Whether you needed a time-saver, analytics or just to engage your followers, 2012 offered a plethora of new social media tools.
With the Twittercycle replacing the traditional news cycle and social media etiquette evolving, social media management tools can help you harness the power of social media in your reporting--and prevent social networking overload.
Here are some of the year's best new social media tools:
Talkwheel This tool can help you clear that pile-up of reader comments or questions on social media, websites or video-sharing sites. The circular design is meant to simulate a dinner-table chat, creating a more engaging environment for both readers and reporter. Big-name clients like IBM and Sears pay for its services, but a free version is also available.
The app features a conversation wheel that lets you see where most people are commenting and a sidebar of topics good for a quick scan of the dialogue. For more info on Talkwheel, click here.
SocialBro Here’s a time-saving tool for Twitter aficionados. Google, CBS and Greenpeace are fans of the analytics tool, which is available in Spanish and English. It offers a clean display of new followers, recent unfollows and who is not following you back. If you’re thinking about cutting the fat from your follow list, the tool can also show you which accounts that you follow have been inactive lately.
Rather than relying on automated tweets, SocialBro can show you a "best time to tweet" report so you know where to focus your time. If you’re curious about your global reach, the tool can also show followers' demographics such as language, time zone and locations on a Google map. Read more about how to use SocialBro here.
Commun.it - This is another Twitter-centric tool, but it has a completely different goal: engagement. This free tool highlights your key supporters and helps you engage and thank them for their loyal readership.
Commun.it breaks down relationships with followers into categories such as influencers, supporters and engaged members. Within these categories, you can see who is active. If you’re looking for a time-saver element, just sign up for the weekly email of your top supporters and basic analytics. For more in-depth numbers, you can pay for a premium version. For more info, click here.
Storyful Download the curator’s iPhone app to get the most popular social media stories of the day when you’re on the go. Storyful editors compile the day’s biggest news from citizen journalists and credible sources for journalists to browse for story ideas or just to stay in tune with current events.
The app adds context to compelling stories and also curates what social media users are saying about trending topics. You can use tags for easy searching or lists to find popular Twitter timelines. For more ways to use this app, click here.
_Image CC-licensed on Flickr via kdonovan_gaddy._