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.
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).
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.
Tweetdeck is a web and desktop solution to monitor and manage your Twitter feeds with powerful filters to focus on what matters. You can also schedule tweets and stay up to date with notification alerts for new tweets. Tweetdeck, who was purchased by Twitter, is available for Chrome browsers, as well as Windows and Mac desktops. Recently they closed down their mobile apps to re-shift focus on the web and desktop platforms.
Facebook Pages Manager is a platform offered by Facebook and is built with page management tools. The page management tools enables users create pages on Facebook business platform while getting discovered, building connections and gaining more loyal customers. Facebook Pages Manager simply sets up pages for your business making it easy for you to see and quickly respond to messages and comments from your customers. The page management feature enables plus the page insights feature enables users see which posts posted by them are getting people interested, therefore helping users create more effective and relevant posts in the future. The…
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…
What’s the right solution for you? Many people use both Hootsuite (to listen) and Bufferapp (to schedule), including me, and it really depends on your posting needs. In my opinion though, if Hootsuite we’re to introduce more scheduling options this could spell trouble for Buffer! But then again, Buffer could be working on some cool new dashboard that would rival Hootsuite’s offering, time will only tell.
It's worth noting here that even armed with all the sophisticated technology offered in this roundup, there is no substitute for organic and genuinely interesting content on your company's social media channels. You can have the most technically sound social media strategy, but it's still up to you to create something your audience will want to follow and engage with. The best of these tools automate a lot of the hard work that your customers will never see (after all, the best social media appears effortless). It's just important to temper your expectations on what these platforms actually do before investing in any of them. Ultimately, you'll have to consider your brand's personality and tone for yourself.
To this end, companies make use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to reach audiences much wider than through the use of traditional print/TV/radio advertisements alone at a fraction of the cost, as most social networking sites can be used at little or no cost (however, some websites charge companies for premium services). This has changed the ways that companies approach to interact with customers, as a substantial percentage of consumer interactions are now being carried out over online platforms with much higher visibility. Customers can now post reviews of products and services, rate customer service, and ask questions or voice concerns directly to companies through social media platforms. According to Measuring Success, over 80% of consumers use the web to research products and services. Thus social media marketing is also used by businesses in order to build relationships of trust with consumers. To this aim, companies may also hire personnel to specifically handle these social media interactions, who usually report under the title of Online community managers. Handling these interactions in a satisfactory manner can result in an increase of consumer trust. To both this aim and to fix the public's perception of a company, 3 steps are taken in order to address consumer concerns, identifying the extent of the social chatter, engaging the influencers to help, and developing a proportional response.
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. 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. 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. 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. Unlike traditional media that are often cost-prohibitive to many companies, a social media strategy does not require astronomical budgeting.
Taking care of your social media presence is just as important as providing brilliant content for your audience. Not only do you inform them about things they might find useful, but you can also interact with them and receive valuable feedback and ideas for topics, connect with other people in your field and establish collaboration, and reach out to influencers, among other things.