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.
Hootsuite has a special place in my heart, likely because it’s the first social media management platform that I used at my very first job as a Marketing Assistant. At the time, I was managing the company’s social strategy before social advertising had really taken off. I can still remember the hours upon hours I would spend putting together a posting content calendar and setting reminders for myself to tweet at certain times. This was until I discovered Hootsuite and my life as a frantic Twitter bird instantly changed.
The easiest way to view social media management is to consider that it includes 3 major social media disciplines: social listening, social analytics and social engagement. Social listening is when you gather everything that is being said about your brand. Social analytics help you understand all the social media chatter and relate it to possible business changes. Social engagement is the act of interacting, usually 1-on-1 but occasionally at scale, with customers over social channels. Most businesses take on social engagement to close the loop with customers on their issues.
The code of ethics that is affiliated with traditional marketing can also be applied to social media. However, with social media being so personal and international, there is another list of complications and challenges that come along with being ethical online. With the invention of social media, the marketer no longer has to focus solely on the basic demographics and psychographics given from television and magazines, but now they can see what consumers like to hear from advertisers, how they engage online, and what their needs and wants are.[106] The general concept of being ethical while marking on social network sites is to be honest with the intentions of the campaign, avoid false advertising, be aware of user privacy conditions (which means not using consumers' private information for gain), respect the dignity of persons in the shared online community, and claim responsibility for any mistakes or mishaps that are results of your marketing campaign.[107] Most social network marketers use websites like Facebook and MySpace to try to drive traffic to another website.[108] While it is ethical to use social networking websites to spread a message to people who are genuinely interested, many people game the system with auto-friend adding programs and spam messages and bulletins. Social networking websites are becoming wise to these practices, however, and are effectively weeding out and banning offenders.
As with any other type of digital marketing tactic you employ, you’ll want to make sure that you track and measure your social media campaign results over time. This is the only way to know if your campaigns are successfully helping you meet your marketing goals. Not to mention, this is how you will determine your social media ROI and decide if you’re putting your resources to the best use.
Build a loyal following: Grow an engaged audience that wants to hear from you; don’t inflate your follower count with fake or bought followers. You want to build an authentic community of people who are interested in your products, and who will promote your content or products to others. You can measure this by followers you’ve added or lost in a certain time frame, or your engagement rate (total engagement divided by number of followers).
Zoho Social has many of the same tools and features that the other platforms have, but they also have Facebook lead ads, advanced reporting features, a SocialShare browser plugin, and CRM integrations. Zoho Social caters to agencies as well so marketers have the choice of choosing between the business or agency plans. Pricing for the paid plans ranges from $8.33 to $125+ for larger agencies. Zoho Social’s free plan allows you to manage 1 brand, and includes the URL shortener and SocialShare browser plugin.
The SMMS market is a highly-fragmented one, owing to the number of vendors offering them and the constant innovations that keep companies competitive. Continuous product and service portfolio expansion is seen to drive competition further up, with developers high up in the ladder seen to gain further competitive edge by coming up with more advanced and innovative solutions.
Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using snapchat every single day.[66] It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.[66]
Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to start generating engaging content.  Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts.  As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share?  Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.
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. 
Social Analytics is a really handy and easy to use chrome extension which gives you social share stats on any page, to see how popular that page is on social media. This helps you get a good idea for what content on your site or your influencers/competitors site is getting shared on social media. Which can then be used to help you plan and optimise your future content to do better on social media.
You’ve probably wondered: What type of posts are a “hit” with my audience? Which ones get the most shares and engagement? How do I get more leads through social channels? Thankfully, with a dashboard, you can stop the guesswork. By seeing what your audience clicked on, you can fine-tune into what your followers enjoy. Dashboards make it easy to analyze everything at once.
A company’s social media presence can also be amplified using these solutions by automatically sending messages using different social media platforms. They likewise enable companies to integrate their social media activities with their respective marketing programs. This functionality has lead the way to the increased use of social media management software. An industry report has revealed that the primary reason for the increase in the use of the solution is its ability to improve brand awareness.
If you decide to measure the number of leads generated through social media marketing, we advise adding a unique discount code to your social media posts — this will help you to understand how you acquired your customers. If you see that a discount code from a specific post on social media is being used more than others, it’s a good indicator that said content resonates well with your audience.
In a nutshell, building a strong social media community is all about fostering engagement. The more relevant engagement within your community, the more valuable it becomes to users. You should also keep a close eye on which topics and content types (videos, memes, quotes, etc.) perform best and use that information to shape your community-building in the future.
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
Now that you know the answer to the pressing question, what is social media management, it’s time to talk about why social media management is important for your small business. The first and perhaps most obvious reason is that your customers are active on social media. They want to see content from brands like yours, and they are often open to the messages you present on social channels more than they are advertising messages.
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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