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.
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.
While there are a variety of options for larger organizations and agencies, the free plan just may suit your social media management needs. Buffer’s free plan includes the ability to manage three social profiles, schedule up to ten posts, utilize their browser extensions and mobile apps (iOS and android) feature, and create and schedule content using their image creator and GIF/video uploader.
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
Publishing & RSS – eClincher has a robust system for publishing content. One of the most favorite feature is the Auto Post with Queues which allows users to automatically publish hundreds of posts for the next X number of months, with just a few clicks. eClincher offers the ability to recycle content as well as publish it once and remove it from the queue. There is also the RSS integration which allows users to automatically publish every single blog post (their own or their favorite industry blogs) onto their social media profiles. eClincher also offers a great scheduling tool with visual calendar, auto link shortening, free images, and animated gifs, and video publishing support.
You should also try and share video content with your followers to educate them about your market or about how your products/services can help them. This will not only help them get value but will also make it easy for them to hit the buy button. It’s a win-situation. This is why you find many small and big businesses are adding Facebook videos and Instagram Stories to their social media marketing strategy.
The insights gleaned from your audience personas should be used to tailor your social media marketing strategy and help you to develop clear strategies to ensure you engage with all target audiences on social media. Audience personas should inform content creation, marketing campaigns, ad targeting, and more to ensure conversions against your goals.
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm's desired social media "culture" and "tone."
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.
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.
Analytics for Facebook Groups and Pages. Sociograph is for community managers in mind. Get a deeper understanding of your community and content. Make sense of your Facebook data and your audience. Develop a deeper understanding of your community and content. The more you know about your audience, the easier boosting revenue becomes. Post reports display all your posts in chronological order and gives you information about dates, the types of post, authors, statistics about shares, comments and likes and a content preview. You can sort your posts to identify your most popular posts and look at posts in specific time ranges.
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).
In a nutshell, building a strong social media community is all about fostering engagement. The more relevant engagement within your community, the more valuable it becomes to users. You should also keep a close eye on which topics and content types (videos, memes, quotes, etc.) perform best and use that information to shape your community-building in the future.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Areitos. An easy to use internal social networking software built with the principles of social media platforms to enhance and accelerate one’s communication process. It allows for internal collaboration, professional development, and internal communication, among others. The software is well-optimized for both web and mobile devices and seamlessly integrates with top social networking websites including but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, and EventBright.
I encourage you to think of ways you can use your social channels to tell motivational stories to your viewers. They don’t need to be rooted in charity. For example if you sell B2B software you could share stories from your happiest clients on your blog and then create a social campaign with a unique slogan and hashtag to promote and create a movement around their stories.
SocialOomph really helps you get the best out of your social media marketing. With minimal effort, you can get maximal results. You can choose to use the free version of this software which has certain limitations. Note: if you decide to sign up for a 7-day trial of their premium service and you like it, you will get features you can’t access as a free user.
Fortunately, there are many social media management tools with streamlined features and automated workflows that not only save you time, but also boost your effectiveness on social. Whether you’re looking for a platform-specific tool, an all-in-one social media management powerhouse, a tool to manage social media contests, or one with powerful analytics, you’ve come to the right place.
Zoho Social has many of the same tools and features that the other platforms have, but they also have Facebook lead ads, advanced reporting features, a SocialShare browser plugin, and CRM integrations. Zoho Social caters to agencies as well so marketers have the choice of choosing between the business or agency plans. Pricing for the paid plans ranges from $8.33 to $125+ for larger agencies. Zoho Social’s free plan allows you to manage 1 brand, and includes the URL shortener and SocialShare browser plugin.
One of our monthly checks here at Buffer is to visit each of our social media profiles and make sure that our profile photos, cover photos, bio, and profile info are up-to-date and complete. It’s a key part to our social media audit. A completed profile shows professionalism, cohesive branding, and a signal to visitors that you’re serious about engaging.
Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to start generating engaging content. Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts. As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share? Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.
Chatbots are not only a great way to automate certain everyday tasks, and if implemented properly, your chatbot will allow you to create more personalized experiences for your customers. To do this, stop linking your advertisements solely to your landing pages, and create ads that redirect your audience to a Messenger window with your chatbot. Linking ads to your chatbot will:
This tool can help your team track brand mentions and social interactions. Through a single search of your company’s name, your team can discern how often others are mentioning the name, whether it’s on the receiving end of positive or negative feedback, the reach of its posts, and more. Plus, it shows the top keywords and hashtags involving your company.
TipTop Search is a Twitter-based search engine that helps you discover the best and most current advice, opinions, answers for any search, and also real people to directly engage and share experiences with. A search on any topic reveals people’s emotions and experiences about it, as well as other concepts that they are discussing in connection with the original search.
In any such scenario, you should focus on looking beyond. In other words, start researching into their online behavior and what makes them tick. Try to understand how and where your ideal customers are spending most of their time. And above all, how they’re socializing on various social networks. This data would be crucial to improve your social media marketing.
Instagram lets you post images and videos, which are discoverable through hashtags. But there’s also Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, which lets you put out photos and videos with a 24-hour lifespan or share moments in real-time. This gives you the unique option of keeping your Instagram feed consistent and clean, while using Stories to test out ideas and share behind-the-scenes glimpses that have a more casual and personal production quality to them.
The #1 digital customer engagement platform for global enterprises. Branded communities, social media marketing, and customer care. Spredfast is transforming the way companies connect with consumers. Spredfast is the leading digital customer engagement platform for global enterprises. Based in Austin, Texas, and with offices all over the globe, we tirelessly pursue innovation that helps enterprises engage with their customers online. We work with over 800 global brands, media companies, and agencies and provide branded communities, social media marketing and customer care through our award-winning platform. Spredfast works closely with the world’s largest social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr. Most recently, Spredfast was named a Leader in the The Forrester WaveTM: Social Media Management Solutions, Q2 2017.
SocialPilot is a social media automation tool for scheduling and marketing your social media to increase your social media efficiency. 1) You can connect over 9 social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Xing and VK with SocialPilot. 2) Share as many as 500 posts and connect over 200 profiles with just one SocialPilot account. 3) Post with your own brand name instead of SocialPilot's with the Custom FB Branding Feature. 4) Add up to 20 team members in your SocialPilot account to delegate sharing and scheduling with Team Collaboration feature. 5) Schedule 100s' of posts at a time uploading a CSV with Bulk Scheduling feature. 6) Want to have a look on when and what have you scheduled, have a look at our Social Media Calendar. 7) Never stay out of content, we have a lot many content suggestions. Add Curated Content and RSS Feeds for a never ending scheduling of your posts. 8) Difficulty waiting for your client's response about their account credentials. With Client Connect feature, wait no more for their account credentials or being an admin. 9) Bored of long, unwanted ugly looking URLs'. Create your own customized branded domains for more visibility and recognition with the URL Shorteners SocialPilot provides. With all these features under just one platform just go, start SocialPiloting right away!
The nature of each channel and the engagement preferences of its core community will play a major role in deciding whether your content is a good fit. For example, your audience might be open to connecting with your brand in a Twitter chat but prefers to reserve Snapchat for conversations with personal friends. Long-form content might play well on LinkedIn or Medium, while memes and captioned photos on these platforms would be inappropriate. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each channel and its corresponding community before joining the conversation.
Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only needs to take a few hours each month. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Here are some stats to focus on: number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, pageviews, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!).
Sharing Curated Links — While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
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.
Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your different marketing forces within your company to plan for the future. Working collaboratively and taking a step back to brainstorm and reevaluate your strategy can drastically improve your social efforts. Also leverage other departments within your business. Various teams like client services and sales might have stellar ideas for social since they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis.
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:
One more tool I came across with this year is viralpep. Some extraordinary features that outstands other social media management tools are – 50 Social Profile which you can maintain easily on a single platform, Unlimited Posting on social profiles, Scheduling Posts so you can manage your profiles more reliably, Manage a Team of 20 can help in conveying your messages, making the postings fast and easy, 24/7 Support of team for the client, Profile & Post Timezone while you are scheduling it becomes easy to set time, GIF Support, Like and Share, URL Shortener, Video Share, Link Preview is available, hashtag is supported & is Mobile Friendly.
For example, say you want to increase online sales. Your social media strategy would be to promote more of your business’ products on your social platforms, whether that be in the app itself (Insta, Facebook, etc.) or through a link that redirects people back to your site. It’s at this point where you would also decide if your promotion efforts on social media will be paid, organic, or a combination of both.