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.
Everything you publish with Edgar is stored in an organized library and arranged into categories, like “Quotes,” “Blog Posts,” or “Cat Puns.” To save even more time, you can add content in bulk or connect him to an RSS feed. Create a schedule that tells Edgar when to publish from each category. That way, he always knows what types of status updates to post at which times, sharing the right variety of content automatically. When Edgar makes his way through all the new content in a category, he’ll simply start recycling older updates. He’ll never run out of things to say, and your posts will be seen by a new audience, bringing more traffic your way! Your library is organized into categories, and your schedule is built around the types of things you want to post. Once you define your categories and schedule, Edgar makes sure your queue is never empty – ever. When he’s published everything from a category, Edgar re-shares older updates that people might have missed the first time around – and every time he does, you can get brand new traffic.
Instagram works on a similar premise, in that this highly visual, user-centric app encourages participation and engagement. Here, user-focused images are king, so there’s possibly no better platform to shine the spotlight on your customers and how they’re using your product, or on your own employees doing work behind-the-scenes than through Instagram.
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.[20] 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.[21]
You’ve got a lot of room to make a great first impression. Specifically, 851 by 315 pixels. Your cover photo is a great way to introduce yourself.  Share your passion for business by incorporating unique photos, a collage, directional cues like arrows pointing to the most important areas of focus on your Facebook page (like your store or offer) and more.
I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.
Buffer is wonderfully simple and effective at its primary purpose; scheduling posts to go out to multiple social accounts. This is great for saving you time and to allow you to post when your audience is online. However the anaylitics that come with the free version are very basic so are not brilliant for optimising your posts. I would thus recommend using other tools to gather data on the success of your posts if you don’t want to pay for Buffer’s “Awesome plan”.
Google Analytics is the one tool that manages our social media. Why? Because the data we gather from analytics focuses our efforts on the social media platforms that are driving traffic and conversions. Did we receive a ton of traffic from Reddit in the last month that converted to subscribers? Did we have a negative ROI on our Facebook ad spend? Google Analytics provides these answers and more.   - Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Social networking websites allow individuals, businesses and other organizations to interact with one another and build relationships and communities online. When companies join these social channels, consumers can interact with them directly.[3] That interaction can be more personal to users than traditional methods of outbound marketing and advertising.[4] Social networking sites act as word of mouth or more precisely, e-word of mouth. The Internet's ability to reach billions across the globe has given online word of mouth a powerful voice and far reach. The ability to rapidly change buying patterns and product or service acquisition and activity to a growing number of consumers is defined as an influence network.[5] Social networking sites and blogs allow followers to "retweet" or "repost" comments made by others about a product being promoted, which occurs quite frequently on some social media sites.[6] By repeating the message, the user's connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product/company.[4]
Social media has forever changed the way businesses and customers communicate. Your customers, no matter what business you own, are on social media – that is a fact. In 2017, 81% of U.S. Americans had a social media profile and that number is growing rapidly already in 2018. Your customers are here and you need to be too! Interacting with customers online is how brands retain their customers and capture new ones. If you’re not interacting and engaging with your customers on social media, your competitor will!

If you want to know what’s happening with your brand’s social networking sites you need social media monitoring tools. Before you reach for your wallet and start to spend money try out some of the free social media monitoring services. This way you will get an understanding of what is available and if you need any paid services to monitor social media.

Buffer is a smart and easy way to schedule content across social media. Think of Buffer like a virtual queue you can use to fill with content and then stagger posting times throughout the day. This lets you keep to a consistent social media schedule all week long without worrying about micro-managing the delivery times. The Bufferapp also provides analytics about the engagement and reach of your posts.
Small businesses also use social networking sites to develop their own market research on new products and services. By encouraging their customers to give feedback on new product ideas, businesses can gain valuable insights on whether a product may be accepted by their target market enough to merit full production, or not. In addition, customers will feel the company has engaged them in the process of co-creation—the process in which the business uses customer feedback to create or modify a product or service the filling a need of the target market. Such feedback can present in various forms, such as surveys, contests, polls, etc.
There is hardly a small business owner who is not obsessed with this term: marketing strategy. That’s the main aspect that makes the difference between successful entrepreneurs and those that fail. It’s strange how everyone cares about discovering the perfect marketing techniques for their business, but we don’t bother realizing what marketing strategy really means. […]
Your social media content calendar lists the dates and times at which you will publish types of content on each channel. It’s the perfect place to plan all of your social media activities—from images and link sharing to blog posts and videos. It includes both your day-to-day posting and content for social media campaigns. Your calendar ensures your posts are spaced out appropriately and published at the optimal times.
The 2008 US presidential campaign had a huge presence on social networking sites. Barack Obama, a virtually unknown Democratic candidate, utilized 15 different social media websites to form relationships with the millions of American citizens who utilize those networks. His social networking profile pages were constantly being updated and interacting with followers. By the end of his campaign, Obama had 5 million social media network supporters (2.5 million on Facebook and 115,000 on Twitter). The use of social networking sites in his marketing campaign gave Barack Obama's campaign access to e-mail addresses, as posted on social network profile pages. This allowed the Democratic Party to launch e-mail campaigns asking for votes and campaign donations.[25]
A tool's analytics capability is the overarching factor that will determine its usefulness because it takes all of the types of information mentioned earlier, turns them into data, and then displays them visually in compelling formats. A tool can gather all sorts of data but how the analytics piece of the tool disseminates the intelligence—and delivers the insights—is key to whether or not it can be used to accomplish planned business objectives. These objectives can include driving marketing campaigns, forecasting possible brand crises, and revealing new markets.

Oracle Social Cloud’s intuitive analytics tools empower marketers to discover, analyze and respond across paid, owned and earned social channels to measure the impact of their data-driven campaigns. A unified listening, analytics and engagement application helps marketers measure social success and connect social analytics with business KPI. The Social Cloud platform offers an API layer to deliver social data and functionality into existing technology stacks including Oracle Customer Experience Cloud and Marketing Cloud. Oracle Social Cloud includes the following social solutions: Application: • Listen: Uncover actionable insights from social or unstructured 1st party data through proprietary 3-tiered listening technology. Latent semantic analysis delivers easy refinement and auto-theming while natural language processing drives sentiment and top terms for business users. • Analyze: Customizable dashboards empower marketers to discover, analyze and report to measure campaign impact across paid, owned and earned social data. • Engage: Read, route and respond to social messages across owned and earned channels in one customizable engagement console. Platform: • A truly open platform with extensible APIs offers social data and social functionality across CX, OMC and 3rd party systems. Customers and partners leverage APIs to bring the power of social into their existing technology investments.
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.

We are humans, so mistakes are unavoidable. This is especially true when it comes to the fast-paced world of social media. Rather than flat out ignoring these hiccups, embrace them. I am not saying that when a comma is missed in a tweet you should announce this small grammar error, but DO NOT delete the tweet. It has already been published, and followers are more likely to notice if you are continuously re-posting. For larger mistakes, like a product error or multiple overcharges to customer credit cards, you’ll want to proactively respond in an apologetic, actionable manner, and send out content from your social accounts apologizing and addressing how the error is being handled so customers are aware.
Meet Edgar took the digital world by storm when it was one of the first social media management tools to popularize “evergreen sharing”. They have certainly evolved since their beginnings as a simple library of repurposed content and they deserve to rank in our list of tools. However, the other tools have caught up and Edgar’s primary point of difference is fading.
Social media marketing can be a time sink for those who are wasting too much time on it — with little returns. Time is critical for a social media marketer, so by creating and implementing the right strategy will let you save a lot of it. Which you can utilize on things that actually matter, such as taking your marketing and business to the next level.
Converse directly with your followers: Literally have a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content. The insurance company Allstate created a separate Twitter account for their popular advertising character, Mayhem, who continously “captures the life events you just can’t seem to avoid.” Almost everything they post is geared towards talking to their fans, whether that be retweeting, asking questions, running a contest, or even sending #MayhemValentine’s to followers. This Twitter account also follows my point above regarding using humor and personality in each post. Recently they ran an overwhelming successful social media campaign #MayhemSale, in which Mayhem possed as a burglar selling all his best burgles online. It sounds sort of bizzare, but it worked and created an insane amount of buzz. Just look at the one tweet below with 4.6K retweets.
Beyond its ability to schedule posts for all of your social media channels, Buffer boasts an in-platform image creator, video and gif uploader, analytics reports exporting,  and a handy browser extension to make access to all of the above simple and quick. It supports all major social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest).

To further engage your customers, run cross-channel campaigns across all your social media channels. Keep in mind that these campaigns are run by virtually every company today, so you will need to give yourself an edge to help you stand out from the crowd. Add an emotional component to your social media campaigns so that your audience can relate to your cause. An efficient cross-channel social media campaign will:
Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.

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.”
Team tracking, collaboration, and oversight are also crucial elements in running a well-oiled social marketing team as a business grows. All of the tools reviewed support team activity such as response assignment and team member tracking, depending on the tier. But the marketing team features in Sysomos Expion, enhanced team collaboration in Sprout Social, and the well-integrated Discuss tab of Zoho Social stand out in particular, along with a nifty new Slack integration in Brand24. All of the products reviewed have geographic location, demographic, gender, and age stats as well, although the higher-end enterprise social analytics platforms (such as Synthesio and Sysomos) go beyond those basic demographics with deeper community analysis and return-on-investment (ROI) metrics.
Another highlight from the Ford example above feeds right back into the positivity that thrives on Google+. People on nearly every social platform enjoy reading positive stories about corporate responsibility and positive change. What cause could your company join and make a difference through? How can you use your product to change lives? Those are the things that resonate with Google+ users.

We also try to look for content that will last, not just trend for a week and disappear. If you are able to produce content or develop insights that will stay relevant in the industry, these are gold! For us, social media content does really well on—surprise!—social media. This tweet was posted in mid-June and I’m still seeing it being retweeted even now.
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.
Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long. Get deeper analytics than if you just post to social networks directly. With Buffer you can manage:
Social media monitoring and listening: Any social media strategy without this capability will not bear fruit. This feature allows users to know what consumers are saying about their brand, their industry and even the competition. This is done through monitoring, which involves keeping tabs on existing conversations. In doing so, companies can join conversations that can benefit their marketing efforts.

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I love Twitter; it’s probably my favorite social platform. I’m not as active on Instagram, but I know a ton of people swear by it. This is why SocialRank is so great. It helps manage your followers on both platforms — Twitter and Instagram — so you’re not just accruing followers, but you’re also getting to know who they are and what they like. Honestly, it’s great to have a ton of followers, but what good is it if you don’t try and get to know most of them? After all, they’re your audience — if you care about appealing to them, SocialRank is a solid social tool to add to your toolbox.


Telling a powerful story: A whole story? Huh? But you’re only allotted so many characters on social channels. Yes, yes, I know, but there are ways to pull powerful quotes and engaging tidbits from a story that will leave the reader wanting more, therefore directing them to your website. Charity:water does this phenomenally well. Yes, they are already a charitable company with the mission of providing clean drinking water to every person in the world, but as a non-profit organization they’ve been incredibly successful continuously trumping their fundraising goals, and I’d be willing to bet a big part of this is due to how gracefully they tell their story to social followers. Their content has a way of spurring their audience to get involved and contribute to the organization. When I first learned about charity:water at Hubspot’s Inbound conference in 2013, their heart-wrenching video spurred me to create a birthday campaign in which you ask your friends and family to donate rather than give presents. One recent campaign that they’ve shared throughout all of their social channels is called “Why I give” in which individuals who donate share their stories. This adds the human element, tells a story, and even has the power of spurring followers to action. Take a look at the post below featuring a “well-known, well-loved charity:water supporter,” Shakil Kan. The quote featured tells a mini-story and is inspirational, intriguing the viewer to click.

IFTTT is an acronym for If This Then That and the whole idea of the site is that it allows you to create custom triggers to automate your social media workflows. With IFTTT you will be creating what they refer to as website. Essentially a set of instructions for what you want to happen. Now recipe refer to as source what they refer to as channel followed by a trigger and trigger is what has to happen before the tool moves on. So you might create something as if I post to Facebook then post the same update to Twitter.

Unified helps marketers make informed and impactful decisions with the industry’s only business intelligence platform purposely designed for social advertising. With experience collecting and enriching over $4 billion dollars of social investment data, Unified is passionate about providing Fortune 2000 brands and agencies greater transparency into their many teams, tools and strategies. The Unified Platform and service teams are specifically built to ensure data quality, optimize investments and answer critical business questions. Unified has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.
We already know from Larry that posts with emojis receive more attention. Similarly, when examining our tactics with images, we found that photos will generally receive more attention. This was further affirmed by Convince&Convert, who report that posts with pictures generate 150% more retweets. At WordStream, we analyzed posts on Twitter and Facebook and found that the most retweeted or liked posts featured images of real people--#PPCkid and images of our employees worked fairly well, but even memes featuring a real human work as well.
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.
Make a comprehensive list of the tools you need (e.g., social media monitoring, email marketing and CRM), services you’ll outsource (e.g., graphic design or video production) and any advertising you’ll purchase. Next to each, include the annual projected cost so you can have a high-level view of what you’re investing in and how it affects your marketing budget.
Canva is a graphic design program that makes creating professional graphics and presentations easy — no graphic designer experience required. With Canva, you can create a social media graphic (at any size or dimension) using your own images or any of the millions of themes, graphics, icons, and fonts in Canva’s arsenal. You can also save your creations if you want to make a recurring series using the same branding.

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?
We tested the core tasks critical to each platform's social media management and analytics features, with SMB and enterprise business value in mind. Such core tasks include how each tool gathers listening and mention data from the main social networks and other sources, and how creatively and effectively each tool transforms and presents the data with reporting and visualizations. We also tested how each tool configures and sends alerts, connects social data to tangible ROI, and does both competitive and community analysis on top of offering an intuitive home base for social publishing and content curation.

Monitoring and Listening Features: The software enables the company to track and monitor how their brand or business is doing in the social media platforms. The user will be able to identify any changes in their clients’ preferences, what people are saying about the company’s brand and even monitor the competition and also the industry. In whichever social media strategy a business decides to use, monitoring and listening will always be critical aspects that the user need to employ.
You can monitor and post to several popular networks including both Facebook personal profiles and business pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. And with its built-in custom analytics system, the ability to monitor selected keywords plus the option to conveniently schedule posts whenever you want (and do this all for free), HootSuite sets the bar high for competing social media management tools. Pro and enterprise plans are also available.
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.
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