New social media management tools can help you gain customer loyalty
If you have ever tried digital marketing for your business, you have heard of social media marketing. This is a method of promoting your brand and products through social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You may have heard of companies who have posted a single tweet that caused their stock to be cleaned out by enthusiastic customers. Unfortunately, this scenario almost never happens. Getting a social media marketing campaign to deliver sales requires special skills, in-depth analysis, and highly specialized social media management tools. There is no magic trick in digital marketing, just plain old skills and tools, the same as any other marketing avenue. This review details seven of the best social media management tools currently available.
The first of the social media management tools that you might consider using is CoSchedule. The aim of this tool is to help you time publicity for the content you post on your website or other blogs. When you write a new post, you get CoSchedule to post messages about it on social media sites. You might not want every outlet to display messages about that post all at once, so you can adjust the schedule of your social media postings to draw the attention of your followers on different platforms on different days. This will enable you to monitor traffic and work out which social media site draws in better customers. This is a stand-alone application, but it can also integrate with WordPress. The pricing for this social media marketing tool is US $10 per month, per WordPress blog. If you pay up front for a year, you get a US $20 discount.
Analyzing the value of your social media marketing efforts can be difficult. It is not always easy to track which visitors were driven to your site by which social media outlet. Crowdbooster aims to fill that knowledge gap. This social media management tool analyzes and reports on your social media marketing and tries to marry the sales results to each digital marketing campaign. This information will help you understand where your markets are and what methods are best at reaching them and getting them to follow through a visit with a purchase. Crowdbooster only monitors marketing on Facebook and Twitter. It has a range of plans that start at US $9 per month and go up to US $119 per month.
Buffer has the message scheduling capabilities of CoSchedule and the analytical tools of Crowdbooster. However, it is a lot more expensive than the combination of both CoSchedule and Crowdbooster. The cheapest Buffer plan costs US $50 per month. You can get a free trial for seven days, so that facility will help you decide whether it is worth paying for this social media management tool or whether you can get by with the cheaper combination of CoSchedule and Crowdbooster. The Buffer website has a blog with some handy tips on social media marketing. If you decide not to subscribe to their services, you can still benefit from the advice of the company’s experts by checking the new posts on the blog.
You might say you couldn’t give a hoot what people are writing on the web about your business, but if reputation management is a priority for you, you might need Hootsuite. This social media management tool is all about monitoring what others say about your company and your products. Bad reviews may arise from faulty products or poor customer service, from blackmailing clients who want something for nothing or from sneaky rivals. Whatever causes negative comments about your business, you need to identify and deal with it, because such comments can get indexed by search engines and appear on results pages when people are searching for your products or services. On the positive side, good reviews are worth more than the most expensive advertising, and you should locate them and draw the public’s attention to them. On top of this monitoring capability, Hootsuite also includes message scheduling and analytical tools. Hootsuite monitors 35 social media outlets for you, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can get a 30-day free trial of the Pro price plan, which costs US $9.99 per month thereafter. The Small Business Plan costs US $49 per month, and there is a 30-day free trial for that, too.
If you focus your social media marketing on Twitter, you could benefit from the services offered by Tweepi. This social media management tool extends the (negligible) reporting capabilities of a Twitter account so you can analyze your hits and misses from your digital marketing campaign. Tweepi has a free plan and two paid plans. Before you spend any of your hard-earned income, however, it is worth remembering that Twitter’s market share seems to be in freefall at the moment, and focusing all of your digital marketing there is probably a mistake. As Tweepi only allows you to manage your Twitter account, the value of its service is closely tied to Twitter’s performance.
This social media management tool is pronounced like “gift” without the “g.” This is an acronym that stands for “if this, then that.” That phrase is a standard construct in programming, so the name of the service and its minimal use of presentation show that this social media management tool is run by very techie geniuses. The IFTTT methodology is based around a “recipe,” which is the “if this, then that” statement, where “this” is a trigger and “that” is an action. Your social media messages will be posted if a given condition is met. For instance, creating a new blog post can act as a trigger to send out social media messages about that blog post.
The key feature of the SocialFlow social media management tool is that it can monitor the posts and comments of your followers on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. This enables digital marketers to tailor content to the current interests of followers and then schedule its release and promotion to feed into current conversations. Promotion takes the forms of both messaging and paid advertising. This social media management tool includes both scheduling and analysis tools.
Managing social media marketing
Social media marketing is a complicated field, and the novice practitioner should gain a thorough understanding of the topic before investing in complicated social media management tools. Fortunately, most of the companies offering these tools also have blogs on their sites that explain the methodology and purpose of social media marketing. Take time to visit these blogs, and get to understand the techniques this marketing channel requires by visiting each of the sites in this review. Once you feel comfortable with the topic, you will be better able to assess which of these tools would suit your marketing strategy. Take advantage of the free trials that most of these social media management tools offer so you can be sure you can get the best returns for your money.
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