Your social media strategy is your plan of attack. But in a space like this that literally changes by the day, with surprise newsfeed algorithm updates, new channels, and audiences always ready for something new, you need to remain flexible and keep your finger on the pulse of the internet to constantly improve without getting distracted by every new shiny object.
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.
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.
ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
Social media can be a useful source of market information and a way to hear customer perspectives. Blogs, content communities, and forums are platforms where individuals share their reviews and recommendations of brands, products, and services. Businesses are able to tap and analyze the customer voices and feedback generated in social media for marketing purposes;[15] in this sense the social media is a relatively inexpensive source of market intelligence which can be used by marketers and managers to track and respond to consumer-identified problems and detect market opportunities. For example, the Internet erupted with videos and pictures of iPhone 6 "bend test" which showed that the coveted phone could be bent by hand pressure. The so-called "bend gate" controversy[16] created confusion amongst customers who had waited months for the launch of the latest rendition of the iPhone. However, Apple promptly issued a statement saying that the problem was extremely rare and that the company had taken several steps to make the mobile device's case stronger and robust. Unlike traditional market research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and data mining which are time-consuming and costly, and which take weeks or even months to analyze, marketers can use social media to obtain 'live' or "real time" information about consumer behavior and viewpoints on a company's brand or products. This can be useful in the highly dynamic, competitive, fast-paced and global marketplace of the 2010s.
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.

If you’re looking to streamline post scheduling, content curation, and social listening, Hootsuite is a neat hat-trick for all three. The social media service is capable of multi-platform post scheduling, content cloud storage, tracking the digital impact of your social media campaigns, and monitoring social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location — and in multiple languages. It’s compatible with all major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+) and WordPress, along with a slew of other systems such as Salesforce and MailChimp.
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.
Social Media Management and Analytics Software provide tools for gathering data from stakeholder conversations on digital media and processing into structured insights leading to more information-driven business decisions and increased customer centrality for brands and businesses. It involves identifying, extracting, and analyzing social media data such as tweets, shares, likes, and hyperlinks using stools and techniques and interpreting and aligning the insights gained with business goals and objectives.
Yelp consists of a comprehensive online index of business profiles. Businesses are searchable by location, similar to Yellow Pages. The website is operational in seven different countries, including the United States and Canada. Business account holders are allowed to create, share, and edit business profiles. They may post information such as the business location, contact information, pictures, and service information. The website further allows individuals to write, post reviews about businesses, and rate them on a five-point scale. Messaging and talk features are further made available for general members of the website, serving to guide thoughts and opinions.[56]
Insert some personality, humor, and spunk into your brand. Remember, social media has the word “social” in it for a reason. Yes, some use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to gather industry-related or world news, but more often than not social media is used to entertain and kill time. Your marketing messages need to adjust accordingly because if you’re using the same copy that you’re using in, let’s say search or email marketing, then your followers are going to remain oblivious to your brand. BarkBox, one of the trending box delivery services on the market, which caters exclusively to adorable doggies, is one company to take note of. Founded in 2011, BarkBox has done an impressive job of growing their business in a short time frame, with a large chunk of their marketing focusing on growing and creating engaging social content. Their Facebook page is hysterically entertaining, with each post featuring an adorable pup and tagline as if the dog was actually speaking to the reader. This works because it’s a. adorable b. hysterical and c. relatable. Just check out this post below with almost 3,000 likes, 42 comments, and 170 shares after just 9 hours. This massive amount of interactions and shares not only establishes brand authority, but also drastically increases chances of this post showing up on a friend’s newsfeed (therefore gaining brand awareness, followers, leads, and customers).
I love Twitter; it’s probably my favorite social platform. I’m not as active on Instagram, but I know a ton of people swear by it. This is why SocialRank is so great. It helps manage your followers on both platforms — Twitter and Instagram — so you’re not just accruing followers, but you’re also getting to know who they are and what they like. Honestly, it’s great to have a ton of followers, but what good is it if you don’t try and get to know most of them? After all, they’re your audience — if you care about appealing to them, SocialRank is a solid social tool to add to your toolbox.
The insights gleaned from your audience personas should be used to tailor your social media marketing strategy and help you to develop clear strategies to ensure you engage with all target audiences on social media. Audience personas should inform content creation, marketing campaigns, ad targeting, and more to ensure conversions against your goals.
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.
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.

Converse directly with your followers: Literally have a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content. The insurance company Allstate created a separate Twitter account for their popular advertising character, Mayhem, who continously “captures the life events you just can’t seem to avoid.” Almost everything they post is geared towards talking to their fans, whether that be retweeting, asking questions, running a contest, or even sending #MayhemValentine’s to followers. This Twitter account also follows my point above regarding using humor and personality in each post. Recently they ran an overwhelming successful social media campaign #MayhemSale, in which Mayhem possed as a burglar selling all his best burgles online. It sounds sort of bizzare, but it worked and created an insane amount of buzz. Just look at the one tweet below with 4.6K retweets.
The dashboard also features SEO tools, Content management software, reporting and even Pay Per Click Management. It’s all in one solution although it is priced higher at $99/month it eliminates the need for lot of other tools. Another great feature of Raven is that it allows you to integrate with Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Twitter and Facebook thus bringing the data from all these accounts into a single dashboard.
The best place for customer care lies on social media. Before brands got involved, it was created solely for communication, and that is still its core foundation. Customer interactions allow for the public opportunity to make complaints right. It’s also a place to enhance your relationship with them further by following them back, recommending additional products, and creating an open line of communication.
Hootsuite: A powerful SMMS, Hootsuite is designed to help businesses come up and with and implement social media strategies. It can likewise allow managers to handle multiple social media accounts using a single solution, eliminating the need for multiple logins. Users are allowed to post updates, directly communicate with customer base and analyze responses on social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare. The solution can also link businesses to third party applications such as Vimeo, Instagram and Evernote. Key features include management of multiple contributors, capture of brand intelligence and multiple network updates.

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.
thank you very much for this great list and sharing all this information about the different tools. I also think that there are differences between the tools, especially when it comes to usability and different options for optimizing social media management. In my eyes that is one reason why you should always consider the choice of tools for a blog as a whole.
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.

…and almost as important, quantity. Because let’s face it, social media is about what is going on NOW, right this second. This is especially true for Twitter; we recently found that engagement rate increased 46% week over week after publishing 30 more tweets than the week prior. In fact, those 30 extra tweets helped push 30% more traffic to the website with 60% more link clicks than the previous week.
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.
It also costs time to create snackable content and execute a full-blown strategy. So what's the solution for a budget-conscious business? First, enlist the help of social media tools to tackle virtually every aspect of your social media marketing, from content to advertising to lead generation, social listening, analytics, and more. Second, keep those social efforts organized. Using a spreadsheet or custom content promotion template can ensure you're maximizing every opportunity.
If you only have an editor or two managing the content marketing process, the bandwidth for consistent distribution and conversation monitoring may be limited to a few outlets; however, if you have a full team of writers, editors, and other distribution partners at your disposal, the extra manpower (or womanpower, see above) affords increased flexibility and control to manage content across many more channels.
Platform integration: The social media management software will help the business to manage all of its essential social media platforms, from one central point. The software allows for the integration of various platforms like Facebook, Twitter YouTube, Instagram and many others from a single dashboard. It means then that a business will be up to date with all the latest news and trends in the social media, making it easy for them to make informed decisions.

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!
Socialbakers is the first AI-powered social media marketing suite for brands and agencies of all sizes. We empower our clients with the largest dataset in the industry and advanced tools for easy and successful top of the funnel marketing: Audiences & Personas Get closer to your customers by having AI define your personas for you. Discover their interests, behaviors, and affinities to understand their world. Content Intelligence Create content that gets people talking by analyzing engagement across social. From content creation to execution - work smarter and faster. Social Media Management Use AI to optimize how you manage social media. Find the right influencers and work across teams in one place to measure, schedule, publish, and evaluate your results. Social Media Monitoring Organize millions of conversations on social media to spot trends and tap into topics that matter to your audiences. Community Management Retain audiences with a social media customer care platform that scales as you grow. Make team collaboration easier to deliver timely responses to your community. Wherever you are on your social media journey, we will help you understand your audience, create engaging content, grow your customer base, and measure the impact of social media on your business.
Social media management tools and services are designed to make marketing easier, which ultimately increases profits. After all, what’s the point of paying for new software or services if they aren’t going to improve your bottom line? Social media management tools and services come with a bevy of helpful benefits that will reinvigorate your marketing efforts and put your company in front of your target audience.
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.

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.
Telling a powerful story: A whole story? Huh? But you’re only allotted so many characters on social channels. Yes, yes, I know, but there are ways to pull powerful quotes and engaging tidbits from a story that will leave the reader wanting more, therefore directing them to your website. Charity:water does this phenomenally well. Yes, they are already a charitable company with the mission of providing clean drinking water to every person in the world, but as a non-profit organization they’ve been incredibly successful continuously trumping their fundraising goals, and I’d be willing to bet a big part of this is due to how gracefully they tell their story to social followers. Their content has a way of spurring their audience to get involved and contribute to the organization. When I first learned about charity:water at Hubspot’s Inbound conference in 2013, their heart-wrenching video spurred me to create a birthday campaign in which you ask your friends and family to donate rather than give presents. One recent campaign that they’ve shared throughout all of their social channels is called “Why I give” in which individuals who donate share their stories. This adds the human element, tells a story, and even has the power of spurring followers to action. Take a look at the post below featuring a “well-known, well-loved charity:water supporter,” Shakil Kan. The quote featured tells a mini-story and is inspirational, intriguing the viewer to click.
Buzzmonitor is an innovating solution which involves consultancy, diagnosis, and technology to help users manage their business on Social Media. Buzzmonitor offers features such as real-time dashboards, access to up to 9 Brands, access up to 9 Users, access up to 15.000 items per month and an Account Manager (which is not available in the freemium package). Buzzmonitor monitors users’ brand on social media, creates custom reports and turns them into real-time dashboards with one click. Users also gets to compare their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channels’ metrics with the ones from their competition. BuzzMonitor also lets users respond and…
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.

If you only have an editor or two managing the content marketing process, the bandwidth for consistent distribution and conversation monitoring may be limited to a few outlets; however, if you have a full team of writers, editors, and other distribution partners at your disposal, the extra manpower (or womanpower, see above) affords increased flexibility and control to manage content across many more channels.


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


You'll be able to set up Queries and Rules within the social tool suite to see if it produces the data that you determined was needed at the outset. If one tool doesn't produce the data the way you need to see it, then try another. Here's a link to a LinkedIn Boolean search primer. Several of the platforms reviewed have strong pureplay analytics enhanced with a Boolean search option, including Brandwatch Analytics, Crimson Hexagon, Synthesio, and Talkwalker. It's necessary for anyone using them to have a reasonably strong command of Boolean scripting.
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.
Facebook Pages Manager: One of the most popular SMMS currently in the market, Facebook Pages Manager is a mobile application designed to aid in managing businesses’ social media pages. Using the solution, users can update social media pages, create posts and share media, among others. Notifications regarding social media activities and reminders are also automatically sent by the app. Page insights are likewise provided, enabling users to capture information regarding customer wants and needs. Facebook Pages Manager also offers both business and personal social media tools.
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In any such scenario, you should focus on looking beyond. In other words, start researching into their online behavior and what makes them tick. Try to understand how and where your ideal customers are spending most of their time. And above all, how they’re socializing on various social networks. This data would be crucial to improve your social media marketing.


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.
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