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)…
“Over the last two years, the social network has repeatedly tweaked the system to show the top 300 or so items that it predicts each person will want to read,” according to a recent article by the New York Times. “Facebook argues that people prefer to see videos, photos, news articles and updates from their friends and family more than other brands. So over time, posts by businesses have shown up less frequently.” Facebook continues to push for more advertising so if your business wants traction it needs to be advertising. With all of that said you still need to use caution and tread lightly if you’re a budget conscious advertiser because with more and more competition prices are likely to rise. I’d also highly recommend retargeting with platforms like AdRoll because with retargeting you show your ads to people that have already expressed interest in your brand by visiting your site. I often see retargeting ads on the side of my Facebook News scan (i.e. the image below showing ads for two sites which I recently visited).
Marketers target influential people on social media who are recognised as being opinion leaders and opinion-formers to send messages to their target audiences and amplify the impact of their message. A social media post by an opinion leader can have a much greater impact (via the forwarding of the post or "liking" of the post) than a social media post by a regular user. Marketers have come to the understanding that "consumers are more prone to believe in other individuals" who they trust (Sepp, Liljander, & Gummerus, 2011). OL's and OF's can also send their own messages about products and services they choose (Fill, Hughes, & De Francesco, 2013, p. 216). The reason the opinion leader or formers have such a strong following base is because their opinion is valued or trusted (Clement, Proppe, & Rott, 2007). They can review products and services for their followings, which can be positive or negative towards the brand. OL's and OF's are people who have a social status and because of their personality, beliefs, values etc. have the potential to influence other people (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). They usually have a large number of followers otherwise known as their reference, membership or aspirational group (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189. By having an OL or OF support a brands product by posting a photo, video or written recommendation on a blog, the following may be influenced and because they trust the OL/OF a high chance of the brand selling more products or creating a following base. Having an OL/OF helps spread word of mouth talk amongst reference groups and/or memberships groups e.g. family, friends, work-friends etc. (Kotler, Burton, Deans, Brown, & Armstrong, 2013, p. 189). The adjusted communication model shows the use of using opinion leaders and opinion formers. The sender/source gives the message to many, many OL's/OF's who pass the message on along with their personal opinion, the receiver (followers/groups) form their own opinion and send their personal message to their group (friends, family etc.) (Dahlen, Lange, & Smith, 2010, p. 39).
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.
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.
If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free social media tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.
LinkedIn provides a variety of opportunities to put your best foot forward by showcasing your work and promoting yourself visually. Link to your articles in your profile, your portfolio in your achievements, and your slideshows as part of your background summary. Try to think of LinkedIn as a scrapbook of all of your shining professional successes and achievements.
HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool for people and businesses to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter from one web-based dashboard. Hootsuite has become an essential tool for managing social media, tracking conversations and measuring campaign results via the web or mobile devices. Hootsuite offers a free, pro and enterprise solution for managing unlimited social profiles, enhanced analytics, advanced message scheduling, Google Analytics and Facebook insights integration.
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.
Hootsuite provides a more complete solution that allows you to schedule updates and monitor conversations, whereas Buffer isn’t a dashboard that shows you other people’s content. However, Bufferapp has superior scheduling flexibility over Hootsuite because you can designate very specific scheduling times and change patterns throughout the week. Hootsuite recently introduced an autoschedule feature that automatically designates a scheduling time based on a projected best time to post. This can be effective to use, but doesn’t have the same flexibility as Buffer since you don’t really know when a post will be scheduled till after doing so.
A short film released on March 5, 2012, by humanitarian group Invisible Children, Inc. This 29-minute video aimed at making Joseph Kony, an International Criminal Court fugitive, famous worldwide in order to have support for his arrest by December 2012—the time when the campaign ends. The video went viral within the first six days after its launch, reaching 100 million views on both YouTube and Vimeo. According to research done by Visible Measures, the Kony 2012 short film became the fastest growing video campaign, and most viral video, to reach 100 million views in 6 days followed by Susan Boyle performance on Britain's Got Talent that reached 70 million views in 6 days.
The snapshot also includes insights into things such as: reach, exposure, tweet activity, tweet types, top contributors, top tweets, list of contributors, and tweet timelines. If your company uses Twitter daily or your company leaders are trying to identify potential influencers to work with, this is a great tool to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. TweetReach also offers paid plans in addition to its free snapshot reports.
Who is going to create your content? Who is going to maintain your social media accounts? Who is going to respond to questions and be the face of your business online? Do you have the technical ability in-house to join the online conversation? If not, are you willing to learn? Can you or someone who works with you write well? You need to be sure you have the necessary people in place to execute a social media marketing plan before you start.
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. The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.
IFTTT, or “If This Then That,” is a great automation tool that can help you save a lot of time on trying to manage social media platforms, apps and websites. The tool can link these services together based on a trigger and an action. Based on the trigger you create, it will start an action. For example, if you publish a blog (the trigger), then IFTTT will automate and create a tweet (the action). - Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
However, social media can be overwhelming if you don’t have the proper knowledge or tools. Whether it’s to create or repurpose content, to find the best way to engage with your online community or to create a comprehensive posting schedule, having the right social media management tools is crucial to your success. Here are 15 of the best social media management tools currently available and how they can help you make the most of your social presence, as recommended by leading members of Forbes Agency Council.
Explore your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow. The visualization runs right in your browser and displays data from Twitter. Mentionmap loads user’s tweets and finds the people and hashtags they talked about the most. In this data visualization, mentions become connections and discussions between multiple users emerge as clusters.