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.


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 an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. We have a suite of products for publishing, engagement, analytics, and team collaboration (Publish, Reply, and Analyze). Our products are carefully considered and highly refined in order to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively. Buffer is a team of real people, aligned in common values. Being a Buffer customer should feel like you have a whole team of people cheering for you. We want to see you succeed on social!
Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to start generating engaging content.  Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts.  As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share?  Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.

The most complete solutions in this tier are Synthesio and Sysomos, our Editors' Choices for enterprises. They both give the most extensive deep-dive analytics using the most engaging data visualizations and reporting. Each listening metric Synthesio measures, be it mentions, engagement, sentiment, or influencer reach, has drill-down capabilities to generate a custom dashboard with post lists and graphs from any point in the UI. Crimson Hexagon offers a similarly robust experience, with the capacity for live social stream monitoring and the best interactive visualizations for keyword and hashtag data. Sysomos offers deep social listening power plus an added publishing and social marketing campaign management product called Sysomos Expeon. It's a significant added expense on top of the main Sysomos platform, but the ad campaign-specific ROI data and reporting it provides is unmatched.

Sendible is the leading social media management platform for agencies looking to manage social media more effectively for their clients. The Sendible platform brings all your social networks together into a centralized hub and is the easiest way to execute a winning social media strategy for multiple brands at scale. Positioned as a productivity tool for agencies, you can be certain that your team will save hours of time! With powerful social media engagement, monitoring, publishing, lead generation and reporting features, Sendible gives you all the tools to delight your clients every step of the way. Sendible's social media automation features help to simplify the process of driving interactions, growing a following and starting conversations on social media. The unified Priority Inbox is loved by brands and agencies alike, who are saving hours each day by consolidating the most important conversations from multiple sources into a single stream. With gorgeous social media reports that are designed to impress, you can deliver both meaningful and impressive-looking insights showcasing your progress on social media. With one of the most powerful social media content creators on the market, Sendible's sophisticated compose box helps you schedule your social media posts in bulk and at the optimal engagement times throughout the day. Sendible's advanced content suggestion algorithms automatically curate and recommend the best content on the web for your audience, guaranteed to drive engagement and growth.
In a nutshell, building a strong social media community is all about fostering engagement. The more relevant engagement within your community, the more valuable it becomes to users. You should also keep a close eye on which topics and content types (videos, memes, quotes, etc.) perform best and use that information to shape your community-building in the future.
But what happens if a BIG, truly embarrassing mistake is made? Personally, I love how Pamela Vaughan, a HubSpot employee, handled her baby bump mishap. Pamela accidently posted a picture of her growing pregnant belly to HubSpot’s company Twitter account, which has close to 350,000 followers. Instead of crawling into a hole of embarrassment, Pamela embraced her faux-pas and created this awesome blog post. The post has received a lot of love, with several shares and comments mostly showing respect for HubSpot’s human element – a key that makes them one of the most loved marketing companies out there.
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.
Most social media management teams have trouble tying ROI to social media. With Clarabridge, you’ll have the insights to fuel product innovation and make strategic business decisions. Why? Because your team will have access to a wealth of insights from customers at some of their most crucial touchpoints. For example, when customers are making a decision about a product, they very well may make an inquiry via social media. On the other hand, if they are experiencing issues, they will reach out via social media as well. With this information at the ready, your team will be able to have a keen understanding of what customers are looking for—valuable information that your business should be using to fuel innovation and strategic direction. Accessing and sharing this information between your social media management team and the C-Suite means that you’ll be able to tie ROI to your social media management efforts by tracking the customer’s journey from social media to sale acquisition.
Most social media management teams have trouble tying ROI to social media. With Clarabridge, you’ll have the insights to fuel product innovation and make strategic business decisions. Why? Because your team will have access to a wealth of insights from customers at some of their most crucial touchpoints. For example, when customers are making a decision about a product, they very well may make an inquiry via social media. On the other hand, if they are experiencing issues, they will reach out via social media as well. With this information at the ready, your team will be able to have a keen understanding of what customers are looking for—valuable information that your business should be using to fuel innovation and strategic direction. Accessing and sharing this information between your social media management team and the C-Suite means that you’ll be able to tie ROI to your social media management efforts by tracking the customer’s journey from social media to sale acquisition.
AgoraPulse: An SMMS designed to aid businesses in managing their social network profiles, AgoraPulse can enable enterprises to handle their social media accounts across many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others. The software offers ease of use and excellent customer support. To maintain businesses’ social media relations and establish new ones, AgoraPulse ensures that no tweet, message or comment goes unread. It also provides tools that enable users to collect statistics and reports that can be used to come up with effective social media campaigns, giving businesses an edge over competitors. Numerous tools embedded in the application include Facebook apps, analytics and those that allow content automation. Users receive notifications about comments, tweets and messages, all on inboxes provided by the app. This feature provides access to conversations and therefore, a chance to expand.

In a nutshell, building a strong social media community is all about fostering engagement. The more relevant engagement within your community, the more valuable it becomes to users. You should also keep a close eye on which topics and content types (videos, memes, quotes, etc.) perform best and use that information to shape your community-building in the future.
Share your passions with your community and let people know about your plans for the future. They’ll appreciate the transparency and you’ll increase your chances of positive engagement. To further encourage engagement, consider connecting your discussions to pop culture, current affairs, and (possibly) controversial topics. However, be careful not to come off as ignorant or offensive.

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.
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.
Why would I want to go online to chat to a bunch of strangers? What respected business person would actually take time out of their day to participate in one of these cult-like chats? These were the initial thoughts which ran through by head when introduced to the concept of Twitter chats. My view drastically changed when WordStream founder, Larry Kim, raved about #PPCChat, encouraging me and my colleagues to participate as frequently as possible. So I took his advice and started participating in our industry related chats. I was surprised to find the experience to be very enjoyable; I even added #PPCChat as a recurring event in my calendar on Tuesday so that I wouldn’t forget to join in the live conversation. The chat gave me the ability to connect with others in the industry and also learn from those who have varying experiences from my own. I noticed an uptick in my personal followers and one week I was even featured as the top quote in the PPCChat write-up that’s published after every chat.
Provide customer service: A social media presence opens you up to customer questions, complaints, and inquiries. So one of your goals will be to provide this support to customers or direct it to another preferred, private channel. One way to measure this is through your response time for direct messages (This is displayed as a badge on your Facebook page, for example).
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.
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.
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.
Achievement in almost any area of your life will be dependent upon other people. In this case, it’s your future customers and your current customers. Actively cultivating and curating your brand’s online presence is the investment required to achieve an effective social media marketing strategy. Our full services social media marketing company can help you give your all to your investment through our social media management and social media advertising services. We’d be happy to talk to you and see which avenue is best for your business.

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.
My favorite thing to do on Twitter is to find disgruntled customers and respond, trying to solve their issues. In a survey from InSites Consulting, 83% of companies reported that they deal with questions or complaints sent via social media, so I’m not alone. This is a great way to show that your company cares and a face and personality behind the façade.
As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting!
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.

TweetDeck is a comprehensive and powerful Twitter tool that is used for organizing, real time tracking, and engagement. TweetDeck also enables users reach their fans and audiences in a quick and efficient way. TweetDeck acts as a user’s personal browser used for staying up to date on what is happening and connecting with their contacts across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. TweetDeck is ideal for large enterprises, freelancers, non-profits, mid-size businesses, and small businesses. The devices supported by TweetDeck include Windows phone and iPhone-iPad. Since TweetDeck is a social media marketing management software, it features the LinkedIn…
Platforms like LinkedIn create an environment for companies and clients to connect online.[71] Companies that recognize the need for information, originality/ and accessibility employ blogs to make their products popular and unique/ and ultimately reach out to consumers who are privy to social media.[72] Studies from 2009 show that consumers view coverage in the media or from bloggers as being more neutral and credible than print advertisements, which are not thought of as free or independent.[73] Blogs allow a product or company to provide longer descriptions of products or services, can include testimonials and can link to and from other social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and are promotional techniques for keeping customers, and also for acquiring followers and subscribers who can then be directed to social network pages. Online communities can enable a business to reach the clients of other businesses using the platform. To allow firms to measure their standing in the corporate world, sites enable employees to place evaluations of their companies.[71] Some businesses opt out of integrating social media platforms into their traditional marketing regimen. There are also specific corporate standards that apply when interacting online.[71] To maintain an advantage in a business-consumer relationship, businesses have to be aware of four key assets that consumers maintain: information, involvement, community, and control.[74]
A short film released on March 5, 2012, by humanitarian group Invisible Children, Inc. This 29-minute video aimed at making Joseph Kony, an International Criminal Court fugitive, famous worldwide in order to have support for his arrest by December 2012—the time when the campaign ends.[28] The video went viral within the first six days after its launch, reaching 100 million views on both YouTube and Vimeo.[29] According to research done by Visible Measures, the Kony 2012 short film became the fastest growing video campaign, and most viral video, to reach 100 million views in 6 days followed by Susan Boyle performance on Britain's Got Talent that reached 70 million views in 6 days.[30][31]
Quality is key and content is no exception. Content marketing has been a prominent form of marketing for a long time and this is not set to change anytime soon. Many brands are not linking quality content with the right posting schedule and the correct frequency of posts. High-quality SEO content coupled with all the above will help you bring in the right customers at the right time. Aside from its ability to attract an organic audience, a good content marketing strategy can be implemented for free. Be sure to create a relevant hashtag strategy along with your optimized and thorough content.
Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website Fixwillpower.com. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.
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]
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.
Metigy is a software that enables saving of time and automation of mundane tasks, therefore enabling users focus on actions that make a real difference to their business. Metigy software main features include analysis and insights, actionable ideas, trending conversation, timing insights, competitor and influence tracking, and automated reporting. All these features simply make marketing on social media easy and fun. The analysis and insights feature provides the AI-driven dynamic insights that provide a good platform for users not to look for ideas in hard to understand data reports. The actionable ideas provided by Metigy facilitates deep targeting of user’s…
Before a few years ago, you could get away with building a social media marketing strategy on a whim. But with 30% of people saying they engage with brands on social at least once a month, purely existing isn’t going to cut it anymore. If you’re not fully engaged and emerged in accomplishing the goals set in your strategy, there will be serious effects on your desired results.
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.

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.

The insights gleaned from your audience personas should be used to tailor your social media marketing strategy and help you to develop clear strategies to ensure you engage with all target audiences on social media. Audience personas should inform content creation, marketing campaigns, ad targeting, and more to ensure conversions against your goals.
Before a few years ago, you could get away with building a social media marketing strategy on a whim. But with 30% of people saying they engage with brands on social at least once a month, purely existing isn’t going to cut it anymore. If you’re not fully engaged and emerged in accomplishing the goals set in your strategy, there will be serious effects on your desired results.
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.
Xsopo is an easy to use interface that enables easy use of social media. Xsopo facilitates automatic publishing and scheduling of posts on multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and many more. Xsopo makes use of the API’s of the social media websites that enables users type a message once and a quick review of how the user’s message will look like will be showcased to the user. Xsopo is also ideal for companies and enterprises as it enables them to schedule a message which will later be delivered with precision and accuracy. Xsopo features the…
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