2014 has been another thrilling year in the world of social media, from Instagram reaching 300 million users, surpassing Twitter, Facebook’s continuous algorithm updates pushing organic reach to a plummeting death, LinkedIn’s new publishing platform giving users a powerful way to build their brand, and SnapChat establishing themselves as a bigger player by displaying advertisements and sponsored stories. These updates are just dusting the surface of social media changes over the past year, but what does this all mean for your marketing plan in 2015?

Sprout Social's user interface (UI), with its single-stream mention monitoring, was the easiest to set up and navigate, and also offers the widest variety of relevant social networks and produces numerous reports which can be downloaded in more than one format. You can build basic Queries and script Rules, and run competitive analysis. Of the products reviewed, Sprout Social, which begins at $99 per month, is the best value. It meets all of the qualifications for an entry-level social media tool suite, with the ability to scale, and is this roundup's Editors' Choice for SMBs.
Websites such as Delicious, Digg, Slashdot, Diigo, Stumbleupon, and Reddit are popular social bookmarking sites used in social media promotion. Each of these sites is dedicated to the collection, curation, and organization of links to other websites that users deem to be of good quality. This process is "crowdsourced", allowing amateur social media network members to sort and prioritize links by relevance and general category. Due to the large user bases of these websites, any link from one of them to another, the smaller website may in a flash crowd, a sudden surge of interest in the target website. In addition to user-generated promotion, these sites also offer advertisements within individual user communities and categories.[68] Because ads can be placed in designated communities with a very specific target audience and demographic, they have far greater potential for traffic generation than ads selected simply through cookie and browser history.[69] Additionally, some of these websites have also implemented measures to make ads more relevant to users by allowing users to vote on which ones will be shown on pages they frequent.[70] The ability to redirect large volumes of web traffic and target specific, relevant audiences makes social bookmarking sites a valuable asset for social media marketers.

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.
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!
The insights gleaned from your audience personas should be used to tailor your social media marketing strategy and help you to develop clear strategies to ensure you engage with all target audiences on social media. Audience personas should inform content creation, marketing campaigns, ad targeting, and more to ensure conversions against your goals.

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.
With the many tasks involved with running a successful business, social media can fall by the wayside. Before your business embarks on a social media campaign, it is a good practice to identify a person or multiple people who will be in charge of monitoring and posting content. It is important for the social media manager(s) to not only ensure content is posted on a regular basis, but also monitor and respond to all comments and feedback.  The assigned staff should be willing to monitor the company’s social pages 24/7, which can be easily accomplished through e-mail alerts and mobile apps.
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service.[1] Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers.[2] Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm's desired social media "culture" and "tone."
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
1: Build a community and inspire action. Your followers should be people that you interact with and maintain a witty, relatable, and fun relationship with on social media. Stop selling your soul to gain followers, instead look to grow engagement. Brainstorm creative ways to keep your followers intrigued by creating truly powerful social media campaigns that will spur your audience to participate.
Too often, businesses fail to secure all of the relevant social media profiles prior to kicking off a formal social media strategy. That's why I highly recommend KnowEm. KnowEm allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 500 popular and emerging social media websites. By securing your social media identities you will maximize brand equity.   - Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
DigitaleBox is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution and a Community Organizing Software which enables an NGO, Political Organization, Enterprise and Gov to conduct data-driven campaigns and organize supporters/volunteers/fans on social networks. DigitaleBox offers unlimited posts on social media, easy, user friendly interface, publish & schedule social media content, unlimited admin licenses, manage all social media activity, interactions, identify new contacts, grow your community., organize your data & contacts (social media, email & sms) in a unique data base, manage communication campaigns (emailing, social media & sms), advanced community organizing platform, manage volunteer, fans, supporters, mapping tool, personal donation…
If you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-use scheduling tool, AgoraPulse may be for you. AgoraPulse is a social media management tool geared towards creating, editing, and scheduling posts, monitoring engagement, and tracking the success of your posts. It supports many of the major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube).
Areitos. An easy to use internal social networking software built with the principles of social media platforms to enhance and accelerate one’s communication process. It allows for internal collaboration, professional development, and internal communication, among others. The software is well-optimized for both web and mobile devices and seamlessly integrates with top social networking websites including but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, and EventBright.
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!
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