Social media is more than just a fun way to engage and communicate with friends.  It can be an extremely powerful business marketing tool if strategically implemented.  A common mistake businesses make is failing to develop a formal social media plan.  Having a plan for social media is just as important as it is any digital marketing plan.  A savvy business owner does not buy traditional advertising without developing a plan, and the same applies with social media.

Mix up your official tweets about specials, discounts, and news with fun, brand-building tweets . Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer people’s questions when possible. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.
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.

Instagram lets you post images and videos, which are discoverable through hashtags. But there’s also Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, which lets you put out photos and videos with a 24-hour lifespan or share moments in real-time. This gives you the unique option of keeping your Instagram feed consistent and clean, while using Stories to test out ideas and share behind-the-scenes glimpses that have a more casual and personal production quality to them.
MavSocial is a simple and affordable social media management platform used by thousands of marketers, businesses, and agencies to streamline their social media activities. The platform enables marketers to curate and store content, schedule and automate posts, engage with audiences, listen to industry trends, monitor analytics, build reports and collaborate with team members. MavSocial currently supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr and WeChat. Features include: - Content Management: Upload, store and manage all forms of content with AI-powered tagging - UGC Curation: Curate and obtain permissions for user-generated content - License Content: Access millions of free stock images - Campaign Planner: Create and track social media campaigns across multiple networks and see an overview with calendar view - Engage: Respond to comments and messages across all social networks - Listen: Monitor keywords, analyse trends and engage with specific topics - Reporting: Analyze performance by content, post, network or campaign - Advertising: Promote and boost your Facebook posts to your target audience - Teams & Brands: Organize workflows, assign tasks and set permissions for all social media activities by brands, teams, and users.
Aside from this, SMMS can help businesses where team collaboration is required. Shared inboxes are a common thing with SMMS systems, allowing individuals to send messages to the right people. Such software also help provide brand security by allowing but trusted staff to send messages to corporate social profiles. Inappropriate messages sent are easily tracked and can be dealt with accordingly. In the same manner, unauthorized content that can adversely impact a brand can also be prevented.

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…


Make a comprehensive list of the tools you need (e.g., social media monitoring, email marketing and CRM), services you’ll outsource (e.g., graphic design or video production) and any advertising you’ll purchase. Next to each, include the annual projected cost so you can have a high-level view of what you’re investing in and how it affects your marketing budget.
It’s essential that you’re tracking the performance of your social media marketing efforts, and testing what works best for your audience. Whether you decide to use UTM codes and measure your performance on Google Analytics, or opt for the built-in analytics that Buffer or Hootsuite offer, you can use the data from your campaigns to optimize for the future. If you want to stay on top of the game, it’s essential that you’re constantly testing, constantly learning, and constantly growing as an entrepreneur.

Twitter has experienced significant growth among the college population, as well as urban users making over $50,000/year – particularly white men over 65. Encouraging users to “click on a Tweet” is vital to ingraining your brand and telling your story on this platform. But what exactly does “clicking on a tweet” involve? Twitter measures clicks in a variety of ways, including:
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.
If you only have an editor or two managing the content marketing process, the bandwidth for consistent distribution and conversation monitoring may be limited to a few outlets; however, if you have a full team of writers, editors, and other distribution partners at your disposal, the extra manpower (or womanpower, see above) affords increased flexibility and control to manage content across many more channels.

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]


Humble-brag time: ShareThis offers social media follow buttons and social media share buttons to help you grow your followers and expand your reach by making it easy for your readers to follow your social profiles and share your content. That’s not all; ShareThis also offers tools for GDPR compliance, social A/B testing, email list building, and more.
Schedugram lets you plan, schedule and upload your Instagram content – and collaborate within your team to product the best 'grams possible. We have led the Instagram business scheduling market for 5 years now and we're not stopping: with Schedugram you can schedule and publish carousel posts, videos, Instagram stories and more. With unlimited user accounts included at no extra costs, you are not forced to share logins to save money on your subscription: if someone needs a login, you can collaborate instantly. Join us for a 7 day free trial, and discover why over 10,000 businesses trust Schedugram every day.

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.
Every social media conversation surrounding your brand is important. And the more it spreads across the social network, the better your “reach” becomes. So reach is nothing but a metric that lets you understand how far you are able to connect with your audience. It gives you a fair idea of the potential size of your audience, which obviously gives you clarity on improving your approach.
Again, this is where best practices come in. Perhaps the most helpful (and adorable) infographic I’ve seen about timing comes from SumAll, which compiled timing research from sites like Visual.ly, Search Engine Watch, and Social Media Today to create its awesome visual. Here’s an overview of what they found in terms of timing (all times are Eastern Time).
If you’re looking to streamline post scheduling, content curation, and social listening, Hootsuite is a neat hat-trick for all three. The social media service is capable of multi-platform post scheduling, content cloud storage, tracking the digital impact of your social media campaigns, and monitoring social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location — and in multiple languages. It’s compatible with all major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+) and WordPress, along with a slew of other systems such as Salesforce and MailChimp.
MavSocial is a social media management and advertising software that is affordable and easy to use. MavSocial social media marketing strategy tool facilitates getting more engagement, driving traffic, and tracking performance in social media platforms. MavSocial enables users publish their content in their top social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Users are also able to manage and schedule content that they post in their social media accounts. MavSocial streamline social media publishing feature enables users to seamlessly maintain active social media profiles. The streamline social media publishing also provides a good platform for managing your business’s social…
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…
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.
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]
Have you practiced social listening? Social media allows you to gain valuable insights about your customers’ interests and behaviors. Check out reviews or comments to see what people think of your business. Look at engagement rates on each social media post to measure what types of content generates the most interest. Track conversions through your purchase or lead ads to find out what type of audience benefits the best from your product or service.
Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. We have a suite of products for publishing, engagement, analytics, and team collaboration (Publish, Reply, and Analyze). Our products are carefully considered and highly refined in order to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively. Buffer is a team of real people, aligned in common values. Being a Buffer customer should feel like you have a whole team of people cheering for you. We want to see you succeed on social!
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!
Use Buzzsumo to find content that resonates. I just started using this tool recently, but I’ve already added it to my bookmark bar and am completely addicted. It’s the easiest way to search related industry news sites and blogs, keywords, influencers, etc. to find the content with the highest number of social shares. Study the headlines that were shared and re-share those articles/headlines with your followers. This will continue the train of sharing, but also show your followers that your social posts are intriguing and follow-worthy 
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.
In early 2012, Nike introduced its Make It Count social media campaign. The campaign kickoff began YouTubers Casey Neistat and Max Joseph launching a YouTube video, where they traveled 34,000 miles to visit 16 cities in 13 countries. They promoted the #makeitcount hashtag, which millions of consumers shared via Twitter and Instagram by uploading photos and sending tweets.[32] The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.
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.
Depending on how invested your company is in CRM, integration might be a make-or-break feature for you. Being able to convert social engagements into leads is a powerful feature that, if used correctly, can add a lot of benefit to your business. If you find CRM integration important, then be sure to research which social media management tools are compatible with your relationship management service of choice.
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