by Jennifer Lumba | February 27, 2017
Social media entrepreneurs have been busy in recent years, building and releasing a slew of new products. Which tools are actually worth trying? A lot depends on your need, but these seven could be useful if your aim is to optimize and measure the experience of using networks to distribute content and connect with customers and influencers:

1. Quuu. Sharing relevant content is a proven method for engaging and attracting new social media followers. Quuu helps you do that by assigning you human curators who study your stated interests and then suggest content for you to post. You can also have Quuu post for you. Pro tip: limit your research to 2-3 categories. That way, Quuu's curators can focus on picking quality content and your readers will know precisely what to expect.

2. Yotpo. Another curation tool, only aimed at Instagram. Use the platform to collect and license original photos and form a store or ad campaign. You can also connect to Pinterest and double your reach. Pro tip: study the hashtags that your best followers and customers most identify with to find photos worth collecting.

3. Refind. A slightly smarter version of Pocket, Refind keeps track of links you've saved on social media and the web -- and will even highlight links you've viewed previously when searching on Google. Refind also tracks popular links and what your friends are saving, and makes recommendations based on that knowledge. Pro tip: download and install the mobile app, especially if you like to save Facebook links or longer-form and more involved material such as infographics for later viewing on the desktop.

4. Calendar X. Perfect if part of your business involves live performances or scheduled releases of content or products, Calendar X allows you to create a calendar that followers can track like a news feed. You can also request information from those who subscribe to see your schedule. Pro tip: embed the "follow our calendar" button on your website and major social profiles to increase engagement.

5. Rebrandly. Good branding is essential for successful social media marketing. With Rebrandly, you can add your own branding to shared links using a custom domain name. Pro tip: connect the service to bit.ly or goo.gl or whatever other URL shortening service you use for sharing to social networks and capture link analytics in one place.

6. Ghost Browser. Perfect for working with multiple accounts or platforms, every tab in Ghost Browser is its own self-contained environment. Using it you can post in your personal and business Twitter accounts in the same window, or track data from two different Google Analytics accounts. Pro tip: write the content for a single Facebook post and then copy to your business pages and personal accounts in different ghost windows. Use the scheduling function to stagger delivery at different times.

7. Yala. Timing matters in social media marketing. With Yala, a plugin to the Slack communications platform, you'll get reminders when it's time to post new content to social media. Learning algorithms help determine the timing, which should lead to greater engagement over time. Pro tip: start by connecting just one social platform and measure engagement over the 90-day period. Add new networks only when there are visible signs of improvement.

Have other social media tools you're trying? How are they working for you? Please leave a comment below or get in touch. I'd love to hear from you!

Jennifer Lumba is the chief marketing officer of Rideau Inc. Built on state-of-the-art technology, Rideau's employee recognition and customer loyalty programs change the way companies recognize employee service and achievement, reward individual and team performance, strengthen customer relationships, and create brand loyalty. Lumba can be reached at jenniferlumba@rideau.com.