The two most common types of social marketing spend come in the form of advertising and labor. Labor means, “Who are we going to hire to carry out our campaigns and tactics (whether that’s an employee, contractor, or agency) and how many hours of work a month are they going to be expected to work on this strategy?” Answering those two questions will help you determine the labor piece of your budget.
Now that you have the information to determine where, when, and how to distribute your content, building the plan is simple. Create a matrix of the channels that make the most sense for your brand and make a note of all the specifics of engagement your team should follow for each one. When all the fields are filled out, you have a template that can be referenced easily, updated as necessary, and shared throughout your organization.
If a visitor tweets at your handle or posts on your Facebook page and never receives a response, trust is lost. Due to your lack of communication, the dissatisfied potential lead is now turning to your competitors to seek answers to their questions. On the other hand, when you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner that visitor is flattered and intrigued by your brand. It’s humanizing to take the time respond to a personal inquiry, and it builds your authority.
It also costs time to create snackable content and execute a full-blown strategy. So what's the solution for a budget-conscious business? First, enlist the help of social media tools to tackle virtually every aspect of your social media marketing, from content to advertising to lead generation, social listening, analytics, and more. Second, keep those social efforts organized. Using a spreadsheet or custom content promotion template can ensure you're maximizing every opportunity.
ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
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.

Sproutsocial is a powerful management and engagement platform for social business. Sprout Social offers a single stream inbox designed to help you never miss a message, and tools to seamlessly post, colloborate and schedule messages to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The platform also has monitoring tools and rich analytics to help you visualize important metrics.
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.
Marketers target influential people on social media who are recognised as being opinion leaders and opinion-formers to send messages to their target audiences and amplify the impact of their message. A social media post by an opinion leader can have a much greater impact (via the forwarding of the post or "liking" of the post) than a social media post by a regular user. Marketers have come to the understanding that "consumers are more prone to believe in other individuals" who they trust (Sepp, Liljander, & Gummerus, 2011). OL's and OF's can also send their own messages about products and services they choose (Fill, Hughes, & De Francesco, 2013, p. 216). The reason the opinion leader or formers have such a strong following base is because their opinion is valued or trusted (Clement, Proppe, & Rott, 2007). They can review products and services for their followings, which can be positive or negative towards the brand. OL's and OF's are people who have a social status and because of their personality, beliefs, values etc. have the potential to influence other people (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). They usually have a large number of followers otherwise known as their reference, membership or aspirational group (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189. By having an OL or OF support a brands product by posting a photo, video or written recommendation on a blog, the following may be influenced and because they trust the OL/OF a high chance of the brand selling more products or creating a following base. Having an OL/OF helps spread word of mouth talk amongst reference groups and/or memberships groups e.g. family, friends, work-friends etc. (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189).[86][87][88][89][89][89] The adjusted communication model shows the use of using opinion leaders and opinion formers. The sender/source gives the message to many, many OL's/OF's who pass the message on along with their personal opinion, the receiver (followers/groups) form their own opinion and send their personal message to their group (friends, family etc.) (Dahlen, Lange, & Smith, 2010, p. 39).[90]
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.

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
Social media management tools and services are designed to make marketing easier, which ultimately increases profits. After all, what’s the point of paying for new software or services if they aren’t going to improve your bottom line? Social media management tools and services come with a bevy of helpful benefits that will reinvigorate your marketing efforts and put your company in front of your target audience.

Social networks are, in many cases, viewed as a great tool for avoiding costly market research. They are known for providing a short, fast, and direct way to reach an audience through a person who is widely known. For example, an athlete who gets endorsed by a sporting goods company also brings their support base of millions of people who are interested in what they do or how they play and now they want to be a part of this athlete through their endorsements with that particular company. At one point consumers would visit stores to view their products with famous athletes, but now you can view a famous athlete's, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, latest apparel online with the click of a button. He advertises them to you directly through his Twitter, Instagram, and FaceBook accounts.


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.

Social Vantage is a social media management company. We provide affordable social media management services for all businesses. If you are looking for an automated solution for your business’ social media, Social Vantage is the perfect solution for you. Our social media marketing firm will create and manage all of your business’ social media posting, channel growth and customer interaction.
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]
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

Monitor online mentions of your brand in real-time. Mediatoolkit will let you know about every article, hashtag or comment mentioning your business. Mention monitoring for 100+ million online sources. Find mentions from any source in the world: be it profiles on Twitter and Instagram, or updates from websites, blogs, and forums. Free version includes
I won’t pretend to be an expert in analytics, but I appreciate the vast number of metrics available. Luckily, there are experts out there, like the fine people analyzing tweets at Buffer, Twitter themselves, and Kissmetrics, who are kind enough to give us a beginner’s guide to Facebook insights. Personally, I tend to watch post engagement (based on audience size) and URL clicks when managing social media because our goals are to expand and engage our followers while driving them to the site.
Remember: Your content marketing strategy should define your social media marketing strategy – not the other way around – because it’s always best to evaluate each social channel against your strategic goals and audience needs before you distribute content there. And when you turn this evaluation into an actionable plan, everybody on your team will know where, when, and what they should be posting on each channel, as well as what their efforts are meant to achieve.
ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
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.
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.
You’re probably already using this one, but hear me out. LinkedIn just released a new extension of its platform called LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. This helps businesses accumulate and track leads. Because most people view the app on their phones, it can be a hassle to fill out a contact form. So instead of relying on users to fill out the forms, LinkedIn’s new application uses an in-app form that populates already stored information about an individual LinkedIn user, making lead generation for your business easier than before.
Optimize your profiles: Fill out your social profiles with all the information your customers might want and try to claim the same username on every platform, especially a unique tracking link to your website. Have a clear bio that describes what you do and what you’re about (this is essentially your digital elevator pitch). Also be sure to have an avatar and cover photo wherever applicable. You can use Canva to create these in the right dimensions for each channel you’ve chosen.
Zoho Social manage multiple social networks, schedule unlimited posts, monitor keywords, and collaborate with your team all from a single dashboard. It let to publish your content when your audience is more likely to see it. The prediction engine helps you decide the best time to schedule your content. Instant notifications let you respond and engage your audience even while you're on the move. Zoho Social understand who your audience is and how they engage with your business on social media, choose from ready-made reports or create your own, based on the numbers that matter for you. Collaborate on ideas…
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

Planned content begins with the creative/marketing team generating their ideas, once they have completed their ideas they send them off for approval. There is two general ways of doing so. The first is where each sector approves the plan one after another, editor, brand, followed by the legal team (Brito, 2013). Sectors may differ depending on the size and philosophy of the business. The second is where each sector is given 24 hours (or such designated time) to sign off or disapprove. If no action is given within the 24-hour period the original plan is implemented. Planned content is often noticeable to customers and is un-original or lacks excitement but is also a safer option to avoid unnecessary backlash from the public.[92] Both routes for planned content are time consuming as in the above; the first way to approval takes 72 hours to be approved. Although the second route can be significantly shorter it also holds more risk particularly in the legal department.
It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner.  Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed.  If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them.  If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them.  It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately.  Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services (we will discuss further in next section).
Social media management software (SMMS) is an application program or software suite module that facilitates an organization’s ability to successfully engage in social media across different communication channels. SMMS is used to monitor inbound and outbound conversations, document social marketing initiatives and evaluate the usefulness of a social media presence.
Let’s now discuss the fun part, posting to social media. You know who your ideal customer is and you used that information to create your social media mission statement. Armed with this information it should be easy for you to begin creating and curating content. So, what exactly is considered content? Here are a few examples of content you could create:
Like objectives, campaigns have a result or goal that you are shooting for. For example, say one of your business objectives for the year is to generate 100 new customers. You could then plan out four specific campaigns over the year with each campaign goal to generate 25 new customers. That way, each campaign would serve its purpose of building toward your yearly goal.
Last but not least, the reason that is most likely to lead to ROI: increased inbound traffic. Without social media, your leads are limited to people who are familiar with your brand and people who find you by searching ranked keywords. By increasing your social media content frequency and expanding your social media channel presence, you are adding another path back to your site. And as a result, you’ll receive higher traffic, as well as more conversions.
AgoraPulse is a Social Media Management and CRM platform that enables agencies, businesses and marketers to manage all their social media messages, schedule and publish content, identify key influencers, monitor social channels, and get stunning reports all in one easy-to-use dashboard. AgoraPulse currently supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+. Here are six features that customers love most about AgoraPulse. 1 - Social Media Inbox for each account with real time tracking of incoming messages 2 - Incredibly flexible publishing options for queued, scheduled, and requeued posts. 3 - Advanced analytics delivered in PowerPoint and CSV reports with 1 click. Unlimited reports included with every subscription. 4 - Automatic moderation to rid accounts of spam and to easily assign incoming messages. 5 - Audience qualification and ranking to instantly build meaningful business relationships. 6 - Team workflow features for better collaboration and customer service.
Scheduling: Some social media solutions enable businesses to schedule posts through the use of content calendars. They also allow for the anticipation of message releases. Content can be published at times when audiences are most likely to catch them. These mostly free templates eliminate the need for spreadsheets, which are the usual tools used in planning social posts.

Individual reports and scheduling posts for individual channels are always helpful, but that is not always a sufficient representation of your online image. I like Raven because it provides reports gathering information from pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media channels. It also allows you to access data and schedule posts on a wide variety of digital media channels.   - Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
It’s well known that social media is a marketing channel which many ecommerce brands have already utilized effectively to skyrocket their stores growth, so we’ve created this article to provide you with some tips & tricks to help you find that same level of success. Whether you plan to use Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat to grow your business, we’ve got you covered. Let’s go!

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.


The cost of social media management software vary from vendor to vendor with licenses purchased depending on the number of users. Prices range from as low as $9 per month to as high as $18,000 annually. Pricing models also hinge on capabilities and support offered by the vendor. However, many developers offer free trials and free versions of SMMS, for those who want to give the solution a try. Most vendors also require prospective customers to visit their websites to get pricing quotations.
This portion of research should be understandable and intuitive to you since your analyzing the business you work for. But if not, here are some ways that you can collect information on the structure of your business and its disposition toward social media, your business’ culture and its beliefs about social media, as well as the social media resources available at your business’ disposal.
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.
PromoRepublic is the only social media marketing platform with 100,000 post ideas for small businesses and marketers. Advanced collaboration features and white-label options make it practical for agencies and freelancers. Additionally, the platform allows you to monitor mentions on social and run intelligent ads on Facebook and Instagram. PromoRepublic is used by more than 12,000 businesses, marketers and agencies worldwide.
Social networking websites are based on building virtual communities that allow consumers to express their needs, wants and values, online. Social media marketing then connects these consumers and audiences to businesses that share the same needs, wants, and values. Through social networking sites, companies can keep in touch with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience.[4] Social networking sites also include much information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new semantic analysis technologies, marketers can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online. An understanding of buying signals can help sales people target relevant prospects and marketers run micro-targeted campaigns.
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).
Measuring Success with Analytics — You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
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.
3. Join the conversion whether that be through Twitter chats or trending hashtags. Stay on top of your industry and contribute insightful thoughts and information to build your partnerships, connect with new leads, and expand your reach. Make your influencers like you by constantly flattering them; Like their content, retweet their updates, and comment on their posts.
This is all somewhat depressing, but as my mom recently explained Facebook has given her the power to reconnect with friends and even family members that she hasn’t spoken to in over twenty years. We’ve all heard stories of long-lost siblings, lovers, and guardians finding each other via social platforms. Not to mention the powerful charitable movements like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which helped raise over $100 million for ALS, a 3,500% increase from the $2.8 million raised during the same time period the year prior, according to Forbes.

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.
Gone are the days when social media marketing was all about increasing your followers. An early sign of success was seeing your followers grow from one day to another. Nowadays, social media marketing has left behind the ages of innocence to go through a more mature phase. This should not be a bad change, but we still need to keep up with the shift.
A tool's analytics capability is the overarching factor that will determine its usefulness because it takes all of the types of information mentioned earlier, turns them into data, and then displays them visually in compelling formats. A tool can gather all sorts of data but how the analytics piece of the tool disseminates the intelligence—and delivers the insights—is key to whether or not it can be used to accomplish planned business objectives. These objectives can include driving marketing campaigns, forecasting possible brand crises, and revealing new markets.

The most complete solutions in this tier are Synthesio and Sysomos, our Editors' Choices for enterprises. They both give the most extensive deep-dive analytics using the most engaging data visualizations and reporting. Each listening metric Synthesio measures, be it mentions, engagement, sentiment, or influencer reach, has drill-down capabilities to generate a custom dashboard with post lists and graphs from any point in the UI. Crimson Hexagon offers a similarly robust experience, with the capacity for live social stream monitoring and the best interactive visualizations for keyword and hashtag data. Sysomos offers deep social listening power plus an added publishing and social marketing campaign management product called Sysomos Expeon. It's a significant added expense on top of the main Sysomos platform, but the ad campaign-specific ROI data and reporting it provides is unmatched.
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…

Likealyzer takes the guess work out of your Facebook strategy. The recommendations point you in the right direction. Compare your Facebook page to competitors, partners, or brands you admire. Likealyzer will recommend similar pages to watch. Likealyzer converts raw Facebook analytics into a simple yet sophisticated report. Recommendations, not just metrics. Likealyzer is a Facebook tool designed for social media managers, agencies, and entrepreneurs.
We tested the core tasks critical to each platform's social media management and analytics features, with SMB and enterprise business value in mind. Such core tasks include how each tool gathers listening and mention data from the main social networks and other sources, and how creatively and effectively each tool transforms and presents the data with reporting and visualizations. We also tested how each tool configures and sends alerts, connects social data to tangible ROI, and does both competitive and community analysis on top of offering an intuitive home base for social publishing and content curation.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products in short messages known as tweets limited to 140 characters which appear on followers' Home timelines.[40] Tweets can contain text, Hashtag, photo, video, Animated GIF, Emoji, or links to the product's website and other social media profiles, etc.[41] Twitter is also used by companies to provide customer service.[42] Some companies make support available 24/7 and answer promptly, thus improving brand loyalty and appreciation.
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