In the context of the social web, engagement means that customers and stakeholders, such as consumer advocacy groups and groups that criticize companies (e.g., lobby groups or advocacy organizations) are active participants rather than passive viewers. Social media use in a business or political context allows all consumers/citizens to express and share an opinion about a company's products, services or business practices, or a government's actions. Each participating customer or non-customer (or citizen) who is participating online via social media becomes part of the marketing department (or a challenge to the marketing effort), as other customers read their positive or negative comments or reviews. Getting consumers and potential consumers (or citizens) to be engaged online is fundamental to successful social media marketing.[20] With the advent of social media marketing, it has become increasingly important to gain customer interest in products and services, which can eventually be translated into buying behavior (or voting or donating behavior in a political context). New online marketing concepts of engagement and loyalty have emerged which aim to build customer participation and brand reputation.[21]
Small businesses also use social networking sites to develop their own market research on new products and services. By encouraging their customers to give feedback on new product ideas, businesses can gain valuable insights on whether a product may be accepted by their target market enough to merit full production, or not. In addition, customers will feel the company has engaged them in the process of co-creation—the process in which the business uses customer feedback to create or modify a product or service the filling a need of the target market. Such feedback can present in various forms, such as surveys, contests, polls, etc.
If you’re looking for a platform to create your social media content calendar, there are a plethora of great options available. Both Buffer and Hootsuite are free to sign up, and allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, based on the platform of your choice. This means that you won’t have to worry about posting anything manually at a specific time.

After you complete a listening campaign, put the information you gather into a report. Make sure your social listening report is actionable. For instance, if you discover a sentiment issue, the next step would be to focus on social media PR. It’s easy to get caught up with social media reports so maintain a healthy balance between actual listening and reporting. Always prioritize actual listening and acting on insights.

Yelp consists of a comprehensive online index of business profiles. Businesses are searchable by location, similar to Yellow Pages. The website is operational in seven different countries, including the United States and Canada. Business account holders are allowed to create, share, and edit business profiles. They may post information such as the business location, contact information, pictures, and service information. The website further allows individuals to write, post reviews about businesses, and rate them on a five-point scale. Messaging and talk features are further made available for general members of the website, serving to guide thoughts and opinions.[56] 

For many small businesses, there just isn’t enough time or resources to dedicate to effective social media management. Posting quality content consistently takes a lot of time and effort that some small business marketing teams just don’t have. Not to mention, you may not have anyone on your team with the expertise or skills needed to implement effective campaigns.
Social Media Management and Analytics Software provide tools for gathering data from stakeholder conversations on digital media and processing into structured insights leading to more information-driven business decisions and increased customer centrality for brands and businesses. It involves identifying, extracting, and analyzing social media data such as tweets, shares, likes, and hyperlinks using stools and techniques and interpreting and aligning the insights gained with business goals and objectives.
For the first part of this decision, you can reference the audience research and demographics from surveys like those conducted by Pew Research. For instance, Pew has complete data, collected last year, of the demographics for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the major social media platforms’ user demographics.
An overall good mix of gender, location, income, race and education. So what kinds of visuals attract the most Facebook likes, shares and comments?  First, it’s important to lay the groundwork so that the exposure your images get will draw more people in, and make it immediately clear what you offer and its benefit to them. You can do this through:
It's worth noting here that even armed with all the sophisticated technology offered in this roundup, there is no substitute for organic and genuinely interesting content on your company's social media channels. You can have the most technically sound social media strategy, but it's still up to you to create something your audience will want to follow and engage with. The best of these tools automate a lot of the hard work that your customers will never see (after all, the best social media appears effortless). It's just important to temper your expectations on what these platforms actually do before investing in any of them. Ultimately, you'll have to consider your brand's personality and tone for yourself.

This is a great article! There are so many options right now on the market that is overwhelming. Do you by chance know about eClincher? That’s what I’m using right now. I’ve recently decided to subscribe, but I’m still looking for opinions. Right now I feel it’s a great tool with an awesome pricing. However I don’t seem to get many reviews on it. Hope to hear back from you!


eClincher is a comprehensive platform but yet simple to use. It has all the essential features a social media management tool should have plus unique ones – auto posting with smart queues, social inbox, RSS feeds integration and auto posting, suggested content plus curation, influencer discovery, custom analytics reports, Canva integration, media asset management, free image library, URL shorteners, and more. Let’s look at a few of those.
Other platforms work in a similar fashion. Synthesio allows you to connect social data to a CRM services such as Salesforce, Sysomos, Hootsuite, and Brandwatch; they all have Salesforce functionalty as well. Occasionally, you'll find integration with other popular CRM platforms (Hootsuite, for example, offers integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM), but unsurprisingly, most social platforms seem to go with one of the CRM industry's biggest names.

eClincher is a powerful and intuitive social media and online management platform, serving businesses of all sizes, agencies and professionals. eClincher offers advanced publishing, including publishing automation with queues and RSS feeds, one inbox to manage engagement and interactions, live social feeds, keywords monitoring, suggested content, influencers discovery, analytics dashboard and custom reports. Supports: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram business, LinkedIn, Google+, Google My Business, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogger..and many more cool integrations. START YOUR FREE TRIAL today (payment information is not required).


As you can see in the example above, Wal-Mart does an excellent job addressing customer concerns.  The first comment cues them in to the fact that that there is a high demand for a certain product because it is sold out at the local store.  Wal-Mart directs the customer to a site where they can search other stores for the product. The second comment indicates a customer concern about order fulfillment. Wal-Mart addresses it and directs the person to a site where they can make suggestions on how the company can improve.

Komfo is now part of Falcon.io. Falcon is a SaaS platform for social media marketers. It combines social media listening, engaging, publishing, measuring and data management tools in one easy-to-use suite. We help businesses to explore the full potential of digital marketing by managing multiple customer touchpoints from one platform. You will love the easy-to-use UI, backed by stellar support.


Small businesses also use social networking sites to develop their own market research on new products and services. By encouraging their customers to give feedback on new product ideas, businesses can gain valuable insights on whether a product may be accepted by their target market enough to merit full production, or not. In addition, customers will feel the company has engaged them in the process of co-creation—the process in which the business uses customer feedback to create or modify a product or service the filling a need of the target market. Such feedback can present in various forms, such as surveys, contests, polls, etc.

Why would I want to go online to chat to a bunch of strangers? What respected business person would actually take time out of their day to participate in one of these cult-like chats? These were the initial thoughts which ran through by head when introduced to the concept of Twitter chats. My view drastically changed when WordStream founder, Larry Kim, raved about #PPCChat, encouraging me and my colleagues to participate as frequently as possible. So I took his advice and started participating in our industry related chats. I was surprised to find the experience to be very enjoyable; I even added #PPCChat as a recurring event in my calendar on Tuesday so that I wouldn’t forget to join in the live conversation. The chat gave me the ability to connect with others in the industry and also learn from those who have varying experiences from my own. I noticed an uptick in my personal followers and one week I was even featured as the top quote in the PPCChat write-up that’s published after every chat.
We love paid social advertising because it's a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities, allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business. Below are some tips and resources for getting started with paid social media marketing:

For years I’ve been using Hootsuite as a social media dashboard and monitoring platform and Buffer in conjunction with IFTTT as scheduling and content curation tools. But I thought it would be cooler if you could do most of these things in just one place, and make it all social, so I built DashBurst as a content sharing platform and social media management tool. You’re all invited to check it out here and I would love to know what you think about it in the comments below!


Great Social Content — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
TweetDeck has been around a long time now, and there's a reason for that: It's one of the best and best-priced (what can beat free?) ways out there to be a part of the Twittersphere. The multi-columned layout makes it easy to follow several conversations at once, and scheduling content is a snap. Twitter moves so fast, but TweetDeck makes it doable and even enjoyable.   - Starr Million Baker, INK
Social media platforms like Yelp and FourSquare are great for brick and mortar businesses looking to implement marketing on social media. Register on these sites to claim your location spot, and then consider extra incentives such as check-in rewards or special discounts. Remember, these visitors will have their phones in hand, so they will be able to write and post reviews. A lot of good reviews can significantly help sway prospective visitors to come in and build your business!
One more tool I came across with this year is viralpep. Some extraordinary features that outstands other social media management tools are – 50 Social Profile which you can maintain easily on a single platform, Unlimited Posting on social profiles, Scheduling Posts so you can manage your profiles more reliably, Manage a Team of 20 can help in conveying your messages, making the postings fast and easy, 24/7 Support of team for the client, Profile & Post Timezone while you are scheduling it becomes easy to set time, GIF Support, Like and Share, URL Shortener, Video Share, Link Preview is available, hashtag is supported & is Mobile Friendly.
Perhaps the hardest part of social media marketing is staying relevant. Even large brands find it difficult to connect with their fan base effectively at all times. One brand that is doing it extremely well right now is Wendy’s -- by having a dedicated social media manager, the company is able to be very fluid, responsive and engaging. Simply using a tool to schedule posts will not get you results.   - Arya Bina, Kobe Digital
Facebook pages are far more detailed than Twitter accounts. They allow a product to provide videos, photos, and longer descriptions, and testimonials as other followers can comment on the product pages for others to see. Facebook can link back to the product's Twitter page as well as send out event reminders. As of May 2015, 93% of businesses marketers use Facebook to promote their brand.[43] A study from 2011 attributed 84% of "engagement" or clicks to Likes that link back to Facebook advertising.[44] By 2014, Facebook had restricted the content published from businesses' and brands' pages. Adjustments in Facebook algorithms have reduced the audience for non-paying business pages (that have at least 500,000 "Likes") from 16% in 2012 down to 2% in February 2014.[45] [46][47]

What better way to gauge customer demand than to ask them yourselves?  Don’t be afraid to engage your followers and get their opinions.  Doing so can help identify both areas of strength and weakness.  As we discussed earlier, prompt response to comments is key to developing a relationship with your followers.  Even big box stores work to maintain open and responsive communication with their followers:


Great Social Content — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
A brand can have far better success with a relevant vlogger with 50k subscribers rather than an influencer with 2m fans. This change comes from the changing algorithms, the users’ cautiousness when it comes to fake stories, and the genuine need of belonging in a community. People have more chances to connect with an everyday blogger who found growing success rather than a top model who may be working with multiple brands every week.

eClincher is a powerful and intuitive social media and online management platform, serving businesses of all sizes, agencies and professionals. eClincher offers advanced publishing, including publishing automation with queues and RSS feeds, one inbox to manage engagement and interactions, live social feeds, keywords monitoring, suggested content, influencers discovery, analytics dashboard and custom reports. Supports: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram business, LinkedIn, Google+, Google My Business, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogger..and many more cool integrations. START YOUR FREE TRIAL today (payment information is not required).
5. Define communications strategy. In the social media era, a continuous communications strategy is necessary to engage your audience through the many channels available. Key issues here are defining the types of content value you offer through different social channels and the frequency. Integrating different digital channels including email marketing through a social media marketing hub is also a key issue here.
In my post last year covering social media strategy suggestions for 2014, I stressed tactics such as creating a social media marketing plan and sticking to it, going above and beyond in social media customer service, embracing mishaps, and so on. Let me assure you, these strategies are all still critical, but with the New Year upon us I have some new and improved tips up my sleeve to add to your social media marketing plan for 2015.
Sharing Curated Links — While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
Where does it fall down? It has to be with the feature list. Buffer is a social media scheduler, and that’s about it. Their business plans have some analytics, but in reality, the platform doesn’t have the same robust functionality to that of Agorapulse, or even Hootsuite. The best thing Buffer has going for it is its marketing, and they do that better than anyone!
It’s essential that you’re tracking the performance of your social media marketing efforts, and testing what works best for your audience. Whether you decide to use UTM codes and measure your performance on Google Analytics, or opt for the built-in analytics that Buffer or Hootsuite offer, you can use the data from your campaigns to optimize for the future. If you want to stay on top of the game, it’s essential that you’re constantly testing, constantly learning, and constantly growing as an entrepreneur.
For example, say you want to increase online sales. Your social media strategy would be to promote more of your business’ products on your social platforms, whether that be in the app itself (Insta, Facebook, etc.) or through a link that redirects people back to your site. It’s at this point where you would also decide if your promotion efforts on social media will be paid, organic, or a combination of both.
The World’s Most Complete Social Media Management Platform. Social Report is an all-in-one social media management platform. All the features you need in one concise package. Our platform includes targeted engagement, advanced scheduling, social listening, unique automations, sophisticated analytics and much, much more! Check out www.socialreport.com to discover more, or feel free to shoot us a message here on G2 Crowd!
And although the study didn’t go into a great amount of detail on which types of photos did best, an underlying theme was that images of people and faces tended to garner more +1’s (admiration) while images of pets, food, and even memes enjoyed more shares.  Finally, images that featured positivity in some aspect – including quotes, inspiration or good things happening in the world also tended to be popular among the Google+ using crowd.

RebelMouse was founded in 2012 by Paul Berry, former CTO of The Huffington Post, with one goal: To build technology that enables companies to succeed in the world of distributed publishing. As the first Distributed Content Management System (DCMS), RebelMouse enables companies to succeed in a world where audiences are increasingly fragmented and social dominates content consumption. At its software’s core are intuitive and smart distribution tools designed to help increase organic reach. By using RebelMouse technology either for natively-social publishing or to enhance their existing CMS, publishers and brands can quickly launch social websites built to connect their content with its maximum audience.

Other platforms work in a similar fashion. Synthesio allows you to connect social data to a CRM services such as Salesforce, Sysomos, Hootsuite, and Brandwatch; they all have Salesforce functionalty as well. Occasionally, you'll find integration with other popular CRM platforms (Hootsuite, for example, offers integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM), but unsurprisingly, most social platforms seem to go with one of the CRM industry's biggest names.


Compile all content in an easy-to-read editorial calendar. Google Excel Docs is a good place to start. Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, then separate by social channel, and provide columns for co-workers within your content team to provide their feedback before posting. Plan ahead, but continue making additions as necessary, for example if a great PR hit is published cover this in a timely manner even it was not on your original posting schedule.
Once you know where your audience spends time and what kind of content audience members want, take the time to give them more of that kind of content. Don't give up. You need to continually offer your audience amazing content, which also comes in the form of conversations, in order to build a loyal fol¬lowing of people who trust you as a source that can meet their needs and expectations.
You can monitor and post to several popular networks including both Facebook personal profiles and business pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. And with its built-in custom analytics system, the ability to monitor selected keywords plus the option to conveniently schedule posts whenever you want (and do this all for free), HootSuite sets the bar high for competing social media management tools. Pro and enterprise plans are also available.
Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to start generating engaging content.  Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts.  As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share?  Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.
Social media can be a useful source of market information and a way to hear customer perspectives. Blogs, content communities, and forums are platforms where individuals share their reviews and recommendations of brands, products, and services. Businesses are able to tap and analyze the customer voices and feedback generated in social media for marketing purposes;[15] in this sense the social media is a relatively inexpensive source of market intelligence which can be used by marketers and managers to track and respond to consumer-identified problems and detect market opportunities. For example, the Internet erupted with videos and pictures of iPhone 6 "bend test" which showed that the coveted phone could be bent by hand pressure. The so-called "bend gate" controversy[16] created confusion amongst customers who had waited months for the launch of the latest rendition of the iPhone. However, Apple promptly issued a statement saying that the problem was extremely rare and that the company had taken several steps to make the mobile device's case stronger and robust. Unlike traditional market research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and data mining which are time-consuming and costly, and which take weeks or even months to analyze, marketers can use social media to obtain 'live' or "real time" information about consumer behavior and viewpoints on a company's brand or products. This can be useful in the highly dynamic, competitive, fast-paced and global marketplace of the 2010s.
Faceless corporations are a thing of the past. These days, consumers care not only about what they buy, but also the type of company they’re buying from. Social Media has a 100% higher lead to close rate than outbound marketing. With this advantage, you can practice rapid response to build a connection with a customer, rather than putting them through the automatic recording steps via telephone.
The easiest way to view social media management is to consider that it includes 3 major social media disciplines: social listening, social analytics and social engagement. Social listening is when you gather everything that is being said about your brand. Social analytics help you understand all the social media chatter and relate it to possible business changes. Social engagement is the act of interacting, usually 1-on-1 but occasionally at scale, with customers over social channels. Most businesses take on social engagement to close the loop with customers on their issues.
IFTTT, short for If This, Then That, is a social media recipe website! In a series of simple steps, this website will help you set up simple commands which link up different applications to automatically perform actions if triggered. For example, IF the weather app tells you there is a high UV index, THEN a reminder to put on sunscreen is triggered. IF you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, THEN save the photos to dropbox.
Depending on how invested your company is in CRM, integration might be a make-or-break feature for you. Being able to convert social engagements into leads is a powerful feature that, if used correctly, can add a lot of benefit to your business. If you find CRM integration important, then be sure to research which social media management tools are compatible with your relationship management service of choice.
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