When my mother complains about social media, she references her friends that only post to brag. “Tommy got into Harvard AND Yale! Such a hard choice!” *Insert picture of the son as the homecoming king*. But, being the charmer she is, she will congratulate them (with a “xoxo”) and as a result, they will like and share and comment on her posts as well. Be my mother! What goes around, comes back around: engage with others and they will engage with you. Though this sounds silly, Larry swears by it.
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.

The nature of each channel and the engagement preferences of its core community will play a major role in deciding whether your content is a good fit. For example, your audience might be open to connecting with your brand in a Twitter chat but prefers to reserve Snapchat for conversations with personal friends. Long-form content might play well on LinkedIn or Medium, while memes and captioned photos on these platforms would be inappropriate. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each channel and its corresponding community before joining the conversation.
Who is going to create your content? Who is going to maintain your social media accounts? Who is going to respond to questions and be the face of your business online? Do you have the technical ability in-house to join the online conversation? If not, are you willing to learn? Can you or someone who works with you write well? You need to be sure you have the necessary people in place to execute a social media marketing plan before you start.
I know, I know there are a lot of options here! Luckily, they all have free plans so you can experiment and find the platform that works best for your social strategy. At the end of the day you can’t go wrong moving onto a social media management tool – it will likely save you time, grow your social presence, and possibly even make you some money! 
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”.
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.”

Social media has an integral part in the business landscape. With 3.2 billion people using social media around the world, and 11 new users every second, it’s safe to say the fad has turned into a global standard. Social media management tools and services can help you reach this huge audience and make running a social media campaign decidedly simpler.

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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