Social media has become a major part of an online strategy or marketing. Where the industry was once dominated by advertisements and databases, now there is a new means of sharing content via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pintrest and others.

With this change has come the ability for anyone to reach viral status with the right means of using social media for exploiting content. The best way to use it for more than just a hit and miss method of sharing is by watching the effectiveness of your shares, followers, common mentions in brand, and keeping an eye on updates while providing plenty of your own.

The trick is to know how to create a social media dashboard that really works for you. These five tools will give you what you need to do just that.

1. Cyfe

Cyfe

Citing themselves as an all-in-one business dashboard, they have really focused on providing a professional dashboard for the serious user. They are more feature heavy than many other services, more on par with MediaFunnel. But their pricing options might prove to be better for some businesses. There is a custom option, as well.

2. HootSuite

HootSuite

Probably the best known on the list, HootSuite works by allowing you set up a multi-account social media dashboard that gives you a wide range of features. Some of these include custom analytics, team collaboration, message scheduling, automated reports, brand and keywork monitoring and more. They have a free account available that has limited features, which can be used for personal account watching. But HootSuite is aimed more at professional use, which benefits from the Pro account. That only costs $5.99 a month for fully integrated features and unlimited monitoring.

Besides, according to DirJournal web directory, the tool now supports Google Plus as well!

3. Threadsy

Threadsy

If you want something that will work more simply, then you will like Threadsy. It basically gives you a free way of pulling together multiple email and social media accounts to work on a single dashboard. Right now it supports a handful of applications including Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, among others. It is free and basic, so easier to use than the more complex analysis tools.

4. Seesmic

Seesmic

Create a mobile social media desktop you can monitor from anywhere. Seesmic is compatible with Android, Apple and Windows phone platforms. You can use it to keep up on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, on unlimited accounts. Currently they are releasing Seesmic Ping, an update to the service. While it is in beta you can try if free by signing up on their site.

5. MediaFunnel

MediaFunnel

A more interactive social media dashboard, this one actually allows your customers to post anonymously on your companies profiles, through a moderated system you can check prior to authorizing. It also has integration with programs like Salesforce and Zendesk, among other more standard dashboard features. They have a limited free plan that is guest for trying it out. If you want the paid plan it is $1 per user or channel, depending on what is greater. Which lets you just pay for how it is used.

6. TweetDeck

TweetDeck

Unlike HootSuite and MediaFunnel, which are more professionally based, TweetDeck is a better application for those who are wanting a personal tool that is Twitter specific. You can arrange feeds, monitor brand mentions and data, schedule tweets and more.

Conclusion

It is important to monitor your social media accounts closely, especially if you are using it for marketing and branding. Of course, there are many other uses for such applications. Whatever you are looking for, one of the six tools above should give you what you need.