Rob Watts is PCMag's Business Analyst, writing reviews and features for a variety of business applications. He brings years of experience in editorial insights to the role, having previously worked as an editor for Keypoint Intelligence, an independent test laboratory for document imaging hardware and software. He spends his free time cooking and g... See Full Bio

These are just a few of the many powerful features Agorapulse has to offer. Add to this ads monitoring, competitor analysis, social listening, a social media calendar, a Chrome extension, and team workflows, and you are left with one behemoth of a social media management tool. It’s quite amazing that its pricing is so competitive. Unlike like the other tools on this list, Agorapulse is an all-in-one solution and you won’t need to patch together 3 or 4 different social tools to achieve the same outcomes.
Reddit, or similar social media platforms such as Stumble Upon or Digg, are ideal for sharing compelling content. With over 2 billion page views a month, Reddit has incredible social media marketing potential, but marketers should be warned that only truly unique, interesting content will be welcomed. Posting on Reddit is playing with fire—submit spammy or overtly sales-focused content and your business could get berated by this extremely tech-savvy community.
What works for one business doesn’t necessarily work for others, even if you’re in similar industries. Before you define one or more goals, figure out where your business stands. First, audit your brand’s digital presence, including a social media audit. Then, analyze your marketing and sales funnels to determine where improvements could have a significant effect.
Scheduling: Some social media solutions enable businesses to schedule posts through the use of content calendars. They also allow for the anticipation of message releases. Content can be published at times when audiences are most likely to catch them. These mostly free templates eliminate the need for spreadsheets, which are the usual tools used in planning social posts.
I encourage you to think of ways you can use your social channels to tell motivational stories to your viewers. They don’t need to be rooted in charity. For example if you sell B2B software you could share stories from your happiest clients on your blog and then create a social campaign with a unique slogan and hashtag to promote and create a movement around their stories.
As a millennial (but not one of the whiny ones that baby boomers complain about), I grew up in the age of online friendships and followers, which has exploded into a world of digital living. If I want to find a restaurant, I hop on Yelp. Recipes or clothes? Pinterest. Trying to be an adult? LinkedIn. The best thing about these options is that they have already been vetted by other people! I’m going to trust a Facebook friend who recommends a product 1000x more than a description on the product website.
The latest edition to our favorite social media management tools list is more than just a tool, it’s our very own new social network for content creators! DashBurst is a new multimedia web experience, social network, dashboard and blogging platform. You can explore and share a variety of different content including text, photos, video, audio, articles, infographics, docs, the web and any other media with just one simple Burst! You can also schedule and queue unlimited Bursts for later and watch them automatically get published to your DashBurst and other social media channels simultaneously, saving you time so that you can continue creating or just relax. On top of all that, you can create Boards to curate and showcase interesting content like your own works, must-read articles or anything you else you love too!
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.
Facebook and LinkedIn are leading social media platforms where users can hyper-target their ads. Hypertargeting not only uses public profile information but also information users submit but hide from others.[17] There are several examples of firms initiating some form of online dialog with the public to foster relations with customers. According to Constantinides, Lorenzo and Gómez Borja (2008) "Business executives like Jonathan Swartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Steve Jobs CEO of Apple Computers, and McDonalds Vice President Bob Langert post regularly in their CEO blogs, encouraging customers to interact and freely express their feelings, ideas, suggestions, or remarks about their postings, the company or its products".[15] Using customer influencers (for example popular bloggers) can be a very efficient and cost-effective method to launch new products or services[18] Among the political leaders in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the highest number of followers at 40 million, and President Donald Trump ranks second with 25 million followers.[19] Modi employed social media platforms to circumvent traditional media channels to reach out to the young and urban population of India which is estimated to be 200 million.
Social media is too big, and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.
If you want to explore your social media analytics, schedule posts across platforms, and monitor engagement, Sprout Social is a great all-in-one social media management tool. The platform allows you to analyze your social media data beyond the built-in analytics offered by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also track engagement on keywords and hashtags, identify influencers, build custom dashboards, and more. Sprout integrates with all major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+), as well as other systems including Bitly and Google Analytics.
The #1 digital customer engagement platform for global enterprises. Branded communities, social media marketing, and customer care. Spredfast is transforming the way companies connect with consumers. Spredfast is the leading digital customer engagement platform for global enterprises. Based in Austin, Texas, and with offices all over the globe, we tirelessly pursue innovation that helps enterprises engage with their customers online. We work with over 800 global brands, media companies, and agencies and provide branded communities, social media marketing and customer care through our award-winning platform. Spredfast works closely with the world’s largest social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr. Most recently, Spredfast was named a Leader in the The Forrester WaveTM: Social Media Management Solutions, Q2 2017.
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.
Use Buzzsumo to find content that resonates. I just started using this tool recently, but I’ve already added it to my bookmark bar and am completely addicted. It’s the easiest way to search related industry news sites and blogs, keywords, influencers, etc. to find the content with the highest number of social shares. Study the headlines that were shared and re-share those articles/headlines with your followers. This will continue the train of sharing, but also show your followers that your social posts are intriguing and follow-worthy 
IFTTT is a powerful Internet automation site that can save you a lot of time managing social media and other tasks through recipes. You can essentially connect any major network or channel together to automate sharing on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more based on any action you desire. Like sending out a tweet automatically every time you publish a new blog post or getting an email when your favorite magazine has something new to say. Plus best of all, it works well with Buffer and Hootsuite and just enhances those tools even further and is a must use for any serious social media professional.
Social media can be a useful source of market information and a way to hear customer perspectives. Blogs, content communities, and forums are platforms where individuals share their reviews and recommendations of brands, products, and services. Businesses are able to tap and analyze the customer voices and feedback generated in social media for marketing purposes;[15] in this sense the social media is a relatively inexpensive source of market intelligence which can be used by marketers and managers to track and respond to consumer-identified problems and detect market opportunities. For example, the Internet erupted with videos and pictures of iPhone 6 "bend test" which showed that the coveted phone could be bent by hand pressure. The so-called "bend gate" controversy[16] created confusion amongst customers who had waited months for the launch of the latest rendition of the iPhone. However, Apple promptly issued a statement saying that the problem was extremely rare and that the company had taken several steps to make the mobile device's case stronger and robust. Unlike traditional market research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and data mining which are time-consuming and costly, and which take weeks or even months to analyze, marketers can use social media to obtain 'live' or "real time" information about consumer behavior and viewpoints on a company's brand or products. This can be useful in the highly dynamic, competitive, fast-paced and global marketplace of the 2010s.
Bit.ly is a URL shortener and click reporting tool all in one. It’s great for Twitter with short posts, and also tracking the clicks to help you understand how well your content converts traffic to your website. It’s by no means an “all-in-one” social media management tool, but as a social media marketer, it will help you track the performance of your links. Which is vital.
Social Media Management and Analytics Software provide tools for gathering data from stakeholder conversations on digital media and processing into structured insights leading to more information-driven business decisions and increased customer centrality for brands and businesses. It involves identifying, extracting, and analyzing social media data such as tweets, shares, likes, and hyperlinks using stools and techniques and interpreting and aligning the insights gained with business goals and objectives.
However, social media can be overwhelming if you don’t have the proper knowledge or tools. Whether it’s to create or repurpose content, to find the best way to engage with your online community or to create a comprehensive posting schedule, having the right social media management tools is crucial to your success. Here are 15 of the best social media management tools currently available and how they can help you make the most of your social presence, as recommended by leading members of Forbes Agency Council.
Insert some personality, humor, and spunk into your brand. Remember, social media has the word “social” in it for a reason. Yes, some use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to gather industry-related or world news, but more often than not social media is used to entertain and kill time. Your marketing messages need to adjust accordingly because if you’re using the same copy that you’re using in, let’s say search or email marketing, then your followers are going to remain oblivious to your brand. BarkBox, one of the trending box delivery services on the market, which caters exclusively to adorable doggies, is one company to take note of. Founded in 2011, BarkBox has done an impressive job of growing their business in a short time frame, with a large chunk of their marketing focusing on growing and creating engaging social content. Their Facebook page is hysterically entertaining, with each post featuring an adorable pup and tagline as if the dog was actually speaking to the reader. This works because it’s a. adorable b. hysterical and c. relatable. Just check out this post below with almost 3,000 likes, 42 comments, and 170 shares after just 9 hours. This massive amount of interactions and shares not only establishes brand authority, but also drastically increases chances of this post showing up on a friend’s newsfeed (therefore gaining brand awareness, followers, leads, and customers).
We've published more than 800 articles on the Wishpond Blog, writing since 2012. As the market has changed, so has our content. Right now, the market is fed up of piece-meal content which gives them half an answer. In order to stand out, we need to create high-value, long-form content which gives our readers everything they need to know in one place.
Yes, I’ve mentioned Buffer in the past, and that’s because it really is a great, easy-to-use tool. Keeping up with sharing your content each day can be hard, and Buffer allows you to schedule multiple posts on different channels at once. This way, you can knock out a good amount of social distribution in one sitting, which is helpful for busy social media teams (and the thought leaders whose content is being shared).

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.
You should also consider how you plan to make engagement and response a consistent part of your social media management. Do you plan to reach out to fans and followers and start a conversation? How often will you respond to questions and concerns posted to your page? Do you plan to use contests to engage your audience? All of this should be somewhere in your social media strategy.
The SMMS market is a highly-fragmented one, owing to the number of vendors offering them and the constant innovations that keep companies competitive. Continuous product and service portfolio expansion is seen to drive competition further up, with developers high up in the ladder seen to gain further competitive edge by coming up with more advanced and innovative solutions.
MavSocial is a simple and affordable social media management platform used by thousands of marketers, businesses, and agencies to streamline their social media activities. The platform enables marketers to curate and store content, schedule and automate posts, engage with audiences, listen to industry trends, monitor analytics, build reports and collaborate with team members. MavSocial currently supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr and WeChat. Features include: - Content Management: Upload, store and manage all forms of content with AI-powered tagging - UGC Curation: Curate and obtain permissions for user-generated content - License Content: Access millions of free stock images - Campaign Planner: Create and track social media campaigns across multiple networks and see an overview with calendar view - Engage: Respond to comments and messages across all social networks - Listen: Monitor keywords, analyse trends and engage with specific topics - Reporting: Analyze performance by content, post, network or campaign - Advertising: Promote and boost your Facebook posts to your target audience - Teams & Brands: Organize workflows, assign tasks and set permissions for all social media activities by brands, teams, and users.
Use Twitter Search if you need to find out what’s happening in the world beyond your personal timeline. Twitter Search lets you search, filter, and otherwise interact with the volumes of news and information being transmitted to Twitter every second. Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through our service. Advanced Search allows you to create your queries using many advanced operators.

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Buffer is a very popular social media scheduling application. The tool makes it easy to share content and automatically schedule the distribution to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. Now it works by staggering content throughout the day. Buffer lets you add content to your queue without worrying when to post it or how frequently to post it. Buffer also gives you the Analytics about each post which lets you quickly see what ideas are working and what aren’t.
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.
In order to get clicks and leads that convert into customers, you can’t just publish a link to your blog post and expect results. It’s not that simple. You need to give people a reason to take action. How? By taking out the time to create and promote content that is native to the social media platform it is being published on. For example, when you’re posting content on Facebook, you can lay emphasis on getting the user to visit your website or fill out the lead generation form without leaving the page. And when on Twitter, you can focus on using images while asking for a retweet, since tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Similarly, your content promotion strategy should be unique to every social network you’re publishing on. That’s how you get better conversions.
The latest edition to our favorite social media management tools list is more than just a tool, it’s our very own new social network for content creators! DashBurst is a new multimedia web experience, social network, dashboard and blogging platform. You can explore and share a variety of different content including text, photos, video, audio, articles, infographics, docs, the web and any other media with just one simple Burst! You can also schedule and queue unlimited Bursts for later and watch them automatically get published to your DashBurst and other social media channels simultaneously, saving you time so that you can continue creating or just relax. On top of all that, you can create Boards to curate and showcase interesting content like your own works, must-read articles or anything you else you love too!
You can also use your audience to gain inspiration for your social media content. Look at the way your audience engages with the social media platforms which you’re active on, and try to emulate this style —it’ll be familiar to them, and it’ll help you to send a message which resonates. If you see that a specific type of post is popular, focus your attention on creating similar content — it’s the best way to reach your goals quickly.

Likealyzer takes the guess work out of your Facebook strategy. The recommendations point you in the right direction. Compare your Facebook page to competitors, partners, or brands you admire. Likealyzer will recommend similar pages to watch. Likealyzer converts raw Facebook analytics into a simple yet sophisticated report. Recommendations, not just metrics. Likealyzer is a Facebook tool designed for social media managers, agencies, and entrepreneurs.

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…
Sendible is the leading social media management platform for agencies looking to manage social media more effectively for their clients. The Sendible platform brings all your social networks together into a centralized hub and is the easiest way to execute a winning social media strategy for multiple brands at scale. Positioned as a productivity tool for agencies, you can be certain that your team will save hours of time! With powerful social media engagement, monitoring, publishing, lead generation and reporting features, Sendible gives you all the tools to delight your clients every step of the way. Sendible's social media automation features help to simplify the process of driving interactions, growing a following and starting conversations on social media. The unified Priority Inbox is loved by brands and agencies alike, who are saving hours each day by consolidating the most important conversations from multiple sources into a single stream. With gorgeous social media reports that are designed to impress, you can deliver both meaningful and impressive-looking insights showcasing your progress on social media. With one of the most powerful social media content creators on the market, Sendible's sophisticated compose box helps you schedule your social media posts in bulk and at the optimal engagement times throughout the day. Sendible's advanced content suggestion algorithms automatically curate and recommend the best content on the web for your audience, guaranteed to drive engagement and growth.
The most complete solutions in this tier are Synthesio and Sysomos, our Editors' Choices for enterprises. They both give the most extensive deep-dive analytics using the most engaging data visualizations and reporting. Each listening metric Synthesio measures, be it mentions, engagement, sentiment, or influencer reach, has drill-down capabilities to generate a custom dashboard with post lists and graphs from any point in the UI. Crimson Hexagon offers a similarly robust experience, with the capacity for live social stream monitoring and the best interactive visualizations for keyword and hashtag data. Sysomos offers deep social listening power plus an added publishing and social marketing campaign management product called Sysomos Expeon. It's a significant added expense on top of the main Sysomos platform, but the ad campaign-specific ROI data and reporting it provides is unmatched.

Small businesses also use social networking sites as a promotional technique. Businesses can follow individuals social networking site uses in the local area and advertise specials and deals. These can be exclusive and in the form of "get a free drink with a copy of this tweet". This type of message encourages other locals to follow the business on the sites in order to obtain the promotional deal. In the process, the business is getting seen and promoting itself (brand visibility).
Traditional advertising techniques include print and television advertising. The Internet has already overtaken television as the largest advertising market.[95] Web sites often include the banner or pop-up ads. Social networking sites don't always have ads. In exchange, products have entire pages and are able to interact with users. Television commercials often end with a spokesperson asking viewers to check out the product website for more information. While briefly popular, print ads included QR codes on them. These QR codes can be scanned by cell phones and computers, sending viewers to the product website. Advertising is beginning to move viewers from the traditional outlets to the electronic ones.[citation needed]
Analytics: Knowing how the user’s content and posts are performing on social media platforms is very important to understand when to change in case they are not too good. The software enables the user to evaluate and measure how effective their content is through assessing likes, retweets and click through rate. Having this functionality in the business social media management software is very important as it shows the progress on the company’s targets and goals.
Monitor multiple social media platforms: Publishing on a variety of social media platforms is also possible with SMMS, enabling users to garner more audiences, while being able to compare metrics across social media solutions. Posting across social media platforms is also achievable with a single update, saving managers time and allowing them to focus on other matters. Content success on different platforms can likewise be compared, which can be used to boost social media strategy.
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