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.
Monitor multiple social media platforms: Publishing on a variety of social media platforms is also possible with SMMS, enabling users to garner more audiences, while being able to compare metrics across social media solutions. Posting across social media platforms is also achievable with a single update, saving managers time and allowing them to focus on other matters. Content success on different platforms can likewise be compared, which can be used to boost social media strategy. 

Buffer is a very popular social media scheduling application. The tool makes it easy to share content and automatically schedule the distribution to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. Now it works by staggering content throughout the day. Buffer lets you add content to your queue without worrying when to post it or how frequently to post it. Buffer also gives you the Analytics about each post which lets you quickly see what ideas are working and what aren’t.


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.
Individual reports and scheduling posts for individual channels are always helpful, but that is not always a sufficient representation of your online image. I like Raven because it provides reports gathering information from pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media channels. It also allows you to access data and schedule posts on a wide variety of digital media channels.   - Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
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).
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.
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.
James is an Ecommerce consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, an E-commerce and Digital Marketing consultancy helping retailers develop, execute and evolve E-commerce strategies and optimise their digital channel. With a background as a Head of E-commerce and also agency side as Head of Client Development, he has experienced life on both sides of the fence. He has helped companies like A&N Media, Sweaty Betty and Smythson to manage RFP/ITT proposals. and been lead consultant on high profile projects for Econsultancy, Salmon and Greenwich Consulting. He is a guest blogger for Econsultancy, for whom he also writes best practice guides, regularly contributes to industry events and co-hosts #ecomchat, a weekly Twitter chat for e-commerce knowledge sharing. For e-commerce advice and support, connect with James on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Have you ever looked through the people you follow on Twitter or Pinterest? You probably see about .05% of things they tweet or pin. I’m grabbing this metric out of thin air, but since everyone who’s anyone is on social media, even if you are posting regularly your followers are probably not very engaged with your brand. The number of people following you can only take you so far. “Twitter is sort of like the ‘live TV’ of social media,” according to Marketing Land’s Danny Sullivan. “If you’re not tuned in to catch a particular tweet live, then you’ve missed it.” This doesn’t apply just for Twitter, the reach of Facebook’s organic posts has drastically dropped making it much more difficult for brands to stand out, even if you’re following their page (we’ll get into this more in tip #3)…
Platforms like LinkedIn create an environment for companies and clients to connect online.[71] Companies that recognize the need for information, originality/ and accessibility employ blogs to make their products popular and unique/ and ultimately reach out to consumers who are privy to social media.[72] Studies from 2009 show that consumers view coverage in the media or from bloggers as being more neutral and credible than print advertisements, which are not thought of as free or independent.[73] Blogs allow a product or company to provide longer descriptions of products or services, can include testimonials and can link to and from other social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and are promotional techniques for keeping customers, and also for acquiring followers and subscribers who can then be directed to social network pages. Online communities can enable a business to reach the clients of other businesses using the platform. To allow firms to measure their standing in the corporate world, sites enable employees to place evaluations of their companies.[71] Some businesses opt out of integrating social media platforms into their traditional marketing regimen. There are also specific corporate standards that apply when interacting online.[71] To maintain an advantage in a business-consumer relationship, businesses have to be aware of four key assets that consumers maintain: information, involvement, community, and control.[74]
SOCi is the industry’s leading social media and reputation management solution. SOCi solves the difficult social media workflow challenges faced by the world’s top multi-location businesses. Our powerful social media solution was architected to address the very specific workflow and scalability issues faced by multi-location brands, digital marketing agencies, and multi-family property management companies that need to manage hundreds or thousands of social media pages. SOCi’s scalable and comprehensive platform technology provides every tool necessary for multi-location and multi-tenant businesses to manage their local social media efforts including: Intuitive Dashboard - Upon signing into SOCi, users are greeted with a high-level, yet comprehensive and easy to read dashboard highlighting analytics, content performance across all locations using SOCi, conversations and comments that need attention, recent reviews, and more! Content Discovery: With SOCi’s proprietary scoring tool, multi-location businesses can not only see what types of content are getting the most engagement, but SOCi can also tell you when to post it for optimal results across all locations in your portfolio. Asset Management/Content Libraries: After SOCi scores content found on the social web it allows you to choose from a library of highly curated, engaging content. This library cuts out the work of searching for relevant on brand content which saves you time while adding value to your brand. Peak-Time Scheduling: SOCi’s platform analyzes when your audiences most engage with your content, allowing you to post at peak times. Reporting and Analytics: SOCi puts the metrics and data that matter to your business in one easy-to-view dashboard to take the guessing out of what’s working and not working for your strategies. Reputation Management: Go beyond social media sites to pull and respond to reviews from Yelp, Citysearch, Google, and many more networks. SOCi serves as the infrastructure on which tens of thousands of social media business pages are being managed. SOCi is fully integrated with the top social media and reputation management networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp and more.
To convert and monetize a social audience, your business needs a tool that can turn all of this data into a concrete strategy, with easily understandable reporting and visualizations. The tool needs to do this while also monitoring the full scope of your social audience on all of the networks or platforms they live. Many of the enterprise analytics tools don't offer built-in publishing and some of the SMB-focused offerings don't have quite the depth of analytics. Because of this, be sure to pick a social media analytics tool that's affordable for your business and easy to use—and one that offers third-party integrations or an application programming interface (API) should you need to hook it into other software.
What’s cool? One feature SocialOomph has–even on the free level–that sets it apart is its ability to allow you to manage your Twitter followers and your direct messages box from within the app. The tool also allows you to save and reuse social posts, for when you want to use posts as part of a campaign or get an extra boost out of your top performing content. They also recently added the ability to schedule pins to your Pinterest boards in advance.
When you’re establishing goals for your social media marketing plan, we advise against selecting vanity metrics (likes / retweets) as your main metric for success. Whilst these are nice to see, and worthwhile to measure, they don’t directly affect your business’ growth. Instead, we recommend measure metrics that are likely to lead to sales, like leads generated, or conversion rate
Several customers are turning towards social media to express their appreciation or frustration with brands, product or services. Therefore, marketers can measure the frequency of which customers are discussing their brand and judge how effective their SMM strategies are. In recent studies, 72% of people surveyed expressed that they expected a response to their complaints on Twitter within an hour.[116]
The most complete solutions in this tier are Synthesio and Sysomos, our Editors' Choices for enterprises. They both give the most extensive deep-dive analytics using the most engaging data visualizations and reporting. Each listening metric Synthesio measures, be it mentions, engagement, sentiment, or influencer reach, has drill-down capabilities to generate a custom dashboard with post lists and graphs from any point in the UI. Crimson Hexagon offers a similarly robust experience, with the capacity for live social stream monitoring and the best interactive visualizations for keyword and hashtag data. Sysomos offers deep social listening power plus an added publishing and social marketing campaign management product called Sysomos Expeon. It's a significant added expense on top of the main Sysomos platform, but the ad campaign-specific ROI data and reporting it provides is unmatched.
Social tools are not all created equal. Some are quite expensive. The tools trying to cover everything mainly focus on organic vs. paid, so it is nearly impossible to have just one tool for organic and paid social. If you want an all-in-one service, Sprinklr seems to be the best management tool for all of your social channels. It helps you with posting, approval of content, and metrics reporting.   - Gina Michnowicz, Union+Webster
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.
Instagram works on a similar premise, in that this highly visual, user-centric app encourages participation and engagement. Here, user-focused images are king, so there’s possibly no better platform to shine the spotlight on your customers and how they’re using your product, or on your own employees doing work behind-the-scenes than through Instagram.
As the #1 marketing calendar for everything you need organized, CoSchedule allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com, CoSchedule helps nearly 8,000 marketing teams stay organized in more than 100 countries around the world.
What’s the right solution for you? Many people use both Hootsuite (to listen) and Bufferapp (to schedule), including me, and it really depends on your posting needs. In my opinion though, if Hootsuite we’re to introduce more scheduling options this could spell trouble for Buffer! But then again, Buffer could be working on some cool new dashboard that would rival Hootsuite’s offering, time will only tell.

Remember: Your content marketing strategy should define your social media marketing strategy – not the other way around – because it’s always best to evaluate each social channel against your strategic goals and audience needs before you distribute content there. And when you turn this evaluation into an actionable plan, everybody on your team will know where, when, and what they should be posting on each channel, as well as what their efforts are meant to achieve.
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BuzzSumo is a content and influencer identification tool for social media. It offers content performance insights, influencer identification, content alerts, and competitor analysis insights. This tool is great for A/B testing content to see what type of content performs best, who’s sharing and engaging with the content, and what’s working for other organizations.
SocialOomph really helps you get the best out of your social media marketing. With minimal effort, you can get maximal results. You can choose to use the free version of this software which has certain limitations. Note: if you decide to sign up for a 7-day trial of their premium service and you like it, you will get features you can’t access as a free user.
One metric that every social media marketer should care about in the engagement metric. The reason being simple: it gives you a strong insight into what your target audience thinks of your brand. Are people just mentioning your brand or are they having multiple conversations about it? Are they actively engaging with the topic? How are they sharing the content with each other?

Remember: Your content marketing strategy should define your social media marketing strategy – not the other way around – because it’s always best to evaluate each social channel against your strategic goals and audience needs before you distribute content there. And when you turn this evaluation into an actionable plan, everybody on your team will know where, when, and what they should be posting on each channel, as well as what their efforts are meant to achieve.


So why should your business get involved? Aside from personal branding, these chats can greatly benefit your business by giving you the ability to discover new leads, build brand authority, develop strong relationships with influencers in your industry, and further expose your brand. Host your own chat or partner with a big brand to co-host a chat; you’ll grow your follower base substantially if it’s promoted well. Explore the resources in this post to get an idea of which re-occurring chats take place in your industry.
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