Buffer is wonderfully simple and effective at its primary purpose; scheduling posts to go out to multiple social accounts. This is great for saving you time and to allow you to post when your audience is online. However the anaylitics that come with the free version are very basic so are not brilliant for optimising your posts. I would thus recommend using other tools to gather data on the success of your posts if you don’t want to pay for Buffer’s “Awesome plan”.
We all know that social media is critical to every business’s marketing initiatives (especially those in creative industries like craft marketing). Not having active social channels for your business is equivalent to showing up to work without pants; it’s embarrassing and not socially accepted. No one wants to be the idiot who shows up to work in their underwear, but what’s the point of maintaining social channels if they’re not adding value to your business? Well, there is none. You should be using social to do one or several of the following: establishing and growing brand recognition, gaining qualified leads, or improving customer relationships (ideally all three).
Create templates: Wherever possible, build design and copy templates based on what works to make it easier to turn around new content on an ongoing basis, especially for a recurring content series. For example, you can save your most used Instagram hashtags so you always have them handy when you post, or apply the same filter to your photos to achieve a consistent look.
Sprinklr is the first unified customer experience management platform for the enterprise. We help the world’s largest brands reach, engage, and listen to their customers on Facebook, Twitter, and 23+ other social channels for the purposes of marketing, advertising, research, care, and commerce. Sprinklr does all of that on one unified platform, which integrates with legacy systems and allows siloed teams to collaborate to deliver a seamless experience to every one of their customers across any channel — at scale. Headquartered in New York City with 1,400 employees in 19 offices, Sprinklr works with 1,200+ global companies including Nike, McDonald’s, Microsoft, P&G, Samsung, more than 50% of the Fortune 50, and nine out of ten of the world’s most valuable brands. Its partners include SAP, IBM, Microsoft, and many others across the CXM ecosystem. For more information, visit sprinklr.com, chat with us at @sprinklr, or email info@sprinklr.com.
Where does it fall down? It has to be with the feature list. Buffer is a social media scheduler, and that’s about it. Their business plans have some analytics, but in reality, the platform doesn’t have the same robust functionality to that of Agorapulse, or even Hootsuite. The best thing Buffer has going for it is its marketing, and they do that better than anyone!
Beyond its ability to schedule posts for all of your social media channels, Buffer boasts an in-platform image creator, video and gif uploader, analytics reports exporting,  and a handy browser extension to make access to all of the above simple and quick. It supports all major social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest).
Several customers are turning towards social media to express their appreciation or frustration with brands, product or services. Therefore, marketers can measure the frequency of which customers are discussing their brand and judge how effective their SMM strategies are. In recent studies, 72% of people surveyed expressed that they expected a response to their complaints on Twitter within an hour.[116]

Popular social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks can provide marketers with a hard number of how large their audience is nevertheless a large audience may not always translate into a large sales volumes. Therefore, an effective SMM cannot be measured by a large audience but rather by vigorous audience activity such as social shares, re-tweets etc.
Metigy is a software that enables saving of time and automation of mundane tasks, therefore enabling users focus on actions that make a real difference to their business. Metigy software main features include analysis and insights, actionable ideas, trending conversation, timing insights, competitor and influence tracking, and automated reporting. All these features simply make marketing on social media easy and fun. The analysis and insights feature provides the AI-driven dynamic insights that provide a good platform for users not to look for ideas in hard to understand data reports. The actionable ideas provided by Metigy facilitates deep targeting of user’s…
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.

Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.
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).
The Internet and social networking leaks are one of the issues facing traditional advertising. Video and print ads are often leaked to the world via the Internet earlier than they are scheduled to premiere. Social networking sites allow those leaks to go viral, and be seen by many users more quickly. The time difference is also a problem facing traditional advertisers. When social events occur and are broadcast on television, there is often a time delay between airings on the east coast and west coast of the United States. Social networking sites have become a hub of comment and interaction concerning the event. This allows individuals watching the event on the west coast (time-delayed) to know the outcome before it airs. The 2011 Grammy Awards highlighted this problem. Viewers on the west coast learned who won different awards based on comments made on social networking sites by individuals watching live on the east coast.[97] Since viewers knew who won already, many tuned out and ratings were lower. All the advertisement and promotion put into the event was lost because viewers didn't have a reason to watch.[according to whom?]
This is all somewhat depressing, but as my mom recently explained Facebook has given her the power to reconnect with friends and even family members that she hasn’t spoken to in over twenty years. We’ve all heard stories of long-lost siblings, lovers, and guardians finding each other via social platforms. Not to mention the powerful charitable movements like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which helped raise over $100 million for ALS, a 3,500% increase from the $2.8 million raised during the same time period the year prior, according to Forbes.

It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner.  Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed.  If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them.  If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them.  It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately.  Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services (we will discuss further in next section).


Since social media marketing first came to be, strategists and markets have been getting smarter and more careful with the way they go about collecting information and distributing advertisements. With the presence of data collecting companies, there is no longer a need to target specific audiences. This can be seen as a large ethical gray area. For many users, this is a breach of privacy, but there are no laws that prevent these companies from using the information provided on their websites. Companies like Equifax, Inc., TransUnion Corp, and LexisNexis Group thrive on collecting and sharing personal information of social media users.[112] In 2012, Facebook purchased information from 70 million households from a third party company called Datalogix. Facebook later revealed that they purchased the information in order to create a more efficient advertising service.[113]
IFTTT is a powerful Internet automation site that can save you a lot of time managing social media and other tasks through recipes. You can essentially connect any major network or channel together to automate sharing on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more based on any action you desire. Like sending out a tweet automatically every time you publish a new blog post or getting an email when your favorite magazine has something new to say. Plus best of all, it works well with Buffer and Hootsuite and just enhances those tools even further and is a must use for any serious social media professional.
Excellent List… I would like to add an info about the new analytical tool in the market, Social clout.com, which includes monitoring, listening, engagement workflow, social media analytics and social media lead generation. If possible, I would ask you and the users in need of the social media analytical tool to try out the te tool on www.socialclout.com , and give yor precious feedback. This tool would be great asset to the marketing teams of small business because of its features and competitive pricing.

Find out how many people are pinning from your website, seeing your pins, and clicking your content. Pick a time-frame to see how your numbers trend over time. Get better at creating Pins and boards with metrics from your Pinterest profile. Learn how people use the Pin It button on your site to add Pins. See how people interact with your Pins from whatever device they use. Get a glance at your all-time highest-performing Pins.
TweetDeck: A free app that is designed to let Twitter users to manage limitless accounts from a single interface, TweetDeck is ideal for organizations that require functionalities such as tracking, organizing and engagement on the social media platform. It can be used by virtually anyone, starting from individuals all the way to large organizations. The software is capable of managing Twitter accounts as well, while keeping track of hundreds of Twitter lists, searches and hashtags. TwitterDeck offers customizable dashboards that enable users to both send and receive tweets and monitor Twitter profiles. This robust tool can be deployed as a Web, Chrome or desktop application.
Planned content begins with the creative/marketing team generating their ideas, once they have completed their ideas they send them off for approval. There is two general ways of doing so. The first is where each sector approves the plan one after another, editor, brand, followed by the legal team (Brito, 2013). Sectors may differ depending on the size and philosophy of the business. The second is where each sector is given 24 hours (or such designated time) to sign off or disapprove. If no action is given within the 24-hour period the original plan is implemented. Planned content is often noticeable to customers and is un-original or lacks excitement but is also a safer option to avoid unnecessary backlash from the public.[92] Both routes for planned content are time consuming as in the above; the first way to approval takes 72 hours to be approved. Although the second route can be significantly shorter it also holds more risk particularly in the legal department.
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.
Planned content begins with the creative/marketing team generating their ideas, once they have completed their ideas they send them off for approval. There is two general ways of doing so. The first is where each sector approves the plan one after another, editor, brand, followed by the legal team (Brito, 2013). Sectors may differ depending on the size and philosophy of the business. The second is where each sector is given 24 hours (or such designated time) to sign off or disapprove. If no action is given within the 24-hour period the original plan is implemented. Planned content is often noticeable to customers and is un-original or lacks excitement but is also a safer option to avoid unnecessary backlash from the public.[92] Both routes for planned content are time consuming as in the above; the first way to approval takes 72 hours to be approved. Although the second route can be significantly shorter it also holds more risk particularly in the legal department.
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.
Create templates: Wherever possible, build design and copy templates based on what works to make it easier to turn around new content on an ongoing basis, especially for a recurring content series. For example, you can save your most used Instagram hashtags so you always have them handy when you post, or apply the same filter to your photos to achieve a consistent look.

TweetDeck: A free app that is designed to let Twitter users to manage limitless accounts from a single interface, TweetDeck is ideal for organizations that require functionalities such as tracking, organizing and engagement on the social media platform. It can be used by virtually anyone, starting from individuals all the way to large organizations. The software is capable of managing Twitter accounts as well, while keeping track of hundreds of Twitter lists, searches and hashtags. TwitterDeck offers customizable dashboards that enable users to both send and receive tweets and monitor Twitter profiles. This robust tool can be deployed as a Web, Chrome or desktop application.
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.
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?
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.
On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group.
Other platforms work in a similar fashion. Synthesio allows you to connect social data to a CRM services such as Salesforce, Sysomos, Hootsuite, and Brandwatch; they all have Salesforce functionalty as well. Occasionally, you'll find integration with other popular CRM platforms (Hootsuite, for example, offers integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM), but unsurprisingly, most social platforms seem to go with one of the CRM industry's biggest names.
Kontentino is a social media marketing platform that facilitates managing of disparate social media accounts all from one platform. Kontentino provides the simplified content creation and planning feature that facilitates placing of all posts in one place and in an organized manner. The intuitive calendar provided by Kontentino enables users has an overview of all their social media content across all social media channels or platforms. The simplified content creation and planning feature also presents the drag and drop feature that provides a clear overview of content balance or monthly boost budget. The simplified content creation and planning is consists…
We tested the core tasks critical to each platform's social media management and analytics features, with SMB and enterprise business value in mind. Such core tasks include how each tool gathers listening and mention data from the main social networks and other sources, and how creatively and effectively each tool transforms and presents the data with reporting and visualizations. We also tested how each tool configures and sends alerts, connects social data to tangible ROI, and does both competitive and community analysis on top of offering an intuitive home base for social publishing and content curation.
What do you want to get out of your social Web participation? Why are you doing it? Are you trying to generate direct sales? Are you trying to offer a form of customer service? Do you want to build relationships with customers and boost loyalty? Your answers to these questions greatly affect the type of content you publish and the activities you participate in on the social Web.
Of course, you need to know who is talking about you as well. These are the influencers who you will want to identify for customer engagement, the ones who will be key in propagating and spreading the good word about your business. We like Synthesio, Sysomos, and Talkwalker when it comes to flushing out influencers and their data—as long as your business is prepared to pay the enterprise premium for it. On the SMB end of the scale, Sprout Social and Zoho Social hold their own at a much more affordable price point, joining Buffer for Business and Hootsuite as great combined social publishing, management, listening, and analytics platforms, with more affordable pricing tiers.
Only a few social networks allow you to schedule your content. It’s a headache to go inside each account and schedule every post manually. Granted, networks like Twitter operate in “real-time” but you can’t be online all day long. Plus, no one likes being bombarded with string of posts within a given span of time, so scheduling is a smarter way to be present without really being there. A dashboard comes to rescue!
The cherry on the cake is that you can add as many projects/social media accounts to your Social Aider account, as you need, for absolutely no cost! Multiple social accounts mean you can manage your own social media or that of your multiple clients using the same platform. The pricing of the tool is low, to encourage budding bloggers and entrepreneurs to maintain a healthy online presence… and it has a 1-year free trial!
Have you practiced social listening? Social media allows you to gain valuable insights about your customers’ interests and behaviors. Check out reviews or comments to see what people think of your business. Look at engagement rates on each social media post to measure what types of content generates the most interest. Track conversions through your purchase or lead ads to find out what type of audience benefits the best from your product or service.

First and foremost, you should always encourage conversations and keep communication lines open. Make engaging with your brand as easy and compelling as possible. To do this, contribute to your community consistently. Valuable communities can require huge amounts of time and effort to develop, so before you get started be willing to commit to the work.
Hootsuite: A powerful SMMS, Hootsuite is designed to help businesses come up and with and implement social media strategies. It can likewise allow managers to handle multiple social media accounts using a single solution, eliminating the need for multiple logins. Users are allowed to post updates, directly communicate with customer base and analyze responses on social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare. The solution can also link businesses to third party applications such as Vimeo, Instagram and Evernote. Key features include management of multiple contributors, capture of brand intelligence and multiple network updates.

Unplanned content is an 'in the moment' idea, "a spontaneous, tactical reaction." (Cramer, 2014, p. 6). The content could be trending and not have the time to take the planned content route. The unplanned content is posted sporadically and is not calendar/date/time arranged (Deshpande, 2014).[93][94] Issues with unplanned content revolve around legal issues and whether the message being sent out represents the business/brand accordingly. If a company sends out a Tweet or Facebook message too hurriedly, the company may unintentionally use insensitive language or messaging that could alienate some consumers. For example, celebrity chef Paula Deen was criticized after she made a social media post commenting about HIV-AIDS and South Africa; her message was deemed to be offensive by many observers. The main difference between planned and unplanned is the time to approve the content. Unplanned content must still be approved by marketing managers, but in a much more rapid manner e.g. 1–2 hours or less. Sectors may miss errors because of being hurried. When using unplanned content Brito (2013) says, "be prepared to be reactive and respond to issues when they arise."[92] Brito (2013) writes about having a, "crisis escalation plan", because, "It will happen". The plan involves breaking down the issue into topics and classifying the issue into groups. Colour coding the potential risk "identify and flag potential risks" also helps to organise an issue. The problem can then be handled by the correct team and dissolved more effectively rather than any person at hand trying to solve the situation.[92]

Use Buzzsumo to find content that resonates. I just started using this tool recently, but I’ve already added it to my bookmark bar and am completely addicted. It’s the easiest way to search related industry news sites and blogs, keywords, influencers, etc. to find the content with the highest number of social shares. Study the headlines that were shared and re-share those articles/headlines with your followers. This will continue the train of sharing, but also show your followers that your social posts are intriguing and follow-worthy 
While there are a lot of tools out there that let you monitor and publish to social accounts, we recommend platforms such as Hubspot where you can not only monitor and publish but also get closed-loop reporting data. That means you're not just seeing what channels drive the most engagement, but you can track further down the funnel to see what posts and channels drive actual leads and sales.   - Ryan Short, MODassic Marketing
Loomly is a social media calendar management tool that helps teams and individuals create and schedule content for social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & LinkedIn. Via an intuitive interface and innovative features, users can manage ideas for social posts, get live post optimization tips, preview social media posts, manage approval workflows, and automate post scheduling & analytics. Loomly is available as a web platform, with native mobile applications for iOS & Android.
You’ll be able to drill down into traffic from social and isolate specific elements of activity, such as individual links. I’ve used this for differentiating between different content formats, such as text vs. image vs. video updates for the same campaign. You can overlay ecommerce goals and conversion data to see what is adding the most value, and use the learning to fine tune your social marketing.

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.
Social media is one of the most effective ways for you and your business to get more traffic and generate new leads. Having the right social media management tools and a presence on all the major networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn is a necessity these days for any business. But what kind of marketing software, dashboards and publishing tools are the social media manager gurus actually using to juggle these multiple accounts?

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.
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.
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.
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.
“I want to use social media marketing to promote the latest products that I’ve added to my store. The main channel that I’ll focus my efforts on will be Facebook, and I’ll grow my audience with a combination of compelling content. When promoting my stores products, I’ll post an appealing image of said product, accompanied with a short description of the products main features. After 1 month of Facebook activity, I want to achieve at least 1 sale per post.”
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.
Most companies are looking to social media platforms to promote their businesses and build and market their brands. These businesses’ experiences can truly answer the query, what is social media management software? In this respect, the software’s basic function is to connect/communicate with consumers. It can also help distinguish vital customers and enable businesses to follow their online activities. Also, the software can monitor the performance of a company’s social media campaign through the real time analytics and reports that it furnishes. It is no wonder that in some places such as Europe, senior executives have been found to use SMMS more than their junior counterparts. This proves that the technology works as a marketing platform.
As trending topics come into the spotlight, they can present timely distribution opportunities. For example, culture-related topics – like diversity, race, and gender equality – are at the forefront of the U.S. media right now. Brands using their content as a podium (like Belvedere Vodka has done with its A Beautiful Future digital series, in partnership with Janelle Monáe) can earn a critical boost in visibility and relevance in social media conversations they normally wouldn’t pursue.
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.
Hi Daniel,informative article.I am a social media enthusiast and use Sociota to manage my accounts.Apart from above mentioned tools,Sociota is a user friendly platform to handle facebook profiles,pages and twitter handles.Its additional features help to share maximum information on a regular basis and keep me in regular contact with my new and existing followers.Reports generated by Sociota also help to analyse those fields where one lacks behind and helps to scout the barriers in your social reach.It has really worked to furbished my social profile.Its free trial must be checked out.
Who is going to create your content? Who is going to maintain your social media accounts? Who is going to respond to questions and be the face of your business online? Do you have the technical ability in-house to join the online conversation? If not, are you willing to learn? Can you or someone who works with you write well? You need to be sure you have the necessary people in place to execute a social media marketing plan before you start.

thank you very much for this great list and sharing all this information about the different tools. I also think that there are differences between the tools, especially when it comes to usability and different options for optimizing social media management. In my eyes that is one reason why you should always consider the choice of tools for a blog as a whole.
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