If you want to know what’s happening with your brand’s social networking sites you need social media monitoring tools. Before you reach for your wallet and start to spend money try out some of the free social media monitoring services. This way you will get an understanding of what is available and if you need any paid services to monitor social media.
In any such scenario, you should focus on looking beyond. In other words, start researching into their online behavior and what makes them tick. Try to understand how and where your ideal customers are spending most of their time. And above all, how they’re socializing on various social networks. This data would be crucial to improve your social media marketing.
Zoho Social helps marketers to grow the social media presence of their brand with actionable insights focused on content and engagement. It provides marketers with pre-publishing insights based on the engagement level of previous posts and the activity of their audience. Zoho Social even goes a step ahead to shows users the percentage of their audience that’s likely to see their post now, suggests the next best time to post and lets them schedule a post to go out at the same time of the day in different time-zones. Zoho Social's real-time monitoring dashboard helps marketing teams listen to what’s being said about their brand. Users can search and track a keyword; and respond when they need to. Instant notifications ensure quick reactions and guarantee that no relevant conversations are missed. Within Zoho Social, numbers are included as a value add, around publishing and listening features. A dedicated reports tab provides social-network-specific statistics and detailed analytics enabling users to understand more about their audience and how people engage with their content.
An overall good mix of gender, location, income, race and education. So what kinds of visuals attract the most Facebook likes, shares and comments?  First, it’s important to lay the groundwork so that the exposure your images get will draw more people in, and make it immediately clear what you offer and its benefit to them. You can do this through:
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.

This powerful platform lets you listen, analyze and engage with social media mentions. It gathers every bit of information about your brand, products and solutions—even when your company handle is not explicitly used by the customer. It uses advanced text analytics to route social messages to the right people. It also enables advance management and closed loop handling. Clarabridge allows your company to monitor conversations happening about your business, even when your brand name is not mentioned. In addition to social media management with regard to conversations and trends, you’ll be able to have insights into the history of customer engagement. This ensures that the loop is closed on all customer inquiries and issues. You can also find trends in consumer issues to proactively address, and perhaps eliminate, in the future.
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. 
NapoleonCat.com is an analytics, engagement, and publishing platform for social media marketing. Users can publish on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter at once; plan their content with calendar and drafts; and include their clients and coworkers in the content design and decision making process with customized post flows. They also can curate their current and future clients while quickly responding to their questions and comments either via a private message on Facebook or through a comment on Instagram. Users can access in-depth analytics on any page or profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ to track the effectiveness of your or your competitors’ marketing efforts. NapoleonCat.com also makes social media marketing automation and reporting possible and enables users to process email and SMS complaints. They can also invite their co-workers, clients, and support team to work with them. NapoleonCat.com was founded by Grzegorz Berezowski in December 2011 and is based in Warsaw, Poland.
Social networks are, in many cases, viewed as a great tool for avoiding costly market research. They are known for providing a short, fast, and direct way to reach an audience through a person who is widely known. For example, an athlete who gets endorsed by a sporting goods company also brings their support base of millions of people who are interested in what they do or how they play and now they want to be a part of this athlete through their endorsements with that particular company. At one point consumers would visit stores to view their products with famous athletes, but now you can view a famous athlete's, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, latest apparel online with the click of a button. He advertises them to you directly through his Twitter, Instagram, and FaceBook accounts.
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.
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.
Let’s be honest. How many times have you logged in on Facebook to schedule posts on your business page only to find yourself lost in the sea of posts after 30 minutes? And suddenly, you realise you haven’t retweeted something you were meaning to. You rush to Twitter and the same story repeats. A dashboard will save you ton of time. Because on its own, each social media platform can be a time-suck. With a dashboard, you are keeping things in perspective.
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…
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!
MavSocial is a social media management and advertising software that is affordable and easy to use. MavSocial social media marketing strategy tool facilitates getting more engagement, driving traffic, and tracking performance in social media platforms. MavSocial enables users publish their content in their top social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Users are also able to manage and schedule content that they post in their social media accounts. MavSocial streamline social media publishing feature enables users to seamlessly maintain active social media profiles. The streamline social media publishing also provides a good platform for managing your business’s social…
ContentCal provides you with amazing social media planning and publishing tools which you can use to create quality content and plan easily. You can create your content in advance and schedule on auto publishing tools for your social channels. ContentCal is integrated with various popular social networks such as facebook, twitter, linkedIn and instagram for auto publishing. You can manage your approvals and minimize risks, ensuring every post has been vetted prior to going live. With Placeholders you can create draft posts in your Calender, which is great for planning any upcoming content. ContentCal helps you centralise your campaigns with…
Social media can be used not only as public relations and direct marketing tools but also as communication channels targeting very specific audiences with social media influencers and social media personalities and as effective customer engagement tools.[15] Technologies predating social media, such as broadcast TV and newspapers can also provide advertisers with a fairly targeted audience, given that an ad placed during a sports game broadcast or in the sports section of a newspaper is likely to be read by sports fans. However, social media websites can target niche markets even more precisely. Using digital tools such as Google Adsense, advertisers can target their ads to very specific demographics, such as people who are interested in social entrepreneurship, political activism associated with a particular political party, or video gaming. Google Adsense does this by looking for keywords in social media user's online posts and comments. It would be hard for a TV station or paper-based newspaper to provide ads that are this targeted (though not impossible, as can be seen with "special issue" sections on niche issues, which newspapers can use to sell targeted ads).
Yelp consists of a comprehensive online index of business profiles. Businesses are searchable by location, similar to Yellow Pages. The website is operational in seven different countries, including the United States and Canada. Business account holders are allowed to create, share, and edit business profiles. They may post information such as the business location, contact information, pictures, and service information. The website further allows individuals to write, post reviews about businesses, and rate them on a five-point scale. Messaging and talk features are further made available for general members of the website, serving to guide thoughts and opinions.[56]
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.
LinkedIn, a professional business-related networking site, allows companies to create professional profiles for themselves as well as their business to network and meet others.[48] Through the use of widgets, members can promote their various social networking activities, such as Twitter stream or blog entries of their product pages, onto their LinkedIn profile page.[49] LinkedIn provides its members the opportunity to generate sales leads and business partners.[50] Members can use "Company Pages" similar to Facebook pages to create an area that will allow business owners to promote their products or services and be able to interact with their customers.[51] Due to spread of spam mail sent to job seeker, leading companies prefer to use LinkedIn for employee's recruitment instead using different a job portal. Additionally, companies have voiced a preference for the amount of information that can be gleaned from a LinkedIn profile, versus a limited email.[52]
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.
I know, I know there are a lot of options here! Luckily, they all have free plans so you can experiment and find the platform that works best for your social strategy. At the end of the day you can’t go wrong moving onto a social media management tool – it will likely save you time, grow your social presence, and possibly even make you some money! 
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.

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.
To drive traffic, make your main strategy creating awesome content for your target audience. The more specific and relevant your content is to your target audience, the better your conversion rates from social referrals will be. For example, this Host Analytics ad promotes a white paper on Microsoft Excel, a topic that appeals to the target audience of finance professionals.
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.
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