Social networking websites allow individuals, businesses and other organizations to interact with one another and build relationships and communities online. When companies join these social channels, consumers can interact with them directly.[3] That interaction can be more personal to users than traditional methods of outbound marketing and advertising.[4] Social networking sites act as word of mouth or more precisely, e-word of mouth. The Internet's ability to reach billions across the globe has given online word of mouth a powerful voice and far reach. The ability to rapidly change buying patterns and product or service acquisition and activity to a growing number of consumers is defined as an influence network.[5] Social networking sites and blogs allow followers to "retweet" or "repost" comments made by others about a product being promoted, which occurs quite frequently on some social media sites.[6] By repeating the message, the user's connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product/company.[4]

Engagement: Social media has now grown to match its meaning. The business has to keep a social relationship with its clients or audience and engage them if the strategy is to work. It is no longer just posting information on the social media and leaving it like that. The user has to keep in touch with their followers and audience to make them want to keep visiting the page and viewing what new things the business have for them.
Another example would be for increasing brand awareness. You can set up a brand monitoring tool (like the one we use in SEMrush) and begin to monitor specific mentions of your brand on Twitter. From here, you can set a baseline number of brand mentions and monitor progress from that baseline. If mentions of your specific brand are growing, then so is your brand awareness.
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.
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
While traditional media, like newspapers and television advertising, are largely overshadowed by the rise of social media marketing, there is still a place for traditional marketing. For example, with newspapers, readership over the years has shown a decline. However, readership with newspapers is still fiercely loyal to print-only media. 51% of newspaper readers only read the newspaper in its print form,[96] making well-placed ads valuable.

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).


A short film released on March 5, 2012, by humanitarian group Invisible Children, Inc. This 29-minute video aimed at making Joseph Kony, an International Criminal Court fugitive, famous worldwide in order to have support for his arrest by December 2012—the time when the campaign ends.[28] The video went viral within the first six days after its launch, reaching 100 million views on both YouTube and Vimeo.[29] According to research done by Visible Measures, the Kony 2012 short film became the fastest growing video campaign, and most viral video, to reach 100 million views in 6 days followed by Susan Boyle performance on Britain's Got Talent that reached 70 million views in 6 days.[30][31]


Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace etc. have all influenced the buzz of word of mouth marketing. In 1999, Misner said that word-of mouth marketing is, "the world's most effective, yet least understood marketing strategy" (Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels, 2009, p. 3).[84] Through the influence of opinion leaders, the increased online "buzz" of "word-of-mouth" marketing that a product, service or companies are experiencing is due to the rise in use of social media and smartphones. Businesses and marketers have noticed that, "a persons behaviour is influenced by many small groups" (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). These small groups rotate around social networking accounts that are run by influential people (opinion leaders or "thought leaders") who have followers of groups. The types of groups (followers) are called:[85] reference groups (people who know each other either face-to-face or have an indirect influence on a persons attitude or behaviour); membership groups (a person has a direct influence on a person's attitude or behaviour); and aspirational groups (groups which an individual wishes to belong to).
A short film released on March 5, 2012, by humanitarian group Invisible Children, Inc. This 29-minute video aimed at making Joseph Kony, an International Criminal Court fugitive, famous worldwide in order to have support for his arrest by December 2012—the time when the campaign ends.[28] The video went viral within the first six days after its launch, reaching 100 million views on both YouTube and Vimeo.[29] According to research done by Visible Measures, the Kony 2012 short film became the fastest growing video campaign, and most viral video, to reach 100 million views in 6 days followed by Susan Boyle performance on Britain's Got Talent that reached 70 million views in 6 days.[30][31]

One of the main purposes of employing social media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and makes them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products.[33] These companies use social media to create buzz, and learn from and target customers. It's the only form of marketing that can finger consumers at each and every stage of the consumer decision journey.[34] Marketing through social media has other benefits as well. Of the top 10 factors that correlate with a strong Google organic search, seven are social media dependent. This means that if brands are less or non-active on social media, they tend to show up less on Google searches.[35] While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have a larger number of monthly users, the visual media sharing based mobile platforms, however, garner a higher interaction rate in comparison and have registered the fastest growth and have changed the ways in which consumers engage with brand content. Instagram has an interaction rate of 1.46% with an average of 130 million users monthly as opposed to Twitter which has a .03% interaction rate with an average of 210 million monthly users.[35] Unlike traditional media that are often cost-prohibitive to many companies, a social media strategy does not require astronomical budgeting.[36]


As with any other type of digital marketing tactic you employ, you’ll want to make sure that you track and measure your social media campaign results over time. This is the only way to know if your campaigns are successfully helping you meet your marketing goals. Not to mention, this is how you will determine your social media ROI and decide if you’re putting your resources to the best use.

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.
Followerwonk (part of Moz) gives you some really useful analytics options for researching the effectiveness of your Tweets and the performance of your Twitter account as a whole. You can analyse your followers or the users you follow to ascertain where in the world they are and when they are most active on Twitter, as well as other information. This can really help you improve your effectives on Twitter, as it will mean you can use the information on when your followers are active to determine when you should be tweeting. In addition if you discover you have a large number of followers in a certain country it could help with planning your next marketing campaign or even store location. To save you even more time, followerwonk integrates with buffer, so you can get it to automatically update buffer’s set posting times to be when your followers are most online.
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.
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.
Canva is a graphic design program that makes creating professional graphics and presentations easy — no graphic designer experience required. With Canva, you can create a social media graphic (at any size or dimension) using your own images or any of the millions of themes, graphics, icons, and fonts in Canva’s arsenal. You can also save your creations if you want to make a recurring series using the same branding.
Social Mention is a social media search and social media analytics tool that aggregates user generated content into a single stream of information. Track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites.
RebelMouse was founded in 2012 by Paul Berry, former CTO of The Huffington Post, with one goal: To build technology that enables companies to succeed in the world of distributed publishing. As the first Distributed Content Management System (DCMS), RebelMouse enables companies to succeed in a world where audiences are increasingly fragmented and social dominates content consumption. At its software’s core are intuitive and smart distribution tools designed to help increase organic reach. By using RebelMouse technology either for natively-social publishing or to enhance their existing CMS, publishers and brands can quickly launch social websites built to connect their content with its maximum audience.
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:
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. 
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