Which are the top tools and apps: The results

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[tweetmeme]A couple of weeks ago I started a survey to find out which business tools and apps you guys can’t live without. I’m delighted with the results. 80 people responded (you have no idea how long it took to get the final 1, I was never going to be satisfied with 79) and the feedback was great.

I did offer a bribe, erm, incentive to encourage people to get involved: A £40 voucher for Amazon. So without further ado, the (randomly picked of course) winner of that is: Katie Colborne.

And now onto the survey. I wanted to:

  • Understand what are the best business tools and apps being used right now
  • Learn about those tools I, and you, don’t know about yet

Out of the 80 people that responded, 90% were UK based, the remainder based in various locations across the globe. These people work in a range of sectors across various job roles, which surprised me. I was expecting a high percentage of marketing/pr/social media types but there was a great mix, from ‘first time mum’ (hello by the way) through artist managers to business owners.

The survey was broken into the following categories:

  • General social media tools
  • Twitter tools
  • Other digital tools
  • Organisational tools
  • What did we miss?

Now, there were a lot of questions so instead of writing an epic post, I’ve broken them up into bite size chunks (and we all know how I love a good series). So first up then … General Social Media Tools.

Which tools do you use to monitor conversations?

The choices on offer here were Social Mention, SM2, Radian 6, SociaOomph, Addictomatic, ‘I don’t use this’ and Other. 40% of respondents don’t use anything, which is surprising considering these are key tools to listen to brand, business and keyword mentions. I can only guess that this is either less important to SME’s or they don’t know about it yet (and if you fall into either category, it is important and you need to know about it).

The most popular tool is Social Mention, with 45% of respondents using the free tool. Behind that is SocialOomph with 17% and Addictomatic with 14%. SM2 was only used by 9% while only 6% are making use of Radian 6 (as my audience is primarily SME’s, price could be a factor here). A number of other monitoring tools were suggested: Google Alerts, Hootsuite, 1000Heads own tracker (thank you James), Conversocial, Netvibes, Scoutlabs, Whostalkin, Twazzup, BackTweets, Brandwatch, Tweetdeck, Backtype and Trackur.

What do you use to measure the results of social media?

Of the choices given, Klout had the highest use with 35% of users, however the same amount said they don’t use anything which, for those using social media for business, isn’t a great sign. Tweetreach and Social Mention drew at 27%. Again Radian 6 didn’t score highly with only 9%. The other tools suggested were: Twitter Grader, Google Analytics, 1000Heads doing their swanky own thing again, Scoutlabs, Tweetlevel, Tweasier, BackTweets, Twitalyzer, Brandwatch, Tweetstats, Peerindex and It’s interesting that many of these are measuring Twitter alone, with few looking at wider social media use. A couple of people commented on the inaccurate data coming from Klout, which seems to be a common conversation of late. My personal opinion is that data from the likes of Klout really shouldn’t be taken too seriously in isolation,  it can give guidance of how you’re profile is performing over time, but as a standalone ‘ranking’, it doesn’t hold much .. erm .. clout.

What tools do you use to find people on social media?

The most popular tool was the old favourite, Google with 36% of respondents making use of it. Social Mention seems to be a common tool too, with 30%. Board Reader was used by 11% respondents and Addictomatic was only used by 8%. 25% didn’t use anything to find people, which makes me wonder how they connect? I specifically left out Twitter tools for this as I wanted to see what people are using outside of that, and 30% of users did say they use other tools, but many of these were for Twitter:, Google Reader, Google Buzz, Linked In, Netvibes, Google Blog Search, Facebook, Twitter Lists, Twellow, Listorious, WeFollow, Nearby Tweets, Tweetdeck, Blogrolls and Social Media Library.

Which blog search tools do you use?

How to find relevant blogs is a common question I’m asked, particularly those looking to run a blogger outreach campaign. The most popular tool was Google Blog Search, with 67% of respondents using it. Technorati came next with 39%, Delicious came next with 34%, Blog Pulse with 12% and Board Reader with 9%. Other search tools used include Twingly, Twitter Lists, Scoutlabs, Google, Whostalkin, Mobile RSS and Blogrolls.

Do you use any tools that allow your staff to collaborate internally?

A rather large 43% don’t use anything to collaborate, but that’s not surprising as most respondents are SMEs. 30% use a blog (eg WordPress), and a small percentage use Ning or Huddle. Other tools suggested were Salesforce, Hootsuite, Email, SocialCast, Wikis, Basecamp, Yammer, Twitter, Communicator, Google Docs, Mindmeister, Instant Messenger, Intranet, Facebook (which I find very interesting).

Which tools do you use to share content across platforms?

65% made the most of Tweetdeck to do this (which is my personal favourite), with 47% using Hootsuite, only 8% using Friendfeed and 9% not using this at all. Other options include Twitter Feeds, Posterous, Linked In,, Netvibes, Sharepoint, Google Docs and Echofon.

Which location based app do you use?

40% of respondents don’t use any, but as expected Foursquare was the most widely used with 48% of respondents checking in. Only 12% is using Gowalla but, surprisingly, a larger amount (15%) are using Facebook Places.

Are there any surprises there? Are there any tools missing that you can’t live without? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The next post will cover Twitter Tools.

Are you on Twitter? Then let’s connect there @GemmaWent.We’re currently putting our social media strategy series into a handy ebook for you to keep. If you’d like to receive a copy of this hot off the press (well hot off the internet) sign up here.

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  1. Hi Gemma,

    First, amen to you for running this survey. I can’t say I’m totally surprised at the results of this first portion, especially because of your customer/community base. What I find unfortunate, though, is that there’s still such a large chunk of businesses not using anything to monitor conversations. It seems as if folks are using social media as a broadcast mechanism, or are relying heavily on the conversations happening within social media outposts they own. I think this result is a sign we’ve still got a ways to go in this space, but hey, that’s what we’re all here for, right?

    Cheers to you for sharing your results with your community, and for including Radian6 in your survey.



    Teresa Basich
    Community Manager, Radian6

  2. Sanjay says:

    New to the social media game. We are a small dental practice and I use tweetdeck for monitoring conversations and backpack (from the creators of 37 signals for team collaboration.

    Great article!

  3. Gemma Went says:

    Thanks Sanjay, great to hear a small business using the tools to monitor. Exactly what you should be doing.

  4. Gemma Went says:

    Hi Teresa, thanks for that. And yes I agree, it is a little disturbing that so many people are missing out on one of the key benefits of using social media: listening to conversations and, by doing so, finding ‘real’ opportunities. We do indeed have some way to go in this space and it’s our job to help educate and better equip businesses to use these tools effectively.

  5. Great to see the results. It’s funny, I read this twice. Firstly, to check whether what I am doing is not at odds with convention. It isn’t, I’m in god company 😉 Secondly, a proper digest of the content. As Teresa pointed out, it is frightening how many people aren’t listening. The free tools available are incredible. Even the Chef Tom Aikens, listens. He picked up a blog post by the good people at Birddog. So if a michelin starred chef can do it, SME’s or businesses have no excuse.

    Thanks for the results. Some tools in there I need to checkout. I’d love to see more on the use of facebook as an internal comms tool.

  6. Gemma Went says:

    Hi Graeme, yeah I know … shocking that so many aren’t using listening tools. Agree with the Facebook idea, although there may be privacy issues (some internal discussions should not be published publicly perhaps).

    The next results will be out this week.

  7. muhabbet says:

    thanks youu verry god

  8. Katie Colbourne says:

    Hi Gemma

    thanks very much for this collated post – very very useful !! and reassuring to know there isn’t anything out there that people are using that haven’t looked into or am already using!

    great blog


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