Moving up from being just another marketing channel, social media has become a primary conduit for any kind of business to connect with customers and partners. Touchpoints can vary widely. It could be matching social perception trends to specific records or audience groupings in your customer relationship management (CRM) repository; or, you could record a customer's @mention in your helpdesk system when she complains about your product over Twitter. What makes social media so attractive and valuable is that it's a real-time conduit for measuring your audience's pulse and pushing out content that aligns with your brand. To be an effective social media manager or marketer across all these fronts requires a robust social media management and analytics platform.
I have found that the most important part of these tools (other than the obviously time-saving) is their ability to auto-schedule posts when your account is most likely to see high engagement. It takes a certain amount of brain power to pick times for 10+ posts per day, and this a huge help. If you’d like to simply analyze your twitter sphere timing, Hubspot has a handy tool called TweetWhen which will select your most retweetable time of day, and Tweriod will select the best times to tweet.

What works for one business doesn’t necessarily work for others, even if you’re in similar industries. Before you define one or more goals, figure out where your business stands. First, audit your brand’s digital presence, including a social media audit. Then, analyze your marketing and sales funnels to determine where improvements could have a significant effect.
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.
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.
Getting traction on Pinterest doesn’t require any “secret sauce” or deep knowledge of algorithms and other tactics. Pinterest’s Guided Search is as easy as it gets. Be clear about the theme(s) of your pinboard(s) and stick closely to them. You can create as many pinboards as you want.  Then, simply optimize your image file names and descriptions, as well as their titles and you’ll be ready to enjoy a pinstravaganza.
Rob Watts is PCMag's Business Analyst, writing reviews and features for a variety of business applications. He brings years of experience in editorial insights to the role, having previously worked as an editor for Keypoint Intelligence, an independent test laboratory for document imaging hardware and software. He spends his free time cooking and g... See Full Bio
It's not hard to see how small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and enterprise organizations could sink a lot of precious time and money into a social media program and come up empty-handed. Empty-handed, that is, except for all of the business-critical data they have and don't know how to analyze, and thus, monetize. Let's say you're in marketing. You're possibly tasked with being the entire department. You're a power user but not a social media expert. With all of the hype surrounding social media marketing, it's still important to take the time to educate yourself on the basics. Find out what data will be useful and then find a tool that delivers it. Don't try to tailor your company's social media program to a particular toolbox without a plan.
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!
Managing your social media effectively allows you to get the most out of this powerful channel. Consistently creating and publishing valuable content can help you establish authentic connections with your target audience. While social media advertising helps you reach new audiences that are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Scheduling: Some social media solutions enable businesses to schedule posts through the use of content calendars. They also allow for the anticipation of message releases. Content can be published at times when audiences are most likely to catch them. These mostly free templates eliminate the need for spreadsheets, which are the usual tools used in planning social posts.
The best social media apps offer a range of solutions that can help you easily organize multiple accounts and share information across several social networks without ever needing to post anything separately to your accounts directly from the web. Although many of the features, layouts, and intuitiveness differ across each app, they all get the job done when you choose the right one that matches your current social presence and marketing strategy.
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