Social media is one of the hottest topics in the business world today because it empowers customers and businesses to easily interact with each other. Unfortunately many businesses make the mistake of assuming that creating a social media account and making occasional posts will boost their revenue. In order to truly leverage social media in your company, you need to focus on creating a solid strategy to help your brand stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry and using key information to engage with your audience on social media.

Using the management tools mentioned below, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and start leveraging social media techniques such as influencer outreach and hosting Twitter chats.

TweetDeck: Official Twitter Management Tool

TweetDeck is the official dashboard tool of Twitter. The primary advantages TweetDeck offers over the standard Twitter website are flexibility and control. You can create separate streams for retweets, mentions and replies so you can quickly view relevant messages. You can also create streams based on keywords and hashtags, which provides insight into customer sentiment so that you can adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. What’s more, you can set up a stream that shows a user’s timeline, letting you keep tabs on what your competitors are sharing. Tweetdeck also has an integrated mute option that blocks inappropriate text and users from your columns so that you can concentrate on the important things at hand.

Besides organizing streams, you can simplify your Twitter campaigns by scheduling posts ahead of time. If you’re targeting customers in different time zones, you can promote different offers based on each region. And you can stagger your posts so that your followers won’t be overwhelmed by an influx of tweets. If you’re looking to get started with social media automation on Twitter, this is the ideal tool for you. (But don’t schedule all your posts—you want to maintain a live online presence, too.)

If you’re looking to post to other social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, you’ll need a third-party solution.

Hootsuite: Leading Social Media Automation Suite

Hootsuite is similar to TweetDeck in that both tools allow you to cut down on the noise throughout the Twitter ecosystem. Hootsuite is a bit more robust since it’s integrated with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+. Along with the ability to post across multiple social networks and accounts at once, Hootsuite offers reporting capabilities.You can view impressions, clicks, subscriber/follower counts, and your scheduling calendar, as well as control user permissions for extra team members.

A helpful feature of the tool is the autoschedule feature, which looks at the activity on each social network and adjusts your posts accordingly. The bulk scheduling option is an especially great time-saver by allowing you to upload a spreadsheet of all your planned posts at once, and then adjusting dates as you see fit.

Hootsuite offers a free option, which can manage up to three social media accounts. But the best package for a small business is the Pro option, which supports up to 100 social profiles, 10 team members, and 350 scheduled posts at a time. All of which enable you to broaden your online platform easily.

Finding the Facts That Matter

While TweetDeck and Hootsuite can help automate your social media advertising, they can only go so far with analytics. They’re great at providing a high level overview of your social performance, but you can’t analyze specific customer behavior and segment your information around those markets.

By using online review and social media monitoring tools such as Connectivity’s Reviews and Social Media Monitoring product, you can monitor sentiment around your company while also identifying purchasing trends. Need advice on how to use social media correctly? Check out our guide to social media for small businesses. With the right social media tools and know-how, you’ll succeed in tailoring your brand messaging to each channel and expand your reach to your target consumers.

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