For the data nerds, Talkwalker gives you the most granular control over Boolean search query customization, along with Smart Themes that act as filters on results. These help business users extract only the data that represents a specific subset of a social campaign's target audience. Crimson Hexagon's Opinion Monitor takes that a step further with its custom sentiment analysis. It goes beyond the basic positive, negative, or neutral sentiment associated with a social post; it instead programs a range of custom responses related to a particular product and refines the post categorization with a machine learning (ML) algorithm.
In order for businesses to keep up with the seemingly endless stream of information from social media platforms, they need to use SMMS. Even as the number of companies using social media for customer service has risen, it has been found that eight in nine social media messages go unanswered in the first 72 hours. Using SMMS, enterprises can respond to such messages in a timely manner, ultimately saving a sale or even getting a positive comment from a customer. 
Bit.ly is a URL shortener and click reporting tool all in one. It’s great for Twitter with short posts, and also tracking the clicks to help you understand how well your content converts traffic to your website. It’s by no means an “all-in-one” social media management tool, but as a social media marketer, it will help you track the performance of your links. Which is vital.

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,…
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!

You can connect your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, to save you time when posting content to your different social media feeds. However in my opinion although Hootsuite is better for keeping tabs on all your social accounts and monitoring mentions etc., it is slightly more fiddly and less user friendly than buffer is at doing the task of scheduling posts to multiple accounts.
The best place for customer care lies on social media. Before brands got involved, it was created solely for communication, and that is still its core foundation. Customer interactions allow for the public opportunity to make complaints right. It’s also a place to enhance your relationship with them further by following them back, recommending additional products, and creating an open line of communication.
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.
Remember: Your content marketing strategy should define your social media marketing strategy – not the other way around – because it’s always best to evaluate each social channel against your strategic goals and audience needs before you distribute content there. And when you turn this evaluation into an actionable plan, everybody on your team will know where, when, and what they should be posting on each channel, as well as what their efforts are meant to achieve.

If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche (like cat owners, for example), your job will be easier than if you’re trying to appeal to a more general audience (like a telecommunications or airline brands). I recommend lurking in the places your intended customers often hang out, in subreddits or blog comments for example, to see what they’re interested in.
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.

Rob Marvin is PCMag's Associate Features Editor. He writes features, news, and trend stories on all manner of emerging technologies. Beats include: startups, business and venture capital, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, AI, augmented and virtual reality, IoT and automation, legal cannabis tech, social media, streaming, security, mobile commerce, M... See Full Bio


First, you need to understand what a strategy is, and isn’t it. A strategy should define the main aim of your social media presence and set the parameters for what it will deliver and how it will be delivered. It will be supported by a tactical plan that defines how the strategy will be delivered, including the channels, resource and budgets to achieve it.
The other critical capabilities an enterprise gets at this level include greater contextual data customization tied directly to business goals. An enterprise also gets community and sentiment analysis that filters a wide social audience into defined market segments. These market segments offer clear opinions about a brand or product; the business can then tie that information to customer intent.
SocialFlow's algorithms analyze user behavior and then optimize each post based on real-time data, in order to predict the best times for publishing content to capture peak attention from target audiences. They release posts when timing, relevance and audience are optimized, and also offer a full suite of services that aim to expand audience engagement and increase revenue per customer.   - Ryan Pezzotti, Knowzo.com
For the social media strategist who's crazy about measuring analytics, SpredFast is the tool that excels at data feature integration. Manage and measure data gathered from all sorts of social platforms to see how many people you are reaching and whether or not your target audience is appropriately engaging with your content. The data is presented in formatted graphs, which you can use to compare and benchmark campaigns against other strategies.
Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar. The social media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow! Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB social media customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press.

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.

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.
Why would I want to go online to chat to a bunch of strangers? What respected business person would actually take time out of their day to participate in one of these cult-like chats? These were the initial thoughts which ran through by head when introduced to the concept of Twitter chats. My view drastically changed when WordStream founder, Larry Kim, raved about #PPCChat, encouraging me and my colleagues to participate as frequently as possible. So I took his advice and started participating in our industry related chats. I was surprised to find the experience to be very enjoyable; I even added #PPCChat as a recurring event in my calendar on Tuesday so that I wouldn’t forget to join in the live conversation. The chat gave me the ability to connect with others in the industry and also learn from those who have varying experiences from my own. I noticed an uptick in my personal followers and one week I was even featured as the top quote in the PPCChat write-up that’s published after every chat.

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!

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.
Social Searcher / Socialbuzz is a real-time search engine for Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It is designed to provide a different kind of user experience for curious users and deep analytics for the marketing professionals, such as: posts types, top links/domains, keywords, sentiment, top users and posts. Also the service has a quick possibility to change your search locale, filter search results by content type and popularity.

Likeable Local is a unique social tool thatany company can find useful. Driven by a passion for small business success, Likeable Local helps generate leads and referrals through its platform, as well as share content to social platforms. It also offers tools to boost your reach and manage your online reputation through built-in keywords so you can engage in the right conversations.
Many brands are now heavily using this mobile app to boost their marketing strategy. Instagram can be used to gain the necessary momentum needed to capture the attention of the market segment that has an interest in the product offering or services.[61] As Instagram is supported by Apple and android system, it can be easily accessed by smartphone users. Moreover, it can be accessed by the Internet as well. Thus, the marketers see it as a potential platform to expand their brands exposure to the public, especially the younger target group. On top of this, marketers do not only use social media for traditional Internet advertising, but they also encourage users to create attention for a certain brand. This generally creates an opportunity for greater brand exposure.[62] Furthermore, marketers are also using the platform to drive social shopping and inspire people to collect and share pictures of their favorite products. Many big names have already jumped on board: Starbucks, MTV, Nike, Marc Jacobs, and Red Bull are a few examples of multinationals that adopted the mobile photo app early. Fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein, who goes by @weworewhat on Instagram, collaborated with Harper's Bazaar to do a piece on how brands are using Instagram to market their products, and how bloggers make money from it. Bernstein, who currently has one and a half million followers on Instagram, and whose "outfit of the day" photos on Snapchat get tens of thousands of screenshots, explained that for a lot of her sponsored posts, she must feature the brand in a certain number of posts, and often cannot wear a competitor's product in the same picture. According to Harper's Bazaar, industry estimates say that brands are spending more than $1 billion per year on consumer-generated advertising. Founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom even went to Paris Fashion week, going to couture shows and meeting with designers to learn more about how style bloggers, editors, and designers are currently dominating much of the content on his application.[63]
While the free plan is not super robust, it still allows for two queues (which is a destination to publish posts), the ability to schedule three posts per queue, link shortening, browser extensions, an integration with Zapier, as well as standard support. The free plan can also be used for a variety of social platforms like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tumblr. 
If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free social media tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.
Likeable Local is a unique social tool thatany company can find useful. Driven by a passion for small business success, Likeable Local helps generate leads and referrals through its platform, as well as share content to social platforms. It also offers tools to boost your reach and manage your online reputation through built-in keywords so you can engage in the right conversations.
Statusbrew is a social media management platform that combines the power of internet and technology to empowers businesses, brands, marketing agencies, and organizations to discover and manage customer experience across various social touch-points and drive growth. Statusbrew bridges the gap between businesses and customers by unearthing deep insights of social media analytics. Trusted by over 16 million users worldwide, Statusbrew makes it fast and easy for individuals, small and medium businesses and organizations of every scale and complexity to efficiently manage social media properties. Get in full control of all your channels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus with the complete suite of social media management tools on Statusbrew. With a simple to use interface for the planning of social publishing of marketing and PR campaigns on multiple social networks, Statusbrew is a trusted partner for Teams. With Audience on Statusbrew businesses, influencers and individuals alike gather social intelligence to engage with their community on different social networks and nurture strong relationships with people who matter the most. The social audience can be segmented and managed for well-girded growth to maximize returns by keeping their valuable connections happy at every step of their social journey. Track and monitor your competitors alike, and grow fast using our Lead Generation process using Twitter Sources. With Engage on Statusbrew, never miss out any conversation about your brand or business on social. Reply to DMs, Mentions, and Comments from all the profiles in a single unified social inbox. With real-time sync, receive and assign replies to specific teammates for them to work on it as soon as a prospect talks about you and never miss out on any lead. Slack Integration will change the way Brands and Agencies can bring in their teams to collaborate in Social Publishing and Brand Monitoring right from their workspace. When you connect your Statusbrew with one or more Slack channels or workplaces, you would receive instant Slack notifications for all the activities you choose are important for your Business. Our powerful white-labeled Reports give you, your team and clients, powerful week-over-week and month-over-month Analytics to get the best ROI on your marketing efforts. Signup on Statusbrew for a free 14 days trial to gain a competitive edge and build strong social connections!
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