It's worth noting here that even armed with all the sophisticated technology offered in this roundup, there is no substitute for organic and genuinely interesting content on your company's social media channels. You can have the most technically sound social media strategy, but it's still up to you to create something your audience will want to follow and engage with. The best of these tools automate a lot of the hard work that your customers will never see (after all, the best social media appears effortless). It's just important to temper your expectations on what these platforms actually do before investing in any of them. Ultimately, you'll have to consider your brand's personality and tone for yourself.
3. Join the conversion whether that be through Twitter chats or trending hashtags. Stay on top of your industry and contribute insightful thoughts and information to build your partnerships, connect with new leads, and expand your reach. Make your influencers like you by constantly flattering them; Like their content, retweet their updates, and comment on their posts.
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.
James is an Ecommerce consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, an E-commerce and Digital Marketing consultancy helping retailers develop, execute and evolve E-commerce strategies and optimise their digital channel. With a background as a Head of E-commerce and also agency side as Head of Client Development, he has experienced life on both sides of the fence. He has helped companies like A&N Media, Sweaty Betty and Smythson to manage RFP/ITT proposals. and been lead consultant on high profile projects for Econsultancy, Salmon and Greenwich Consulting. He is a guest blogger for Econsultancy, for whom he also writes best practice guides, regularly contributes to industry events and co-hosts #ecomchat, a weekly Twitter chat for e-commerce knowledge sharing. For e-commerce advice and support, connect with James on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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.
The two most common types of social marketing spend come in the form of advertising and labor. Labor means, “Who are we going to hire to carry out our campaigns and tactics (whether that’s an employee, contractor, or agency) and how many hours of work a month are they going to be expected to work on this strategy?” Answering those two questions will help you determine the labor piece of your budget.

Digital marketing encompasses many moving pieces that work together to generate interest, nurture leads, and close sales. However, it’s important that you know the ins and outs of each digital marketing tactic and how they can help your business if you want to get the most out of your marketing budget. Let’s start with the most common question – what is social media management?
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.
TipTop Search is a Twitter-based search engine that helps you discover the best and most current advice, opinions, answers for any search, and also real people to directly engage and share experiences with. A search on any topic reveals people’s emotions and experiences about it, as well as other concepts that they are discussing in connection with the original search.
Facebook pages are far more detailed than Twitter accounts. They allow a product to provide videos, photos, and longer descriptions, and testimonials as other followers can comment on the product pages for others to see. Facebook can link back to the product's Twitter page as well as send out event reminders. As of May 2015, 93% of businesses marketers use Facebook to promote their brand.[43] A study from 2011 attributed 84% of "engagement" or clicks to Likes that link back to Facebook advertising.[44] By 2014, Facebook had restricted the content published from businesses' and brands' pages. Adjustments in Facebook algorithms have reduced the audience for non-paying business pages (that have at least 500,000 "Likes") from 16% in 2012 down to 2% in February 2014.[45] [46][47]
Great Social Content — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.
Now, look at social media through the same lens. Social media spending in the U.S. alone is expected to increase to more than $17 billion in 2019. A dizzily impressive figure, no doubt, but that kind of budget makes sense when you look at just how important social is to the way companies engage with their audiences, amplify their content marketing, and measure their successes. In fact, “The State of Digital Media” found that 66 percent of publication editors determine content success based on the number of social shares each piece yields.

Monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules to share with clients and colleagues. Track brand sentiment, follower growth, plus incorporate Facebook Insights and Google analytics. Draft and schedule messages to send at a time your audience is most likely to be online. HootSuite has the dashboard for your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android.
This portion of research should be understandable and intuitive to you since your analyzing the business you work for. But if not, here are some ways that you can collect information on the structure of your business and its disposition toward social media, your business’ culture and its beliefs about social media, as well as the social media resources available at your business’ disposal.
It can be hard to get visibility as organic reach continues to decrease, and the one way we’ve found to combat this is to post more often. My favorite trick is to re-post content multiple times—for blog posts, I’ll share it on Twitter up to 5 times on the day it is published. Just make sure you’re not being spammy on Facebook! People hate that. Truly, I’ve seen the comments…

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.
This is a question we often get asked at LYFE Marketing, which is great, because we have the answer!  You’re probably familiar with social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. But are you may familiar with how these channels are used to grow your small business? Identifying what is social media management to your business plays an important role in using social channels effectively to grow your reach and influence conversions.
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.
Yes, your content will tell the story of your brand as a whole, but why not share with your audience what's happening with your company in real time? Facebook and Instagram, among other platforms, have created their own live streaming features, something that is not yet being used to its full potential by big brands. To compete with them, start using these live features before they really catch on. Live stories are a great way to:

eClincher is a powerful and intuitive social media and online management platform, serving businesses of all sizes, agencies and professionals. eClincher offers advanced publishing, including publishing automation with queues and RSS feeds, one inbox to manage engagement and interactions, live social feeds, keywords monitoring, suggested content, influencers discovery, analytics dashboard and custom reports. Supports: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram business, LinkedIn, Google+, Google My Business, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogger..and many more cool integrations. START YOUR FREE TRIAL today (payment information is not required).
Social Mention is a social media search and social media analytics tool that aggregates user generated content into a single stream of information. Track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites.

More than three billion people in the world are active on the Internet. Over the years, the Internet has continually gained more and more users, jumping from 738 million in 2000 all the way to 3.2 billion in 2015.[9] Roughly 81% of the current population in the United States has some type of social media profile that they engage with frequently.[10] Mobile phone usage is beneficial for social media marketing because mobile phones have social networking capabilities, allowing individuals immediate web browsing and access to social networking sites. Mobile phones have grown at a rapid rate, fundamentally altering the path-to-purchase process by allowing consumers to easily obtain pricing and product information in real time[11] and allowing companies to constantly remind and update their followers. Many companies are now putting QR (Quick Response) codes along with products for individuals to access the company website or online services with their smart phones. Retailers use QR codes to facilitate consumer interaction with brands by linking the code to brand websites, promotions, product information, or any other mobile-enabled content. In addition, Real-time bidding use in the mobile advertising industry is high and rising because of its value for on-the-go web browsing. In 2012, Nexage, a provider of real time bidding in mobile advertising, reported a 37% increase in revenue each month. Adfonic, another mobile advertisement publishing platform, reported an increase of 22 billion ad requests that same year.[12]

Another relevant question that businesses often pose is why use social media management software. Any organization utilizing social media platforms cannot be without SMMS in order to stay relevant. It has been found out that organizations that use social media are the ones that gain more brand loyalty. It is a way by which businesses nurture relationship with consumers, both existing and prospective.
Social media management tools centralize your social efforts and publishing in a single console or dashboard. These platforms let you add rich multimedia to posts, tailor messages to different networks and audiences, and toggle social channels on and off. These platforms take much of the manual effort out of managing different social profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and more. Combined with the analytics you're gathering on engagement, followers, posts, and a host of other metrics, these platforms help you get a handle on your social media efforts. They also help you feed all of the data you're gathering back into your online marketing, customer strategy, and other areas of your business. To one degree or another, social media touches just about everything.
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.
Buffer Reply turns your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram engagement, comments, and questions into threaded conversations, all neatly organized in one inbox for your team to tackle, together. Our refined brand monitoring filters let you bypass the chatter of social media, so your team can focus on the conversations that matter most to your brand. Reply puts critical customer service data at your fingertips with robust reports, so you can make the best decisions for your team.
Another example would be for increasing brand awareness. You can set up a brand monitoring tool (like the one we use in SEMrush) and begin to monitor specific mentions of your brand on Twitter. From here, you can set a baseline number of brand mentions and monitor progress from that baseline. If mentions of your specific brand are growing, then so is your brand awareness.
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.

For years I’ve been using Hootsuite as a social media dashboard and monitoring platform and Buffer in conjunction with IFTTT as scheduling and content curation tools. But I thought it would be cooler if you could do most of these things in just one place, and make it all social, so I built DashBurst as a content sharing platform and social media management tool. You’re all invited to check it out here and I would love to know what you think about it in the comments below!


Hootsuite has a special place in my heart, likely because it’s the first social media management platform that I used at my very first job as a Marketing Assistant. At the time, I was managing the company’s social strategy before social advertising had really taken off. I can still remember the hours upon hours I would spend putting together a posting content calendar and setting reminders for myself to tweet at certain times. This was until I discovered Hootsuite and my life as a frantic Twitter bird instantly changed.
It's worth noting here that even armed with all the sophisticated technology offered in this roundup, there is no substitute for organic and genuinely interesting content on your company's social media channels. You can have the most technically sound social media strategy, but it's still up to you to create something your audience will want to follow and engage with. The best of these tools automate a lot of the hard work that your customers will never see (after all, the best social media appears effortless). It's just important to temper your expectations on what these platforms actually do before investing in any of them. Ultimately, you'll have to consider your brand's personality and tone for yourself.
Yelp consists of a comprehensive online index of business profiles. Businesses are searchable by location, similar to Yellow Pages. The website is operational in seven different countries, including the United States and Canada. Business account holders are allowed to create, share, and edit business profiles. They may post information such as the business location, contact information, pictures, and service information. The website further allows individuals to write, post reviews about businesses, and rate them on a five-point scale. Messaging and talk features are further made available for general members of the website, serving to guide thoughts and opinions.[56]
As with Facebook, photo based contests and suggestions open up more dialog between a brand and its followers. Take a leaf from the book of online art retailer Society6 who invite users to share images of their recently purchased products in action with the hashtag #shareyoursociety6. Not only does it give users a chance to share your spotlight, it shows off your product in an authentic way,

Facebook insights provides a similar functionality to Twitter analytics, this gives you stats on your pages post reach, engagement and likes. This helps you measure your progress and find out what is working well. You can also add your competitor’s pages to your ‘Pages to Watch’ list, so you can discover their engagement stats as well. This means if you see a competitor performing particularly well it might be worth seeing how they are using Facebook. Equally if a big player in your industry is doing rather badly (it happens more than you might think), then it might be worth seeing what there doing wrong so as not to fall foul of it as well.
For example, say you want to increase online sales. Your social media strategy would be to promote more of your business’ products on your social platforms, whether that be in the app itself (Insta, Facebook, etc.) or through a link that redirects people back to your site. It’s at this point where you would also decide if your promotion efforts on social media will be paid, organic, or a combination of both.
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.
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.
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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.
What do you want to get out of your social Web participation? Why are you doing it? Are you trying to generate direct sales? Are you trying to offer a form of customer service? Do you want to build relationships with customers and boost loyalty? Your answers to these questions greatly affect the type of content you publish and the activities you participate in on the social Web.
A number of the top social media management tools will offer integration with popular CRM systems. Zoho Social, unsurprisingly, integrates with the company's CRM offering. In that particular scenario, Zoho Social will record every person who has engaged with your company on a connected social media channel. From there, you can add them to Zoho CRM as a lead from within the software.
Social managers must schedule posts, respond to questions, manage communities and participate in conversations. Leading companies combine their social customer service effort with their social media management programs. Social customer service includes routing customer service issues to the right department, updating customers about outstanding issues and closing the loop with the customer by seeing issues through to resolution.
What type of messaging? If we’re trying to generate clicks, then our message would be something simple like, “See the highest-quality heavy machinery you’ve seen in your life” or something like that. The appeal would likely be to the quality of our machines (because our audience probably cares more about that then price) and our CTA is to see our machines by clicking.
Platform integration:  SMMS should enable users to manage their most prized social media platforms in a single solution. This is important due to the fact that there are many social media solutions that businesses use. Managing these tools becomes an easy task with the use of SMMS. Integrations enable users to manage social networks from a single dashboard.
SocialFlow's algorithms analyze user behavior and then optimize each post based on real-time data, in order to predict the best times for publishing content to capture peak attention from target audiences. They release posts when timing, relevance and audience are optimized, and also offer a full suite of services that aim to expand audience engagement and increase revenue per customer.   - Ryan Pezzotti, Knowzo.com
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.
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 the enterprise, more advanced SMMS tools allow an organization to help build social media influence by monitoring online conversations for brand awareness and sentiment. At this level, a social media manager can not only see what content potential customers are clicking on, commenting on, liking, retweeting, replying to, etc., but he can also integrate that data with existing business intelligence (BI) and marketing programs and ensure the organization is meeting vertical-specific compliance regulations. Most enterprise SMMS tools also provide templates to provide enterprise employees with a standardized way to create social content and a way to track the effectiveness of specific social media lead generation campaigns.
Instagram has proven itself a powerful platform for marketers to reach their customers and prospects through sharing pictures and brief messages. According to a study by Simply Measured, 71% of the world's largest brands are now using Instagram as a marketing channel.[64] For companies, Instagram can be used as a tool to connect and communicate with current and potential customers. The company can present a more personal picture of their brand, and by doing so the company conveys a better and true picture of itself. The idea of Instagram pictures lies on on-the-go, a sense that the event is happening right now, and that adds another layer to the personal and accurate picture of the company. In fact, Thomas Rankin, co-founder and CEO of the program Dash Hudson, stated that when he approves a blogger's Instagram post before it is posted on the behalf of a brand his company represents, his only negative feedback is if it looks too posed. "It's not an editorial photo," he explained, "We're not trying to be a magazine. We're trying to create a moment."[63] Another option Instagram provides the opportunity for companies to reflect a true picture of the brandfrom the perspective of the customers, for instance, using the user-generated contents thought the hashtags encouragement.[65] Other than the filters and hashtags functions, the Instagram's 15-second videos and the recently added ability to send private messages between users have opened new opportunities for brands to connect with customers in a new extent, further promoting effective marketing on Instagram.

Because social is so critical to building strong brands, it’s important for your team to maximize how they use it (and what tools they use) to make that job easier. There are plenty of free social media tools out there to help your team save time and money. To stay current on those options, check out the updated list below of eight free tools that can simplify your team’s social media marketing:

Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using snapchat every single day.[66] It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.[66]
Taking care of your social media presence is just as important as providing brilliant content for your audience. Not only do you inform them about things they might find useful, but you can also interact with them and receive valuable feedback and ideas for topics, connect with other people in your field and establish collaboration, and reach out to influencers, among other things. 
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