When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there.
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
NetBase is a Social Business Platform that global brands and agencies use to power brand building, grow businesses and connect with consumers. NetBase processes millions of posts across the social web in 42 languages, faster (9x) and more accurately (50-70%) than alternatives. The platform enables brands and agencies to deeply understand customer behavior, emotions and intent in real-time, giving confidence in making actionable decisions that accelerate growth. The advanced patented technology gives clients access to purchase intent, new audiences, and contextual brand emotions that link to shareholder value. The intuitive UI, simple non-Boolean search, and complete and flexible functionality works ‘out of the box’, and includes history, geo and depth that the biggest brands in the world now rely upon.
A well thought out social media marketing strategy will help you to grow your ecommerce store’s reach, engage with your existing customers, and ultimately lead to your store generating more sales. Once your store is generating a steady stream of revenue, you’ll be able to scale your marketing efforts even further, which will help you to skyrocket your growth.
First and foremost, you should always encourage conversations and keep communication lines open. Make engaging with your brand as easy and compelling as possible. To do this, contribute to your community consistently. Valuable communities can require huge amounts of time and effort to develop, so before you get started be willing to commit to the work.

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
You should also try and share video content with your followers to educate them about your market or about how your products/services can help them. This will not only help them get value but will also make it easy for them to hit the buy button. It’s a win-situation. This is why you find many small and big businesses are adding Facebook videos and Instagram Stories to their social media marketing strategy.
That said, Facebook can be an incredibly powerful way to use social media for advertising. It’s a database of information that you can use to deliver targeted ads to your ideal customers. If you amplify content that’s set up to produce engagement (likes, shares, comments) such as a viral video, you can generally lower the cost of your advertising, so keep that in mind.
He is the owner of jeffbullas.com. Forbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world's top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Oanalytica named him #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer. BizHUMM ranks him as the world's #1 business blogger. Learn More

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]
Social media marketing involves the use of social networks, consumer's online brand-related activities (COBRA) and electronic word of mouth (eWOM)[81][82] to successfully advertise online. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertisers with information about the likes and dislikes of their consumers.[67] This technique is crucial, as it provides the businesses with a "target audience".[67] With social networks, information relevant to the user's likes is available to businesses; who then advertise accordingly. Activities such as uploading a picture of your "new Converse sneakers to Facebook[81]" is an example of a COBRA.[81][82] Electronic recommendations and appraisals are a convenient manner to have a product promoted via "consumer-to-consumer interactions.[81][81] An example of eWOM would be an online hotel review;[83] the hotel company can have two possible outcomes based on their service. A good service would result in a positive review which gets the hotel free advertising via social media. However, a poor service will result in a negative consumer review which can potentially harm the company's reputation.
Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your different marketing forces within your company to plan for the future. Working collaboratively and taking a step back to brainstorm and reevaluate your strategy can drastically improve your social efforts. Also leverage other departments within your business. Various teams like client services and sales might have stellar ideas for social since they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis.
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.
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?

SocialOomph helps you re-post content on Facebook and Twitter on an automated schedule. It’s one of the most powerful social media management tools on the market, but its interface is a little clunky and old-school. If all you are looking for is a time-saving tool to repost content for you, then Oomph is worth a look. But if you want something more extensive that is easy to use, and encompasses your entire social strategy, than I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

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…
Only a few social networks allow you to schedule your content. It’s a headache to go inside each account and schedule every post manually. Granted, networks like Twitter operate in “real-time” but you can’t be online all day long. Plus, no one likes being bombarded with string of posts within a given span of time, so scheduling is a smarter way to be present without really being there. A dashboard comes to rescue!

You should never use your social channels as a bragging platform. These channels aren’t to be solely self-promotional, this is boring and obnoxious. There needs to be a balance between marketing your brand and sharing stories and news from other valuable resources. If you kept seeing Instagram upon Instagram from your favorite clothing apparel store promoting solely their own clothing items you’d probably un-follow and avoid the store out of sheer frustration. Instead focus on a balance between sharing promotional content, interacting with your followers and influencers, and sharing other useful and entertaining content. The key word here is “other,” what is that? Follow these tips to easily determine what content is share-worthy:
Hi Daniel,informative article.I am a social media enthusiast and use Sociota to manage my accounts.Apart from above mentioned tools,Sociota is a user friendly platform to handle facebook profiles,pages and twitter handles.Its additional features help to share maximum information on a regular basis and keep me in regular contact with my new and existing followers.Reports generated by Sociota also help to analyse those fields where one lacks behind and helps to scout the barriers in your social reach.It has really worked to furbished my social profile.Its free trial must be checked out.
Another interesting tool I would like to introduce to you is the Blog2Social plugin. It has powerful options for easily sharing your posts across all popular social media networks in one easy step. You can optionally customize your posts for each network and automatically schedule your posts for the best times to share. The plugin is a big time saver for cross-promoting.
You should also try and share video content with your followers to educate them about your market or about how your products/services can help them. This will not only help them get value but will also make it easy for them to hit the buy button. It’s a win-situation. This is why you find many small and big businesses are adding Facebook videos and Instagram Stories to their social media marketing strategy.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re looking for a platform to create your social media content calendar, there are a plethora of great options available. Both Buffer and Hootsuite are free to sign up, and allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, based on the platform of your choice. This means that you won’t have to worry about posting anything manually at a specific time.
Social media is one of the most effective ways for you and your business to get more traffic and generate new leads. Having the right social media management tools and a presence on all the major networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn is a necessity these days for any business. But what kind of marketing software, dashboards and publishing tools are the social media manager gurus actually using to juggle these multiple accounts?
Buffer is a software to manage social media sites, share everything users find worth sharing, browse on Twitter, Facebook or wherever users like to hang out, reply to people and make new friends and connections. Buffer has features such as link shortening, Google Analytics campaign tracking, team members, content suggestions, reconnect, schedule, content and happiness team. Buffer also has extensions, apps and extras like Zapier, If This Then That, Pablo (new), Feedly, Pocket, Reeder, ReviewPush, Crowdriff, Echofon, Trap.it, Tweetcaster, Followerwonk, Mr. Reader, Feeddler, Instapaper, Scoop.it, Bottlenose, Flare, Commun.it, Digg Digg for WordPress, Buffer via Email, Social Bro, Tweetings, Tracky, Tweriod,…
Popular social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks can provide marketers with a hard number of how large their audience is nevertheless a large audience may not always translate into a large sales volumes. Therefore, an effective SMM cannot be measured by a large audience but rather by vigorous audience activity such as social shares, re-tweets etc.

Measuring Success with Analytics — You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.
Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to start generating engaging content.  Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts.  As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share?  Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.
As an entrepreneur, it’s difficult to decide which content will resonate most with your audience. If you’re ever unsure about what to post on your social media channels, it’s a great idea to look to other brands in your niche. Take a look at the content which they’re posting, measure how it performs, and think about what you can do to make sure that your social media content stands out from the crowd.
When you’re just starting out with social media marketing for your business, you’ll need to create accounts on the social media channels which you believe will help you to reach your goals. If you’re starting from zero, it’s important to make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thinly — it’s much more beneficial to focus on nailing one or two channels instead of trying to grow all of them at once.

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
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.

ClickToTweet provides you with the easiest way to share, track and promote your content on Twitter. Twitter has struggled with growth over the last few years. Although it’s remained one of the most influential social media companies, it was widely reported new members weren’t signing up and that usage was declining. The latest numbers, however, reveal that Twitter has turned a corner and is once again on the upswing. Currently, the site boasts 328 million active monthly users, which is the strongest performance in two years. Twitter has been historically vague about disclosing its numbers. For example, it doesn’t like…
SocialWeaver is a platform that facilitates managing of user’s brands as well as listen to their brands. SocialWeaver simply facilitates easy scheduling of never-ending content, increasing engagement, and listening to customers’ impressions for both you and your competitors. SocialWeaver platform provides users with an excellent platform for managing of social media in a smart way. The SocialWeaver platform main features are publishing, engaging, and listening. The publish feature simply functions by automating a huge number of posts in a few minutes. The publish feature consists of create, schedule and re-use features. In creating, SocialWeaver facilitates easy creation of content for…
A brand can have far better success with a relevant vlogger with 50k subscribers rather than an influencer with 2m fans. This change comes from the changing algorithms, the users’ cautiousness when it comes to fake stories, and the genuine need of belonging in a community. People have more chances to connect with an everyday blogger who found growing success rather than a top model who may be working with multiple brands every week.
You’re probably already using this one, but hear me out. LinkedIn just released a new extension of its platform called LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. This helps businesses accumulate and track leads. Because most people view the app on their phones, it can be a hassle to fill out a contact form. So instead of relying on users to fill out the forms, LinkedIn’s new application uses an in-app form that populates already stored information about an individual LinkedIn user, making lead generation for your business easier than before.

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.
Social media monitoring and listening: Any social media strategy without this capability will not bear fruit. This feature allows users to know what consumers are saying about their brand, their industry and even the competition. This is done through monitoring, which involves keeping tabs on existing conversations. In doing so, companies can join conversations that can benefit their marketing efforts.
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.
Kred is a social-media scoring system that seeks to measure a person’s online influence.Kred, which was created by the San Francisco-based social analytics firm PeopleBrowsr, attempts to also measure a person or company’s engagement, or as they call it, outreach. PeopleBrowsr hopes that that combination can offer a more informed metric for non-celebrities like entrepreneurs and those whom they follow and look to for advice.
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.
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…
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.
SocialFlow's algorithms analyze user behavior and then optimize each post based on real-time data, in order to predict the best times for publishing content to capture peak attention from target audiences. They release posts when timing, relevance and audience are optimized, and also offer a full suite of services that aim to expand audience engagement and increase revenue per customer.   - Ryan Pezzotti, Knowzo.com
It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner.  Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed.  If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them.  If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them.  It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately.  Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services (we will discuss further in next section).
“Over the last two years, the social network has repeatedly tweaked the system to show the top 300 or so items that it predicts each person will want to read,” according to a recent article by the New York Times. “Facebook argues that people prefer to see videos, photos, news articles and updates from their friends and family more than other brands. So over time, posts by businesses have shown up less frequently.” Facebook continues to push for more advertising so if your business wants traction it needs to be advertising. With all of that said you still need to use caution and tread lightly if you’re a budget conscious advertiser because with more and more competition prices are likely to rise. I’d also highly recommend retargeting with platforms like AdRoll because with retargeting you show your ads to people that have already expressed interest in your brand by visiting your site. I often see retargeting ads on the side of my Facebook News scan (i.e. the image below showing ads for two sites which I recently visited).
Instagram works on a similar premise, in that this highly visual, user-centric app encourages participation and engagement. Here, user-focused images are king, so there’s possibly no better platform to shine the spotlight on your customers and how they’re using your product, or on your own employees doing work behind-the-scenes than through Instagram.
Sharing Curated Links — While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.
And although the study didn’t go into a great amount of detail on which types of photos did best, an underlying theme was that images of people and faces tended to garner more +1’s (admiration) while images of pets, food, and even memes enjoyed more shares.  Finally, images that featured positivity in some aspect – including quotes, inspiration or good things happening in the world also tended to be popular among the Google+ using crowd.
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.

If you want your audience to stay engaged, you need to be engaging. One great way to do this is to create social campaigns that run across all your social platforms. The important thing to note here is that anyone can run a contest or create a social campaign, so you need to make yours stand out by adding a charitable, inspirational, or emotional component. Any element that pulls at the heart strings works well. If your company already is involved with volunteer work, which many are, then this is one great way to inspire and engage your followers. I know what you’re thinking, it seems somewhat morally corrupt to use a charity relationship for marketing purposes, but on the other hand you’re promoting that organization and encouraging more people to get involved. So how do you apply this across several channels? Start by…
Hootsuite: A powerful SMMS, Hootsuite is designed to help businesses come up and with and implement social media strategies. It can likewise allow managers to handle multiple social media accounts using a single solution, eliminating the need for multiple logins. Users are allowed to post updates, directly communicate with customer base and analyze responses on social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare. The solution can also link businesses to third party applications such as Vimeo, Instagram and Evernote. Key features include management of multiple contributors, capture of brand intelligence and multiple network updates.
Loomly is a social media calendar management tool that helps teams and individuals create and schedule content for social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & LinkedIn. Via an intuitive interface and innovative features, users can manage ideas for social posts, get live post optimization tips, preview social media posts, manage approval workflows, and automate post scheduling & analytics. Loomly is available as a web platform, with native mobile applications for iOS & Android.

“I want to use social media marketing to promote the latest products that I’ve added to my store. The main channel that I’ll focus my efforts on will be Facebook, and I’ll grow my audience with a combination of compelling content. When promoting my stores products, I’ll post an appealing image of said product, accompanied with a short description of the products main features. After 1 month of Facebook activity, I want to achieve at least 1 sale per post.”

Most social media management teams have trouble tying ROI to social media. With Clarabridge, you’ll have the insights to fuel product innovation and make strategic business decisions. Why? Because your team will have access to a wealth of insights from customers at some of their most crucial touchpoints. For example, when customers are making a decision about a product, they very well may make an inquiry via social media. On the other hand, if they are experiencing issues, they will reach out via social media as well. With this information at the ready, your team will be able to have a keen understanding of what customers are looking for—valuable information that your business should be using to fuel innovation and strategic direction. Accessing and sharing this information between your social media management team and the C-Suite means that you’ll be able to tie ROI to your social media management efforts by tracking the customer’s journey from social media to sale acquisition.
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