Social media has forever changed the way businesses and customers communicate. Your customers, no matter what business you own, are on social media – that is a fact. In 2017, 81% of U.S. Americans had a social media profile and that number is growing rapidly already in 2018. Your customers are here and you need to be too! Interacting with customers online is how brands retain their customers and capture new ones. If you’re not interacting and engaging with your customers on social media, your competitor will!
Every social media conversation surrounding your brand is important. And the more it spreads across the social network, the better your “reach” becomes. So reach is nothing but a metric that lets you understand how far you are able to connect with your audience. It gives you a fair idea of the potential size of your audience, which obviously gives you clarity on improving your approach.
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.
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.
Concerned about how Facebook’s latest algorithm updates might affect your brand’s performance on the platform? Questioning where your Facebook ads might appear across its network of sites, including on Instagram and Messenger? Curious as to whether user trust has deteriorated to the point where social media is no longer a safe space for your brand to play at all? You’re not alone.
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.
More than three billion people in the world are active on the Internet. Over the years, the Internet has continually gained more and more users, jumping from 738 million in 2000 all the way to 3.2 billion in 2015. Roughly 81% of the current population in the United States has some type of social media profile that they engage with frequently. Mobile phone usage is beneficial for social media marketing because mobile phones have social networking capabilities, allowing individuals immediate web browsing and access to social networking sites. Mobile phones have grown at a rapid rate, fundamentally altering the path-to-purchase process by allowing consumers to easily obtain pricing and product information in real time and allowing companies to constantly remind and update their followers. Many companies are now putting QR (Quick Response) codes along with products for individuals to access the company website or online services with their smart phones. Retailers use QR codes to facilitate consumer interaction with brands by linking the code to brand websites, promotions, product information, or any other mobile-enabled content. In addition, Real-time bidding use in the mobile advertising industry is high and rising because of its value for on-the-go web browsing. In 2012, Nexage, a provider of real time bidding in mobile advertising, reported a 37% increase in revenue each month. Adfonic, another mobile advertisement publishing platform, reported an increase of 22 billion ad requests that same year.
Advertising refers to the amount of ad spend that you’re going to invest in social platforms. This is up to you to determine. If you want to leverage social ads throughout your strategy, then be sure to build that into your budget. If not, then you’ll probably be relying on organic reach, which means more budget spent on labor. Be sure to incorporate that into the budget as well.
The #1 digital customer engagement platform for global enterprises. Branded communities, social media marketing, and customer care. Spredfast is transforming the way companies connect with consumers. Spredfast is the leading digital customer engagement platform for global enterprises. Based in Austin, Texas, and with offices all over the globe, we tirelessly pursue innovation that helps enterprises engage with their customers online. We work with over 800 global brands, media companies, and agencies and provide branded communities, social media marketing and customer care through our award-winning platform. Spredfast works closely with the world’s largest social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr. Most recently, Spredfast was named a Leader in the The Forrester WaveTM: Social Media Management Solutions, Q2 2017.
Fortunately, there are many social media management tools with streamlined features and automated workflows that not only save you time, but also boost your effectiveness on social. Whether you’re looking for a platform-specific tool, an all-in-one social media management powerhouse, a tool to manage social media contests, or one with powerful analytics, you’ve come to the right place.
IFTTT, or “If This Then That,” is a great automation tool that can help you save a lot of time on trying to manage social media platforms, apps and websites. The tool can link these services together based on a trigger and an action. Based on the trigger you create, it will start an action. For example, if you publish a blog (the trigger), then IFTTT will automate and create a tweet (the action). - Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
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.
TipTop Search is a Twitter-based search engine that helps you discover the best and most current advice, opinions, answers for any search, and also real people to directly engage and share experiences with. A search on any topic reveals people’s emotions and experiences about it, as well as other concepts that they are discussing in connection with the original search.
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.
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:
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…
Team tracking, collaboration, and oversight are also crucial elements in running a well-oiled social marketing team as a business grows. All of the tools reviewed support team activity such as response assignment and team member tracking, depending on the tier. But the marketing team features in Sysomos Expion, enhanced team collaboration in Sprout Social, and the well-integrated Discuss tab of Zoho Social stand out in particular, along with a nifty new Slack integration in Brand24. All of the products reviewed have geographic location, demographic, gender, and age stats as well, although the higher-end enterprise social analytics platforms (such as Synthesio and Sysomos) go beyond those basic demographics with deeper community analysis and return-on-investment (ROI) metrics.
It's a good idea to start with a plan that has goals and an organizing framework to keep you on track. If you start down a path on the social Web and hate what you're doing, you can change things around. Just as you change networking and conversational approaches in person, you can do so on the social Web. The only differences are that on the social Web, you're talking through your keyboard, and your potential audience is much, much larger.
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.
Meet Edgar took the digital world by storm when it was one of the first social media management tools to popularize “evergreen sharing”. They have certainly evolved since their beginnings as a simple library of repurposed content and they deserve to rank in our list of tools. However, the other tools have caught up and Edgar’s primary point of difference is fading.
The increased need for businesses to engage their clients in social media platforms is a trend that cannot be ignored. The business environment has tremendously changed, and now more and more people are finding themselves searching for, or sharing information on social media platforms. If the businesses are to grow their brands and maintain relevance in the market, there is a need for them to keep an active social media platform. The reason for this is because many people are now on social media platforms like Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and many others. Getting to this audience and being able to position the company’s brand well, businesses need a tool that will help them perform these tasks. Social media marketing is one of the new trends in the market, and companies need to embrace it and manage it well for positive results. Social media management software is a good way of handling social media platforms for business with much ease and accuracy.
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience's style and taste. Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video is also possible on YouTube, "for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company in results along with other videos." YouTube also enable publishers to earn money through its YouTube Partner Program. Companies can pay YouTube for a special "channel" which promotes the companies products or services.
For example, say you want to increase online sales. Your social media strategy would be to promote more of your business’ products on your social platforms, whether that be in the app itself (Insta, Facebook, etc.) or through a link that redirects people back to your site. It’s at this point where you would also decide if your promotion efforts on social media will be paid, organic, or a combination of both.
Canva is a graphic design program that makes creating professional graphics and presentations easy — no graphic designer experience required. With Canva, you can create a social media graphic (at any size or dimension) using your own images or any of the millions of themes, graphics, icons, and fonts in Canva’s arsenal. You can also save your creations if you want to make a recurring series using the same branding.
This is where social media management software (SMMS) comes in. To better discuss this technology, it is prudent to ask, what does social media management software do for you? These new type of solutions aid organizations with the way they participate in important social media conversations. These conversations include blogs and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, along with other forms of online communities. These tools are also imbued with new listening technologies, through which businesses can learn how people view their organizations. These functionalities accurately describes the true definition of social management software.
Remember: Your content marketing strategy should define your social media marketing strategy – not the other way around – because it’s always best to evaluate each social channel against your strategic goals and audience needs before you distribute content there. And when you turn this evaluation into an actionable plan, everybody on your team will know where, when, and what they should be posting on each channel, as well as what their efforts are meant to achieve.
Those who rely on Twitter to get their message across will find much to like about Followerwonk. This tool comes with a variety on analytics tool which will help you determine everything there is to know about your audience, including their location and the hours during which they are at their most active. This will enable you to target your posts and increase their impact, because they will be read by more people. You can also do the clever thing and integrate it with Buffer, and set it to post schedule posts automatically at the time your readers are on Twitter.
Friends+Me is a scheduling and content management tool that is of high functionality, actuality, and quality and enables user’s content fly across social media platforms. Friends+Me is affordable and easy to use and provides a good platform for increasing engagement and driving traffic in social media platforms. Friends+Me enables sharing of content from anywhere. This is achieved by Friends+Me facilitating publishing of content at the right time, reaching more customers, and increasing engagement. Friends+Me also provides a good platform for users to schedule their social media content. Scheduling of posts eliminates the need of publishing a post right away by…
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!