Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising.

Social media is too big, and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.

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.
Popular social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks can provide marketers with a hard number of how large their audience is nevertheless a large audience may not always translate into a large sales volumes. Therefore, an effective SMM cannot be measured by a large audience but rather by vigorous audience activity such as social shares, re-tweets etc.
Perhaps the hardest part of social media marketing is staying relevant. Even large brands find it difficult to connect with their fan base effectively at all times. One brand that is doing it extremely well right now is Wendy’s -- by having a dedicated social media manager, the company is able to be very fluid, responsive and engaging. Simply using a tool to schedule posts will not get you results.   - Arya Bina, Kobe Digital
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.
You’re probably already using this one, but hear me out. LinkedIn just released a new extension of its platform called LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. This helps businesses accumulate and track leads. Because most people view the app on their phones, it can be a hassle to fill out a contact form. So instead of relying on users to fill out the forms, LinkedIn’s new application uses an in-app form that populates already stored information about an individual LinkedIn user, making lead generation for your business easier than before.
Social Media Marketing brings new rules and opportunities to increase the awareness, profitability, and overall lifeline of your brand. A further understanding of your consumers, how they communicate, the experiences they’re looking to have, and where they’re located digitally is crucial.  Your social media strategy will affect the chances of winning new customers, retaining current customers, future business expansion opportunities, talented employees, and better products. But don’t take the short way out. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up. Stray away from being comfortable and what’s safe. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
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.

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.


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.[112] 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.[113]
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…
It’s well known that social media is a marketing channel which many ecommerce brands have already utilized effectively to skyrocket their stores growth, so we’ve created this article to provide you with some tips & tricks to help you find that same level of success. Whether you plan to use Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat to grow your business, we’ve got you covered. Let’s go!
Followerwonk (part of Moz) gives you some really useful analytics options for researching the effectiveness of your Tweets and the performance of your Twitter account as a whole. You can analyse your followers or the users you follow to ascertain where in the world they are and when they are most active on Twitter, as well as other information. This can really help you improve your effectives on Twitter, as it will mean you can use the information on when your followers are active to determine when you should be tweeting. In addition if you discover you have a large number of followers in a certain country it could help with planning your next marketing campaign or even store location. To save you even more time, followerwonk integrates with buffer, so you can get it to automatically update buffer’s set posting times to be when your followers are most online.

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.
The World’s Most Complete Social Media Management Platform. Social Report is an all-in-one social media management platform. All the features you need in one concise package. Our platform includes targeted engagement, advanced scheduling, social listening, unique automations, sophisticated analytics and much, much more! Check out www.socialreport.com to discover more, or feel free to shoot us a message here on G2 Crowd!
It's worth noting that many of the non-enterprise products use Facebook Analytics to some degree to gather their Facebook data. Facebook Analytics requires that a Facebook page have at least 30 likes before it begins to pay attention to it and gather stats. Google Analytics is also a valuable free tool and generates numerous types of reports and tools. Reports can be segmented and filtered to suit business needs. Real-time views reveal which new content is popular, how much traffic today's new promotion is driving to your website, and which tweets and blog posts draw the most engagement. Being able to pull from this application greatly benefits other social tool apps. Of the SMB-focused offerings, Sprout Social Premium, Buffer for Business, and Hootsuite Pro can integrate Google Analytics.
1: Build a community and inspire action. Your followers should be people that you interact with and maintain a witty, relatable, and fun relationship with on social media. Stop selling your soul to gain followers, instead look to grow engagement. Brainstorm creative ways to keep your followers intrigued by creating truly powerful social media campaigns that will spur your audience to participate.
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.
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.
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.
Oktopost is the first solution to establish the ROI of social media, bridging the gap between social media and lead generation. Oktopost delivers the true business value of social media, generating new sales and integrating marketing and sales in today's social-centric marketplace. With Oktopost, companies can say for the first time: "This new customer came from this LinkedIn post!" or "This Tweet brought us $XXX in sales!" Oktopost enables users to track closed sales back to the originating social media interaction - whether this is a Tweet, LinkedIn post or Facebook update.

Tweetdeck is a web and desktop solution to monitor and manage your Twitter feeds with powerful filters to focus on what matters. You can also schedule tweets and stay up to date with notification alerts for new tweets. Tweetdeck, who was purchased by Twitter, is available for Chrome browsers, as well as Windows and Mac desktops. Recently they closed down their mobile apps to re-shift focus on the web and desktop platforms.
kpeiz. A social media analytics and performance optimization software, kpeiz provides insightful performance reports on one’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. The software allows users to select various metrics relevant to their business and it will take care of all the grunt work, automatically generating reports in either PDF or PPT format. Aside from performance metrics, it also benchmarks your pages against competitors to provide you with a better understanding on your strengths and weaknesses. With this data in hand, you can better understand how to play to your strengths and gain an edge over the competition. 
The other critical capabilities an enterprise gets at this level include greater contextual data customization tied directly to business goals. An enterprise also gets community and sentiment analysis that filters a wide social audience into defined market segments. These market segments offer clear opinions about a brand or product; the business can then tie that information to customer intent.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace etc. have all influenced the buzz of word of mouth marketing. In 1999, Misner said that word-of mouth marketing is, "the world's most effective, yet least understood marketing strategy" (Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels, 2009, p. 3).[84] Through the influence of opinion leaders, the increased online "buzz" of "word-of-mouth" marketing that a product, service or companies are experiencing is due to the rise in use of social media and smartphones. Businesses and marketers have noticed that, "a persons behaviour is influenced by many small groups" (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). These small groups rotate around social networking accounts that are run by influential people (opinion leaders or "thought leaders") who have followers of groups. The types of groups (followers) are called:[85] reference groups (people who know each other either face-to-face or have an indirect influence on a persons attitude or behaviour); membership groups (a person has a direct influence on a person's attitude or behaviour); and aspirational groups (groups which an individual wishes to belong to).
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.
Unified helps marketers make informed and impactful decisions with the industry’s only business intelligence platform purposely designed for social advertising. With experience collecting and enriching over $4 billion dollars of social investment data, Unified is passionate about providing Fortune 2000 brands and agencies greater transparency into their many teams, tools and strategies. The Unified Platform and service teams are specifically built to ensure data quality, optimize investments and answer critical business questions. Unified has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.
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! 
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.
managing all activities in Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, RSS feeds, Tumblr, Plurk, App.net, and Facebook where it can even go as far as handling users’ blog activity. SocialOomph.com has features such as tweet scheduling, status and scheduling update, keyword tracking, blog posts scheduling, auto rss feeds, url shortener, follow-back and auto-dm, blog post creation, shares scheduling and automated update removal. SocialOomph gives information about users’ followers such as the ratio of accounts that they follow in comparison to the users and amount of…
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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