While there are a variety of options for larger organizations and agencies, the free plan just may suit your social media management needs. Buffer’s free plan includes the ability to manage three social profiles, schedule up to ten posts, utilize their browser extensions and mobile apps (iOS and android) feature, and create and schedule content using their image creator and GIF/video uploader.
You can connect your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, to save you time when posting content to your different social media feeds. However in my opinion although Hootsuite is better for keeping tabs on all your social accounts and monitoring mentions etc., it is slightly more fiddly and less user friendly than buffer is at doing the task of scheduling posts to multiple accounts.
Compile all content in an easy-to-read editorial calendar. Google Excel Docs is a good place to start. Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, then separate by social channel, and provide columns for co-workers within your content team to provide their feedback before posting. Plan ahead, but continue making additions as necessary, for example if a great PR hit is published cover this in a timely manner even it was not on your original posting schedule.
Individual reports and scheduling posts for individual channels are always helpful, but that is not always a sufficient representation of your online image. I like Raven because it provides reports gathering information from pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media channels. It also allows you to access data and schedule posts on a wide variety of digital media channels.   - Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
Crowdfire is the super smart Social Media Manager that’s helping you grow online everyday. Save tons of time by managing all your social accounts from one place. Let Crowdfire do the hard work of finding and sharing content, so you have more time to focus on things you do best! Crowdfire works with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Etsy, Shopify, Medium, 500px, Vimeo and many more platforms. What can Crowdfire do for you? - Compose your own posts and schedule them to go out later. - Automatically find and recommend articles and images your audience will love, so you can share them to all your social profile and keep your timelines buzzing! - Keep an eye out for any updates on your website, blog or online shops; and create quick, beautiful posts about the update to easily share on all your social profiles - Schedule all your posts in advance and post them automatically at the best times or at a time chosen by you. Saving you tons of time and effort! - Take away the headache of crafting separate posts for each individual social profile and automagically customize your posts for all your profiles! - Use the Chrome extension to share your favourite pages from the internet to all your social accounts in 2 easy clicks! - Add your favourite websites and blogs as your source for new content using the RSS feature! - Supercharge your Twitter account with features like Non Followers, Fans, Recent Unfollowers, Recent Followers, Inactive Following, Smart Feed, All Following, Competitors Followers, Keyword Search & Friend Check

Creating a content calendar doesn't require complex software; you can create one in Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Planning out your content a month at a time offers you a distinct advantage: You can plan for holidays, scheduled product releases, newsletter blasts and more. Having a content calendar is a key aspect of developing a cohesive social media marketing strategy.   - Kelly Samuel, Qode Media
The best social media apps offer a range of solutions that can help you easily organize multiple accounts and share information across several social networks without ever needing to post anything separately to your accounts directly from the web. Although many of the features, layouts, and intuitiveness differ across each app, they all get the job done when you choose the right one that matches your current social presence and marketing strategy.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products in short messages known as tweets limited to 140 characters which appear on followers' Home timelines.[40] Tweets can contain text, Hashtag, photo, video, Animated GIF, Emoji, or links to the product's website and other social media profiles, etc.[41] Twitter is also used by companies to provide customer service.[42] Some companies make support available 24/7 and answer promptly, thus improving brand loyalty and appreciation.
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]
Sproutsocial is a powerful management and engagement platform for social business. Sprout Social offers a single stream inbox designed to help you never miss a message, and tools to seamlessly post, colloborate and schedule messages to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The platform also has monitoring tools and rich analytics to help you visualize important metrics.

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]

What social metrics do we track? – These men aren’t going to click a couple buttons and purchase our $250,000 heavy machinery online. No, they want to know they can trust us and they want to talk with a salesperson. So, for our social campaign, it’s important that we track reach (because the market is probably small) and clicks on our content. This way, we know that we’re reaching our target market with the content and they’re interested enough to click on it.
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).
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.

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.


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.

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.[9] Roughly 81% of the current population in the United States has some type of social media profile that they engage with frequently.[10] 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[11] 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.[12]
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).
Facebook Pages Manager: One of the most popular SMMS currently in the market, Facebook Pages Manager is a mobile application designed to aid in managing businesses’ social media pages. Using the solution, users can update social media pages, create posts and share media, among others. Notifications regarding social media activities and reminders are also automatically sent by the app. Page insights are likewise provided, enabling users to capture information regarding customer wants and needs. Facebook Pages Manager also offers both business and personal social media tools.
There is hardly a small business owner who is not obsessed with this term: marketing strategy. That’s the main aspect that makes the difference between successful entrepreneurs and those that fail. It’s strange how everyone cares about discovering the perfect marketing techniques for their business, but we don’t bother realizing what marketing strategy really means. […]
ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
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.

SocialBro helps businesses learn how to better target and engage with their audience on Twitter. It provides tools to browse your community and identify key influencers, determine when the best time to tweet is, track engagement and analyze your competitors. Socialbro analyzes the timelines of your followers to generate a report showing you when the optimal time to tweet is that would reach the maximum amount of followers for more retweets and replies.

TweetDeck is totally free and perfect for those who need to manage multiple accounts, follow specific hashtags, reply to lots of other users and see exactly what's being tweeted in real time. You can organize everything you need in separate columns so you can see all of it on one screen. Keep in mind that TweetDeck is meant for the desktop web only.
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?
Twitter has experienced significant growth among the college population, as well as urban users making over $50,000/year – particularly white men over 65. Encouraging users to “click on a Tweet” is vital to ingraining your brand and telling your story on this platform. But what exactly does “clicking on a tweet” involve? Twitter measures clicks in a variety of ways, including:
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
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:

Instagram has proven itself a powerful platform for marketers to reach their customers and prospects through sharing pictures and brief messages. According to a study by Simply Measured, 71% of the world's largest brands are now using Instagram as a marketing channel.[64] For companies, Instagram can be used as a tool to connect and communicate with current and potential customers. The company can present a more personal picture of their brand, and by doing so the company conveys a better and true picture of itself. The idea of Instagram pictures lies on on-the-go, a sense that the event is happening right now, and that adds another layer to the personal and accurate picture of the company. In fact, Thomas Rankin, co-founder and CEO of the program Dash Hudson, stated that when he approves a blogger's Instagram post before it is posted on the behalf of a brand his company represents, his only negative feedback is if it looks too posed. "It's not an editorial photo," he explained, "We're not trying to be a magazine. We're trying to create a moment."[63] Another option Instagram provides the opportunity for companies to reflect a true picture of the brandfrom the perspective of the customers, for instance, using the user-generated contents thought the hashtags encouragement.[65] Other than the filters and hashtags functions, the Instagram's 15-second videos and the recently added ability to send private messages between users have opened new opportunities for brands to connect with customers in a new extent, further promoting effective marketing on Instagram.
Social Media Marketing brings new rules and opportunities to increase the awareness, profitability, and overall lifeline of your brand. A further understanding of your consumers, how they communicate, the experiences they’re looking to have, and where they’re located digitally is crucial.  Your social media strategy will affect the chances of winning new customers, retaining current customers, future business expansion opportunities, talented employees, and better products. But don’t take the short way out. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up. Stray away from being comfortable and what’s safe. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
Let’s now discuss the fun part, posting to social media. You know who your ideal customer is and you used that information to create your social media mission statement. Armed with this information it should be easy for you to begin creating and curating content. So, what exactly is considered content? Here are a few examples of content you could create:
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]
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.
If you’re an agency in need of tools for social media management, Social Pilot may be your best bet! This social media management tool will allow you to do manage multiple client social media profiles at once and do things such as bulk schedule posts in various queues, collaborate with team members, manage clients, utilize browser extensions, etc. Their free plan includes 3 connected profiles, 10 posts per day, and 30 posts per queue.
We will use our primary Twitter handle as both a customer service channel and a broadcast/interaction channel instead of having 2 separate handles. Twitter will be used to make us feel extremely accessible to consumers – real humans at the other end in real time (so we will initial conversations wherever possible). This will be beneficial in developing brand awareness and putting a real face to the products bought elsewhere.

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.

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