Just ‘doing social’ is no longer good enough. Doing it in a half-hearted or un-planned fashion could well do more damage to your brand than not doing it at all. In order to make the most of it you need to plan, manage and optimise it. This all takes time, but there is an excellent set of free social media management tools out there to save you time and get better results from social media marketing.
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.
Getting traction on Pinterest doesn’t require any “secret sauce” or deep knowledge of algorithms and other tactics. Pinterest’s Guided Search is as easy as it gets. Be clear about the theme(s) of your pinboard(s) and stick closely to them. You can create as many pinboards as you want.  Then, simply optimize your image file names and descriptions, as well as their titles and you’ll be ready to enjoy a pinstravaganza.
Use the data you gather via social listening to analyze how your customers and prospects feel and what they need from your business. Your goal should be to make sure you have confidence in the data you are looking at, so you’ll need a comprehensive and extendable social analytics effort to ensure you can keep up with the latest demands. Once you understand the data, you have the opportunity to share the findings broadly across the business. We call this “operationalizing the data.”
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.
If your team maximizes content by sharing it via multiple accounts, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of logging in and out of each account to launch posts. It takes time to sign in and out of different accounts to ensure as many possible audience members get the chance to engage with your content. Major headaches can surface when you’re bouncing around from sharing original posts, researching hashtags, tagging the right people, and replying to messages. With TweetDeck, your team can effectively manage multiple Twitter accounts with ease, all on one screen.

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.

Social Harvest is a lean, mean, and scalable data gobbling machine. Built with Go, extensible with virtually any other language via data streams and a RESTful API and supports both SQL and NoSQL databases. The customizable dashboard can accommodate the visualization of any data with widgets.Social Harvest is an open-source social media analytics and monitoring tool. It's goal is to help provide insight for social media for individuals and small businesses. It is not designed as an enterprise tool; however, there is nothing preventing the enterprise from finding value within it.One of the primary focuses of this tool is cost…


We already know from Larry that posts with emojis receive more attention. Similarly, when examining our tactics with images, we found that photos will generally receive more attention. This was further affirmed by Convince&Convert, who report that posts with pictures generate 150% more retweets. At WordStream, we analyzed posts on Twitter and Facebook and found that the most retweeted or liked posts featured images of real people--#PPCkid and images of our employees worked fairly well, but even memes featuring a real human work as well.
Fundraising software is a variety of tools developed to make fundraising efficient, effective and easier for your organization and donors. This is utilized by organizations to streamline fundraising efforts and ease logistical challenges to focus on establishing stronger donor relationships and driving more donations. It comes in various types depending on the campaigns you are…
Are there industry events, media innovations, or consumer behaviors on which your content distribution can capitalize (e.g., livestreaming video consumption habits, device-specific capabilities like memojis, popular memes that are capturing attention)? How might these impact the tone/velocity you should adopt for distribution? Are there controversies or algorithm shifts that might be cause to reconsider their value to your brand?
Build a loyal following: Grow an engaged audience that wants to hear from you; don’t inflate your follower count with fake or bought followers. You want to build an authentic community of people who are interested in your products, and who will promote your content or products to others. You can measure this by followers you’ve added or lost in a certain time frame, or your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).
Again, this is where best practices come in. Perhaps the most helpful (and adorable) infographic I’ve seen about timing comes from SumAll, which compiled timing research from sites like Visual.ly, Search Engine Watch, and Social Media Today to create its awesome visual. Here’s an overview of what they found in terms of timing (all times are Eastern Time).
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’ve got a lot of room to make a great first impression. Specifically, 851 by 315 pixels. Your cover photo is a great way to introduce yourself.  Share your passion for business by incorporating unique photos, a collage, directional cues like arrows pointing to the most important areas of focus on your Facebook page (like your store or offer) and more.
In 2018, there's no doubt you have many choices when it comes to web design and web marketing services. Your middle schooler probably knows his way around CSS and HTML and every college kid is a blogger. The problem is, a site that looks hot but doesn't have well-thought out strategy, is like a certain reality show family we can't name for legal reasons: pretty, but worthless.

You can actually survey your customers to learn more about the type of content they consume, why they use your product/service, their habits, what blogs they follow and more importantly the social networks they use etc. Any feedback from your customers should be considered important. The idea is to gain as much clarity as possible. Once you have a complete picture, your overall social media marketing efforts become fruitful, and result-oriented.
SMhack is a social media marketing platform which lets users monitor, post, and collaborate without switching programs. SMhack has features such as engagement monitoring, task management, reporting, performance analysis, and works smooth with Google Analytics and Slack to ensure there will be no manual data entry. SMhack will not simply monitor social media posts, comments and tags, but DMs and conversations too, where it responds to whatever conversation thread in seconds which protects both the users’ brand and strategy allowing users to react without leaving the platform. SMhack is an amazing publishing tool to manage and post content and schedule…
Humble-brag time: ShareThis offers social media follow buttons and social media share buttons to help you grow your followers and expand your reach by making it easy for your readers to follow your social profiles and share your content. That’s not all; ShareThis also offers tools for GDPR compliance, social A/B testing, email list building, and more.

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. 
IFTTT is an acronym for If This Then That and the whole idea of the site is that it allows you to create custom triggers to automate your social media workflows. With IFTTT you will be creating what they refer to as website. Essentially a set of instructions for what you want to happen. Now recipe refer to as source what they refer to as channel followed by a trigger and trigger is what has to happen before the tool moves on. So you might create something as if I post to Facebook then post the same update to Twitter.
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.
By this point, there should no longer be a question about what is social media management so the next time a colleague asks you “What is social media management?” you’ll be able to answer their question and refer them to an informational blog. Now that you know what is involved with effective social media management and why it’s important to your business, it’s time for you to make an educated decision about your own social media management. Will you use your in-house resources? Or partner with a social media management company that will enable you to focus on your core business?

Social media marketing involves the use of social networks, consumer's online brand-related activities (COBRA) and electronic word of mouth (eWOM)[81][82] to successfully advertise online. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertisers with information about the likes and dislikes of their consumers.[67] This technique is crucial, as it provides the businesses with a "target audience".[67] With social networks, information relevant to the user's likes is available to businesses; who then advertise accordingly. Activities such as uploading a picture of your "new Converse sneakers to Facebook[81]" is an example of a COBRA.[81][82] Electronic recommendations and appraisals are a convenient manner to have a product promoted via "consumer-to-consumer interactions.[81][81] An example of eWOM would be an online hotel review;[83] the hotel company can have two possible outcomes based on their service. A good service would result in a positive review which gets the hotel free advertising via social media. However, a poor service will result in a negative consumer review which can potentially harm the company's reputation.
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:
That said, Facebook can be an incredibly powerful way to use social media for advertising. It’s a database of information that you can use to deliver targeted ads to your ideal customers. If you amplify content that’s set up to produce engagement (likes, shares, comments) such as a viral video, you can generally lower the cost of your advertising, so keep that in mind.
OctopuSocial is a social media management platform that helps improve your business by helping you to be connected with your audience. It works to improve your business in social media management while staying connected with your audience. It’s perfect for allowing you to schedule, manage and analyze your posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It has a management feature that centralizes all the tools you need to successfully handle all your Instagram and Twitter profiles in an innovative, simple and user-friendly way. From this management feature, you get to know what people are currently saying about your business in different…
Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using snapchat every single day.[66] It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.[66]
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]
Like objectives, campaigns have a result or goal that you are shooting for. For example, say one of your business objectives for the year is to generate 100 new customers. You could then plan out four specific campaigns over the year with each campaign goal to generate 25 new customers. That way, each campaign would serve its purpose of building toward your yearly goal.
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.
And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.
You can also use your audience to gain inspiration for your social media content. Look at the way your audience engages with the social media platforms which you’re active on, and try to emulate this style —it’ll be familiar to them, and it’ll help you to send a message which resonates. If you see that a specific type of post is popular, focus your attention on creating similar content — it’s the best way to reach your goals quickly.
Socialbakers is the first AI-powered social media marketing suite for brands and agencies of all sizes. We empower our clients with the largest dataset in the industry and advanced tools for easy and successful top of the funnel marketing: Audiences & Personas Get closer to your customers by having AI define your personas for you. Discover their interests, behaviors, and affinities to understand their world. Content Intelligence Create content that gets people talking by analyzing engagement across social. From content creation to execution - work smarter and faster. Social Media Management Use AI to optimize how you manage social media. Find the right influencers and work across teams in one place to measure, schedule, publish, and evaluate your results. Social Media Monitoring Organize millions of conversations on social media to spot trends and tap into topics that matter to your audiences. Community Management Retain audiences with a social media customer care platform that scales as you grow. Make team collaboration easier to deliver timely responses to your community. Wherever you are on your social media journey, we will help you understand your audience, create engaging content, grow your customer base, and measure the impact of social media on your business.
This is a great article! There are so many options right now on the market that is overwhelming. Do you by chance know about eClincher? That’s what I’m using right now. I’ve recently decided to subscribe, but I’m still looking for opinions. Right now I feel it’s a great tool with an awesome pricing. However I don’t seem to get many reviews on it. Hope to hear back from you!
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.
Social media presents brands with a massive opportunity to learn about their audience through social listening. The nature of social media means sharing information publicly, which is great for marketers doing research. By monitoring conversations, sentiments, and mentions, you can get a good idea of how your audience feels about a particular topic.

For businesses with a large cadre of social presences, multiple social marketing campaigns running simultaneously, and a growing global footprint, the less expensive tools may not cut it. If you're willing to pay for them, then tools such as Brandwatch Analytics, Crimson Hexagon, Talkwalker, Synthesio, Sysomos, and Brand24, arm enterprise organizations with a sleeker, more powerful class of social analytics tools.
Like objectives, campaigns have a result or goal that you are shooting for. For example, say one of your business objectives for the year is to generate 100 new customers. You could then plan out four specific campaigns over the year with each campaign goal to generate 25 new customers. That way, each campaign would serve its purpose of building toward your yearly goal.
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]
In order to get clicks and leads that convert into customers, you can’t just publish a link to your blog post and expect results. It’s not that simple. You need to give people a reason to take action. How? By taking out the time to create and promote content that is native to the social media platform it is being published on. For example, when you’re posting content on Facebook, you can lay emphasis on getting the user to visit your website or fill out the lead generation form without leaving the page. And when on Twitter, you can focus on using images while asking for a retweet, since tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Similarly, your content promotion strategy should be unique to every social network you’re publishing on. That’s how you get better conversions.
As part of your social media management, your business should routinely check for comments or messages across your social platforms. Think carefully before replying as the response will often be public. Don’t have time to do this? Our specialists at LYFE Marketing monitor accounts every single day, and as a best practice they always reply to followers within 24 hours.
Nice post.I am really surprised you don’t have Blog2social in the list. It is one of the finest social media cross-posting plugin, a user can cross-post blog posts on social media automatically, customized and scheduled. It allows the post author to advance directly to the posting dashboard of Blog2Social Word-press, in which pre filled posting texts are provided. After customizing the texts the author schedules the posts or publishes them without delay.
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.
I love Twitter; it’s probably my favorite social platform. I’m not as active on Instagram, but I know a ton of people swear by it. This is why SocialRank is so great. It helps manage your followers on both platforms — Twitter and Instagram — so you’re not just accruing followers, but you’re also getting to know who they are and what they like. Honestly, it’s great to have a ton of followers, but what good is it if you don’t try and get to know most of them? After all, they’re your audience — if you care about appealing to them, SocialRank is a solid social tool to add to your toolbox.
In May 2014, Instagram had over 200 million users. The user engagement rate of Instagram was 15 times higher than of Facebook and 25 times higher than that of Twitter.[57] According to Scott Galloway, the founder of L2 and a professor of marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, latest studies estimate that 93% of prestige brands have an active presence on Instagram and include it in their marketing mix.[58] When it comes to brands and businesses, Instagram's goal is to help companies to reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment.[59] Moreover, Instagram provides a platform where user and company can communicate publicly and directly, making itself an ideal platform for companies to connect with their current and potential customers.[60]
Social Media Management and Analytics Software provides a platform for social media monitoring, engagement measures and brand value by measuring , analyzing and interpreting interactions and associations between people, topics and ideas. Social media analytics uncovers customer sentiment dispersed across countless online sources. Social media analytics is often called Social Media Listening or Online Listening and the analytics allow marketers to identify sentiment and identify trends in order to better meet their customers need.

Twitter analytics was made available to all members some time ago now. It is a simple but useful tool to assess how you are doing on Twitter, and unlike the previous tools I have mentioned all the functionality is available for free, rather than it being a ‘Freemium’ service. It gives you a decent pallet of stats, such as profile visits, mentions, followers and tweet impressions. And you can see how these are changing month to month. It also shows you your top performing tweets for each month, which is great for assessing what goes down well with your audience.


Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using snapchat every single day.[66] It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.[66]
When you first sign up for this management tool, it can seem a bit overwhelming. There are tabs and instructions everywhere. You’re given insight right away into certain statistics you don’t usually get with other tools. However, Sprout Social is different from the rest, because it focuses on the idea that communication and engagement between businesses and customers should be better and more open.
For many small businesses, there just isn’t enough time or resources to dedicate to effective social media management. Posting quality content consistently takes a lot of time and effort that some small business marketing teams just don’t have. Not to mention, you may not have anyone on your team with the expertise or skills needed to implement effective campaigns.
Volume is by far the simplest social media metric that you should be measuring. Why? Because it’s not complicated to understand what level of volume (the size of your campaign) is giving you results. One thing that you should be aiming for with your social media marketing is generating interest from your ideal customer. In other words, you want more of your target audience to talk about your brand and/or your overall campaign.

Inaccurate Automated Sentiment Analysis: Most SMMS generate reports about customer sentiments. Such reports are often proved inaccurate despite vendor assurance. Depending on these reports could severely impact a company’s appraisal of customer sentiments. Plus, it is easy to miss valuable social media insights from the use of automatically generated sentiment analysis.


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
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.

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.
Facebook Insights functions like Twitter Analytics, providing stats around your page likes, post reach, engagement. It also allows you to compare your competitors’ performance by adding their company pages to “Pages to Watch.” Therefore, if one of your competitors is doing particularly well on Facebook, you can go to its page and learn how the brand is using the social network.
You can combine several strategies to increase traffic and leads. For starters, make sure your profile is consistent with your brand aesthetic so users’ expectations are met. Also, link to your site whenever it’s appropriate. Link back to your website in your bio, your branded posts, and anywhere else that allows you to insert a relevant call to action.
It also costs time to create snackable content and execute a full-blown strategy. So what's the solution for a budget-conscious business? First, enlist the help of social media tools to tackle virtually every aspect of your social media marketing, from content to advertising to lead generation, social listening, analytics, and more. Second, keep those social efforts organized. Using a spreadsheet or custom content promotion template can ensure you're maximizing every opportunity.
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.
Because social is so critical to building strong brands, it’s important for your team to maximize how they use it (and what tools they use) to make that job easier. There are plenty of free social media tools out there to help your team save time and money. To stay current on those options, check out the updated list below of eight free tools that can simplify your team’s social media marketing:

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.

Publishing & RSS – Buffer has the basic publishing features such as scheduling and adding posts to a queue but it is not made for evergreen posts. Meaning, it will not let you upload hundreds of posts and then recycle them, or publish them on your social media until you tell it to stop. It does have the RSS feed that helps you publish posts from blogs.


BuzzSumo is a content and influencer identification tool for social media. It offers content performance insights, influencer identification, content alerts, and competitor analysis insights. This tool is great for A/B testing content to see what type of content performs best, who’s sharing and engaging with the content, and what’s working for other organizations.


It’s essential that you’re tracking the performance of your social media marketing efforts, and testing what works best for your audience. Whether you decide to use UTM codes and measure your performance on Google Analytics, or opt for the built-in analytics that Buffer or Hootsuite offer, you can use the data from your campaigns to optimize for the future. If you want to stay on top of the game, it’s essential that you’re constantly testing, constantly learning, and constantly growing as an entrepreneur.
Because social is so critical to building strong brands, it’s important for your team to maximize how they use it (and what tools they use) to make that job easier. There are plenty of free social media tools out there to help your team save time and money. To stay current on those options, check out the updated list below of eight free tools that can simplify your team’s social media marketing:
We love paid social advertising because it's a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities, allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business. Below are some tips and resources for getting started with paid social media marketing:
As the #1 marketing calendar for everything you need organized, CoSchedule allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com, CoSchedule helps nearly 8,000 marketing teams stay organized in more than 100 countries around the world.
In early 2012, Nike introduced its Make It Count social media campaign. The campaign kickoff began YouTubers Casey Neistat and Max Joseph launching a YouTube video, where they traveled 34,000 miles to visit 16 cities in 13 countries. They promoted the #makeitcount hashtag, which millions of consumers shared via Twitter and Instagram by uploading photos and sending tweets.[32] The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.

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,…


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
5. Define communications strategy. In the social media era, a continuous communications strategy is necessary to engage your audience through the many channels available. Key issues here are defining the types of content value you offer through different social channels and the frequency. Integrating different digital channels including email marketing through a social media marketing hub is also a key issue here.
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.
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.
The snapshot also includes insights into things such as: reach, exposure, tweet activity, tweet types, top contributors, top tweets, list of contributors, and tweet timelines. If your company uses Twitter daily or your company leaders are trying to identify potential influencers to work with, this is a great tool to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. TweetReach also offers paid plans in addition to its free snapshot reports.

If you’re looking for a platform to create your social media content calendar, there are a plethora of great options available. Both Buffer and Hootsuite are free to sign up, and allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, based on the platform of your choice. This means that you won’t have to worry about posting anything manually at a specific time.
It can be hard to get visibility as organic reach continues to decrease, and the one way we’ve found to combat this is to post more often. My favorite trick is to re-post content multiple times—for blog posts, I’ll share it on Twitter up to 5 times on the day it is published. Just make sure you’re not being spammy on Facebook! People hate that. Truly, I’ve seen the comments…
Buffer Reply turns your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram engagement, comments, and questions into threaded conversations, all neatly organized in one inbox for your team to tackle, together. Our refined brand monitoring filters let you bypass the chatter of social media, so your team can focus on the conversations that matter most to your brand. Reply puts critical customer service data at your fingertips with robust reports, so you can make the best decisions for your team.
Another relevant question that businesses often pose is why use social media management software. Any organization utilizing social media platforms cannot be without SMMS in order to stay relevant. It has been found out that organizations that use social media are the ones that gain more brand loyalty. It is a way by which businesses nurture relationship with consumers, both existing and prospective.
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.
SOCi is the industry’s leading social media and reputation management solution. SOCi solves the difficult social media workflow challenges faced by the world’s top multi-location businesses. Our powerful social media solution was architected to address the very specific workflow and scalability issues faced by multi-location brands, digital marketing agencies, and multi-family property management companies that need to manage hundreds or thousands of social media pages. SOCi’s scalable and comprehensive platform technology provides every tool necessary for multi-location and multi-tenant businesses to manage their local social media efforts including: Intuitive Dashboard - Upon signing into SOCi, users are greeted with a high-level, yet comprehensive and easy to read dashboard highlighting analytics, content performance across all locations using SOCi, conversations and comments that need attention, recent reviews, and more! Content Discovery: With SOCi’s proprietary scoring tool, multi-location businesses can not only see what types of content are getting the most engagement, but SOCi can also tell you when to post it for optimal results across all locations in your portfolio. Asset Management/Content Libraries: After SOCi scores content found on the social web it allows you to choose from a library of highly curated, engaging content. This library cuts out the work of searching for relevant on brand content which saves you time while adding value to your brand. Peak-Time Scheduling: SOCi’s platform analyzes when your audiences most engage with your content, allowing you to post at peak times. Reporting and Analytics: SOCi puts the metrics and data that matter to your business in one easy-to-view dashboard to take the guessing out of what’s working and not working for your strategies. Reputation Management: Go beyond social media sites to pull and respond to reviews from Yelp, Citysearch, Google, and many more networks. SOCi serves as the infrastructure on which tens of thousands of social media business pages are being managed. SOCi is fully integrated with the top social media and reputation management networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp and more.
Social media can be a useful source of market information and a way to hear customer perspectives. Blogs, content communities, and forums are platforms where individuals share their reviews and recommendations of brands, products, and services. Businesses are able to tap and analyze the customer voices and feedback generated in social media for marketing purposes;[15] in this sense the social media is a relatively inexpensive source of market intelligence which can be used by marketers and managers to track and respond to consumer-identified problems and detect market opportunities. For example, the Internet erupted with videos and pictures of iPhone 6 "bend test" which showed that the coveted phone could be bent by hand pressure. The so-called "bend gate" controversy[16] created confusion amongst customers who had waited months for the launch of the latest rendition of the iPhone. However, Apple promptly issued a statement saying that the problem was extremely rare and that the company had taken several steps to make the mobile device's case stronger and robust. Unlike traditional market research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and data mining which are time-consuming and costly, and which take weeks or even months to analyze, marketers can use social media to obtain 'live' or "real time" information about consumer behavior and viewpoints on a company's brand or products. This can be useful in the highly dynamic, competitive, fast-paced and global marketplace of the 2010s.
kpeiz. A social media analytics and performance optimization software, kpeiz provides insightful performance reports on one’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. The software allows users to select various metrics relevant to their business and it will take care of all the grunt work, automatically generating reports in either PDF or PPT format. Aside from performance metrics, it also benchmarks your pages against competitors to provide you with a better understanding on your strengths and weaknesses. With this data in hand, you can better understand how to play to your strengths and gain an edge over the competition. 
Hootsuite has a special place in my heart, likely because it’s the first social media management platform that I used at my very first job as a Marketing Assistant. At the time, I was managing the company’s social strategy before social advertising had really taken off. I can still remember the hours upon hours I would spend putting together a posting content calendar and setting reminders for myself to tweet at certain times. This was until I discovered Hootsuite and my life as a frantic Twitter bird instantly changed.
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