Facebook and LinkedIn are leading social media platforms where users can hyper-target their ads. Hypertargeting not only uses public profile information but also information users submit but hide from others.[17] There are several examples of firms initiating some form of online dialog with the public to foster relations with customers. According to Constantinides, Lorenzo and Gómez Borja (2008) "Business executives like Jonathan Swartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Steve Jobs CEO of Apple Computers, and McDonalds Vice President Bob Langert post regularly in their CEO blogs, encouraging customers to interact and freely express their feelings, ideas, suggestions, or remarks about their postings, the company or its products".[15] Using customer influencers (for example popular bloggers) can be a very efficient and cost-effective method to launch new products or services[18] Among the political leaders in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the highest number of followers at 40 million, and President Donald Trump ranks second with 25 million followers.[19] Modi employed social media platforms to circumvent traditional media channels to reach out to the young and urban population of India which is estimated to be 200 million.
What better way to gauge customer demand than to ask them yourselves?  Don’t be afraid to engage your followers and get their opinions.  Doing so can help identify both areas of strength and weakness.  As we discussed earlier, prompt response to comments is key to developing a relationship with your followers.  Even big box stores work to maintain open and responsive communication with their followers:

Your Twitter profile and tweets can get crawled and indexed by Googlebot and appear in both Google mobile and desktop search results. Google has been expanding how it displays tweets in Google Search. Tweet Indexation Rate Tool queries Google and returns the percentage of your indexed tweets, the Moz Page Authority, and number of other websites linking to your Twitter account.

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.


Use Buzzsumo to find content that resonates. I just started using this tool recently, but I’ve already added it to my bookmark bar and am completely addicted. It’s the easiest way to search related industry news sites and blogs, keywords, influencers, etc. to find the content with the highest number of social shares. Study the headlines that were shared and re-share those articles/headlines with your followers. This will continue the train of sharing, but also show your followers that your social posts are intriguing and follow-worthy 

In the social sphere, things change fast. New networks emerge, while others go through significant demographic shifts. Your business will go through periods of change as well. All of this means that your social media strategy should be a living document that you look at regularly and adjust as needed. Refer to it often to keep you on track, but don’t be afraid to make changes so that it better reflects new goals, tools, or plans.
Explore your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow. The visualization runs right in your browser and displays data from Twitter. Mentionmap loads user’s tweets and finds the people and hashtags they talked about the most. In this data visualization, mentions become connections and discussions between multiple users emerge as clusters.
As an entrepreneur, it’s difficult to decide which content will resonate most with your audience. If you’re ever unsure about what to post on your social media channels, it’s a great idea to look to other brands in your niche. Take a look at the content which they’re posting, measure how it performs, and think about what you can do to make sure that your social media content stands out from the crowd.
I recently spoke with some local Boston-based paid search experts who all raved about the power of Facebook advertising with the main conclusion that Facebooks ads are cheap and actually work. If you want to compete on Facebook today it’s pretty clear that you need to put some green bills on the table. Gone are the days when you could just post updates to your company’s wall and pray for likes. With that said costs can be easily controlled as there are several unique targeting methods giving you options to find your niche audience and not waste money on the click-happy internet addicts irrelevant to your business.
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.
The dashboard also features SEO tools, Content management software, reporting and even Pay Per Click Management. It’s all in one solution although it is priced higher at $99/month it eliminates the need for lot of other tools. Another great feature of Raven is that it allows you to integrate with Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Twitter and Facebook thus bringing the data from all these accounts into a single dashboard.
The latest edition to our favorite social media management tools list is more than just a tool, it’s our very own new social network for content creators! DashBurst is a new multimedia web experience, social network, dashboard and blogging platform. You can explore and share a variety of different content including text, photos, video, audio, articles, infographics, docs, the web and any other media with just one simple Burst! You can also schedule and queue unlimited Bursts for later and watch them automatically get published to your DashBurst and other social media channels simultaneously, saving you time so that you can continue creating or just relax. On top of all that, you can create Boards to curate and showcase interesting content like your own works, must-read articles or anything you else you love too!
Whether you are a user handling multiple accounts, or an agency that handles hundreds, HootSuite makes it easy. It’s easy to add accounts, easy to schedule posts across all major platforms and easy to add account managers. In addition, the company also has a robust training platform that teaches not just the tools, but how to think about social marketing as a whole. As a package, the best out there for the price.   - David Kley, Web Design and Company
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.
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.
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.

Socioboard is a social media lead generation toolkit for businesses which enables users in managing social media accounts, analytics and reporting. The features of Socioboard are smart inbox, prompt feeds, auto RSS feeds, Google analytics, sentiment analysis, advanced scheduling and publishing, unique social discovery, in-depth analytics and reports, effective and efficient engagement, constant real-time monitoring, team collaboration tools, social CRM and helpdesk integration. SocioBoard official app has an extension of the SocioBoard Core application on iOS and Android which lets users manage social feeds, complete social and brand monitoring from anywhere, send updates to all of user’s social networks, schedule,…

If you are looking for a tool that will not only allow you to schedule posts for all your social media accounts, but also to receive detailed reports and keyword searches at the same time within a single stream, you may want to give Sprout Social a shot. Currently, the app provides supports for several major social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also schedule posts and monitor social media activity on the go, since Sprout Social also comes as a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
Another interesting tool I would like to introduce to you is the Blog2Social plugin. It has powerful options for easily sharing your posts across all popular social media networks in one easy step. You can optionally customize your posts for each network and automatically schedule your posts for the best times to share. The plugin is a big time saver for cross-promoting.
You should also consider how you plan to make engagement and response a consistent part of your social media management. Do you plan to reach out to fans and followers and start a conversation? How often will you respond to questions and concerns posted to your page? Do you plan to use contests to engage your audience? All of this should be somewhere in your social media strategy.
At its core, Pinterest enables users to create Pinboards, which are a collection of images under one unifying theme. Pinterest followers can comment on your boards and the individual images within them, as well as share them (known as repinning). And although Pinterest’s audience is primarily women, even traditionally-male dominated niches like home improvement and grilling can find a home on Pinterest, as these pinboards from Lowes can attest to:

Yes, your content will tell the story of your brand as a whole, but why not share with your audience what's happening with your company in real time? Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, have created their own live streaming features, something that is not yet being used to its full potential by big brands. To compete with them, start using these live features before they really catch on. Live stories are a great way to:
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.
Tweetdeck is a web and desktop solution to monitor and manage your Twitter feeds with powerful filters to focus on what matters. You can also schedule tweets and stay up to date with notification alerts for new tweets. Tweetdeck, who was purchased by Twitter, is available for Chrome browsers, as well as Windows and Mac desktops. Recently they closed down their mobile apps to re-shift focus on the web and desktop platforms.
My favorite thing to do on Twitter is to find disgruntled customers and respond, trying to solve their issues. In a survey from InSites Consulting, 83% of companies reported that they deal with questions or complaints sent via social media, so I’m not alone. This is a great way to show that your company cares and a face and personality behind the façade.
Gremlin Social combines social media marketing automation with 3 compliance tools that make it easy for banks, mortgage companies, and financial advisors to master the social media marketing landscape and gain new business using social networks. Endorsed by the American Bankers Association for social media management and compliance, Gremlin Social helps ensure the safe & effective use of social media communication while maximizing marketing campaigns, guiding strategies such as content creation & social media policy review assistance, and monitoring returns through analytics.
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.
Viralwoot enables you to build and cater for your needs as a freelancing marketer, an enterprise or an agency. You can post schedule, promote on social media, carry out social media analytics, manage your content and influence your management. You can automate your social media presence with Viralwoot's Pin Scheduler, allowing you to spend more time on high value activities like engagement. Scheduling in bulk saves time and extends your reach by posting at the right time for maximum impact. Viralwoot allows you to boost your presence and get more traffic from social media in seconds. You can paste your…
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you're not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you're missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
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.
Yes, I’ve mentioned Buffer in the past, and that’s because it really is a great, easy-to-use tool. Keeping up with sharing your content each day can be hard, and Buffer allows you to schedule multiple posts on different channels at once. This way, you can knock out a good amount of social distribution in one sitting, which is helpful for busy social media teams (and the thought leaders whose content is being shared).
Facebook insights provides a similar functionality to Twitter analytics, this gives you stats on your pages post reach, engagement and likes. This helps you measure your progress and find out what is working well. You can also add your competitor’s pages to your ‘Pages to Watch’ list, so you can discover their engagement stats as well. This means if you see a competitor performing particularly well it might be worth seeing how they are using Facebook. Equally if a big player in your industry is doing rather badly (it happens more than you might think), then it might be worth seeing what there doing wrong so as not to fall foul of it as well.
A company’s social media presence can also be amplified using these solutions by automatically sending messages using different social media platforms. They likewise enable companies to integrate their social media activities with their respective marketing programs. This functionality has lead the way to the increased use of social media management software. An industry report has revealed that the primary reason for the increase in the use of the solution is its ability to improve brand awareness.
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.
My favorite thing to do on Twitter is to find disgruntled customers and respond, trying to solve their issues. In a survey from InSites Consulting, 83% of companies reported that they deal with questions or complaints sent via social media, so I’m not alone. This is a great way to show that your company cares and a face and personality behind the façade.
Instagram has proven itself a powerful platform for marketers to reach their customers and prospects through sharing pictures and brief messages. According to a study by Simply Measured, 71% of the world's largest brands are now using Instagram as a marketing channel.[64] For companies, Instagram can be used as a tool to connect and communicate with current and potential customers. The company can present a more personal picture of their brand, and by doing so the company conveys a better and true picture of itself. The idea of Instagram pictures lies on on-the-go, a sense that the event is happening right now, and that adds another layer to the personal and accurate picture of the company. In fact, Thomas Rankin, co-founder and CEO of the program Dash Hudson, stated that when he approves a blogger's Instagram post before it is posted on the behalf of a brand his company represents, his only negative feedback is if it looks too posed. "It's not an editorial photo," he explained, "We're not trying to be a magazine. We're trying to create a moment."[63] Another option Instagram provides the opportunity for companies to reflect a true picture of the brandfrom the perspective of the customers, for instance, using the user-generated contents thought the hashtags encouragement.[65] Other than the filters and hashtags functions, the Instagram's 15-second videos and the recently added ability to send private messages between users have opened new opportunities for brands to connect with customers in a new extent, further promoting effective marketing on Instagram.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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