With autumn just around the corner, late summer is a strategic time for brands to evaluate the social marketing arrows in their quivers and see whether they are ready to market a shopping season that could make or break their year.
Social marketing tools have come a long way in the last couple of years—good news for retailers. For affordable prices, brands can run turn-key social media contests, research their online audience, find key social media influencers, and track the success of social media campaigns—all without breaking the bank to hire an in-house tech guru or social media wizard.
Here are four social media marketing tools that could connect you with the legions of shoppers who now look to smartphones, tablets, and Twitter feeds for shopping deals and ideas.
Offerpop solves both the technological and consumer-behavior challenges of designing social media contests from the ground up. The platform’s remarkable ease of use means anyone can launch effective online contests. OfferPop’s turn-key social media contests tap into user psychology to drive virality and sharing, expanding a brand’s reach on social media. “Tug of War” prompts fans to vote, tapping into the competitive nature that drives online engagement, while turn-key photo and video contests tap into the visual aspect of social media that draws eyeballs. Offerpop’s data tools enable brands to track a campaign’s performance, use email information to boost e-newsletter distribution, and refine the performance of wall posts and social ads.
Retail brands are in a constant head-to-head competition within their industry for customers’ attention. Simply Measured enables a brand to see how they stack up against that competition. Best of all, it is free. With a simple Tweet or share, brands can unlock the data analysis available through Simply Measured enabling companies to gather valuable data that can point out weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities in their social media marketing efforts.
If you have been paying attention to social media tools at all, you know that scheduling social media posts throughout the day or week is a time saver. But what if an app could also help you find engaging and relevant content to share while expanding your social media reach? This is what Post Planner does. It can schedule posts, provide engaging content, and even deliver pre-written status updates. As anyone who manages a business’ social media page, this frees up valuable time without sacrificing social media results.
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In social media, there are leaders and there are followers. Brands can gain significant value from connecting with the social media influencers, but finding them can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Actionly solves this problem by enabling you to see all the online conversations your customers are having, and evaluate whether they are positive or negative. The tool pulls multiple social media platform results into one tracking system. A seamless integration with Google Analytics makes this a powerful tool to see the 30,000-foot view of your social media efforts, while zooming in on the influencers that can boost the perception and reach of your brand on social media.
Abbi Whitaker is the president of The Abbi Agency. Follow her on Twitter @abbijayne or @theabbiagency, and visit her blog, where a version of this story originally appeared.