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.
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:
Hootsuite and Zoho Social are close behind in offering a do-it-all social publishing and analytics hub for SMBs, and Buffer for Business is closing the gap with a packed feature release cadence to bolster its listening and influencer management chops. These are all tools that any social media manager or business user can operate with ease. They don't take a social data whiz and won't break your SMB's bank, but global brands with far more expansive listening requirements will want to consider enterprise offerings.
Most companies are looking to social media platforms to promote their businesses and build and market their brands. These businesses’ experiences can truly answer the query, what is social media management software? In this respect, the software’s basic function is to connect/communicate with consumers. It can also help distinguish vital customers and enable businesses to follow their online activities. Also, the software can monitor the performance of a company’s social media campaign through the real time analytics and reports that it furnishes. It is no wonder that in some places such as Europe, senior executives have been found to use SMMS more than their junior counterparts. This proves that the technology works as a marketing platform.

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.
While traditional media, like newspapers and television advertising, are largely overshadowed by the rise of social media marketing, there is still a place for traditional marketing. For example, with newspapers, readership over the years has shown a decline. However, readership with newspapers is still fiercely loyal to print-only media. 51% of newspaper readers only read the newspaper in its print form,[96] making well-placed ads valuable.
While SocialOomph does indeed have a free plan, the features are limited and mostly lean towards Twitter management. On the free plan you can do things like schedule tweets, track keywords, shorten URL’s, and manage up to five Twitter accounts, but some of the more sophisticated features require a paid plan. If you’re looking to manage multiple social platforms aside from Twitter you will need to pay to play.
I won’t pretend to be an expert in analytics, but I appreciate the vast number of metrics available. Luckily, there are experts out there, like the fine people analyzing tweets at Buffer, Twitter themselves, and Kissmetrics, who are kind enough to give us a beginner’s guide to Facebook insights. Personally, I tend to watch post engagement (based on audience size) and URL clicks when managing social media because our goals are to expand and engage our followers while driving them to the site.
We will use our primary Twitter handle as both a customer service channel and a broadcast/interaction channel instead of having 2 separate handles. Twitter will be used to make us feel extremely accessible to consumers – real humans at the other end in real time (so we will initial conversations wherever possible). This will be beneficial in developing brand awareness and putting a real face to the products bought elsewhere.
IFTTT, or “If This Then That,” is a great automation tool that can help you save a lot of time on trying to manage social media platforms, apps and websites. The tool can link these services together based on a trigger and an action. Based on the trigger you create, it will start an action. For example, if you publish a blog (the trigger), then IFTTT will automate and create a tweet (the action).   - Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
So why should your business get involved? Aside from personal branding, these chats can greatly benefit your business by giving you the ability to discover new leads, build brand authority, develop strong relationships with influencers in your industry, and further expose your brand. Host your own chat or partner with a big brand to co-host a chat; you’ll grow your follower base substantially if it’s promoted well. Explore the resources in this post to get an idea of which re-occurring chats take place in your industry.
Managing your social media effectively allows you to get the most out of this powerful channel. Consistently creating and publishing valuable content can help you establish authentic connections with your target audience. While social media advertising helps you reach new audiences that are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Excellent List… I would like to add an info about the new analytical tool in the market, Social clout.com, which includes monitoring, listening, engagement workflow, social media analytics and social media lead generation. If possible, I would ask you and the users in need of the social media analytical tool to try out the te tool on www.socialclout.com , and give yor precious feedback. This tool would be great asset to the marketing teams of small business because of its features and competitive pricing.
Sociota is a powerful platform for monitoring of social media, management of social media, analysis of social media and engagement of social media platform. Sociota is simply a toolkit designed for providing highly optimized and successful social media campaigns. The social media monitoring feature enables users know what their audience are saying about them on social media sites. The social media monitoring feature also works by monitoring consumer opinions on user’s products. With social media monitoring, users are provided with an excellent platform for proactively responding to their consumers, therefore avoiding crisis. The social media analysis feature enables users know…
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience's style and taste. Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video is also possible on YouTube, "for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company in results along with other videos."[67] YouTube also enable publishers to earn money through its YouTube Partner Program. Companies can pay YouTube for a special "channel" which promotes the companies products or services.
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.
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.

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.
eClincher is a comprehensive platform but yet simple to use. It has all the essential features a social media management tool should have plus unique ones – auto posting with smart queues, social inbox, RSS feeds integration and auto posting, suggested content plus curation, influencer discovery, custom analytics reports, Canva integration, media asset management, free image library, URL shorteners, and more. Let’s look at a few of those.
BoardReader allows users to search multiple message boards simultaneously, allowing users to share information in a truly global sense. Boardreader is focused on creating the largest repository of searchable information for our users. Users can find answers to their questions from others who share similar interests. Our goal is to allow our users to search the “human to human” discussions that exist on the Internet.
It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner.  Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed.  If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them.  If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them.  It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately.  Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services (we will discuss further in next section).

According to influential author Gary Vaynerchuck, native content is content which adapts to the unique factors of a platform that you are targeting. These factors include but are not limited to the language, culture and style. Which means the content approach that works for you on LinkedIn may not work well on Facebook, and vice versa. Since the way people interact with each other on these platforms is different, their response will also vary.
Sprout Social offers social media management, engagement and analytics solutions for leading agencies and brands, including Hyatt, GrubHub, Microsoft, Uber and Zendesk. Available via web browser, iOS and Android apps, Sprout Social’s engagement platform enables brands to more effectively communicate on social channels, collaborate across teams and provide an exceptional customer experience. Sprout Social’s intuitive platform was designed with the user in mind, making it easy for anyone to publish content, monitor their social presence, engage with their audience and analyze social media efforts across all connected profiles. Teams can be up and running in minutes—Sprout Social does not require up-front investment, has flexible contract terms and there is little-to-no implementation needed. Sprout Social is an Twitter Official Partner, Facebook Marketing Partner, Instagram Partner Program Member, LinkedIn Company Page Partner and Google+ Pages API Partner. Created for small and medium businesses, enterprise and agencies, Sprout features focus on three main functions: publishing, engaging and reporting. Sprout provides solutions for social marketing, social management, customer service and team collaboration. Sprout’s Smart Inbox gives users a unique all-in-one stream of their incoming social messages, and enables users to work from the stream to respond, tag, task or mark messages as complete to achieve inbox zero. Sprout’s collaboration tools and permissions enable multiple users to work within the platform at once without overlapping or encroaching on responsibilities. The Sprout Queue and ViralPost enable you to efficiently upload content and ensures your messages will be sent at the optimal time for maximum reach. Sprout’s ample reporting capabilities provide insightful analytics and enable you to quantify your social communications.
Friends+Me is another prime player in the social media management tools family. While Friends+Me puts the highest emphasis on Google Plus features, many other social platforms are supported. Friends+Me appears to get rave reviews from users, and has a beautifully designed website with plans available based on the size of your business. And yes, there is a free plan!
BuzzSumo is a content and influencer identification tool for social media. It offers content performance insights, influencer identification, content alerts, and competitor analysis insights. This tool is great for A/B testing content to see what type of content performs best, who’s sharing and engaging with the content, and what’s working for other organizations.
Everypost is a social media tool that simplifies social media publishing. Everypost facilitates easy curation of content visually coming from a number of sources, post customization and scheduling, and taking massive control over users’ media social pages. The publishing solutions offered by Everypost are unique and provides a good platform for users to share their multimedia content across several social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Everypost presents the content curation feature that enables users create content all in one place. The content curation feature is ideal as it makes it simplifies for users the…

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.
SocialWeaver is a platform that facilitates managing of user’s brands as well as listen to their brands. SocialWeaver simply facilitates easy scheduling of never-ending content, increasing engagement, and listening to customers’ impressions for both you and your competitors. SocialWeaver platform provides users with an excellent platform for managing of social media in a smart way. The SocialWeaver platform main features are publishing, engaging, and listening. The publish feature simply functions by automating a huge number of posts in a few minutes. The publish feature consists of create, schedule and re-use features. In creating, SocialWeaver facilitates easy creation of content for…
If you are looking for a tool that will not only allow you to schedule posts for all your social media accounts, but also to receive detailed reports and keyword searches at the same time within a single stream, you may want to give Sprout Social a shot. Currently, the app provides supports for several major social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also schedule posts and monitor social media activity on the go, since Sprout Social also comes as a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
Sociota is a powerful platform for monitoring of social media, management of social media, analysis of social media and engagement of social media platform. Sociota is simply a toolkit designed for providing highly optimized and successful social media campaigns. The social media monitoring feature enables users know what their audience are saying about them on social media sites. The social media monitoring feature also works by monitoring consumer opinions on user’s products. With social media monitoring, users are provided with an excellent platform for proactively responding to their consumers, therefore avoiding crisis. The social media analysis feature enables users know…

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.


Sprout Social's user interface (UI), with its single-stream mention monitoring, was the easiest to set up and navigate, and also offers the widest variety of relevant social networks and produces numerous reports which can be downloaded in more than one format. You can build basic Queries and script Rules, and run competitive analysis. Of the products reviewed, Sprout Social, which begins at $99 per month, is the best value. It meets all of the qualifications for an entry-level social media tool suite, with the ability to scale, and is this roundup's Editors' Choice for SMBs.

Oftentimes, people will participate with your brand on their preferred social network, or get to know you through your blog, without realizing that you’re on social media as well. Contests, giveaways, surveys, exclusive deals and private membership sneak peeks are just a few of the many ways you can bridge the gap between the two and encourage your blog visitors to follow you on social media and vice versa.
Getting traction on Pinterest doesn’t require any “secret sauce” or deep knowledge of algorithms and other tactics. Pinterest’s Guided Search is as easy as it gets. Be clear about the theme(s) of your pinboard(s) and stick closely to them. You can create as many pinboards as you want.  Then, simply optimize your image file names and descriptions, as well as their titles and you’ll be ready to enjoy a pinstravaganza.
Social media management software (SMMS) is an application program or software suite module that facilitates an organization’s ability to successfully engage in social media across different communication channels. SMMS is used to monitor inbound and outbound conversations, document social marketing initiatives and evaluate the usefulness of a social media presence.

One of my biggest challenges is finding content to tweet and post about! A way to tackle this is through social media management tools like Mention and Buzzsumo, which will send alerts your way when a keyword you select is posted online. I currently use keywords like “WordStream” or “Larry Kim” to see if others are posting about us. Then I can retweet their content!
Loomly is a social media calendar management tool that helps teams and individuals create and schedule content for social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & LinkedIn. Via an intuitive interface and innovative features, users can manage ideas for social posts, get live post optimization tips, preview social media posts, manage approval workflows, and automate post scheduling & analytics. Loomly is available as a web platform, with native mobile applications for iOS & Android.

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.

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