ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
Zoho Social manage multiple social networks, schedule unlimited posts, monitor keywords, and collaborate with your team all from a single dashboard. It let to publish your content when your audience is more likely to see it. The prediction engine helps you decide the best time to schedule your content. Instant notifications let you respond and engage your audience even while you're on the move. Zoho Social understand who your audience is and how they engage with your business on social media, choose from ready-made reports or create your own, based on the numbers that matter for you. Collaborate on ideas…
First, you need to understand what a strategy is, and isn’t it. A strategy should define the main aim of your social media presence and set the parameters for what it will deliver and how it will be delivered. It will be supported by a tactical plan that defines how the strategy will be delivered, including the channels, resource and budgets to achieve it.
I recently spoke with some local Boston-based paid search experts who all raved about the power of Facebook advertising with the main conclusion that Facebooks ads are cheap and actually work. If you want to compete on Facebook today it’s pretty clear that you need to put some green bills on the table. Gone are the days when you could just post updates to your company’s wall and pray for likes. With that said costs can be easily controlled as there are several unique targeting methods giving you options to find your niche audience and not waste money on the click-happy internet addicts irrelevant to your business.

You can monitor and post to several popular networks including both Facebook personal profiles and business pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. And with its built-in custom analytics system, the ability to monitor selected keywords plus the option to conveniently schedule posts whenever you want (and do this all for free), HootSuite sets the bar high for competing social media management tools. Pro and enterprise plans are also available.


You should also consider how you plan to make engagement and response a consistent part of your social media management. Do you plan to reach out to fans and followers and start a conversation? How often will you respond to questions and concerns posted to your page? Do you plan to use contests to engage your audience? All of this should be somewhere in your social media strategy.
Publishing & RSS – eClincher has a robust system for publishing content. One of the most favorite feature is the Auto Post with Queues which allows users to automatically publish hundreds of posts for the next X number of months, with just a few clicks. eClincher offers the ability to recycle content as well as publish it once and remove it from the queue. There is also the RSS integration which allows users to automatically publish every single blog post (their own or their favorite industry blogs) onto their social media profiles. eClincher also offers a great scheduling tool with visual calendar, auto link shortening, free images, and animated gifs, and video publishing support.
IFTTT, short for If This, Then That, is a social media recipe website! In a series of simple steps, this website will help you set up simple commands which link up different applications to automatically perform actions if triggered. For example, IF the weather app tells you there is a high UV index, THEN a reminder to put on sunscreen is triggered. IF you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, THEN save the photos to dropbox.
A number of the top social media management tools will offer integration with popular CRM systems. Zoho Social, unsurprisingly, integrates with the company's CRM offering. In that particular scenario, Zoho Social will record every person who has engaged with your company on a connected social media channel. From there, you can add them to Zoho CRM as a lead from within the software.
Gremlin Social combines social media marketing automation with 3 compliance tools that make it easy for banks, mortgage companies, and financial advisors to master the social media marketing landscape and gain new business using social networks. Endorsed by the American Bankers Association for social media management and compliance, Gremlin Social helps ensure the safe & effective use of social media communication while maximizing marketing campaigns, guiding strategies such as content creation & social media policy review assistance, and monitoring returns through analytics.
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.
Canva is a graphic design program that makes creating professional graphics and presentations easy — no graphic designer experience required. With Canva, you can create a social media graphic (at any size or dimension) using your own images or any of the millions of themes, graphics, icons, and fonts in Canva’s arsenal. You can also save your creations if you want to make a recurring series using the same branding.
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