Social media has intertwined so well with our daily lives that we cannot imagine a single day without it. Social media platforms have empowered the modern consumer with a voice. Take Twitter, for instance – who knew that just 280 characters would be enough to be heard by the world? Today, consumers no longer live in the dark; they are all-knowing and aware of everything that’s happening around the globe. People are connecting with people halfway across the world; businesses are being conducted among nations beyond physical boundaries. That’s the beauty and power of social media.
The rise and popularity of social media have given birth to a more important phenomenon – Social Media Marketing (SMM). Essentially, SMM is a marketing technique wherein marketers can promote their products/services on social media channels and gain website traffic through the same. It seeks to understand the needs of every individual user and create customized content for each social media channel to boost user engagement and sharing quotient.
Recent Trends in Social Media Marketing
Marketers can no longer rely solely on traditional marketing techniques and channels. Any marketer aspiring to be a success in the marketing world, he/she must leverage the potential of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, to name a few.
Bottomline – Social media channels have become an indispensable part of Digital Marketing. No wonder why Digital Marketing Certifications are becoming increasingly popular with the millennials and Gen Z!
The latest trends in Social media marketing include –
- Influencer marketing
- Fostering user engagement
- Enhancing customer satisfaction through AI
- Videos, podcasts, and live streaming content
- Conversational commerce
- Brand transparency
- Analytics dashboards
Six Social Media Marketing Tools You Should Know About
Although the market is flooded with many, many social media marketing tools, we will talk about the six tools a Social Media Marketer cannot do without.
Buffer is a fantastic social media scheduling tool boasting of a clean interface and simplistic analytics features. With Buffer, you can schedule posts and share them across multiple accounts and on different social media channels. It gives you the flexibility to either publish the same post for all social media platforms or create tailor-made posts for individual platforms.
The Buffer Chrome extension makes the sharing process even simpler by allowing you to add any web content to the Buffer queue. Also, the Buffer Blog comes with a host of helpful social media guides and case studies for budding marketers.
Buffer has a Freemium plan along with other paid pricing plans, including Pro ($15/month), Premium ($65/month), and Business ($99/month).
Video content is a big hit on social media platforms, and every smart Digital Marketer will swear by video marketing. By creating engaging and interactive videos, you can gain a more extensive audience base, and Animoto is the perfect tool for that.
Animoto has a vast collection of attractive templates, themes, and also stock music to add the fun factor to your SM videos. It offers an added bonus – you can also add text overlays in your videos! Text can make a huge difference to users since over 85% of video ads are viewed without sound.
While you can opt for a 14-day free trial, Animoto comes in three monthly pricing plans – Personal ($5/month), Professional ($33/month), and Business ($49/month).
A crucial aspect of SMM is, understanding what kind of content your audience wants from you. This includes both informative and entertaining content, and promotional content, video content, blogs, etc. Quuu is an SM tool that automatically curates your social media content best-suited for your target audience.
So, you basically choose a range of topics relevant to your industry and target audience, and with this information, Quuu will create a queue of content for all your SM accounts and add it to your Buffer queue (yes, it can be integrated with Buffer!). With Quuu, you can both create a highly curated content list for your SM accounts and promote your blogs to a large audience base as well.
Quuu has three plans – Free, Pro ($19/month), and Business ($50/month).
Like we mentioned before, quality visual content is crucial for SMM. But not every business can afford a Graphic Designer to create good visual content, particularly small businesses. That’s where Canva comes in.
This designing tool is just what you need for awesome SM campaigns, and high-quality graphic designs/posts for your SM feeds. It is replete with free images, custom layouts, font styles, beautiful text overlays, colors, and so much more. You can use Canva to create images/graphical designs for SM channels, blogs, e-books, presentation slides, photo collages, etc.
Although it is a free tool, big names like BuzzFeed use Canva for their SM feeds. There’s also a Pro plan that costs $9.95/month.
Mention is a real-time social media monitoring tool. It allows you to create and schedule alerts for live updates about your brand, your competitors, and the relevant industry from the Web and social media.
In essence, it’s a tool to boost user engagement and interaction – you can post content on SM channels, build your brand awareness, see what people are saying about your brand on social media, and respond to your audience. With Mention, you can manage all your SM accounts from one place and create customized content for each platform. The tool allows you to study your competition, monitor your online reputation, and automatically generate reports to share with your team members.
Mention has two tailor-made options for businesses – Mention for Enterprise (small businesses with 10+ employees) and Mention for Agencies (for large marketing agencies focused on their clients).
Mention offers a 14-day free trial, and it starts with a plan at $30/month.
BuzzSumo is an excellent tool used by marketers to track and monitor the latest trends in social media – what is hot and what is not. It allows you to search and understand what your audience loves and what they don’t with specific keywords. BuzzSumo not only allows you to curate your content for your social media channels, but it also helps you analyze what content performs best for a particular topic.
Using BuzzSumo you can also find out the people behind the most popular content, that is, you find out the names of the influencers. You can then connect with those influencers and collaborate with them to expand your audience base and brand reach.
BuzzSumo has four pricing plans – Pro ($79/month), Plus ($139/month), Large ($239/month), and Enterprise ($499+/month).
Thanks to the ever-emerging digital and social media channels, the marketing domain has completely transformed. Marketing techniques have become more advanced and streamlined to include factors that were hardly relevant ten years ago. Any marketer who wishes to stay ahead of the competitive curve has to combine both traditional marketing techniques with Digital Marketing techniques. Digital Marketing is here to stay, with promising career opportunities for budding marketers.
Are you interested in mastering Digital Marketing? If so, then enroll in a Digital Marketing course today and acquire the right industry skills!