re running over social long term. Conclusion: These are the social media marketing tools you wouldn’t think of until you discovered you needed them. I am saving you time and helping you see you have them right off.