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. 

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.

Klout is a website tool and social media analytics which rates its users between 1 and 100 according to online social influence via "Klout Score". Klout has features such as social community platform, loyalty programs, amplification rate, audience reach, identify influencers, location tracking, conversion reports, internal performance analysis, multi-channel analysis, secure SSO and web analytics. Klout aggregates, measures, and analyzes several social media activities like re-tweets, likes, comments and shares to identify a user’s Klout Score which enables users to assess their influence and how to improve on it. A high Klout score is an edge against competitors and a…
In a nutshell, building a strong social media community is all about fostering engagement. The more relevant engagement within your community, the more valuable it becomes to users. You should also keep a close eye on which topics and content types (videos, memes, quotes, etc.) perform best and use that information to shape your community-building in the future.
Now that you know the answer to the pressing question, what is social media management, it’s time to talk about why social media management is important for your small business. The first and perhaps most obvious reason is that your customers are active on social media. They want to see content from brands like yours, and they are often open to the messages you present on social channels more than they are advertising messages.
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.
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.
Where does your target audience spend time online? What kind of content and conversations do the audience members get most vocal about? What kind of information do they want from you? What do they dislike? Remember, you're not just pub¬lishing marketing messages on the social Web. You need to find out what your audience wants and needs, so you can provide the kind of content they find useful and interesting. However, you also need to be personable, so they actually want to interact with you.
Explore your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow. The visualization runs right in your browser and displays data from Twitter. Mentionmap loads user’s tweets and finds the people and hashtags they talked about the most. In this data visualization, mentions become connections and discussions between multiple users emerge as clusters.
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.
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.
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…
Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you're not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you're missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.
You may have already heard, but chatbots are in. This comes as no surprise as they are the one digital tool that can communicate and resolve problems for your customers without the potential need for any human interruption. In addition to the above, chatbots integrate with the platforms that consumers now feel most comfortable interacting through: social media. Platforms such as Chattypeople make integrating an AI-powered chatbot into your social media strategy easy. These tools allow you to create a chatbot that:
What’s cool? One feature SocialOomph has–even on the free level–that sets it apart is its ability to allow you to manage your Twitter followers and your direct messages box from within the app. The tool also allows you to save and reuse social posts, for when you want to use posts as part of a campaign or get an extra boost out of your top performing content. They also recently added the ability to schedule pins to your Pinterest boards in advance.
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…
Perhaps the hardest part of social media marketing is staying relevant. Even large brands find it difficult to connect with their fan base effectively at all times. One brand that is doing it extremely well right now is Wendy’s -- by having a dedicated social media manager, the company is able to be very fluid, responsive and engaging. Simply using a tool to schedule posts will not get you results.   - Arya Bina, Kobe Digital
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.

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.
One of our monthly checks here at Buffer is to visit each of our social media profiles and make sure that our profile photos, cover photos, bio, and profile info are up-to-date and complete. It’s a key part to our social media audit. A completed profile shows professionalism, cohesive branding, and a signal to visitors that you’re serious about engaging.
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.
HubSpot is the world's #1 inbound marketing platform, integrating blogging, social media monitoring and publishing, contacts, SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, and analytics in one easy to use and powerful platform. HubSpot's 18,000 customers worldwide leverage the company's software and services to transform their marketing from outbound (cold calls, email spam, trade shows, TV ads, etc) to inbound lead generation, enabling them to leverage remarkable content and an integrated experience to deliver leads and business results– not to mention marketing that people love.
The perfect tool for presenting social media content to clients. HeyOrca is an online social media planner built for marketing agencies to cut delays in client approvals and eliminate redundant tasks. Why HeyOrca? 1. Streamline Client Approvals 2. Manage All Clients in One Place Key Features - Accounts Organization - Social Media Planning - Internal Collaboration - Client Approvals - Direct Publishing - Performance Analytics Imagine social media approvals without spreadsheets. Visit us at www.heyorca.com
The use of social media as a business tool answers the question what is the purpose of social management software?, involving processes such as marketing and advertising and customer service. SMMS needs to have features that could cater to these needs. Below is a discussion of the features of social media management software that every user should have access to.
Great Social Content — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
We are humans, so mistakes are unavoidable. This is especially true when it comes to the fast-paced world of social media. Rather than flat out ignoring these hiccups, embrace them. I am not saying that when a comma is missed in a tweet you should announce this small grammar error, but DO NOT delete the tweet. It has already been published, and followers are more likely to notice if you are continuously re-posting. For larger mistakes, like a product error or multiple overcharges to customer credit cards, you’ll want to proactively respond in an apologetic, actionable manner, and send out content from your social accounts apologizing and addressing how the error is being handled so customers are aware.
We also try to look for content that will last, not just trend for a week and disappear. If you are able to produce content or develop insights that will stay relevant in the industry, these are gold! For us, social media content does really well on—surprise!—social media. This tweet was posted in mid-June and I’m still seeing it being retweeted even now.
What better way to gauge customer demand than to ask them yourselves?  Don’t be afraid to engage your followers and get their opinions.  Doing so can help identify both areas of strength and weakness.  As we discussed earlier, prompt response to comments is key to developing a relationship with your followers.  Even big box stores work to maintain open and responsive communication with their followers:

Every social media marketer knows the importance of social media in business. But do also realize the importance of promoting to content via social media the right way. When you’re designing your social media marketing strategy, see to it that you’re not promoting just any content on every network. Your content needs to contribute value towards building the brand and adhere to the audience for that social media platform.
SocialOomph is a neat web tool that provides a host of free and paid productivity enhancements for social media. You can do a lot with the site which includes functions for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plurk and your blog. There are a ton of useful Twitter features like scheduling tweets, tracking keyword, viewing mentions and retweets, DM inbox cleanup, auto-follow and auto-DM features for new followers. Social Oomph will auto-follow any new follower of yours on Twitter if you like, which could save you a ton of time if you normally like to reciprocate follows. Social Oomph is so effective at increasing social media productivity that I use the site every day but haven’t had any reason to actually log in there since last year!
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.

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.

I won’t pretend to be an expert in analytics, but I appreciate the vast number of metrics available. Luckily, there are experts out there, like the fine people analyzing tweets at Buffer, Twitter themselves, and Kissmetrics, who are kind enough to give us a beginner’s guide to Facebook insights. Personally, I tend to watch post engagement (based on audience size) and URL clicks when managing social media because our goals are to expand and engage our followers while driving them to the site.
Hootsuite gives customers a wide scope of controlling and managing their social media activity, by enabling them to manage all their social networks and schedule messages for future publishing. Hootsuite's best-in-class social media monitoring tools allow users to see comments about their on-display brands. Hootsuite's social media analytics give an in-depth view of how well the user’s social media efforts are being received, so they can choose the better of what is working or change directions. Adding multiple Team Members feature makes sharing the workload easier because it manages social media well. Vitals like reputations, assets, and financials etc being…
So why should your business get involved? Aside from personal branding, these chats can greatly benefit your business by giving you the ability to discover new leads, build brand authority, develop strong relationships with influencers in your industry, and further expose your brand. Host your own chat or partner with a big brand to co-host a chat; you’ll grow your follower base substantially if it’s promoted well. Explore the resources in this post to get an idea of which re-occurring chats take place in your industry.
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