Social media can be very time consuming… unless you have the right tools. These are some of the best free tools we use.

Topsy shows you the hottest topics in any niche you want. It’s a priceless resource to research content ideas. You should stop guessing what type of content you should create and check out what’s already working for others. Remember that after doing your research you should come up with a unique twist; don’t just copy what others are doing.
Google Reader Blog Search

Using the search feature in Google Reader is one of the best ways to find the most popular blogs in your industry.

Do you want to find people on Google Plus? This tool makes it extremely easy! You can search by keyword and refine your search by relationship status, city, state, country, occupation, employer, college, age and gender. And, all the results are sorted by number of followers, which makes it very easy to find influencers and thought leaders.
Export Your LinkedIn Connections

Did you know you can export all your LinkedIn connections (along with their email addresses) and add them to your email marketing campaigns? It’s very easy: go to your Connections page and look for the “Export connections” link at the bottom.
Export Your Facebook Friends

You can also export all your Facebook friends (along with their email addresses), but it’s a little trickier. You’ll need a Yahoo account. Once you’ve created one, import your contacts into your Yahoo Address Book and then export your contacts to a CSV file.

Do you want to know what people are saying about you and your company online? SocialMention makes it really easy. You can also set up alerts to be emailed to you so you don’t have to be manually checking who’s mentioning your name. is the best tool to see which hashtags are trending on Twitter. This tool is great to find out what’s hot and what’s not, so you don’t waste time creating content that nobody wants to read.
What are some free social media tools you like?