While there are a variety of options for larger organizations and agencies, the free plan just may suit your social media management needs. Buffer’s free plan includes the ability to manage three social profiles, schedule up to ten posts, utilize their browser extensions and mobile apps (iOS and android) feature, and create and schedule content using their image creator and GIF/video uploader.
Whether you are a user handling multiple accounts, or an agency that handles hundreds, HootSuite makes it easy. It’s easy to add accounts, easy to schedule posts across all major platforms and easy to add account managers. In addition, the company also has a robust training platform that teaches not just the tools, but how to think about social marketing as a whole. As a package, the best out there for the price.   - David Kley, Web Design and Company
It can be hard to get visibility as organic reach continues to decrease, and the one way we’ve found to combat this is to post more often. My favorite trick is to re-post content multiple times—for blog posts, I’ll share it on Twitter up to 5 times on the day it is published. Just make sure you’re not being spammy on Facebook! People hate that. Truly, I’ve seen the comments…
After signing up you need to add the social networks by authorizing Hootsuite to access your account. The strongest part of Hootsuite is the Analytics part. Hootsuite gives you the ability to create dynamic reports that just not bring one social media profile but you can compare things between your social media accounts to get an overview how things are working.

Sponsored radar – Radar picks up exceptional posts from the whole Tumblr community based on their originality and creativity. It is placed on the right side next to the Dashboard, and it typically earns 120 million daily impressions. Sponsored radar allows advertisers to place their posts there to have an opportunity to earn new followers, reblogs, and likes.


As part of your social media management, your business should routinely check for comments or messages across your social platforms. Think carefully before replying as the response will often be public. Don’t have time to do this? Our specialists at LYFE Marketing monitor accounts every single day, and as a best practice they always reply to followers within 24 hours.
Social Flow is an interesting business solution to watch real-time conversation on social media in order to predict the best times for publishing content to capture peak attention from target audiences. Some major publishers use Social Flow which includes National Geographic, Mashable, The Economist and The Washington Post to name a few. Social Flow offers a full suite of services that looks to expand audience engagement and increase revenue per customer. In addition to its Cadence and Crescendo precision products, SocialFlow conducts an analysis of social signals to help identify where marketers should spend money on Promoted Tweets, Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories, extending the reach and engagement for Twitter and Facebook paid strategies.
IFTTT is an acronym for If This Then That and the whole idea of the site is that it allows you to create custom triggers to automate your social media workflows. With IFTTT you will be creating what they refer to as website. Essentially a set of instructions for what you want to happen. Now recipe refer to as source what they refer to as channel followed by a trigger and trigger is what has to happen before the tool moves on. So you might create something as if I post to Facebook then post the same update to Twitter.

Sprout Social offers social media management, engagement and analytics solutions for leading agencies and brands, including Hyatt, GrubHub, Microsoft, Uber and Zendesk. Available via web browser, iOS and Android apps, Sprout Social’s engagement platform enables brands to more effectively communicate on social channels, collaborate across teams and provide an exceptional customer experience. Sprout Social’s intuitive platform was designed with the user in mind, making it easy for anyone to publish content, monitor their social presence, engage with their audience and analyze social media efforts across all connected profiles. Teams can be up and running in minutes—Sprout Social does not require up-front investment, has flexible contract terms and there is little-to-no implementation needed. Sprout Social is an Twitter Official Partner, Facebook Marketing Partner, Instagram Partner Program Member, LinkedIn Company Page Partner and Google+ Pages API Partner. Created for small and medium businesses, enterprise and agencies, Sprout features focus on three main functions: publishing, engaging and reporting. Sprout provides solutions for social marketing, social management, customer service and team collaboration. Sprout’s Smart Inbox gives users a unique all-in-one stream of their incoming social messages, and enables users to work from the stream to respond, tag, task or mark messages as complete to achieve inbox zero. Sprout’s collaboration tools and permissions enable multiple users to work within the platform at once without overlapping or encroaching on responsibilities. The Sprout Queue and ViralPost enable you to efficiently upload content and ensures your messages will be sent at the optimal time for maximum reach. Sprout’s ample reporting capabilities provide insightful analytics and enable you to quantify your social communications.
Use the data you gather via social listening to analyze how your customers and prospects feel and what they need from your business. Your goal should be to make sure you have confidence in the data you are looking at, so you’ll need a comprehensive and extendable social analytics effort to ensure you can keep up with the latest demands. Once you understand the data, you have the opportunity to share the findings broadly across the business. We call this “operationalizing the data.”
Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using snapchat every single day.[66] It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.[66]

When it comes to using social media marketing to build your business, the worst action is no action, and your biggest problem is being invisible, not being talked about negatively. As long as you're part of the conversation on the social Web, you can hear what's being said about you and massage negative perceptions about your business. But if no one is talking about you, you have no chance for growth. That means you need to get involved on the social Web as soon as possible, not only to capitalize on the opportunities that it presents to your business, but also to develop and protect your reputation.


One of the main purposes of employing social media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and makes them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products.[33] These companies use social media to create buzz, and learn from and target customers. It's the only form of marketing that can finger consumers at each and every stage of the consumer decision journey.[34] Marketing through social media has other benefits as well. Of the top 10 factors that correlate with a strong Google organic search, seven are social media dependent. This means that if brands are less or non-active on social media, they tend to show up less on Google searches.[35] While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have a larger number of monthly users, the visual media sharing based mobile platforms, however, garner a higher interaction rate in comparison and have registered the fastest growth and have changed the ways in which consumers engage with brand content. Instagram has an interaction rate of 1.46% with an average of 130 million users monthly as opposed to Twitter which has a .03% interaction rate with an average of 210 million monthly users.[35] Unlike traditional media that are often cost-prohibitive to many companies, a social media strategy does not require astronomical budgeting.[36]
This makes you better than most of your competition because when most of them would be failing to consistently post relevant content, you will be able to stick to your posting schedule. Which is a huge plus on any social network. Because once your consistency hits rock bottom, your social media following starts shrinking and your overall social media presence becomes weaker. In short, your social media marketing strategy helps you plan ahead and get the most out of your content.
I recently spoke with some local Boston-based paid search experts who all raved about the power of Facebook advertising with the main conclusion that Facebooks ads are cheap and actually work. If you want to compete on Facebook today it’s pretty clear that you need to put some green bills on the table. Gone are the days when you could just post updates to your company’s wall and pray for likes. With that said costs can be easily controlled as there are several unique targeting methods giving you options to find your niche audience and not waste money on the click-happy internet addicts irrelevant to your business.
Blogging website Tumblr first launched ad products on May 29, 2012.[75] Rather than relying on simple banner ads, Tumblr requires advertisers to create a Tumblr blog so the content of those blogs can be featured on the site.[76] In one year, four native ad formats were created on web and mobile, and had more than 100 brands advertising on Tumblr with 500 cumulative sponsored posts.
Oftentimes, people will participate with your brand on their preferred social network, or get to know you through your blog, without realizing that you’re on social media as well. Contests, giveaways, surveys, exclusive deals and private membership sneak peeks are just a few of the many ways you can bridge the gap between the two and encourage your blog visitors to follow you on social media and vice versa.
Another example would be for increasing brand awareness. You can set up a brand monitoring tool (like the one we use in SEMrush) and begin to monitor specific mentions of your brand on Twitter. From here, you can set a baseline number of brand mentions and monitor progress from that baseline. If mentions of your specific brand are growing, then so is your brand awareness.
Kontentino is a social media marketing platform that facilitates managing of disparate social media accounts all from one platform. Kontentino provides the simplified content creation and planning feature that facilitates placing of all posts in one place and in an organized manner. The intuitive calendar provided by Kontentino enables users has an overview of all their social media content across all social media channels or platforms. The simplified content creation and planning feature also presents the drag and drop feature that provides a clear overview of content balance or monthly boost budget. The simplified content creation and planning is consists…

Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar. The social media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow! Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB social media customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press.


IFTTT is an acronym for If This Then That and the whole idea of the site is that it allows you to create custom triggers to automate your social media workflows. With IFTTT you will be creating what they refer to as website. Essentially a set of instructions for what you want to happen. Now recipe refer to as source what they refer to as channel followed by a trigger and trigger is what has to happen before the tool moves on. So you might create something as if I post to Facebook then post the same update to Twitter.
Share your passions with your community and let people know about your plans for the future. They’ll appreciate the transparency and you’ll increase your chances of positive engagement. To further encourage engagement, consider connecting your discussions to pop culture, current affairs, and (possibly) controversial topics. However, be careful not to come off as ignorant or offensive.

Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using snapchat every single day.[66] It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.[66]


If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free social media tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.
Likeable Local is a unique social tool thatany company can find useful. Driven by a passion for small business success, Likeable Local helps generate leads and referrals through its platform, as well as share content to social platforms. It also offers tools to boost your reach and manage your online reputation through built-in keywords so you can engage in the right conversations.

Customize your posts, schedule them for publishing later, collaborate with other team members and get access to all your social analytics. A free account gets you a very limited offering of just the basic features with tight restrictions, but there are four more premium account types that are affordable for any small or large social marketing strategy.

Rob Watts is PCMag's Business Analyst, writing reviews and features for a variety of business applications. He brings years of experience in editorial insights to the role, having previously worked as an editor for Keypoint Intelligence, an independent test laboratory for document imaging hardware and software. He spends his free time cooking and g... See Full Bio
Some of the measurables related to generating these 25 new customers would be conversion rate, traffic generated via the campaign, and click-through-rate. These metrics would be important to this specific campaign because they all relate to our goal (generating 25 new customers) and help us to forecast our performance, as well as measure against industry standards and competitors.

What’s cool? One feature SocialOomph has–even on the free level–that sets it apart is its ability to allow you to manage your Twitter followers and your direct messages box from within the app. The tool also allows you to save and reuse social posts, for when you want to use posts as part of a campaign or get an extra boost out of your top performing content. They also recently added the ability to schedule pins to your Pinterest boards in advance.

You will want to get as specific as possible with this part. For example, if you identified your target market as parents it would be ok. However, if you identify your ideal customer as a parent that lives in the United States, is between 30 and 50 years of age, earns over $70,000, primarily uses Facebook and has an interest in outdoor activities you will have much more success.


It's worth noting that many of the non-enterprise products use Facebook Analytics to some degree to gather their Facebook data. Facebook Analytics requires that a Facebook page have at least 30 likes before it begins to pay attention to it and gather stats. Google Analytics is also a valuable free tool and generates numerous types of reports and tools. Reports can be segmented and filtered to suit business needs. Real-time views reveal which new content is popular, how much traffic today's new promotion is driving to your website, and which tweets and blog posts draw the most engagement. Being able to pull from this application greatly benefits other social tool apps. Of the SMB-focused offerings, Sprout Social Premium, Buffer for Business, and Hootsuite Pro can integrate Google Analytics.
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.

Ideas often seem to strike at random. So you need a place to collect and develop them as inspiration comes. Trello has worked wonders for me because I can not only save ideas to a Trello board, but attach links, files, and notes to each idea as it comes to life. It gives you the flexibility to be as meticulous or as barebones as you want with your planning.
Build a loyal following: Grow an engaged audience that wants to hear from you; don’t inflate your follower count with fake or bought followers. You want to build an authentic community of people who are interested in your products, and who will promote your content or products to others. You can measure this by followers you’ve added or lost in a certain time frame, or your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).
You’ve got a lot of room to make a great first impression. Specifically, 851 by 315 pixels. Your cover photo is a great way to introduce yourself.  Share your passion for business by incorporating unique photos, a collage, directional cues like arrows pointing to the most important areas of focus on your Facebook page (like your store or offer) and more.

If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free social media tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.
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.
Websites such as Delicious, Digg, Slashdot, Diigo, Stumbleupon, and Reddit are popular social bookmarking sites used in social media promotion. Each of these sites is dedicated to the collection, curation, and organization of links to other websites that users deem to be of good quality. This process is "crowdsourced", allowing amateur social media network members to sort and prioritize links by relevance and general category. Due to the large user bases of these websites, any link from one of them to another, the smaller website may in a flash crowd, a sudden surge of interest in the target website. In addition to user-generated promotion, these sites also offer advertisements within individual user communities and categories.[68] Because ads can be placed in designated communities with a very specific target audience and demographic, they have far greater potential for traffic generation than ads selected simply through cookie and browser history.[69] Additionally, some of these websites have also implemented measures to make ads more relevant to users by allowing users to vote on which ones will be shown on pages they frequent.[70] The ability to redirect large volumes of web traffic and target specific, relevant audiences makes social bookmarking sites a valuable asset for social media marketers.
Build a loyal following: Grow an engaged audience that wants to hear from you; don’t inflate your follower count with fake or bought followers. You want to build an authentic community of people who are interested in your products, and who will promote your content or products to others. You can measure this by followers you’ve added or lost in a certain time frame, or your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).
Yes, I’ve mentioned Buffer in the past, and that’s because it really is a great, easy-to-use tool. Keeping up with sharing your content each day can be hard, and Buffer allows you to schedule multiple posts on different channels at once. This way, you can knock out a good amount of social distribution in one sitting, which is helpful for busy social media teams (and the thought leaders whose content is being shared).
A short film released on March 5, 2012, by humanitarian group Invisible Children, Inc. This 29-minute video aimed at making Joseph Kony, an International Criminal Court fugitive, famous worldwide in order to have support for his arrest by December 2012—the time when the campaign ends.[28] The video went viral within the first six days after its launch, reaching 100 million views on both YouTube and Vimeo.[29] According to research done by Visible Measures, the Kony 2012 short film became the fastest growing video campaign, and most viral video, to reach 100 million views in 6 days followed by Susan Boyle performance on Britain's Got Talent that reached 70 million views in 6 days.[30][31]
WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton.WhatsApp joined Facebook in 2014, but continues to operate as a separate app with a laser focus on building a messaging service that works fast and reliably anywhere in the world.WhatsApp started as an alternative to SMS. Whatsapp now supports sending and receiving a variety of media including text, photos, videos, documents, and location, as well as voice calls. Whatsapp messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption, meaning that no third party including WhatsApp can read or listen to them. Whatsapp has a customer base of 1 billion people in over 180 countries.[53][54] It is used to send personalised promotional messages to individual customers. It has plenty of advantages over SMS that includes ability to track how Message Broadcast Performs using blue tick option in Whatsapp. It allows sending messages to Do Not Disturb(DND) customers. Whatsapp is also used to send a series of bulk messages to their targeted customers using broadcast option. Companies started using this to a large extent because it is a cost effective promotional option and quick to spread a message. Still, Whatsapp doesn't allow businesses to place ads in their app.[55]

Of course, you need to know who is talking about you as well. These are the influencers who you will want to identify for customer engagement, the ones who will be key in propagating and spreading the good word about your business. We like Synthesio, Sysomos, and Talkwalker when it comes to flushing out influencers and their data—as long as your business is prepared to pay the enterprise premium for it. On the SMB end of the scale, Sprout Social and Zoho Social hold their own at a much more affordable price point, joining Buffer for Business and Hootsuite as great combined social publishing, management, listening, and analytics platforms, with more affordable pricing tiers.

Reddit, or similar social media platforms such as Stumble Upon or Digg, are ideal for sharing compelling content. With over 2 billion page views a month, Reddit has incredible social media marketing potential, but marketers should be warned that only truly unique, interesting content will be welcomed. Posting on Reddit is playing with fire—submit spammy or overtly sales-focused content and your business could get berated by this extremely tech-savvy community.
This is where a social media management company comes in. A social media management company like LYFE Marketing helps supplement your digital marketing efforts by providing expert social media services. Not only do they have the time to dedicate to implementing your campaigns, but they also have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure that your social media efforts are a success.
A planning calendar lays the foundation and ensures you are maintaining your social sites and posting on a regular basis.  Of course, you can also post other news, tips and ideas as they arise.  The biggest pitfall businesses run into are they generally have a lot of excitement when they first establish their social media presence, but the momentum quickly fades.  Having a monthly planning calendar will help keep your social media efforts moving forward.

thank you very much for this great list and sharing all this information about the different tools. I also think that there are differences between the tools, especially when it comes to usability and different options for optimizing social media management. In my eyes that is one reason why you should always consider the choice of tools for a blog as a whole.
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