Whether you've been leveraging social media from the beginning or are just now boarding the Twitter train into the forbidden forest of Facebook, it's time to get a handle on your social media efforts. social media marketing applications With all the chatter, real-time updates and "Fail Whales" looming, managing a social media presence effectively can be a headache and a half.There are a few ways to tackle social media: in-house, through an outsourced agency or with short-term or ongoing consultants. If you've decided a full-fledged social media company doesn't fit your budget, there are some great and economical DIY solutions available to small businesses."We use a variety of tools to manage our social media engagement, including Actionly, TweetDeck, Google Alerts and Hyper Alerts," says Stephanie Bullis of Grasshopper, a virtual phone system designed for small businesses. "The analytics that these tools provide allow us to better understand the social platforms that our customers are using most."Shel Horowitz, a green marketing consultant and lead author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, says one Twitter tool in particular is helpful in extending his tweet efforts. "TweetDeck allows a lot of functionality lacking in Twitter's own interface: reply to all, toggling link-shortening on and off, editing retweeted posts and a feature that allows longer tweets than 140 [characters]," Horowitz says. "What this means to me is that I can spend 15 to 30 minutes per day for all social media together and still establish a meaningful presence and brand."See below for a quick rundown on what some of the latest social media management marketing using social media tools have to offer.That value means different things for different clients. For k9cuisine.com, a Paris, Ill.-based online retailer of dog food, Marketing Zen established blog and Twitter presences and cultivated relationships with pet-related bloggers. For Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Boston, the company optimized a website to generate more targeted sales leads.