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).[86][87][88][89][89][89] 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).[90]

Creating a content calendar doesn't require complex software; you can create one in Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Planning out your content a month at a time offers you a distinct advantage: You can plan for holidays, scheduled product releases, newsletter blasts and more. Having a content calendar is a key aspect of developing a cohesive social media marketing strategy.   - Kelly Samuel, Qode Media
While the free plan is not super robust, it still allows for two queues (which is a destination to publish posts), the ability to schedule three posts per queue, link shortening, browser extensions, an integration with Zapier, as well as standard support. The free plan can also be used for a variety of social platforms like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tumblr. 
While the free plan is not super robust, it still allows for two queues (which is a destination to publish posts), the ability to schedule three posts per queue, link shortening, browser extensions, an integration with Zapier, as well as standard support. The free plan can also be used for a variety of social platforms like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tumblr. 

SocialOomph is a neat web tool that provides a host of free and paid productivity enhancements for social media. You can do a lot with the site which includes functions for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plurk and your blog. There are a ton of useful Twitter features like scheduling tweets, tracking keyword, viewing mentions and retweets, DM inbox cleanup, auto-follow and auto-DM features for new followers. Social Oomph will auto-follow any new follower of yours on Twitter if you like, which could save you a ton of time if you normally like to reciprocate follows. Social Oomph is so effective at increasing social media productivity that I use the site every day but haven’t had any reason to actually log in there since last year!
We also try to look for content that will last, not just trend for a week and disappear. If you are able to produce content or develop insights that will stay relevant in the industry, these are gold! For us, social media content does really well on—surprise!—social media. This tweet was posted in mid-June and I’m still seeing it being retweeted even now.

When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there.


Instagram has proven itself a powerful platform for marketers to reach their customers and prospects through sharing pictures and brief messages. According to a study by Simply Measured, 71% of the world's largest brands are now using Instagram as a marketing channel.[64] For companies, Instagram can be used as a tool to connect and communicate with current and potential customers. The company can present a more personal picture of their brand, and by doing so the company conveys a better and true picture of itself. The idea of Instagram pictures lies on on-the-go, a sense that the event is happening right now, and that adds another layer to the personal and accurate picture of the company. In fact, Thomas Rankin, co-founder and CEO of the program Dash Hudson, stated that when he approves a blogger's Instagram post before it is posted on the behalf of a brand his company represents, his only negative feedback is if it looks too posed. "It's not an editorial photo," he explained, "We're not trying to be a magazine. We're trying to create a moment."[63] Another option Instagram provides the opportunity for companies to reflect a true picture of the brandfrom the perspective of the customers, for instance, using the user-generated contents thought the hashtags encouragement.[65] Other than the filters and hashtags functions, the Instagram's 15-second videos and the recently added ability to send private messages between users have opened new opportunities for brands to connect with customers in a new extent, further promoting effective marketing on Instagram.
Social media marketing involves the use of social networks, consumer's online brand-related activities (COBRA) and electronic word of mouth (eWOM)[81][82] to successfully advertise online. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertisers with information about the likes and dislikes of their consumers.[67] This technique is crucial, as it provides the businesses with a "target audience".[67] With social networks, information relevant to the user's likes is available to businesses; who then advertise accordingly. Activities such as uploading a picture of your "new Converse sneakers to Facebook[81]" is an example of a COBRA.[81][82] Electronic recommendations and appraisals are a convenient manner to have a product promoted via "consumer-to-consumer interactions.[81][81] An example of eWOM would be an online hotel review;[83] the hotel company can have two possible outcomes based on their service. A good service would result in a positive review which gets the hotel free advertising via social media. However, a poor service will result in a negative consumer review which can potentially harm the company's reputation.
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!
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience's style and taste. Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video is also possible on YouTube, "for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company in results along with other videos."[67] YouTube also enable publishers to earn money through its YouTube Partner Program. Companies can pay YouTube for a special "channel" which promotes the companies products or services.
Because social is so critical to building strong brands, it’s important for your team to maximize how they use it (and what tools they use) to make that job easier. There are plenty of free social media tools out there to help your team save time and money. To stay current on those options, check out the updated list below of eight free tools that can simplify your team’s social media marketing:
eClincher is a powerful and intuitive social media and online management platform, serving businesses of all sizes, agencies and professionals. eClincher offers advanced publishing, including publishing automation with queues and RSS feeds, one inbox to manage engagement and interactions, live social feeds, keywords monitoring, suggested content, influencers discovery, analytics dashboard and custom reports. Supports: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram business, LinkedIn, Google+, Google My Business, Pinterest, YouTube, Blogger..and many more cool integrations. START YOUR FREE TRIAL today (payment information is not required).

Talkwalker Alerts is a free, easy-to-use brand monitoring system which emails updates of your latest brand/keyword mentions to your inbox, from across the internet as well as Twitter. It also brings coverage from communities like Reddit, giving users a sense of the buzz created by their audience. You simply need to enter the topic you wish to set up an alert for, click to view a preview and select the types of results you want to see. You also have the option to select how frequently you want to receive the results: As it happens, daily and weekly.


In my post last year covering social media strategy suggestions for 2014, I stressed tactics such as creating a social media marketing plan and sticking to it, going above and beyond in social media customer service, embracing mishaps, and so on. Let me assure you, these strategies are all still critical, but with the New Year upon us I have some new and improved tips up my sleeve to add to your social media marketing plan for 2015.
Social Engagement – eClincher offers a Social Inbox which lets users manage all their social media engagement and interactions in one place. We’re talking about tweets, DMs, mentions, comments, likes, shares, new followers, even YouTube and Facebook Ad comments. There are also social listening and monitoring features to help you monitor your brand or other mentions, interact with followers, and start new conversations.
We will use our primary Twitter handle as both a customer service channel and a broadcast/interaction channel instead of having 2 separate handles. Twitter will be used to make us feel extremely accessible to consumers – real humans at the other end in real time (so we will initial conversations wherever possible). This will be beneficial in developing brand awareness and putting a real face to the products bought elsewhere.
Brands typically have a lot of questions when it comes to marketing to consumers on any third-party content platform. Social media can be particularly puzzling as the rules, opportunities, audiences, and value propositions vary greatly from one channel to another – and can shift gears abruptly without a moment’s notice. But one thing that can make your decisions more straightforward is establishing a channel plan – an advanced directive for how your brand can and should distribute its content marketing efforts on rented channels like social media, and what you expect to achieve.
You should never use your social channels as a bragging platform. These channels aren’t to be solely self-promotional, this is boring and obnoxious. There needs to be a balance between marketing your brand and sharing stories and news from other valuable resources. If you kept seeing Instagram upon Instagram from your favorite clothing apparel store promoting solely their own clothing items you’d probably un-follow and avoid the store out of sheer frustration. Instead focus on a balance between sharing promotional content, interacting with your followers and influencers, and sharing other useful and entertaining content. The key word here is “other,” what is that? Follow these tips to easily determine what content is share-worthy:

Running a social media marketing campaign is only one part of the equation. The other part is tracking it to see if it is effectively working for you. You cannot make the mistake of making any assumptions when it comes successful social media marketing. You should know whether a tactic is giving you results or not before you start losing money. Because after all, you need a positive return on investment from your marketing.


SocialPilot is a social media automation tool for scheduling and marketing your social media to increase your social media efficiency. 1) You can connect over 9 social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Xing and VK with SocialPilot. 2) Share as many as 500 posts and connect over 200 profiles with just one SocialPilot account. 3) Post with your own brand name instead of SocialPilot's with the Custom FB Branding Feature. 4) Add up to 20 team members in your SocialPilot account to delegate sharing and scheduling with Team Collaboration feature. 5) Schedule 100s' of posts at a time uploading a CSV with Bulk Scheduling feature. 6) Want to have a look on when and what have you scheduled, have a look at our Social Media Calendar. 7) Never stay out of content, we have a lot many content suggestions. Add Curated Content and RSS Feeds for a never ending scheduling of your posts. 8) Difficulty waiting for your client's response about their account credentials. With Client Connect feature, wait no more for their account credentials or being an admin. 9) Bored of long, unwanted ugly looking URLs'. Create your own customized branded domains for more visibility and recognition with the URL Shorteners SocialPilot provides. With all these features under just one platform just go, start SocialPiloting right away!
Monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules to share with clients and colleagues. Track brand sentiment, follower growth, plus incorporate Facebook Insights and Google analytics. Draft and schedule messages to send at a time your audience is most likely to be online. HootSuite has the dashboard for your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android.
If you are looking for a tool that will not only allow you to schedule posts for all your social media accounts, but also to receive detailed reports and keyword searches at the same time within a single stream, you may want to give Sprout Social a shot. Currently, the app provides supports for several major social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also schedule posts and monitor social media activity on the go, since Sprout Social also comes as a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
This is all somewhat depressing, but as my mom recently explained Facebook has given her the power to reconnect with friends and even family members that she hasn’t spoken to in over twenty years. We’ve all heard stories of long-lost siblings, lovers, and guardians finding each other via social platforms. Not to mention the powerful charitable movements like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which helped raise over $100 million for ALS, a 3,500% increase from the $2.8 million raised during the same time period the year prior, according to Forbes.

As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting!

Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long. Get deeper analytics than if you just post to social networks directly. With Buffer you can manage:
Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only needs to take a few hours each month. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Here are some stats to focus on: number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, pageviews, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!). 
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.
You should never use your social channels as a bragging platform. These channels aren’t to be solely self-promotional, this is boring and obnoxious. There needs to be a balance between marketing your brand and sharing stories and news from other valuable resources. If you kept seeing Instagram upon Instagram from your favorite clothing apparel store promoting solely their own clothing items you’d probably un-follow and avoid the store out of sheer frustration. Instead focus on a balance between sharing promotional content, interacting with your followers and influencers, and sharing other useful and entertaining content. The key word here is “other,” what is that? Follow these tips to easily determine what content is share-worthy:
My favorite thing to do on Twitter is to find disgruntled customers and respond, trying to solve their issues. In a survey from InSites Consulting, 83% of companies reported that they deal with questions or complaints sent via social media, so I’m not alone. This is a great way to show that your company cares and a face and personality behind the façade.
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.
We will use our primary Twitter handle as both a customer service channel and a broadcast/interaction channel instead of having 2 separate handles. Twitter will be used to make us feel extremely accessible to consumers – real humans at the other end in real time (so we will initial conversations wherever possible). This will be beneficial in developing brand awareness and putting a real face to the products bought elsewhere.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products in short messages known as tweets limited to 140 characters which appear on followers' Home timelines.[40] Tweets can contain text, Hashtag, photo, video, Animated GIF, Emoji, or links to the product's website and other social media profiles, etc.[41] Twitter is also used by companies to provide customer service.[42] Some companies make support available 24/7 and answer promptly, thus improving brand loyalty and appreciation.
Komfo is now part of Falcon.io. Falcon is a SaaS platform for social media marketers. It combines social media listening, engaging, publishing, measuring and data management tools in one easy-to-use suite. We help businesses to explore the full potential of digital marketing by managing multiple customer touchpoints from one platform. You will love the easy-to-use UI, backed by stellar support.

Jarvis is a social media tool which recommends proven content that skyrockets engagement, boosts reach and drives more traffic to users’ website from Facebook and Twitter. Jarvis has features such as posts scheduling, keyword filtering, content management and automated publishing. Jarvis shows users the most viral and compelling content on the web and lets users add it to their queue with just a click which is then scheduled for automatic posting later where content are conveniently scheduled every day. Users may also choose how many content to post per day where users can even shuffle the content by clicking the…

The Internet and social networking leaks are one of the issues facing traditional advertising. Video and print ads are often leaked to the world via the Internet earlier than they are scheduled to premiere. Social networking sites allow those leaks to go viral, and be seen by many users more quickly. The time difference is also a problem facing traditional advertisers. When social events occur and are broadcast on television, there is often a time delay between airings on the east coast and west coast of the United States. Social networking sites have become a hub of comment and interaction concerning the event. This allows individuals watching the event on the west coast (time-delayed) to know the outcome before it airs. The 2011 Grammy Awards highlighted this problem. Viewers on the west coast learned who won different awards based on comments made on social networking sites by individuals watching live on the east coast.[97] Since viewers knew who won already, many tuned out and ratings were lower. All the advertisement and promotion put into the event was lost because viewers didn't have a reason to watch.[according to whom?]
Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website Fixwillpower.com. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.
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]
When you first sign up for this management tool, it can seem a bit overwhelming. There are tabs and instructions everywhere. You’re given insight right away into certain statistics you don’t usually get with other tools. However, Sprout Social is different from the rest, because it focuses on the idea that communication and engagement between businesses and customers should be better and more open.
Hi Daniel,informative article.I am a social media enthusiast and use Sociota to manage my accounts.Apart from above mentioned tools,Sociota is a user friendly platform to handle facebook profiles,pages and twitter handles.Its additional features help to share maximum information on a regular basis and keep me in regular contact with my new and existing followers.Reports generated by Sociota also help to analyse those fields where one lacks behind and helps to scout the barriers in your social reach.It has really worked to furbished my social profile.Its free trial must be checked out.
Facebook insights provides a similar functionality to Twitter analytics, this gives you stats on your pages post reach, engagement and likes. This helps you measure your progress and find out what is working well. You can also add your competitor’s pages to your ‘Pages to Watch’ list, so you can discover their engagement stats as well. This means if you see a competitor performing particularly well it might be worth seeing how they are using Facebook. Equally if a big player in your industry is doing rather badly (it happens more than you might think), then it might be worth seeing what there doing wrong so as not to fall foul of it as well.
Some of the measurables related to generating these 25 new customers would be conversion rate, traffic generated via the campaign, and click-through-rate. These metrics would be important to this specific campaign because they all relate to our goal (generating 25 new customers) and help us to forecast our performance, as well as measure against industry standards and competitors.
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