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.
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.
Social media management tools centralize your social efforts and publishing in a single console or dashboard. These platforms let you add rich multimedia to posts, tailor messages to different networks and audiences, and toggle social channels on and off. These platforms take much of the manual effort out of managing different social profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and more. Combined with the analytics you're gathering on engagement, followers, posts, and a host of other metrics, these platforms help you get a handle on your social media efforts. They also help you feed all of the data you're gathering back into your online marketing, customer strategy, and other areas of your business. To one degree or another, social media touches just about everything.
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.
Friends+Me is another prime player in the social media management tools family. While Friends+Me puts the highest emphasis on Google Plus features, many other social platforms are supported. Friends+Me appears to get rave reviews from users, and has a beautifully designed website with plans available based on the size of your business. And yes, there is a free plan!
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.
Although “followers” and the many other metrics are important, they are not the "be all and end all" to social media success. You need to show your audience that you are not just a robot. Integrate personality through humor and emotions into your posts so that your audience can relate to your brand. Social media is all about being social, and if your customers see the same types of posts time and time again, they will lose interest. Make your communications interactive by:

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.
If you’re looking to streamline post scheduling, content curation, and social listening, Hootsuite is a neat hat-trick for all three. The social media service is capable of multi-platform post scheduling, content cloud storage, tracking the digital impact of your social media campaigns, and monitoring social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location — and in multiple languages. It’s compatible with all major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+) and WordPress, along with a slew of other systems such as Salesforce and MailChimp.
Converse directly with your followers: Literally have a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content. The insurance company Allstate created a separate Twitter account for their popular advertising character, Mayhem, who continously “captures the life events you just can’t seem to avoid.” Almost everything they post is geared towards talking to their fans, whether that be retweeting, asking questions, running a contest, or even sending #MayhemValentine’s to followers. This Twitter account also follows my point above regarding using humor and personality in each post. Recently they ran an overwhelming successful social media campaign #MayhemSale, in which Mayhem possed as a burglar selling all his best burgles online. It sounds sort of bizzare, but it worked and created an insane amount of buzz. Just look at the one tweet below with 4.6K retweets.

Marketing Podcast with Vince Molinaro Podcast Transcript My guest this week on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Vince Molinaro. He is an expert on creating a healthy, resilient leadership culture, and is the author of the best-selling book The Leadership Contract: The Fine Print to Becoming an Accountable Leader. Molinaro is the global managing director […]

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.

This is where a social media management company comes in. A social media management company like LYFE Marketing helps supplement your digital marketing efforts by providing expert social media services. Not only do they have the time to dedicate to implementing your campaigns, but they also have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure that your social media efforts are a success.
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.
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.
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. 

Ultimately, it's about bringing social analytics full circle to prove ROI to your executive team. Synthesio shines here with a full-blown ROI tab of analytics tools to chart the progression of a social user to a follower and a follower to full-blown customer acquisition. This also plays into Synthesio's creative analytics tools for community analysis, using techniques including psychographics to break a customer base down into an ecosystem. It's into this ecosystem that enterprises can market social campaigns at audience segments based on their professional fields, personal interests, or brand preferences.
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.
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.
Jodi Harris is the Director of Editorial Content & Curation at Content Marketing Institute. As a content strategy consultant, Jodi helps businesses evaluate their content needs and resources; build infrastructure and operations; and create compelling stories to be delivered across multiple media channels and platforms. Follow Jodi on Twitter at @Joderama.
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.
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.

In addition, social media platforms have become extremely aware of their users and collect information about their viewers to connect with them in various ways. Social-networking website Facebook Inc. is quietly working on a new advertising system that would let marketers target users with ads based on the massive amounts of information people reveal on the site about themselves.[109] This may be an unethical or ethical feature to some individuals. Some people may react negatively because they believe it is an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, some individuals may enjoy this feature because their social network recognizes their interests and sends them particular advertisements pertaining to those interests. Consumers like to network with people who have interests and desires that are similar to their own.[110] Individuals who agree to have their social media profile public, should be aware that advertisers have the ability to take information that interests them to be able to send them information and advertisements to boost their sales. Managers invest in social media to foster relationships and interact with customers.[111] This is an ethical way for managers to send messages about their advertisements and products to their consumers.
Returning to our above example, say we are running a campaign with a goal of generating 25 new customers over the course of three months. We then need to work our way backward from that goal to identify the steps needed to reach that campaign goal. Below are some questions that we think are worthwhile to ask of your campaigns in order to identify the specific tactics needed to reach your goals.
If you’re an agency in need of tools for social media management, Social Pilot may be your best bet! This social media management tool will allow you to do manage multiple client social media profiles at once and do things such as bulk schedule posts in various queues, collaborate with team members, manage clients, utilize browser extensions, etc. Their free plan includes 3 connected profiles, 10 posts per day, and 30 posts per queue.
This makes you better than most of your competition because when most of them would be failing to consistently post relevant content, you will be able to stick to your posting schedule. Which is a huge plus on any social network. Because once your consistency hits rock bottom, your social media following starts shrinking and your overall social media presence becomes weaker. In short, your social media marketing strategy helps you plan ahead and get the most out of your content.
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.
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.
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).

Unlike the channels above, Pinterest has a clearly defined user base consisting mostly (70%) of women with disposable income. It's not for every brand, but it's a product-friendly platform for those are a good fit. If you’re in the fashion, handcrafts, or home decor space, you’d be missing out an opportunity to get traffic and sales here through both organic and paid tactics.

Having a crystal clear plan is the prerequisite to making social media work for you. You need to know what you’re doing, where you’re headed, and what you plan to achieve with your social media. In short, you need a social media marketing strategy that gives you a bird’s eye view of everything. And at the same time lets you grasp and work with the details when needed.
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