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.
Publishing & RSS – Buffer has the basic publishing features such as scheduling and adding posts to a queue but it is not made for evergreen posts. Meaning, it will not let you upload hundreds of posts and then recycle them, or publish them on your social media until you tell it to stop. It does have the RSS feed that helps you publish posts from blogs.
If you want to know what’s happening with your brand’s social networking sites you need social media monitoring tools. Before you reach for your wallet and start to spend money try out some of the free social media monitoring services. This way you will get an understanding of what is available and if you need any paid services to monitor social media.
The cherry on the cake is that you can add as many projects/social media accounts to your Social Aider account, as you need, for absolutely no cost! Multiple social accounts mean you can manage your own social media or that of your multiple clients using the same platform. The pricing of the tool is low, to encourage budding bloggers and entrepreneurs to maintain a healthy online presence… and it has a 1-year free trial!

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


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.
Sociota is a powerful platform for monitoring of social media, management of social media, analysis of social media and engagement of social media platform. Sociota is simply a toolkit designed for providing highly optimized and successful social media campaigns. The social media monitoring feature enables users know what their audience are saying about them on social media sites. The social media monitoring feature also works by monitoring consumer opinions on user’s products. With social media monitoring, users are provided with an excellent platform for proactively responding to their consumers, therefore avoiding crisis. The social media analysis feature enables users know…

Please note: You don’t have to one of the most recognized fashion brands in the world (like Marc Jacobs is) to make this work for your brand. For example let’s say you run an athletic clothing store and offer free yoga classes at several of your store fronts – this would be a great actionable movement to brand and spread across their channels. Use the inspirational aspect of getting fit, New Year’s resolutions, healthy living, or whichever angle you believe your customers would gravitate towards. Test out a few hashtags, find the one that resonates best, and brand your movement by announcing it on your blog and social channels.
Your social media strategy is your plan of attack. But in a space like this that literally changes by the day, with surprise newsfeed algorithm updates, new channels, and audiences always ready for something new, you need to remain flexible and keep your finger on the pulse of the internet to constantly improve without getting distracted by every new shiny object.
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 the social media strategist who's crazy about measuring analytics, SpredFast is the tool that excels at data feature integration. Manage and measure data gathered from all sorts of social platforms to see how many people you are reaching and whether or not your target audience is appropriately engaging with your content. The data is presented in formatted graphs, which you can use to compare and benchmark campaigns against other strategies.
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!
Buffer is a software to manage social media sites, share everything users find worth sharing, browse on Twitter, Facebook or wherever users like to hang out, reply to people and make new friends and connections. Buffer has features such as link shortening, Google Analytics campaign tracking, team members, content suggestions, reconnect, schedule, content and happiness team. Buffer also has extensions, apps and extras like Zapier, If This Then That, Pablo (new), Feedly, Pocket, Reeder, ReviewPush, Crowdriff, Echofon, Trap.it, Tweetcaster, Followerwonk, Mr. Reader, Feeddler, Instapaper, Scoop.it, Bottlenose, Flare, Commun.it, Digg Digg for WordPress, Buffer via Email, Social Bro, Tweetings, Tracky, Tweriod,…
Social managers must schedule posts, respond to questions, manage communities and participate in conversations. Leading companies combine their social customer service effort with their social media management programs. Social customer service includes routing customer service issues to the right department, updating customers about outstanding issues and closing the loop with the customer by seeing issues through to resolution.
Followerwonk (part of Moz) gives you some really useful analytics options for researching the effectiveness of your Tweets and the performance of your Twitter account as a whole. You can analyse your followers or the users you follow to ascertain where in the world they are and when they are most active on Twitter, as well as other information. This can really help you improve your effectives on Twitter, as it will mean you can use the information on when your followers are active to determine when you should be tweeting. In addition if you discover you have a large number of followers in a certain country it could help with planning your next marketing campaign or even store location. To save you even more time, followerwonk integrates with buffer, so you can get it to automatically update buffer’s set posting times to be when your followers are most online.

If your strategy execution fees exceed your budget estimate, prioritize your tactics according to their ROI timeframe. The tactics with the fastest ROI (e.g., advertising and social referral) take priority because they generate instant profit you can later invest into long-term tactics (fan acquisition, quality content creation or long-term engagement).

Did you know the average person spends 4 years looking down at their cell phone over a lifetime? To be honest, I’m somewhat surprised it’s not even more (but I suspect this number to increase). As I glanced around my family room on Christmas evening I noticed every one of my family members scrolling through their social feeds, excluding my nephew; he’s 6 months old, but oddly always gravitates towards the iPhone (although it’s typically just an attempt to eat it).
I’m a fan of Buffer. It lets you schedule and manage social media posts across all of the most widely used channels, and you can individually customize each post for all of the different platforms it gets posted to. Buffer also shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day and tracks links so that you can see what content gets the most traction.   - Chi Zhao, Hokku PR
Just ‘doing social’ is no longer good enough. Doing it in a half-hearted or un-planned fashion could well do more damage to your brand than not doing it at all. In order to make the most of it you need to plan, manage and optimise it. This all takes time, but there is an excellent set of free social media management tools out there to save you time and get better results from social media marketing.
Instagram works on a similar premise, in that this highly visual, user-centric app encourages participation and engagement. Here, user-focused images are king, so there’s possibly no better platform to shine the spotlight on your customers and how they’re using your product, or on your own employees doing work behind-the-scenes than through Instagram.

First and foremost, you should always encourage conversations and keep communication lines open. Make engaging with your brand as easy and compelling as possible. To do this, contribute to your community consistently. Valuable communities can require huge amounts of time and effort to develop, so before you get started be willing to commit to the work.
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.

Xsopo is an easy to use interface that enables easy use of social media. Xsopo facilitates automatic publishing and scheduling of posts on multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and many more. Xsopo makes use of the API’s of the social media websites that enables users type a message once and a quick review of how the user’s message will look like will be showcased to the user. Xsopo is also ideal for companies and enterprises as it enables them to schedule a message which will later be delivered with precision and accuracy. Xsopo features the…
Telling a powerful story: A whole story? Huh? But you’re only allotted so many characters on social channels. Yes, yes, I know, but there are ways to pull powerful quotes and engaging tidbits from a story that will leave the reader wanting more, therefore directing them to your website. Charity:water does this phenomenally well. Yes, they are already a charitable company with the mission of providing clean drinking water to every person in the world, but as a non-profit organization they’ve been incredibly successful continuously trumping their fundraising goals, and I’d be willing to bet a big part of this is due to how gracefully they tell their story to social followers. Their content has a way of spurring their audience to get involved and contribute to the organization. When I first learned about charity:water at Hubspot’s Inbound conference in 2013, their heart-wrenching video spurred me to create a birthday campaign in which you ask your friends and family to donate rather than give presents. One recent campaign that they’ve shared throughout all of their social channels is called “Why I give” in which individuals who donate share their stories. This adds the human element, tells a story, and even has the power of spurring followers to action. Take a look at the post below featuring a “well-known, well-loved charity:water supporter,” Shakil Kan. The quote featured tells a mini-story and is inspirational, intriguing the viewer to click.
Hootsuite is one of the most established and popular apps when it comes to social media scheduling and marketing. You can use it schedule post, receive in-depth reports, and collaborate with your team members, thanks to built-in team work features. You may notice than it sounds quite similar to what Sprout Social does, but there is one key difference between the two: whereas Sprout Social will display all the data inside a single stream, Hootsuite uses multiple ones. It is simply a matter of finding the former or the latter approach more preferable.
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.

Notice that each of these accounts has a consistent voice, tone, and style. Consistency is key to helping your followers understand what to expect from your brand, so they know why they should continue to follow you and what value they can get from your social accounts. It also helps keep your branding consistent even when you have multiple people working on your social team.

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.

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
SMhack is a social media marketing platform which lets users monitor, post, and collaborate without switching programs. SMhack has features such as engagement monitoring, task management, reporting, performance analysis, and works smooth with Google Analytics and Slack to ensure there will be no manual data entry. SMhack will not simply monitor social media posts, comments and tags, but DMs and conversations too, where it responds to whatever conversation thread in seconds which protects both the users’ brand and strategy allowing users to react without leaving the platform. SMhack is an amazing publishing tool to manage and post content and schedule…
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!
In today’s world, social media is one of the best ways for your business to stand out in its field and to reach a wider audience. Having an active presence on all major social networks, from Facebook to LinkedIn and beyond, is a necessity for any brand that wants to become an industry leader while engaging with its potential and current customers in new ways.
Social Media Marketing brings new rules and opportunities to increase the awareness, profitability, and overall lifeline of your brand. A further understanding of your consumers, how they communicate, the experiences they’re looking to have, and where they’re located digitally is crucial.  Your social media strategy will affect the chances of winning new customers, retaining current customers, future business expansion opportunities, talented employees, and better products. But don’t take the short way out. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up. Stray away from being comfortable and what’s safe. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
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:
Every social media conversation surrounding your brand is important. And the more it spreads across the social network, the better your “reach” becomes. So reach is nothing but a metric that lets you understand how far you are able to connect with your audience. It gives you a fair idea of the potential size of your audience, which obviously gives you clarity on improving your approach.
While the free plan is not super robust, it still allows for two queues (which is a destination to publish posts), the ability to schedule three posts per queue, link shortening, browser extensions, an integration with Zapier, as well as standard support. The free plan can also be used for a variety of social platforms like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tumblr. 
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