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!
A planning calendar lays the foundation and ensures you are maintaining your social sites and posting on a regular basis.  Of course, you can also post other news, tips and ideas as they arise.  The biggest pitfall businesses run into are they generally have a lot of excitement when they first establish their social media presence, but the momentum quickly fades.  Having a monthly planning calendar will help keep your social media efforts moving forward.
Where does it fall down? It has to be with the feature list. Buffer is a social media scheduler, and that’s about it. Their business plans have some analytics, but in reality, the platform doesn’t have the same robust functionality to that of Agorapulse, or even Hootsuite. The best thing Buffer has going for it is its marketing, and they do that better than anyone!
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.
Many brands mistakenly assume they need to post their content anywhere and everywhere to maximize its potential reach. But plastering your brand’s content across every social network, trendy news site, and video platform that comes along is not a channel plan. That social media approach attempts to go as far and wide as possible, but it holds no regard for whom it reaches, how they might be impacted, or how that impact might reflect on the business.
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.

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:


Mish Guru is a web-based dashboard designed for simple management of Snapchat content. Our desktop platform enables easy upload, scheduling, data capture and re-posting of audience content, as well as full analytics tracking for any Snapchat account. We’ve helped numerous clients & agencies achieve Snapchat success. With in-house expertise spanning Technology, Strategy, Creative, Social Media and Production, Mish Guru delivers highly engaging campaigns and branded content.
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.

In May 2014, Instagram had over 200 million users. The user engagement rate of Instagram was 15 times higher than of Facebook and 25 times higher than that of Twitter.[57] According to Scott Galloway, the founder of L2 and a professor of marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, latest studies estimate that 93% of prestige brands have an active presence on Instagram and include it in their marketing mix.[58] When it comes to brands and businesses, Instagram's goal is to help companies to reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment.[59] Moreover, Instagram provides a platform where user and company can communicate publicly and directly, making itself an ideal platform for companies to connect with their current and potential customers.[60]
Facebook seems to be the most popular platform for marketers, but Instagram is rapidly gaining ground both from marketers and actual users. Instagram has also updated its algorithm this year to focus on non-chronological feed display. This has been a big change for marketers as it requires them to create more appealing and engaging content to make sure they show up in their followers’ feeds. The more their followers engage with the brand, the higher their chances to maintain visibility on their feeds.

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]
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.
Too often, businesses fail to secure all of the relevant social media profiles prior to kicking off a formal social media strategy. That's why I highly recommend KnowEm. KnowEm allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 500 popular and emerging social media websites. By securing your social media identities you will maximize brand equity.   - Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
When you first sign up for this management tool, it can seem a bit overwhelming. There are tabs and instructions everywhere. You’re given insight right away into certain statistics you don’t usually get with other tools. However, Sprout Social is different from the rest, because it focuses on the idea that communication and engagement between businesses and customers should be better and more open.

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.


I’m a fan of Buffer. It lets you schedule and manage social media posts across all of the most widely used channels, and you can individually customize each post for all of the different platforms it gets posted to. Buffer also shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day and tracks links so that you can see what content gets the most traction.   - Chi Zhao, Hokku PR
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…
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.
Many brands are now heavily using this mobile app to boost their marketing strategy. Instagram can be used to gain the necessary momentum needed to capture the attention of the market segment that has an interest in the product offering or services.[61] As Instagram is supported by Apple and android system, it can be easily accessed by smartphone users. Moreover, it can be accessed by the Internet as well. Thus, the marketers see it as a potential platform to expand their brands exposure to the public, especially the younger target group. On top of this, marketers do not only use social media for traditional Internet advertising, but they also encourage users to create attention for a certain brand. This generally creates an opportunity for greater brand exposure.[62] Furthermore, marketers are also using the platform to drive social shopping and inspire people to collect and share pictures of their favorite products. Many big names have already jumped on board: Starbucks, MTV, Nike, Marc Jacobs, and Red Bull are a few examples of multinationals that adopted the mobile photo app early. Fashion blogger Danielle Bernstein, who goes by @weworewhat on Instagram, collaborated with Harper's Bazaar to do a piece on how brands are using Instagram to market their products, and how bloggers make money from it. Bernstein, who currently has one and a half million followers on Instagram, and whose "outfit of the day" photos on Snapchat get tens of thousands of screenshots, explained that for a lot of her sponsored posts, she must feature the brand in a certain number of posts, and often cannot wear a competitor's product in the same picture. According to Harper's Bazaar, industry estimates say that brands are spending more than $1 billion per year on consumer-generated advertising. Founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom even went to Paris Fashion week, going to couture shows and meeting with designers to learn more about how style bloggers, editors, and designers are currently dominating much of the content on his application.[63]

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.

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.
PAT RESEARCH is a comprehensive B2B directory which provides Best Practices, Buying Guides, Reviews, Ratings, Comparison, Research, Commentary, and Analysis for Enterprise Software and Services. We provide Best Practices, PAT Index™ enabled product reviews and user review comparisons to help IT decision makers such as CEO’s, CIO’s, Directors, and Executives to identify technologies, software, service and strategies.
As a millennial (but not one of the whiny ones that baby boomers complain about), I grew up in the age of online friendships and followers, which has exploded into a world of digital living. If I want to find a restaurant, I hop on Yelp. Recipes or clothes? Pinterest. Trying to be an adult? LinkedIn. The best thing about these options is that they have already been vetted by other people! I’m going to trust a Facebook friend who recommends a product 1000x more than a description on the product website.
This platform is among the best developed of the free social media tools out there. It gives you a dashboard to allow you to overview the activity on your tweets, Facebook posts and whatever other social channels you have connected. It also allows you to schedule posts to all the social channels you have connected, so you can reach your audience exactly when the largest number of them are online.
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.”

So we made a consistently updated list of the top 10 social media management tools for 2018. There are three major features that a good social media management tool should always have – publishing and RSS integration, social engagement, and great analytics reporting. Those three areas are exactly what makes a comprehensive social media management platform.
Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management platform, loved by over 16 million people worldwide and trusted by more than 800 of the Fortune 1000. Our brand promise is to empower all organizations–large and small–to strategically grow their brand, business and customer relationships with social. Our platform brings together your social networks and integrates with over 200 business applications. It’s the one place to build customer relationships, listen to the needs of the market and grow your revenue. From social advertising to employee advocacy, Hootsuite is your all-in-one solution for driving business results.
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.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products in short messages known as tweets limited to 140 characters which appear on followers' Home timelines.[40] Tweets can contain text, Hashtag, photo, video, Animated GIF, Emoji, or links to the product's website and other social media profiles, etc.[41] Twitter is also used by companies to provide customer service.[42] Some companies make support available 24/7 and answer promptly, thus improving brand loyalty and appreciation.
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.
Statusbrew is a social media management platform that combines the power of internet and technology to empowers businesses, brands, marketing agencies, and organizations to discover and manage customer experience across various social touch-points and drive growth. Statusbrew bridges the gap between businesses and customers by unearthing deep insights of social media analytics. Trusted by over 16 million users worldwide, Statusbrew makes it fast and easy for individuals, small and medium businesses and organizations of every scale and complexity to efficiently manage social media properties. Get in full control of all your channels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus with the complete suite of social media management tools on Statusbrew. With a simple to use interface for the planning of social publishing of marketing and PR campaigns on multiple social networks, Statusbrew is a trusted partner for Teams. With Audience on Statusbrew businesses, influencers and individuals alike gather social intelligence to engage with their community on different social networks and nurture strong relationships with people who matter the most. The social audience can be segmented and managed for well-girded growth to maximize returns by keeping their valuable connections happy at every step of their social journey. Track and monitor your competitors alike, and grow fast using our Lead Generation process using Twitter Sources. With Engage on Statusbrew, never miss out any conversation about your brand or business on social. Reply to DMs, Mentions, and Comments from all the profiles in a single unified social inbox. With real-time sync, receive and assign replies to specific teammates for them to work on it as soon as a prospect talks about you and never miss out on any lead. Slack Integration will change the way Brands and Agencies can bring in their teams to collaborate in Social Publishing and Brand Monitoring right from their workspace. When you connect your Statusbrew with one or more Slack channels or workplaces, you would receive instant Slack notifications for all the activities you choose are important for your Business. Our powerful white-labeled Reports give you, your team and clients, powerful week-over-week and month-over-month Analytics to get the best ROI on your marketing efforts. Signup on Statusbrew for a free 14 days trial to gain a competitive edge and build strong social connections!
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