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.
Moving up from being just another marketing channel, social media has become a primary conduit for any kind of business to connect with customers and partners. Touchpoints can vary widely. It could be matching social perception trends to specific records or audience groupings in your customer relationship management (CRM) repository; or, you could record a customer's @mention in your helpdesk system when she complains about your product over Twitter. What makes social media so attractive and valuable is that it's a real-time conduit for measuring your audience's pulse and pushing out content that aligns with your brand. To be an effective social media manager or marketer across all these fronts requires a robust social media management and analytics platform.
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.
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.

Converse directly with your followers: Literally have a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content. The insurance company Allstate created a separate Twitter account for their popular advertising character, Mayhem, who continously “captures the life events you just can’t seem to avoid.” Almost everything they post is geared towards talking to their fans, whether that be retweeting, asking questions, running a contest, or even sending #MayhemValentine’s to followers. This Twitter account also follows my point above regarding using humor and personality in each post. Recently they ran an overwhelming successful social media campaign #MayhemSale, in which Mayhem possed as a burglar selling all his best burgles online. It sounds sort of bizzare, but it worked and created an insane amount of buzz. Just look at the one tweet below with 4.6K retweets.


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]
The best social media apps offer a range of solutions that can help you easily organize multiple accounts and share information across several social networks without ever needing to post anything separately to your accounts directly from the web. Although many of the features, layouts, and intuitiveness differ across each app, they all get the job done when you choose the right one that matches your current social presence and marketing strategy.
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.
So why should your business get involved? Aside from personal branding, these chats can greatly benefit your business by giving you the ability to discover new leads, build brand authority, develop strong relationships with influencers in your industry, and further expose your brand. Host your own chat or partner with a big brand to co-host a chat; you’ll grow your follower base substantially if it’s promoted well. Explore the resources in this post to get an idea of which re-occurring chats take place in your industry.
The insights gleaned from your audience personas should be used to tailor your social media marketing strategy and help you to develop clear strategies to ensure you engage with all target audiences on social media. Audience personas should inform content creation, marketing campaigns, ad targeting, and more to ensure conversions against your goals.
Buffer Reply turns your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram engagement, comments, and questions into threaded conversations, all neatly organized in one inbox for your team to tackle, together. Our refined brand monitoring filters let you bypass the chatter of social media, so your team can focus on the conversations that matter most to your brand. Reply puts critical customer service data at your fingertips with robust reports, so you can make the best decisions for your team.
Moving up from being just another marketing channel, social media has become a primary conduit for any kind of business to connect with customers and partners. Touchpoints can vary widely. It could be matching social perception trends to specific records or audience groupings in your customer relationship management (CRM) repository; or, you could record a customer's @mention in your helpdesk system when she complains about your product over Twitter. What makes social media so attractive and valuable is that it's a real-time conduit for measuring your audience's pulse and pushing out content that aligns with your brand. To be an effective social media manager or marketer across all these fronts requires a robust social media management and analytics platform.
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.
Facebook Pages Manager: One of the most popular SMMS currently in the market, Facebook Pages Manager is a mobile application designed to aid in managing businesses’ social media pages. Using the solution, users can update social media pages, create posts and share media, among others. Notifications regarding social media activities and reminders are also automatically sent by the app. Page insights are likewise provided, enabling users to capture information regarding customer wants and needs. Facebook Pages Manager also offers both business and personal social media tools.

NapoleonCat.com is an analytics, engagement, and publishing platform for social media marketing. Users can publish on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter at once; plan their content with calendar and drafts; and include their clients and coworkers in the content design and decision making process with customized post flows. They also can curate their current and future clients while quickly responding to their questions and comments either via a private message on Facebook or through a comment on Instagram. Users can access in-depth analytics on any page or profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ to track the effectiveness of your or your competitors’ marketing efforts. NapoleonCat.com also makes social media marketing automation and reporting possible and enables users to process email and SMS complaints. They can also invite their co-workers, clients, and support team to work with them. NapoleonCat.com was founded by Grzegorz Berezowski in December 2011 and is based in Warsaw, Poland.
Social media marketing provides organizations with a way to connect with their customers. However, organizations must protect their information as well as closely watch comments and concerns on the social media they use. A flash poll done on 1225 IT executives from 33 countries revealed that social media mishaps caused organizations a combined $4.3 million in damages in 2010.[98] The top three social media incidents an organization faced during the previous year included employees sharing too much information in public forums, loss or exposure of confidential information, and increased exposure to litigation.[98] Due to the viral nature of the Internet, a mistake by a single employee has in some cases shown to result in devastating consequences for organizations. An example of a social media mishap includes designer Kenneth Cole's Twitter mishap in 2011. When Kenneth Cole tweeted, "Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor has they heard our new spring collection is now available online at [Kenneth Cole's website]".[99] This reference to the 2011 Egyptian revolution drew an objection from the public; it was widely objected to on the Internet.[99] Kenneth Cole realized his mistake shortly after and responded with a statement apologizing for the tweet.[100]
If you want to explore your social media analytics, schedule posts across platforms, and monitor engagement, Sprout Social is a great all-in-one social media management tool. The platform allows you to analyze your social media data beyond the built-in analytics offered by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also track engagement on keywords and hashtags, identify influencers, build custom dashboards, and more. Sprout integrates with all major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+), as well as other systems including Bitly and Google Analytics.
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.”
In order for businesses to keep up with the seemingly endless stream of information from social media platforms, they need to use SMMS. Even as the number of companies using social media for customer service has risen, it has been found that eight in nine social media messages go unanswered in the first 72 hours. Using SMMS, enterprises can respond to such messages in a timely manner, ultimately saving a sale or even getting a positive comment from a customer. 
It is important for any organization to have social media representation. Using social media management software, they are able to get an idea how consumers view them and know about competitors and industry trends. Social media also allows for the positive representation of a company, product or service, which is always a good thing. Building a good name and public image is most likely to improve connections with customers more quickly.
If you decide to measure the number of leads generated through social media marketing, we advise adding a unique discount code to your social media posts — this will help you to understand how you acquired your customers. If you see that a discount code from a specific post on social media is being used more than others, it’s a good indicator that said content resonates well with your audience.
Where does your target audience spend time online? What kind of content and conversations do the audience members get most vocal about? What kind of information do they want from you? What do they dislike? Remember, you're not just pub¬lishing marketing messages on the social Web. You need to find out what your audience wants and needs, so you can provide the kind of content they find useful and interesting. However, you also need to be personable, so they actually want to interact with you.
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.

What do you want to get out of your social Web participation? Why are you doing it? Are you trying to generate direct sales? Are you trying to offer a form of customer service? Do you want to build relationships with customers and boost loyalty? Your answers to these questions greatly affect the type of content you publish and the activities you participate in on the social Web.
Hootsuite provides a more complete solution that allows you to schedule updates and monitor conversations, whereas Buffer isn’t a dashboard that shows you other people’s content. However, Bufferapp has superior scheduling flexibility over Hootsuite because you can designate very specific scheduling times and change patterns throughout the week. Hootsuite recently introduced an autoschedule feature that automatically designates a scheduling time based on a projected best time to post. This can be effective to use, but doesn’t have the same flexibility as Buffer since you don’t really know when a post will be scheduled till after doing so.
What type of messaging? If we’re trying to generate clicks, then our message would be something simple like, “See the highest-quality heavy machinery you’ve seen in your life” or something like that. The appeal would likely be to the quality of our machines (because our audience probably cares more about that then price) and our CTA is to see our machines by clicking.
Facebook Pages Manager: One of the most popular SMMS currently in the market, Facebook Pages Manager is a mobile application designed to aid in managing businesses’ social media pages. Using the solution, users can update social media pages, create posts and share media, among others. Notifications regarding social media activities and reminders are also automatically sent by the app. Page insights are likewise provided, enabling users to capture information regarding customer wants and needs. Facebook Pages Manager also offers both business and personal social media tools.

Social networking sites can have a large impact on the outcome of events. In 2010, a Facebook campaign surfaced in the form of a petition. Users virtually signed a petition asking NBC Universal to have actress Betty White host Saturday Night Live.[23][24] Once signed, users forwarded the petition to all of their followers. The petition went viral and on May 8, 2010, Betty White hosted SNL.
Google Analytics is the one tool that manages our social media. Why? Because the data we gather from analytics focuses our efforts on the social media platforms that are driving traffic and conversions. Did we receive a ton of traffic from Reddit in the last month that converted to subscribers? Did we have a negative ROI on our Facebook ad spend? Google Analytics provides these answers and more.   - Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
ZOHO Social: an SMSS that allows organizations to increase their social media presence by targeting appropriate audiences. It can measure revenue generated from social media marketing, giving users an idea how their social media campaigns are performing. The software allows for management of multiple social media platforms, monitor conversations for keywords and schedule unlimited number of posts all from a single solution. It seamlessly integrates with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others. Using ZOHO Social, businesses can publish needed social media content at times when consumers are most likely to view them. It has the capability to listen and connect with audience in real time. Market performance can be improved using the application, which offers insights through custom reporting tools. Information sharing among team members can also be accomplished, which guarantees the formulation of sound decisions.
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.
In early 2012, Nike introduced its Make It Count social media campaign. The campaign kickoff began YouTubers Casey Neistat and Max Joseph launching a YouTube video, where they traveled 34,000 miles to visit 16 cities in 13 countries. They promoted the #makeitcount hashtag, which millions of consumers shared via Twitter and Instagram by uploading photos and sending tweets.[32] The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.
Running a social media marketing campaign is only one part of the equation. The other part is tracking it to see if it is effectively working for you. You cannot make the mistake of making any assumptions when it comes successful social media marketing. You should know whether a tactic is giving you results or not before you start losing money. Because after all, you need a positive return on investment from your marketing.
To further engage your customers, run cross-channel campaigns across all your social media channels. Keep in mind that these campaigns are run by virtually every company today, so you will need to give yourself an edge to help you stand out from the crowd. Add an emotional component to your social media campaigns so that your audience can relate to your cause. An efficient cross-channel social media campaign will:
Fortunately, there are many social media management tools with streamlined features and automated workflows that not only save you time, but also boost your effectiveness on social. Whether you’re looking for a platform-specific tool, an all-in-one social media management powerhouse, a tool to manage social media contests, or one with powerful analytics, you’ve come to the right place.
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