It's a good idea to start with a plan that has goals and an organizing framework to keep you on track. If you start down a path on the social Web and hate what you're doing, you can change things around. Just as you change networking and conversational approaches in person, you can do so on the social Web. The only differences are that on the social Web, you're talking through your keyboard, and your potential audience is much, much larger.
Why would I want to go online to chat to a bunch of strangers? What respected business person would actually take time out of their day to participate in one of these cult-like chats? These were the initial thoughts which ran through by head when introduced to the concept of Twitter chats. My view drastically changed when WordStream founder, Larry Kim, raved about #PPCChat, encouraging me and my colleagues to participate as frequently as possible. So I took his advice and started participating in our industry related chats. I was surprised to find the experience to be very enjoyable; I even added #PPCChat as a recurring event in my calendar on Tuesday so that I wouldn’t forget to join in the live conversation. The chat gave me the ability to connect with others in the industry and also learn from those who have varying experiences from my own. I noticed an uptick in my personal followers and one week I was even featured as the top quote in the PPCChat write-up that’s published after every chat.
If Facebook is your game, then try out Social Insider: www.socialinsider.io. Social Insider allows digital marketers to compare their Facebook page with an unlimited number of competitors they want. They get all the history data, insights about paid growth vs. organic growth, active fans, posts and engagement insights. Hope it’s useful for you guys 🙂

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.
Social media platforms like Yelp and FourSquare are great for brick and mortar businesses looking to implement marketing on social media. Register on these sites to claim your location spot, and then consider extra incentives such as check-in rewards or special discounts. Remember, these visitors will have their phones in hand, so they will be able to write and post reviews. A lot of good reviews can significantly help sway prospective visitors to come in and build your business!
Socedo is an automated social media lead generation tool that works with Twitter and LinkedIn to help you find the right leads from social media and then add them to your sales funnel. So if you came to this page looking for a tool to plan and publish content, Socedo isn’t your best option. But if you came here looking for a way to convert more of your social audience into business leads, then check out their data-driven approach to social media management.
You can actually survey your customers to learn more about the type of content they consume, why they use your product/service, their habits, what blogs they follow and more importantly the social networks they use etc. Any feedback from your customers should be considered important. The idea is to gain as much clarity as possible. Once you have a complete picture, your overall social media marketing efforts become fruitful, and result-oriented.
Hearsay Systems offers the Hearsay Advisor Cloud for financial services, empowering advisors to efficiently and compliantly use social media, websites, text and email to engage with customers, build stronger relationships and grow their business. Its prescriptive technology processes and prioritizes data from across digital channels and data systems, providing actionable suggestions for advisors on how they should engage with clients next. Built for the enterprise, Hearsay connects these advisor-client interactions and data to corporate CRM systems and digital marketing programs, and provides efficient compliance supervision and review workflows – all on a secure, enterprise-ready platform. Hearsay is used by more than 150,000 advisors and agents at the world’s largest financial services and insurance firms. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner.  Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed.  If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them.  If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them.  It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately.  Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services (we will discuss further in next section).
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.
Whether you are a user handling multiple accounts, or an agency that handles hundreds, HootSuite makes it easy. It’s easy to add accounts, easy to schedule posts across all major platforms and easy to add account managers. In addition, the company also has a robust training platform that teaches not just the tools, but how to think about social marketing as a whole. As a package, the best out there for the price.   - David Kley, Web Design and Company
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.[32] The #MakeItCount YouTube video went viral and Nike saw an 18% increase in profit in 2012, the year this product was released.
Facebook seems to be the most popular platform for marketers, but Instagram is rapidly gaining ground both from marketers and actual users. Instagram has also updated its algorithm this year to focus on non-chronological feed display. This has been a big change for marketers as it requires them to create more appealing and engaging content to make sure they show up in their followers’ feeds. The more their followers engage with the brand, the higher their chances to maintain visibility on their feeds.
Inaccurate Automated Sentiment Analysis: Most SMMS generate reports about customer sentiments. Such reports are often proved inaccurate despite vendor assurance. Depending on these reports could severely impact a company’s appraisal of customer sentiments. Plus, it is easy to miss valuable social media insights from the use of automatically generated sentiment analysis.
If you’re looking for a platform to create your social media content calendar, there are a plethora of great options available. Both Buffer and Hootsuite are free to sign up, and allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, based on the platform of your choice. This means that you won’t have to worry about posting anything manually at a specific time.
If your business naturally focuses on a specific niche (like cat owners, for example), your job will be easier than if you’re trying to appeal to a more general audience (like a telecommunications or airline brands). I recommend lurking in the places your intended customers often hang out, in subreddits or blog comments for example, to see what they’re interested in.

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.
Ultimately, it's about bringing social analytics full circle to prove ROI to your executive team. Synthesio shines here with a full-blown ROI tab of analytics tools to chart the progression of a social user to a follower and a follower to full-blown customer acquisition. This also plays into Synthesio's creative analytics tools for community analysis, using techniques including psychographics to break a customer base down into an ecosystem. It's into this ecosystem that enterprises can market social campaigns at audience segments based on their professional fields, personal interests, or brand preferences.
Your Twitter profile and tweets can get crawled and indexed by Googlebot and appear in both Google mobile and desktop search results. Google has been expanding how it displays tweets in Google Search. Tweet Indexation Rate Tool queries Google and returns the percentage of your indexed tweets, the Moz Page Authority, and number of other websites linking to your Twitter account.
When you’re just starting out with social media marketing for your business, you’ll need to create accounts on the social media channels which you believe will help you to reach your goals. If you’re starting from zero, it’s important to make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thinly — it’s much more beneficial to focus on nailing one or two channels instead of trying to grow all of them at once.
Engagement in social media for the purpose of a social media strategy is divided into two parts. The first is proactive, regular posting of new online content (digital photos, digital videos, text) and conversations, as well as the sharing of content and information from others via weblinks. The second part is reactive conversations with social media users responding to those who reach out to your social media profiles through commenting or messaging[22] Traditional media such as TV news shows are limited to one-way interaction with customers or 'push and tell' where only specific information is given to the customer with few or limited mechanisms to obtain customer feedback. Traditional media such as paper newspapers, of course, do give readers the option of sending a letter to the editor, but this is a relatively slow process, as the editorial board has to review the letter and decide if it is appropriate for publication. On the other hand, social media is participative and open, as participants are able to instantly share their views on brands, products, and services. Traditional media gave control of message to the marketer, whereas social media shifts the balance to the consumer (or citizen).
As with Facebook, photo based contests and suggestions open up more dialog between a brand and its followers. Take a leaf from the book of online art retailer Society6 who invite users to share images of their recently purchased products in action with the hashtag #shareyoursociety6. Not only does it give users a chance to share your spotlight, it shows off your product in an authentic way,
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.

Buffer is also one of the best apps for managing your social media presence and scheduling your posts. The app also comes with analytics tools which enable you to track your audience’s activity and figure out when it is the best time for you to post in the future. We especially love its Chrome extension, which integrates itself seamlessly and never gets in the way, yet it is always there when you need. It is a simpler and more effective way of managing your social media, and you are never more than a few clicks away from setting up anything you want.
Zoho Social manage multiple social networks, schedule unlimited posts, monitor keywords, and collaborate with your team all from a single dashboard. It let to publish your content when your audience is more likely to see it. The prediction engine helps you decide the best time to schedule your content. Instant notifications let you respond and engage your audience even while you're on the move. Zoho Social understand who your audience is and how they engage with your business on social media, choose from ready-made reports or create your own, based on the numbers that matter for you. Collaborate on ideas…
One more tool I came across with this year is viralpep. Some extraordinary features that outstands other social media management tools are – 50 Social Profile which you can maintain easily on a single platform, Unlimited Posting on social profiles, Scheduling Posts so you can manage your profiles more reliably, Manage a Team of 20 can help in conveying your messages, making the postings fast and easy, 24/7 Support of team for the client, Profile & Post Timezone while you are scheduling it becomes easy to set time, GIF Support, Like and Share, URL Shortener, Video Share, Link Preview is available, hashtag is supported & is Mobile Friendly.
But what happens if a BIG, truly embarrassing mistake is made? Personally, I love how Pamela Vaughan, a HubSpot employee, handled her baby bump mishap. Pamela accidently posted a picture of her growing pregnant belly to HubSpot’s company Twitter account, which has close to 350,000 followers. Instead of crawling into a hole of embarrassment, Pamela embraced her faux-pas and created this awesome blog post. The post has received a lot of love, with several shares and comments mostly showing respect for HubSpot’s human element – a key that makes them one of the most loved marketing companies out there.
Social Mention is a social media search and social media analytics tool that aggregates user generated content into a single stream of information. Track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites.
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!
Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. We have a suite of products for publishing, engagement, analytics, and team collaboration (Publish, Reply, and Analyze). Our products are carefully considered and highly refined in order to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively. Buffer is a team of real people, aligned in common values. Being a Buffer customer should feel like you have a whole team of people cheering for you. We want to see you succeed on social!

eClincher is a comprehensive platform but yet simple to use. It has all the essential features a social media management tool should have plus unique ones – auto posting with smart queues, social inbox, RSS feeds integration and auto posting, suggested content plus curation, influencer discovery, custom analytics reports, Canva integration, media asset management, free image library, URL shorteners, and more. Let’s look at a few of those.
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.
The nature of each channel and the engagement preferences of its core community will play a major role in deciding whether your content is a good fit. For example, your audience might be open to connecting with your brand in a Twitter chat but prefers to reserve Snapchat for conversations with personal friends. Long-form content might play well on LinkedIn or Medium, while memes and captioned photos on these platforms would be inappropriate. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each channel and its corresponding community before joining the conversation.
Social media is too big, and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.
Meet Edgar took the digital world by storm when it was one of the first social media management tools to popularize “evergreen sharing”. They have certainly evolved since their beginnings as a simple library of repurposed content and they deserve to rank in our list of tools. However, the other tools have caught up and Edgar’s primary point of difference is fading.
I know, I know there are a lot of options here! Luckily, they all have free plans so you can experiment and find the platform that works best for your social strategy. At the end of the day you can’t go wrong moving onto a social media management tool – it will likely save you time, grow your social presence, and possibly even make you some money! 
Social media monitoring and listening: Any social media strategy without this capability will not bear fruit. This feature allows users to know what consumers are saying about their brand, their industry and even the competition. This is done through monitoring, which involves keeping tabs on existing conversations. In doing so, companies can join conversations that can benefit their marketing efforts.

You can actually survey your customers to learn more about the type of content they consume, why they use your product/service, their habits, what blogs they follow and more importantly the social networks they use etc. Any feedback from your customers should be considered important. The idea is to gain as much clarity as possible. Once you have a complete picture, your overall social media marketing efforts become fruitful, and result-oriented.
SocialFlow is a social distribution and monetization platform that is purpose-built for media companies. Our technology enables the world's most successful publishers to easily distribute engaging social content while providing them monetization opportunities across multiple social networks. Our publishing software is used by tens of thousands of journalists across the world and extends the reach and engagement of editorial content and stories to the social sphere. When you see a news item in your social feed, the odds are good that it came through SocialFlow. SocialFlow's advertising products help publishers create new revenue streams from their social efforts. With native solution sand AttentionStream sponsored post ads, SoicialFlow helps media companies leverage the unmatched scale and distribution of social channels. Founded in 2009 and based in New York, SocialFlow's client roster includes half of the top 150 media companies including Conde Nast, Time, Inc., The Associated Press and the BBC. To learn more, visit SocialFlow.com
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.
Aside from this, SMMS can help businesses where team collaboration is required. Shared inboxes are a common thing with SMMS systems, allowing individuals to send messages to the right people. Such software also help provide brand security by allowing but trusted staff to send messages to corporate social profiles. Inappropriate messages sent are easily tracked and can be dealt with accordingly. In the same manner, unauthorized content that can adversely impact a brand can also be prevented.
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.
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!
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