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.
Since social media marketing first came to be, strategists and markets have been getting smarter and more careful with the way they go about collecting information and distributing advertisements. With the presence of data collecting companies, there is no longer a need to target specific audiences. This can be seen as a large ethical gray area. For many users, this is a breach of privacy, but there are no laws that prevent these companies from using the information provided on their websites. Companies like Equifax, Inc., TransUnion Corp, and LexisNexis Group thrive on collecting and sharing personal information of social media users. In 2012, Facebook purchased information from 70 million households from a third party company called Datalogix. Facebook later revealed that they purchased the information in order to create a more efficient advertising service.
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!
One of our monthly checks here at Buffer is to visit each of our social media profiles and make sure that our profile photos, cover photos, bio, and profile info are up-to-date and complete. It’s a key part to our social media audit. A completed profile shows professionalism, cohesive branding, and a signal to visitors that you’re serious about engaging.
The dashboard is super simple to use, giving you full customization of your posting schedule and the ability to view your analytics. Using the Buffer mobile app and the web browser extension makes it easier than ever to quickly add web page links (including title and images) to your Buffer schedule. You can upgrade for more posting privileges and social accounts to manage.
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.
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!
We love paid social advertising because it's a highly cost-effective way to expand your reach. If you play your cards right, you can get your content and offers in front of a huge audience at a very low cost. Most social media platforms offer incredibly granular targeting capabilities, allowing you to focus your budget on exactly the types of people that are most likely to be interested in your business. Below are some tips and resources for getting started with paid social media marketing:
On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group.
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.