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
However, social media can be overwhelming if you don’t have the proper knowledge or tools. Whether it’s to create or repurpose content, to find the best way to engage with your online community or to create a comprehensive posting schedule, having the right social media management tools is crucial to your success. Here are 15 of the best social media management tools currently available and how they can help you make the most of your social presence, as recommended by leading members of Forbes Agency Council.
Team tracking, collaboration, and oversight are also crucial elements in running a well-oiled social marketing team as a business grows. All of the tools reviewed support team activity such as response assignment and team member tracking, depending on the tier. But the marketing team features in Sysomos Expion, enhanced team collaboration in Sprout Social, and the well-integrated Discuss tab of Zoho Social stand out in particular, along with a nifty new Slack integration in Brand24. All of the products reviewed have geographic location, demographic, gender, and age stats as well, although the higher-end enterprise social analytics platforms (such as Synthesio and Sysomos) go beyond those basic demographics with deeper community analysis and return-on-investment (ROI) metrics.
Advertising refers to the amount of ad spend that you’re going to invest in social platforms. This is up to you to determine. If you want to leverage social ads throughout your strategy, then be sure to build that into your budget. If not, then you’ll probably be relying on organic reach, which means more budget spent on labor. Be sure to incorporate that into the budget as well.
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.
Inaccurate Automated Sentiment Analysis: Most SMMS generate reports about customer sentiments. Such reports are often proved inaccurate despite vendor assurance. Depending on these reports could severely impact a company’s appraisal of customer sentiments. Plus, it is easy to miss valuable social media insights from the use of automatically generated sentiment analysis.
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,…
ClickToTweet provides you with the easiest way to share, track and promote your content on Twitter. Twitter has struggled with growth over the last few years. Although it’s remained one of the most influential social media companies, it was widely reported new members weren’t signing up and that usage was declining. The latest numbers, however, reveal that Twitter has turned a corner and is once again on the upswing. Currently, the site boasts 328 million active monthly users, which is the strongest performance in two years. Twitter has been historically vague about disclosing its numbers. For example, it doesn’t like…
“Over the last two years, the social network has repeatedly tweaked the system to show the top 300 or so items that it predicts each person will want to read,” according to a recent article by the New York Times. “Facebook argues that people prefer to see videos, photos, news articles and updates from their friends and family more than other brands. So over time, posts by businesses have shown up less frequently.” Facebook continues to push for more advertising so if your business wants traction it needs to be advertising. With all of that said you still need to use caution and tread lightly if you’re a budget conscious advertiser because with more and more competition prices are likely to rise. I’d also highly recommend retargeting with platforms like AdRoll because with retargeting you show your ads to people that have already expressed interest in your brand by visiting your site. I often see retargeting ads on the side of my Facebook News scan (i.e. the image below showing ads for two sites which I recently visited).
Social media is too big, and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.
Schedugram lets you plan, schedule and upload your Instagram content – and collaborate within your team to product the best 'grams possible. We have led the Instagram business scheduling market for 5 years now and we're not stopping: with Schedugram you can schedule and publish carousel posts, videos, Instagram stories and more. With unlimited user accounts included at no extra costs, you are not forced to share logins to save money on your subscription: if someone needs a login, you can collaborate instantly. Join us for a 7 day free trial, and discover why over 10,000 businesses trust Schedugram every day.

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 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.
SMMS market growth. The global social media management software market is expected to grow by around 15% from the year 2017 to 2021, this forecast includes both on-premise and cloud-based SMMS. However, an increase in the use of cloud-based SMMS is see as more likely as businesses have been moving their information technology resources from on-premise to cloud-based platforms. This is being done as a means to minimize organizations’ IT spendings while upgrading their infrastructure.
Our digital team utilizes Sprout Social for its social media management, which allows the team members to monitor clients’ social media mentions, engage with brand advocates, schedule content in advance, and utilize reporting tools to inform future strategies. As our hotel clients’ guests view social media as a virtual concierge, we find it essential to have a tool to streamline real-time communication.   - Jennifer Hawkins, HAWKINS International Public Relations Inc.
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

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.
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.
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.
On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group.
To this end, companies make use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to reach audiences much wider than through the use of traditional print/TV/radio advertisements alone at a fraction of the cost, as most social networking sites can be used at little or no cost (however, some websites charge companies for premium services). This has changed the ways that companies approach to interact with customers, as a substantial percentage of consumer interactions are now being carried out over online platforms with much higher visibility. Customers can now post reviews of products and services, rate customer service, and ask questions or voice concerns directly to companies through social media platforms. According to Measuring Success, over 80% of consumers use the web to research products and services.[37] Thus social media marketing is also used by businesses in order to build relationships of trust with consumers.[38] To this aim, companies may also hire personnel to specifically handle these social media interactions, who usually report under the title of Online community managers. Handling these interactions in a satisfactory manner can result in an increase of consumer trust. To both this aim and to fix the public's perception of a company, 3 steps are taken in order to address consumer concerns, identifying the extent of the social chatter, engaging the influencers to help, and developing a proportional response.[39]
Most social media management teams have trouble tying ROI to social media. With Clarabridge, you’ll have the insights to fuel product innovation and make strategic business decisions. Why? Because your team will have access to a wealth of insights from customers at some of their most crucial touchpoints. For example, when customers are making a decision about a product, they very well may make an inquiry via social media. On the other hand, if they are experiencing issues, they will reach out via social media as well. With this information at the ready, your team will be able to have a keen understanding of what customers are looking for—valuable information that your business should be using to fuel innovation and strategic direction. Accessing and sharing this information between your social media management team and the C-Suite means that you’ll be able to tie ROI to your social media management efforts by tracking the customer’s journey from social media to sale acquisition.
These are just a few of the many powerful features Agorapulse has to offer. Add to this ads monitoring, competitor analysis, social listening, a social media calendar, a Chrome extension, and team workflows, and you are left with one behemoth of a social media management tool. It’s quite amazing that its pricing is so competitive. Unlike like the other tools on this list, Agorapulse is an all-in-one solution and you won’t need to patch together 3 or 4 different social tools to achieve the same outcomes.
We will use our primary Twitter handle as both a customer service channel and a broadcast/interaction channel instead of having 2 separate handles. Twitter will be used to make us feel extremely accessible to consumers – real humans at the other end in real time (so we will initial conversations wherever possible). This will be beneficial in developing brand awareness and putting a real face to the products bought elsewhere.
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.
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.
While SocialOomph does indeed have a free plan, the features are limited and mostly lean towards Twitter management. On the free plan you can do things like schedule tweets, track keywords, shorten URL’s, and manage up to five Twitter accounts, but some of the more sophisticated features require a paid plan. If you’re looking to manage multiple social platforms aside from Twitter you will need to pay to play.

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.
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.
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience's style and taste. Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video is also possible on YouTube, "for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company in results along with other videos."[67] YouTube also enable publishers to earn money through its YouTube Partner Program. Companies can pay YouTube for a special "channel" which promotes the companies products or services.
Engagement in social media for the purpose of a social media strategy is divided into two parts. The first is proactive, regular posting of new online content (digital photos, digital videos, text) and conversations, as well as the sharing of content and information from others via weblinks. The second part is reactive conversations with social media users responding to those who reach out to your social media profiles through commenting or messaging[22] Traditional media such as TV news shows are limited to one-way interaction with customers or 'push and tell' where only specific information is given to the customer with few or limited mechanisms to obtain customer feedback. Traditional media such as paper newspapers, of course, do give readers the option of sending a letter to the editor, but this is a relatively slow process, as the editorial board has to review the letter and decide if it is appropriate for publication. On the other hand, social media is participative and open, as participants are able to instantly share their views on brands, products, and services. Traditional media gave control of message to the marketer, whereas social media shifts the balance to the consumer (or citizen).
This powerful platform lets you listen, analyze and engage with social media mentions. It gathers every bit of information about your brand, products and solutions—even when your company handle is not explicitly used by the customer. It uses advanced text analytics to route social messages to the right people. It also enables advance management and closed loop handling. Clarabridge allows your company to monitor conversations happening about your business, even when your brand name is not mentioned. In addition to social media management with regard to conversations and trends, you’ll be able to have insights into the history of customer engagement. This ensures that the loop is closed on all customer inquiries and issues. You can also find trends in consumer issues to proactively address, and perhaps eliminate, in the future.
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.
It’s essential that you’re tracking the performance of your social media marketing efforts, and testing what works best for your audience. Whether you decide to use UTM codes and measure your performance on Google Analytics, or opt for the built-in analytics that Buffer or Hootsuite offer, you can use the data from your campaigns to optimize for the future. If you want to stay on top of the game, it’s essential that you’re constantly testing, constantly learning, and constantly growing as an entrepreneur.
How many posts to schedule? This question is more specific to your current social following and industry because your social following and industry benchmarks will dictate how many posts you’ll be required to share and the return you can expect. Let’s say that for every 1 post, our heavy machinery company generates 500 impressions and our industry standard for CTR is 10% and our industry standard for conversions is 1%. We’ll define a conversion action as filling out a form. So, for every 500 impressions, we generate 10 clicks and 1 conversion and 1 out of every 10 conversions end up purchasing. We will need to schedule 10 posts to generate 1 purchase then. Over the course of our 3-month campaign, we will need to publish 250 posts to generate 25 sales. That’s a lot of posting! Better get a tool like SEMrush or Hootsuite.
Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. We have a suite of products for publishing, engagement, analytics, and team collaboration (Publish, Reply, and Analyze). Our products are carefully considered and highly refined in order to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively. Buffer is a team of real people, aligned in common values. Being a Buffer customer should feel like you have a whole team of people cheering for you. We want to see you succeed on social!

Socedo is an automated social media lead generation tool that works with Twitter and LinkedIn to help you find the right leads from social media and then add them to your sales funnel. So if you came to this page looking for a tool to plan and publish content, Socedo isn’t your best option. But if you came here looking for a way to convert more of your social audience into business leads, then check out their data-driven approach to social media management.
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.
Small businesses also use social networking sites to develop their own market research on new products and services. By encouraging their customers to give feedback on new product ideas, businesses can gain valuable insights on whether a product may be accepted by their target market enough to merit full production, or not. In addition, customers will feel the company has engaged them in the process of co-creation—the process in which the business uses customer feedback to create or modify a product or service the filling a need of the target market. Such feedback can present in various forms, such as surveys, contests, polls, etc.
Many people install a social media plugin and then forget about it – hoping that blog content will stand on its own two feet as something socially-worthy. But unless your respective social profiles are thriving in their own right, few people are going to take the time to share your content socially unless it’s somehow impactful to them, personally.
One metric that every social media marketer should care about in the engagement metric. The reason being simple: it gives you a strong insight into what your target audience thinks of your brand. Are people just mentioning your brand or are they having multiple conversations about it? Are they actively engaging with the topic? How are they sharing the content with each other?
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
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
Volume is by far the simplest social media metric that you should be measuring. Why? Because it’s not complicated to understand what level of volume (the size of your campaign) is giving you results. One thing that you should be aiming for with your social media marketing is generating interest from your ideal customer. In other words, you want more of your target audience to talk about your brand and/or your overall campaign.
This is a great article! There are so many options right now on the market that is overwhelming. Do you by chance know about eClincher? That’s what I’m using right now. I’ve recently decided to subscribe, but I’m still looking for opinions. Right now I feel it’s a great tool with an awesome pricing. However I don’t seem to get many reviews on it. Hope to hear back from you!
Hootsuite and Zoho Social are close behind in offering a do-it-all social publishing and analytics hub for SMBs, and Buffer for Business is closing the gap with a packed feature release cadence to bolster its listening and influencer management chops. These are all tools that any social media manager or business user can operate with ease. They don't take a social data whiz and won't break your SMB's bank, but global brands with far more expansive listening requirements will want to consider enterprise offerings.

As you can see in the example above, Wal-Mart does an excellent job addressing customer concerns.  The first comment cues them in to the fact that that there is a high demand for a certain product because it is sold out at the local store.  Wal-Mart directs the customer to a site where they can search other stores for the product. The second comment indicates a customer concern about order fulfillment. Wal-Mart addresses it and directs the person to a site where they can make suggestions on how the company can improve.
TweetDeck is totally free and perfect for those who need to manage multiple accounts, follow specific hashtags, reply to lots of other users and see exactly what's being tweeted in real time. You can organize everything you need in separate columns so you can see all of it on one screen. Keep in mind that TweetDeck is meant for the desktop web only.
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.
Faceless corporations are a thing of the past. These days, consumers care not only about what they buy, but also the type of company they’re buying from. Social Media has a 100% higher lead to close rate than outbound marketing. With this advantage, you can practice rapid response to build a connection with a customer, rather than putting them through the automatic recording steps via telephone.
Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.
TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. TweetDeck interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles. It was the most popular Twitter application with a 23% market share as of June 2009, following only the official Twitter website with 45.7% share for posting new status updates.

Mix up your official tweets about specials, discounts, and news with fun, brand-building tweets . Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.


So we made a consistently updated list of the top 10 social media management tools for 2018. There are three major features that a good social media management tool should always have – publishing and RSS integration, social engagement, and great analytics reporting. Those three areas are exactly what makes a comprehensive social media management platform.
NetBase is a Social Business Platform that global brands and agencies use to power brand building, grow businesses and connect with consumers. NetBase processes millions of posts across the social web in 42 languages, faster (9x) and more accurately (50-70%) than alternatives. The platform enables brands and agencies to deeply understand customer behavior, emotions and intent in real-time, giving confidence in making actionable decisions that accelerate growth. The advanced patented technology gives clients access to purchase intent, new audiences, and contextual brand emotions that link to shareholder value. The intuitive UI, simple non-Boolean search, and complete and flexible functionality works ‘out of the box’, and includes history, geo and depth that the biggest brands in the world now rely upon.
You can actually survey your customers to learn more about the type of content they consume, why they use your product/service, their habits, what blogs they follow and more importantly the social networks they use etc. Any feedback from your customers should be considered important. The idea is to gain as much clarity as possible. Once you have a complete picture, your overall social media marketing efforts become fruitful, and result-oriented.

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…
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