While the free plan is not super robust, it still allows for two queues (which is a destination to publish posts), the ability to schedule three posts per queue, link shortening, browser extensions, an integration with Zapier, as well as standard support. The free plan can also be used for a variety of social platforms like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tumblr. 
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.

Solutions aid organizations with the way they participate in important social media conversations. These conversations include blogs and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, along with other forms of online communities. These tools are also imbued with new listening technologies, through which businesses can learn how people view their organizations. These functionalities accurately describes the true definition of social management software.

ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
In early 2012, Nike introduced its Make It Count social media campaign. The campaign kickoff began YouTubers Casey Neistat and Max Joseph launching a YouTube video, where they traveled 34,000 miles to visit 16 cities in 13 countries. They promoted the #makeitcount hashtag, which millions of consumers shared via Twitter and Instagram by uploading photos and sending tweets.[32] The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.
SocialPilot is a social media automation tool for scheduling and marketing your social media to increase your social media efficiency. 1) You can connect over 9 social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Xing and VK with SocialPilot. 2) Share as many as 500 posts and connect over 200 profiles with just one SocialPilot account. 3) Post with your own brand name instead of SocialPilot's with the Custom FB Branding Feature. 4) Add up to 20 team members in your SocialPilot account to delegate sharing and scheduling with Team Collaboration feature. 5) Schedule 100s' of posts at a time uploading a CSV with Bulk Scheduling feature. 6) Want to have a look on when and what have you scheduled, have a look at our Social Media Calendar. 7) Never stay out of content, we have a lot many content suggestions. Add Curated Content and RSS Feeds for a never ending scheduling of your posts. 8) Difficulty waiting for your client's response about their account credentials. With Client Connect feature, wait no more for their account credentials or being an admin. 9) Bored of long, unwanted ugly looking URLs'. Create your own customized branded domains for more visibility and recognition with the URL Shorteners SocialPilot provides. With all these features under just one platform just go, start SocialPiloting right away!
Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.
BuzzSumo is a content and influencer identification tool for social media. It offers content performance insights, influencer identification, content alerts, and competitor analysis insights. This tool is great for A/B testing content to see what type of content performs best, who’s sharing and engaging with the content, and what’s working for other organizations.
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.

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!). 
So why should your business get involved? Aside from personal branding, these chats can greatly benefit your business by giving you the ability to discover new leads, build brand authority, develop strong relationships with influencers in your industry, and further expose your brand. Host your own chat or partner with a big brand to co-host a chat; you’ll grow your follower base substantially if it’s promoted well. Explore the resources in this post to get an idea of which re-occurring chats take place in your industry.
For many small businesses, there just isn’t enough time or resources to dedicate to effective social media management. Posting quality content consistently takes a lot of time and effort that some small business marketing teams just don’t have. Not to mention, you may not have anyone on your team with the expertise or skills needed to implement effective campaigns.
What’s cool? One feature SocialOomph has–even on the free level–that sets it apart is its ability to allow you to manage your Twitter followers and your direct messages box from within the app. The tool also allows you to save and reuse social posts, for when you want to use posts as part of a campaign or get an extra boost out of your top performing content. They also recently added the ability to schedule pins to your Pinterest boards in advance.
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.
Engagement in social media for the purpose of a social media strategy is divided into two parts. The first is proactive, regular posting of new online content (digital photos, digital videos, text) and conversations, as well as the sharing of content and information from others via weblinks. The second part is reactive conversations with social media users responding to those who reach out to your social media profiles through commenting or messaging[22] Traditional media such as TV news shows are limited to one-way interaction with customers or 'push and tell' where only specific information is given to the customer with few or limited mechanisms to obtain customer feedback. Traditional media such as paper newspapers, of course, do give readers the option of sending a letter to the editor, but this is a relatively slow process, as the editorial board has to review the letter and decide if it is appropriate for publication. On the other hand, social media is participative and open, as participants are able to instantly share their views on brands, products, and services. Traditional media gave control of message to the marketer, whereas social media shifts the balance to the consumer (or citizen).
This powerful platform lets you listen, analyze and engage with social media mentions. It gathers every bit of information about your brand, products and solutions—even when your company handle is not explicitly used by the customer. It uses advanced text analytics to route social messages to the right people. It also enables advance management and closed loop handling. Clarabridge allows your company to monitor conversations happening about your business, even when your brand name is not mentioned. In addition to social media management with regard to conversations and trends, you’ll be able to have insights into the history of customer engagement. This ensures that the loop is closed on all customer inquiries and issues. You can also find trends in consumer issues to proactively address, and perhaps eliminate, in the future.
Likeable Local is a unique social tool thatany company can find useful. Driven by a passion for small business success, Likeable Local helps generate leads and referrals through its platform, as well as share content to social platforms. It also offers tools to boost your reach and manage your online reputation through built-in keywords so you can engage in the right conversations.
Social Analytics is a really handy and easy to use chrome extension which gives you social share stats on any page, to see how popular that page is on social media. This helps you get a good idea for what content on your site or your influencers/competitors site is getting shared on social media. Which can then be used to help you plan and optimise your future content to do better on social media.
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.
ZOHO Social: an SMSS that allows organizations to increase their social media presence by targeting appropriate audiences. It can measure revenue generated from social media marketing, giving users an idea how their social media campaigns are performing. The software allows for management of multiple social media platforms, monitor conversations for keywords and schedule unlimited number of posts all from a single solution. It seamlessly integrates with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others. Using ZOHO Social, businesses can publish needed social media content at times when consumers are most likely to view them. It has the capability to listen and connect with audience in real time. Market performance can be improved using the application, which offers insights through custom reporting tools. Information sharing among team members can also be accomplished, which guarantees the formulation of sound decisions.
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.
Humble-brag time: ShareThis offers social media follow buttons and social media share buttons to help you grow your followers and expand your reach by making it easy for your readers to follow your social profiles and share your content. That’s not all; ShareThis also offers tools for GDPR compliance, social A/B testing, email list building, and more.

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.

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.

Socialinsider. A social media analytics tool that analyzes the social media strategies of your competitors, Socialinsider enables you to better understand your rival’s operations so you can beat them at their own game, from content published to which ones are boosted the most. It covers popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. With its advanced machine learning algorithms, this solution competently handles all the grunt work in data collection, automatically delivering insights on a silver platter.
Unplanned content is an 'in the moment' idea, "a spontaneous, tactical reaction." (Cramer, 2014, p. 6). The content could be trending and not have the time to take the planned content route. The unplanned content is posted sporadically and is not calendar/date/time arranged (Deshpande, 2014).[93][94] Issues with unplanned content revolve around legal issues and whether the message being sent out represents the business/brand accordingly. If a company sends out a Tweet or Facebook message too hurriedly, the company may unintentionally use insensitive language or messaging that could alienate some consumers. For example, celebrity chef Paula Deen was criticized after she made a social media post commenting about HIV-AIDS and South Africa; her message was deemed to be offensive by many observers. The main difference between planned and unplanned is the time to approve the content. Unplanned content must still be approved by marketing managers, but in a much more rapid manner e.g. 1–2 hours or less. Sectors may miss errors because of being hurried. When using unplanned content Brito (2013) says, "be prepared to be reactive and respond to issues when they arise."[92] Brito (2013) writes about having a, "crisis escalation plan", because, "It will happen". The plan involves breaking down the issue into topics and classifying the issue into groups. Colour coding the potential risk "identify and flag potential risks" also helps to organise an issue. The problem can then be handled by the correct team and dissolved more effectively rather than any person at hand trying to solve the situation.[92]
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…
When you first sign up for this management tool, it can seem a bit overwhelming. There are tabs and instructions everywhere. You’re given insight right away into certain statistics you don’t usually get with other tools. However, Sprout Social is different from the rest, because it focuses on the idea that communication and engagement between businesses and customers should be better and more open.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace etc. have all influenced the buzz of word of mouth marketing. In 1999, Misner said that word-of mouth marketing is, "the world's most effective, yet least understood marketing strategy" (Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels, 2009, p. 3).[84] Through the influence of opinion leaders, the increased online "buzz" of "word-of-mouth" marketing that a product, service or companies are experiencing is due to the rise in use of social media and smartphones. Businesses and marketers have noticed that, "a persons behaviour is influenced by many small groups" (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). These small groups rotate around social networking accounts that are run by influential people (opinion leaders or "thought leaders") who have followers of groups. The types of groups (followers) are called:[85] reference groups (people who know each other either face-to-face or have an indirect influence on a persons attitude or behaviour); membership groups (a person has a direct influence on a person's attitude or behaviour); and aspirational groups (groups which an individual wishes to belong to).


As part of your social media management, your business should routinely check for comments or messages across your social platforms. Think carefully before replying as the response will often be public. Don’t have time to do this? Our specialists at LYFE Marketing monitor accounts every single day, and as a best practice they always reply to followers within 24 hours.
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.

And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.

Social media is rapidly becoming a resource for customer care. Gone are the days when customers would wait in a long line with the hope of resolution or were willing to stay on hold for extended periods of time until they could be helped. On social media, they know that the world is watching. Customers know that brands are likely to quickly resolve their issues if they publicly ask for assistance. For many businesses, this can pose issues since they most likely rely on a marketing team to run their social media management initiatives.
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
“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.”

Some of the measurables related to generating these 25 new customers would be conversion rate, traffic generated via the campaign, and click-through-rate. These metrics would be important to this specific campaign because they all relate to our goal (generating 25 new customers) and help us to forecast our performance, as well as measure against industry standards and competitors.
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