In the context of the social web, engagement means that customers and stakeholders, such as consumer advocacy groups and groups that criticize companies (e.g., lobby groups or advocacy organizations) are active participants rather than passive viewers. Social media use in a business or political context allows all consumers/citizens to express and share an opinion about a company's products, services or business practices, or a government's actions. Each participating customer or non-customer (or citizen) who is participating online via social media becomes part of the marketing department (or a challenge to the marketing effort), as other customers read their positive or negative comments or reviews. Getting consumers and potential consumers (or citizens) to be engaged online is fundamental to successful social media marketing. With the advent of social media marketing, it has become increasingly important to gain customer interest in products and services, which can eventually be translated into buying behavior (or voting or donating behavior in a political context). New online marketing concepts of engagement and loyalty have emerged which aim to build customer participation and brand reputation.
Depending on how invested your company is in CRM, integration might be a make-or-break feature for you. Being able to convert social engagements into leads is a powerful feature that, if used correctly, can add a lot of benefit to your business. If you find CRM integration important, then be sure to research which social media management tools are compatible with your relationship management service of choice.
If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free social media tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.
In addition, social media platforms have become extremely aware of their users and collect information about their viewers to connect with them in various ways. Social-networking website Facebook Inc. is quietly working on a new advertising system that would let marketers target users with ads based on the massive amounts of information people reveal on the site about themselves. This may be an unethical or ethical feature to some individuals. Some people may react negatively because they believe it is an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, some individuals may enjoy this feature because their social network recognizes their interests and sends them particular advertisements pertaining to those interests. Consumers like to network with people who have interests and desires that are similar to their own. Individuals who agree to have their social media profile public, should be aware that advertisers have the ability to take information that interests them to be able to send them information and advertisements to boost their sales. Managers invest in social media to foster relationships and interact with customers. This is an ethical way for managers to send messages about their advertisements and products to their consumers.
Who is going to create your content? Who is going to maintain your social media accounts? Who is going to respond to questions and be the face of your business online? Do you have the technical ability in-house to join the online conversation? If not, are you willing to learn? Can you or someone who works with you write well? You need to be sure you have the necessary people in place to execute a social media marketing plan before you start.
TweetDeck: A free app that is designed to let Twitter users to manage limitless accounts from a single interface, TweetDeck is ideal for organizations that require functionalities such as tracking, organizing and engagement on the social media platform. It can be used by virtually anyone, starting from individuals all the way to large organizations. The software is capable of managing Twitter accounts as well, while keeping track of hundreds of Twitter lists, searches and hashtags. TwitterDeck offers customizable dashboards that enable users to both send and receive tweets and monitor Twitter profiles. This robust tool can be deployed as a Web, Chrome or desktop application.
Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only needs to take a few hours each month. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Here are some stats to focus on: number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, pageviews, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!).
Why would I want to go online to chat to a bunch of strangers? What respected business person would actually take time out of their day to participate in one of these cult-like chats? These were the initial thoughts which ran through by head when introduced to the concept of Twitter chats. My view drastically changed when WordStream founder, Larry Kim, raved about #PPCChat, encouraging me and my colleagues to participate as frequently as possible. So I took his advice and started participating in our industry related chats. I was surprised to find the experience to be very enjoyable; I even added #PPCChat as a recurring event in my calendar on Tuesday so that I wouldn’t forget to join in the live conversation. The chat gave me the ability to connect with others in the industry and also learn from those who have varying experiences from my own. I noticed an uptick in my personal followers and one week I was even featured as the top quote in the PPCChat write-up that’s published after every chat.
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.
Friends+Me is another prime player in the social media management tools family. While Friends+Me puts the highest emphasis on Google Plus features, many other social platforms are supported. Friends+Me appears to get rave reviews from users, and has a beautifully designed website with plans available based on the size of your business. And yes, there is a free plan!
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.
When you’re establishing goals for your social media marketing plan, we advise against selecting vanity metrics (likes / retweets) as your main metric for success. Whilst these are nice to see, and worthwhile to measure, they don’t directly affect your business’ growth. Instead, we recommend measure metrics that are likely to lead to sales, like leads generated, or conversion rate
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.
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?
SOCi is the industry’s leading social media and reputation management solution. SOCi solves the difficult social media workflow challenges faced by the world’s top multi-location businesses. Our powerful social media solution was architected to address the very specific workflow and scalability issues faced by multi-location brands, digital marketing agencies, and multi-family property management companies that need to manage hundreds or thousands of social media pages. SOCi’s scalable and comprehensive platform technology provides every tool necessary for multi-location and multi-tenant businesses to manage their local social media efforts including: Intuitive Dashboard - Upon signing into SOCi, users are greeted with a high-level, yet comprehensive and easy to read dashboard highlighting analytics, content performance across all locations using SOCi, conversations and comments that need attention, recent reviews, and more! Content Discovery: With SOCi’s proprietary scoring tool, multi-location businesses can not only see what types of content are getting the most engagement, but SOCi can also tell you when to post it for optimal results across all locations in your portfolio. Asset Management/Content Libraries: After SOCi scores content found on the social web it allows you to choose from a library of highly curated, engaging content. This library cuts out the work of searching for relevant on brand content which saves you time while adding value to your brand. Peak-Time Scheduling: SOCi’s platform analyzes when your audiences most engage with your content, allowing you to post at peak times. Reporting and Analytics: SOCi puts the metrics and data that matter to your business in one easy-to-view dashboard to take the guessing out of what’s working and not working for your strategies. Reputation Management: Go beyond social media sites to pull and respond to reviews from Yelp, Citysearch, Google, and many more networks. SOCi serves as the infrastructure on which tens of thousands of social media business pages are being managed. SOCi is fully integrated with the top social media and reputation management networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp and more.
As the #1 marketing calendar for everything you need organized, CoSchedule allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com, CoSchedule helps nearly 8,000 marketing teams stay organized in more than 100 countries around the world.
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.
After signing up you need to add the social networks by authorizing Hootsuite to access your account. The strongest part of Hootsuite is the Analytics part. Hootsuite gives you the ability to create dynamic reports that just not bring one social media profile but you can compare things between your social media accounts to get an overview how things are working.
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!
Social Status. A social media reporting software, Social Status automatically generates highly actionable reports designed to help you improve your content strategy and social media marketing. The platform comes equipped with tools for performance benchmarking so you can understand how you fare against competitors, strategy measurement that helps you gauge campaign effectiveness, sentiment understanding that determines how audiences related to specific content, and much more. Social Status also informs you of the optimal timing in sharing your social media content and how often they should be posted to reach more audiences.
If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche (like cat owners, for example), your job will be easier than if you’re trying to appeal to a more general audience (like a telecommunications or airline brands). I recommend lurking in the places your intended customers often hang out, in subreddits or blog comments for example, to see what they’re interested in.
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.