In my post last year covering social media strategy suggestions for 2014, I stressed tactics such as creating a social media marketing plan and sticking to it, going above and beyond in social media customer service, embracing mishaps, and so on. Let me assure you, these strategies are all still critical, but with the New Year upon us I have some new and improved tips up my sleeve to add to your social media marketing plan for 2015.
Aim to produce and share content that educates, informs, entertains, or inspires. Try to mix things up a little with a balance of the four types of content and keep overtly promotional posts to a minimum. Outdoor outfitter REI has a Force of Nature campaign that highlights women in the outdoors. The content relates to REI’s mission and aims to inspire, not directly sell.

Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar. The social media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow! Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB social media customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press.
Whether you are a user handling multiple accounts, or an agency that handles hundreds, HootSuite makes it easy. It’s easy to add accounts, easy to schedule posts across all major platforms and easy to add account managers. In addition, the company also has a robust training platform that teaches not just the tools, but how to think about social marketing as a whole. As a package, the best out there for the price.   - David Kley, Web Design and Company

To drive traffic, make your main strategy creating awesome content for your target audience. The more specific and relevant your content is to your target audience, the better your conversion rates from social referrals will be. For example, this Host Analytics ad promotes a white paper on Microsoft Excel, a topic that appeals to the target audience of finance professionals.
Blog Tools, create your own Trend Graphs with the IceRocket Trend Tool. Enter keywords to see mentions trended over time. Trend Tool, enter items to see mentions trended over time. Enter up to five queries under Trend Terms. Type in the label you would like associated with each query under Display Labels. Search tool for blogs, web, Twitter, Facebook, news, and images.

With the introduction of social media, we have a powerful tool at our fingertips that can share pieces of content all over the world in seconds. With this being said, social media marketing increases your brand’s awareness. Many small business owners struggle with implementing an effective social media marketing strategy that drives sales (which is what you’re going to learn in this blog).

Have you practiced social listening? Social media allows you to gain valuable insights about your customers’ interests and behaviors. Check out reviews or comments to see what people think of your business. Look at engagement rates on each social media post to measure what types of content generates the most interest. Track conversions through your purchase or lead ads to find out what type of audience benefits the best from your product or service.
The increased need for businesses to engage their clients in social media platforms is a trend that cannot be ignored. The business environment has tremendously changed, and now more and more people are finding themselves searching for, or sharing information on social media platforms.  If the businesses are to grow their brands and maintain relevance in the market, there is a need for them to keep an active social media platform. The reason for this is because many people are now on social media platforms like Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram and many others. Getting to this audience and being able to position the company’s brand well, businesses need a tool that will help them perform these tasks. Social media marketing is one of the new trends in the market, and companies need to embrace it and manage it well for positive results. Social media management software is a good way of handling social media platforms for business with much ease and accuracy.
Social networking sites can have a large impact on the outcome of events. In 2010, a Facebook campaign surfaced in the form of a petition. Users virtually signed a petition asking NBC Universal to have actress Betty White host Saturday Night Live.[23][24] Once signed, users forwarded the petition to all of their followers. The petition went viral and on May 8, 2010, Betty White hosted SNL.
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.
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.
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. 

Mix up your official tweets about specials, discounts, and news with fun, brand-building tweets . Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.
Not only do I love the name of SocialOomph, I’m quite impressed by the wide range of features they offer for multiple platforms – ranging from the typical features like scheduling and analytics, to some interesting ones like keeping your DM Twitter Inbox clean to help with increasing followers. They definitely offer a wide variety of unique features for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest management, as well as the ability to manage and schedule blog posts.
When it comes to using social media marketing to build your business, the worst action is no action, and your biggest problem is being invisible, not being talked about negatively. As long as you're part of the conversation on the social Web, you can hear what's being said about you and massage negative perceptions about your business. But if no one is talking about you, you have no chance for growth. That means you need to get involved on the social Web as soon as possible, not only to capitalize on the opportunities that it presents to your business, but also to develop and protect your reputation.
Social Media Marketing Involves Risk: Social media marketing entails risks that could backfire on any brand. Failure to check or update social media accounts could result in customer discontent and subsequently negative comments about a product or service. In cases such as this, a company will need somebody to monitor accounts who can provide immediate response to prevent such events from happening again. Bad comments do not just damage businesses they do so permanently.
PromoRepublic is the only social media marketing platform with 100,000 post ideas for small businesses and marketers. Advanced collaboration features and white-label options make it practical for agencies and freelancers. Additionally, the platform allows you to monitor mentions on social and run intelligent ads on Facebook and Instagram. PromoRepublic is used by more than 12,000 businesses, marketers and agencies worldwide.
Instagram lets you post images and videos, which are discoverable through hashtags. But there’s also Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, which lets you put out photos and videos with a 24-hour lifespan or share moments in real-time. This gives you the unique option of keeping your Instagram feed consistent and clean, while using Stories to test out ideas and share behind-the-scenes glimpses that have a more casual and personal production quality to them.
In-Depth Analytics: Many SMMS are capable of providing users with metrics on social media accounts, data from which can be integrated into a company’s social media and brand strategies. Such metrics can also be used to link social media strategies to a business’ website. They can keep tabs on how marketing campaigns are doing, which can provide valuable insights into a company’s social media presence.

Buffer auto-generates a text post with the link of the page you are on when you use this, but you can easily edit this to say whatever you think best, and add an image. Because of a change to Facebook’s rules on 3rd party app posting, buffer no-longer auto-generates the text when sharing to Facebook, you have to add this yourself. I actually think this is an advantage, as it is good to be able to customise text in Facebook posts, as it allows you to use more characters than Twitter and means you could use a less business-like tone than you might on LinkedIn.
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.
Use the data you gather via social listening to analyze how your customers and prospects feel and what they need from your business. Your goal should be to make sure you have confidence in the data you are looking at, so you’ll need a comprehensive and extendable social analytics effort to ensure you can keep up with the latest demands. Once you understand the data, you have the opportunity to share the findings broadly across the business. We call this “operationalizing the data.” 
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