7 Proven Ways to Beef Up Your Facebook Ads in 2018

Phew! After spending weeks on Facebook ads creation, you've finally launched your campaign.

If you're about to kick back and relax, we have bad news for you then: you need to work hard even after the launch.

Let's face it:

As the fastest growing social network, Facebook has become an appealing place for marketers to promote their brands/products.

It means fighting for the same audience in the competitive niche.

Any proof needed?

Take a look at some recent statistics from Mary Meeker's report:

  • Facebook controls 62% of online ad growth
  • 5 million companies use Facebook ads to reach their target audience (TA)
  • 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly

To reach your target audience, you need to stand out from the crowd.

So, beef up your Facebook ads campaign!

Creating a killer Facebook ad campaign requires a lot of knowledge and experience, but you can rely on the following tips that might help you get better results in 2018.

1. Use Video Advertising

Nothing kills ads like being out-of-date.

If you don't know current Internet marketing trends, you might be using wrong ad types, time frames, and other important ad details that keep you from delivering the message to your target audience.

The advice? Keep up with current trends!

And if you want to grab your audience’s attention in 2018, give Facebook video ads a try:

Video marketing is booming!

In fact, Facebook users watch 8 billion videos daily, and the number is kept on growing.

Believe it or not, videos get a 135% increase in organic reach than photos.

The main benefit is that such ads offer more engaging content than static posts.

Although most people perceive all types of visual content well, video content is the most popular type as it provides:

  • emotions;
  • brand awareness;
  • higher engagement;
  • relevance;
  • rich content;
  • trust.

For a variety of reasons, video ads work well, and it's a great idea to implement such ads to your marketing strategy in 2018.

A Cisco study predicts that consumers’ consumption of video will constitute 80% of all global internet traffic by 2019.

2. Create ads as targeted storefronts

E-commerce is flourishing. Facebook influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases in 2015.

Moreover, 31% of Internet users confirm that Facebook is most likely to influence purchases.

It means Facebook users are ready to understand more about your product and buy it if it can solve their problems.

Thus, using storefronts is important when it comes to promoting your product on Facebook.

Carousel advertising allows you to show up to 10 images and links within a single ad unit to direct people to specific locations on your website.

Thus, you can promote different items at the same time, highlight multiple features of a single product, or tell a story.

Help your target audience get what they need: create ads as targeted storefronts to let your customers browse your products and buy goods!

After all, the fewer clicks it takes for a visitor to complete the purchase, the better.

3. Optimize ads for mobile devices

80% of people own smartphones, and there are 3.5 billion global mobile internet users.

On average, users spend 69% of their media time on smartphones.

But wait, there’s more: as people start spending more time glued to mobile devices, it's crucial to advertise where you can capture their attention!

Ads placement matters. Although most marketers place their ads on a desktop news feed, don't forget about reaching mobile users – optimize ads for mobile devices.

If you choose to reach mobile users, your ads will be automatically shown and formatted for mobile.

Moreover, mobile advertising is expected to represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending by 2019.

So, here’s how to optimize Facebook ads for mobile:

  • Choose an eye-catchy image: a clear and bright picture without texts (it will be hard to read on a mobile screen)
  • Don’t post much info: people have short attention spans, and it’s even harder to read much info on your phone. Keep the text short (1-2 sentences).

Mobile ads are created perfectly for mobile consumption behaviors.

Knowing what devices your potential clients use is a must when it comes to finding the best ways to promote your brand.

4. Keep an Eye on Successful Campaigns

Although it may sound obvious, it’s a hack many marketers overlook.

There's nothing new under the sun, and many topics have been covered to death on the web, but you need to know your competitors to draw inspiration.

Keep an eye on successful advertising campaigns to:

  • Learn from success stories and avoid making their mistakes if you don't want to hasten to delete a recently-published ad.
  • Know the niche: Borrowing ideas can be a good idea if you can cover a topic from a new angle.
  • Understand what is trendy: when you see other marketers' works and their audience's reaction, you can see what is popular.
  • Step out of the comfort zone: if you're afraid of being creative in order not to lose your TA, that's OK. However, there are some proofs like a campaign by SLACK that you can getter better results if you leave your comfort zone and surprise people.

Proficient marketers would agree that knowing your audience and its needs/expectations are important, but never miss a chance to learn from your competitors or successful case studies.

5. Test Ads to Optimize

Wouldn't it be great if you could set up a successful Facebook ad campaign once and for all?

Although it sounds like a dream, it's impossible to run a successful Facebook ad campaign without optimizing it until you're ready to waste budget without getting results.

If you want results within minutes, take a deep breath as advertising is a lasting process that requires a lot of work, time, and patience.

When it comes to testing ads, you'd better take the following steps:

  • Step 1. Customizing. Choose data that is important to you to keep a sharp focus on this information.
  • Step 2. Analyzing. You can see the results and all related metrics to understand whether your campaign was successful or not. Plus, understand which type(s) your audience responds most favorably to.
  • Step 3. Timing. Optimize your ads schedule to reach the maximum audience. You don't have to do the math – just observe when your audience is more active.
  • Step 4. Staying tuned. Change ads placement, bids, and budget to find out what ads work best for your TA.

By optimizing ads, you can improve performance over the life of your campaign and improve it.

Predictions are not always 100% applicable to your marketing strategy, and you need to create, analyze, and optimize to make the most out of your Facebook ad campaign.

If you don't want to kill your ads conversion, test your campaign!

6. Give Influencer Marketing a Try

Advertising on Facebook is getting more and more expensive these days.

The problem is that the platform is full of marketers who want to promote their product.

As the number of advertisers on social media increases, the high prices are a result of the competitive value of the ad auction.

If you don’t have much budget to waste on Facebook ads, you can try to promote your product with the influencer marketing.

It’s proven that people trust opinion leaders, so collaborating with them is a great way to enter an already-established community and spread a word about your product without being annoying.

Looking for a case study? Crayola decided to promote their new Marker Sprayer with the help of Your Everyday Canadian.

This influencer marketing campaign generated 4 million engagements and 7.1 million impressions.

Thinking about implementing this technique, learn more about common misconceptions about influencer marketing to avoid making mistakes.

7. Run Promotions on Instagram

Creating a Facebook ad, it’s easy to run it on Instagram too, and it’s a proven way to reach more people and, therefore, get better results. Use both platforms without spending extra time or effort.

In fact, 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram, so this platform is quite popular among marketers, and 70.7% of U.S. businesses use it for promoting their products as the audience is loyal here. Just imagine: 65% of top-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products.

If you want to run ads on Instagram, just choose this option in the ads manager as it’s done below:

The good point is that you can reach Instagrammers even if you don’t have an account on IG! Expand your potential audience by running promotions on both platforms.

The Final Note

Dealing with Facebook ads optimization can be daunting, but it pays off! Knowing the above-mentioned ways to beef up your campaign is like having a card up your sleeve.

Below are a few questions to ask yourself about your Facebook ads campaign:

  • Do you achieve better results?
  • Do you deliver the message to the right audience?
  • Are you sure that you're not wasting your advertising budget?

If you've answered 'yes' to all of these questions, you know how to improve your Facebook ad campaign to make the most out of it.

Do you have any other Facebook ads tricks that have helped you beef up your campaigns and get better results?

Hugh Beaulac is a creator behind MC2 project who uses the power of social media to reach his business goals. Keep in touch with him on Twitter.

Social Gaming - The future of Social Media

Social Media and virtual presence are words synonymous with each other. Today, each person or business has a social media presence.

Businesses, no matter how big or small, have their social media handles to reach out to a larger audience, who prefers to shop from the comforts of their homes.

The last two decades have seen a severe rise in the world of social media.

It all started with Orkut, a social media platform owned and operated by Google.

The platform was designed to help users meet new and old friends and maintain existing relationships.

With the passage of time, other platforms for social interactions came up and became more popular.

With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and the likes, the people were taken by a storm in the world of social media.

Today, the social media pundits have many forecasts about the future of social media from here on..

When thinking about the future of social media, there's way too much to cover right here in any detail.

Social media interest over time

So we may just want to talk about one of the many trends that we're going to see developing on a larger scale over the next couple of years.

What we can see happening more and more is that people are shifting away from your standard social channels and finding ways to be social using other apps, particularly video game apps.

Video games and social media are rapidly merging together to the point that many hardcore gamers socialize primarily through gaming platforms, whether through their desktops at home or on their smartphones.

Mobile MMO games in particular have become massively successful, raking in millions of dollars.

For years, however, this was not the case.

A large group of unconvinced and sceptical people disregarded the trend of social gaming, branding it nothing more than a fad!

However, this changed when Facebook introduced Farmville and other social gaming platforms followed suit.

Social gaming apps can mean different things to different people. There are gamers – young and old – who routinely spend thousands of dollars per month on resource packs and speedups to help them advance in the games.

And it's not just a handful of spoiled, rich teenagers on the fringe of American suburbia.

We are talking about people of all ages all over the world pouring money into these games every day and spending several hours a day checking in on the game.

But on the social side, these games are taking the place of traditional social apps like Facebook and Twitter.

The new social apps aren't going to look like Facebook. Instead, those social interactions are going to be taking place in video game apps like Clash of Clans, Mobile Strike and Brutal Age.

A classic example of the advent and popularity of social gaming can be associated with the overnight success of Facebook application like Farmville.

If the Facebook model is anything to go by, the market potential of social gaming is huge.

Each day millions of people get out of bed each morning to plough their virtual farms.

What’s more, they’re willing to shell out money from their pockets doing so.

The Shift in Social Mobile Gaming

This built-in social aspect in video games has been around for several years now, with games like World of Warcraft and even Call of Duty on PC and gaming consoles.

On mobile, things were a bit different, though, at least in the mainstream mobile game market.

In most of the mainstream mobile games like Bejeweled, Farmville and Words With Friends, there was a social aspect to the games, but most of the people that you socialized with in those games were loaded in from your Facebook friends list, and there was a lot of interaction taking place within Facebook itself among those playing the game.

That is changing.

Today's mobile games almost completely cut Facebook out of the picture, other than as an easy way to upload an avatar/profile pic for use in the game.

So a few years ago, mobile gamers were socializing through Facebook, either directly or indirectly.

But now it's all taking place within the game app itself, and I think that's a significant shift that Facebook and other traditional social platforms are going to start to feeling as it impacts their numbers.

It's not inconceivable that many gamers will soon be ditching Facebook and Twitter entirely and doing all their online socializing within their video game apps.

In a very short span, social game developers like Zynga and Playfish have already made millions.

This has led many industry analysts to predict that the future of gaming certainly is somewhere between the current model of gaming and the one presented by social gaming.

Impact on Social Media Marketing

From a business perspective, what's interesting about these gaming apps is that they allow the game developers to easily sidestep many of the "rules" of Internet marketing and SEO.

If you've played Mobile Strike, for instance, then you know that there are several chat, mail and messaging features built right into the game.

And what jumps out at you almost everywhere you look in that game?

Advertisements are everywhere in Mobile Strike.

When you open the app – BAM! – you get hit with an advertisement to purchase resource packs to use in the game.

What is that icon constantly flashing over on the side of the screen? It's another ad.

Every day when you check the mail feature, what do you get? - Sales pitches that try to get you to buy resource packs.

There's also a "blog" which announces upcoming events and – you guessed it – sales on resource packs with all the special items you need to unlock new benefits and special abilities to dominate your enemies.

It's pure genius, because if this was being done on a website, that site would get a major penalty from Google and other search engines for being too spammy, with all the ads above the fold and the constant bombardment.

All those salesy mails would end up being blocked by spam filters too, if they were done via traditional email platforms, but here in the game app, anything goes.

It's enough to make any white hat SEO crap his pants, but it's a brilliant way to work around traditional safeguards, and those game developers are seeing big profits.

What’s more, social gaming happens to be the most intelligent and efficient way to get Internet users to provide their credit card information.

And it's unlikely that any of that would be possible without the social interactions that are becoming front-and-center in today's video games.

A few years ago, everyone was becoming addicted to Facebook for their social interactions.

But now people are becoming addicted to video game apps for the same reason.

Whatever way you may want to look at it, social gaming is definitely here to stay!

Tina Williams is a Digital Marketing Strategist and is responsible for the successful management of digital strategy for client brands based on consumer insight and data. She is an innovative and progressive thinker who can connect digital to all other aspects of a client business and drive growth opportunities. Tina possesses a keen insight into consumer behavior. She plays a vital role in promoting the integration of cross-functional teams. With superior communication skills, both internal and client-facing, she works like a fire-brand to identify prospective growth and incremental opportunities with client partners.

Infographic Marketing: From Topic Selection to Promotion

Did you know that the attention span of the average human being is shorter than that of a goldfish?

It’s gone down from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, thanks to an increasingly digitalized lifestyle led by the average human being.

This is why marketers have come to rely on infographics, a fusion between visual and text, as a technique to retain consumers’ dwindling attention.

Infographics are not only good at engaging the audience, but also an excellent tool to increase brand visibility.

Following are the crucial steps a successful infographic marketing campaign is made up of:

Choosing a topic for the infographic

It should not be just another topic.

Your main concern when selecting a topic for your infographic should be to figure out whether it is relevant to your brand and provides value to your target audience.

Secondarily, you need to make sure that it is a timely, if not trending, topic among your customers.

Surveys, research, and the news are great sources to build your infographic around.

And with the help of Google News, Google Scholar, Buzzsumo, Facebook Trending, Twitter, Reddit, Quora, or popular blogs like Mashable, you can find a suitable topic that is currently trending among your target audience.

While doing your research around the topic, make sure that an infographic on it is not already out there, for repetition reduces value.

Unless you are able to approach the very same topic from a unique angle and you have confidence that your creation is going to be superior to what is out there, it’s better to lay off what’s already shared.

Once you have finalized the topic, and before you decide on the content, choose the type of infographic you are going to create.

There are several types of infographics out there and each has their own unique structure and features.

Example of a timeline infographic

  • Timeline infographics: illustrates how a certain subject has evolved over time
  • Comparison infographics: shows the comparison between two different subjects
  • Instructional infographics: provides instructions necessary to complete a task
  • List infographics: lists down information on a certain subject (consists mostly of text)
  • Mixed-chart infographics: depicts data through different types of charts
  • Flowcharts: visualizes the sequence of steps in a process

Example of a flowchart infographic


With the style of your infographic on mind, it would be easier to filter and select the exact information you want to convey with your infographic.

Selecting information for the infographic

While it’s of utmost importance to make sure that your sources (which you need to cite at the end of your infographic) are credible and widely accepted among your target audience, not everything in a report, survey, or article can be placed in your infographic.

There are a number of things you need to keep an eye out for when hand-picking information for your infographic:

  • At least 80% of the information you choose either needs to be converted into visuals or reinforced with visuals in the infographic.
    Therefore, always find types of information that give you the opportunity for visualization. These could be stats, comparisons, processes, anatomy, hierarchy, etc.
  • Not only should the information you place in your infographic be stimulating, engaging, and digestible, but together, they should relate a story to the reader.
    The attention span of the audience is limited, and they are always looking for a reason to check out.
    And an infographic with too much text will do exactly that. While you should not cram your infographic with text, you need to keep it visually appealing.
    Always simplify your story with visuals, but visuals should be clear and relevant.
  • The text you decide to place in juxtaposition to the visuals should be simple, supportive of the narrative, and consists of not more than a sentence or two at once.

Drafting the infographic narrative

When finally putting together the information you have selected to create a narrative, you need to focus on 3 things:

The parts (shown below) of your narrative should always reinforce these 3 elements.

  • Title and subtitles. These play a key role in grabbing the attention of the readers. Your main title should not only awaken the curiosity of the reader, but it should also be relevant to the subject matter of the infographic.
    And subtitles should equally be punchy and aptly support and summarize the details they follow.
  • Introduction. The introduction of an infographic should not be as lengthy as that of a blog post.
    It should set the tone for the story you are going to narrate and help the reader get an idea as to what the rest of the infographic is going to deliver.
    It’s better to start with a shocking fact or a stat that would immediately get the attention of the reader.
    Limit this to 3-4 sentences or try to relay your message with graphics.
  • Body. This should include more visuals, and any accompanied text should reinforce the idea behind them and be concise at the same time.
    This could be made up of several sections that include the supportive stats depicted through charts, quotes, facts, etc.
    Your biggest concern here should be to make sure that the narrative flows from section to section and point to point smoothly without confusing the reader.
  • Conclusion. Not all types of infographics have a separate section for the conclusion.
    But in case you are adding a separate section for concluding remarks, keep it simple and make sure it is within 2-3 sentences.

Designing your infographic

It’s not wise to directly jump into designing your infographic without an initial idea of its layout. The design should not only be aesthetically appealing, but it should be easily understood by the reader.

  • Wireframe. The wireframe is basically the skeleton of your infographic design.
    It helps you arrange and map out the elements on your infographics to be more visually coherent.
    At the same time, it helps you find flaws in the narrative or the date you have collected.
    And with a wireframe, you can keep from redoing work as you design the infographic.
  • Colors. When selecting a color scheme, you need to be careful not to go with more than 4 - 5 main colors.
    Any more than this, your infographic would be too distracting.
    It’s also important to ensure that the colors you select are related to the subject matter and the theme of your infographic.
    For instance, if it is about Christmas, it is always better to go with a color scheme of red and green.
    Plus, keep it consistent throughout the infographic.
  • Fonts. Like with colors, you shouldn’t use more than 3 font types for your infographic.
    And refrain from using “taboo” font types such as Comic Sans, while using easy-to-read fonts like Arial. To avoid cluttering your infographic, keep enough space between texts, too.
    Again, take the subject matter and the theme of your infographic into consideration when selecting the font type.

And don’t forget to add references section at the end of the infographic, along with your brand’s logo.

For example take a look at the following infographic example. While it only uses two font types (one for the title and another for the content in the body), it uses a combination of 4 main colors (purple, yellow, blue and pink) throughout the infographic.

At the bottom, it has separate sections for the brand’s logo and the references. The placement of its visual elements and easily readable structure indicates the use of a wireframe prior to the design.

Infographic showcasing all the design elements

Promoting the infographic

Now that you have designed a presentable infographic, it’s time to promote it across the right channels.

Pro tip: Create a separate spreadsheet to track the engagement the infographic generates when you publish it across social media and on external sites and blogs.

Your own site or blog

Publishing on your own blog is important, especially if your infographic marketing campaign is part of generating traffic to your site and increasing your brand’s visibility online. Once you publish it on your site or blog, you can use the page link when you promote it.

Plus make certain that social media buttons are by the side of the infographic so that anyone can quickly share it.

Add the embed code beneath the infographic for anyone who would love to publish it on their own site.

Social media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Imgur, Tumblr, etc. are great platforms to share your infographics on.

Each channel has its own way of optimizing a post (i.e. using hashtags on Twitter or an eye-catching image of the infographic on Facebook), and if need be, you can go for paid promotion as well.

Plus you can share them on communities or pages of these platforms.

And you can personally reach out to influencers in the field, and ask them to retweet your tweet or share your infographic on Facebook.

Free infographic directories

Medium, Buzzfeed, Quora, Reddit, and Visually are platforms where you can get your infographic (along with a brief description, if needed) published.

Remember to always link back to the original page where the infographic is published when you share it across these sites.

Guest blog contributions

This might be time-consuming, but done right, it could be totally rewarding. It can generate traffic to your site, increase your page rankings, and create plenty of brand exposure.

As with any other guest posting strategy, you should have a plan here.

  • List down the blogs or sites that accept guest posts or infographic contributions that are relevant to the subject of your infographic
  • Go through their guidelines thoroughly
  • Reach out to them expressing your desire to get your infographic featured on their site

The more blogs or sites you get your infographic shared on, the more recognition your brand will get.

Final word

Promoted via the right channels, any informative and high-quality infographic that’s based on proper research will continue to generate traffic to your site throughout time.

What is more important is that you select the right sources through which you can reach out to your target audience.

This is how any infographic marketing campaign would generate true positive results for your business.

Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of Creately Flowchart Software. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

Instagram Marketing Practical Tips: What and How to Post

As one of the hottest social media platforms for businesses and individuals alike, it's no wonder Instagram marketing has turned into another powerful addition to companies'  inbound strategy.

According to Instagram’s business blog, there are now over 8 million registered company profiles and over 700 million users.

What’s more, 2017 is expected to be the year when Instagram will outpace Twitter, with projections stating that 70.7% of U.S. companies are expected to use Instagram for marketing purposes.


Instagram using phone

According to an Instagram stats compilation by WordStream, the number of monthly active advertisers has gone up by 80% in 2016, reaching 1 million.

By the first quarter of 2017, over 120 million Instagram users performed at least one of the following actions to learn more about a business following an Insta ad:

  • Visited a website
  • Got directions
  • Called
  • Emailed
  • Sent a direct message

Judging by the numbers and rapid user base growth, it’s only natural to level up your game on Instagram if you don’t want to be left behind.

Here are a few practical tips you can use to make your Insta content work favorably for you.

Update your Insta Stories daily

Instagram Stories was launched in August 2016. Two months later, over 100 million users were already using the feature daily.

Now in the second quarter of 2017, stats show that 200 million users use Insta Stories regularly, a number that surpassed Snapchat’s similar story feature. This chart from Statista speaks for itself.

A daily dose of Insta Stories helps showcase your day as an individual. It allows you to share behind-the-scenes clips of your business in the form of photos, videos, and Boomerangs, which are a collection of photos stitched together into a mini high-quality video that plays forward and backward, in portrait or landscape.

Followers can interact with your story content by sending direct messages, videos, and images. The stories are available for 24 hours. After which, they disappear.

By now, probably everybody has seen or heard about Tai Lopez’s Insta stories and crazy giveaways. (If you haven’t yet, you can check them via @tailopez.) Or about Windows’ very own “behind the scenes” funny videos, showcasing how the hosts are having fun. (If you’re quick enough, just type @windows.)

These are good examples to follow but remember: You can always get more creative and add your personality to your Insta Stories.

Do weekly Insta Live and Insta Live replays

In 2016, Instagram introduced the ability to broadcast live videos through the Stories setting by swiping to the Live button. Which was a huge positive for users craving a live session with their favorite Instagrammers and real-time interaction through comments and likes.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your Instagram content even further, this is a great alternative to the good old AMAs (ask me anything) that started on Reddit. Make sure to have at least one Insta Live per week.

Perhaps the only downfall of Insta Live was that live videos disappeared after the broadcast was over. It was only recently when Instagram added a Replay function.

So now, you can save your live video and add it to the story timeline for anyone to replay, in case they missed it.

The saved video session will be available for 24 hours, just like any other story. (Source: Instagram Press)

Combine multiple video streams into one

By 2019, 80% of internet traffic will be dominated by video. (Source: Temok)

And that’s not all: Videos are rising in popularity on Instagram as well.

Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that when Instagram introduced videos in 2013, 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours alone? (Source: CNET)

While it’s a great idea to upload single videos on your profile, now you can go the extra mile by uploading multiple video sequences that blend into one stream.

For example, on my business account, @serplified, I like to post videos in which I use multiple sequences to either promote a book I enjoy reading and sample some of its contents or just advertise one of my articles and debate on the main topic/key takeaways.

Incorporating variety into your video marketing strategy is important, especially for marketers, entrepreneurs, and businesses that offer multiple products/services.

In my case, it has doubled my views rate and offered me a chance to use multiple hashtags to optimize my content.

Below is the formula I use when using the video format (but you can adjust it to your own needs):

Short intro (25%) + main topic/discussion (50%) + call to action (25%)

If you think this can work for your profile, I highly encourage you to experiment with the feature and switch from “front camera” to “regular camera.” Filters also help in adjusting the quality of your content.

Upload multiple photos in one gallery

Instagram has also given its users the ability to post multiple pictures (up to 10 images) in one gallery. And this new feature works for individual and business accounts alike.

Here are some ideas on how you can use Instagram’s gallery:

  • Apps, tools, and software companies can now showcase their updates and new releases
  • Teams can show how they work, have fun at and outside the office
  • Lifestyle, fashion, and fitness icons can now break their day into ten static sequences
  • Bloggers, marketers, and copywriters can show their newest projects, work, and ideas
  • Anyone can create step-by-step visual content for any given topic, event, or movement
  • Accounts that leverage big data and various stats can showcase charts and graphs on topics that are dear to them

The sky is the limit when it comes to visual content. You can even break an infographic into multiple sections, with each section having one gallery item assigned.

Process your account data

It’s not just about what content to create for your Instagram marketing strategy. As in any strategy, it’s important to rely on stats and what the analytics reports say about your content’s performance.

Now you can link your Instagram business account to your Facebook page and access account data through a button called Insights.

You can see this button displayed under each post on your Insta profile, as well as on the upper right of the main profile page.

Below are the types of insights you can get for posts and stories (right now, there are no available for Insta Live):

  • Impressions (total number of times your posts/stories were seen)
  • Reach (number of unique accounts who viewed your story/post)
  • Website clicks (number of accounts that clicked the website link on your business profile)
  • Follower activity (how often your followers are on the platform on a typical day)
  • Video views (counted only if each view is longer than 3 seconds)
  • Saves (how many unique accounts saved your post)
  • Replies (how many times people send messages through the Send Message feature on your stories)
  • Exits (how many times someone swiped from your story to someone else’s, or returned to their feed)

There are two ways to deal with data: (1) either be satisfied with the reports that Facebook and Instagram for Business generate, or (2) take matters into your own hands and dig deeper into the numbers with the help of tools such as Excel. If you’re a total Excel newbie, this guide explains the Excel functions that will help you more efficiently process data.

Here’s an example:

Marketers and SEOs use SEO tools for Excel to work their way around web data, from scraping to spidering. With social media a key player in online marketing, you can work with variables imported from your Instagram account and generate the relevant reports.

Some handy Excel functions you can use include “user lookup,” “convert username to ID,” “geo location search,” and “geo proximity search,” as displayed in the screenshot below.

Simply connect the tool to your Instagram API to import the data into Excel.

Best days and times to post on Instagram

Remember that Instagram has a lot to offer through its active user database and content variety options. The best time to post on Instagram varies, but stats encourage Instagrammers to share their content during weekdays, as weekends can be a hit or miss, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Source: Later)

From experience with my Instagram clients, Thursday afternoons are the best days to post and drive engagement. My business account has seen a spike in engagement during evenings as well, from Tuesday to Friday, independent of my followers’ time zones.

Before closing…

Estimations show that Instagram marketing has brought in approximately $1.53 billion in global mobile ad revenue in 2016.

Projections are positive for 2017, the numbers hovering right around the $2.81 billion figure.

Most users are in the 18 to 29 age segment, with 26% of total users earning more than $75,000 per year and 32% owning a college degree.

This statistic makes the platform a unique environment for businesses or individuals looking to build a brand, launch a product, advocate a mission, grow a community, or just create a space where they can share relatable content.

Independent of your objective behind using Instagram, make sure to apply the tips I shared in this article to maximize your presence in the platform and boost your Insta channel’s interactions.

Emojis and hashtags also increase engagement rates and optimize your content for improved visibility.

Roxana has been a digital entrepreneur for the past eight years. She’s the owner of several online ventures and a passionate community builder. She enjoys challenging companies to upgrade their marketing strategies and create a better place for their customers and teams. You can connect with her anytime via Twitter: @roxanasoi or her marketing blog, SERPlified.com.

Must Have Social Media Tools for 2018

As more and more people create personal and professional profiles on social networking sites, there’s simply no denying the importance of social media for brand promotion and business growth.

But because marketing professionals contend with a plethora of marketing activities aside from interacting with customers on social media, we’ve compiled a list of social media productivity tools you should check out in 2018, if you haven’t already.

This post tackles 30 of the top social media tools, what they’re for, some pricing details, and their pros and cons. Let’s dig right in.

1. AddThis

Best known for: Content distribution, tracking, and analysis

AddThis is a social sharing and engagement tool found on many websites. It comes with share and follow buttons to easily distribute your content, boost your social media presence, and grow your audience. Aside from website marketing, AddThis provides valuable data on audience behavior: social engagement, number of people sharing your content, and where traffic comes from.


AddThis Basic is free. Paid plans start at $10 per month.


  • Share buttons for one-click sharing of content to various social media channels
  • Follow buttons for quick and easy audience building
  • Provides insights on browser type, browser language, date and time of a user’s visit to your website, and traffic referrers
  • Aggregates the number of clicks a shared link generates
  • Responsive and works with any device type
  • Related Posts feature to keep readers glued to your site’s content
  • Easy-to-install plugin for WordPress
  • Available browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, plus a bookmarklet if you need more sharing options


  • Inability to turn off the AddThis branding even on Pro subscriptions
  • May require some tweaking at the outset to properly work

2. Buffer

Best known for: Automated republishing and content scheduling

Buffer is a social media management tool that lets users schedule and publish content on the major social networks, as well as measure the impact of their marketing efforts from one centralized dashboard.


For individual plans, a free version with limited features is available. The paid version costs $10 per month. Team and agency plans start at $99.


  • Social media scheduling and publishing in one dashboard
  • Includes link shortening and tracking, social analytics, and Pablo, Buffer’s proprietary image creator
  • Can add RSS feeds from blogs
  • Works with desktops, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices
  • Includes browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox for easier posting and scheduling


  • Doesn’t track social mentions
  • Can’t view your Twitter feed or interact with followers directly from the dashboard
  • Free account doesn’t support Pinterest

3. Bundle Post

Best known for: Hashtag tracking and content curation

Bundle Post is a social media management tool that tracks hashtags and curates content from numerous sources, including Google Alerts, RSS, and other feeds, allowing you to choose from the latest and most relevant content to send out to your audience. It lets you schedule social content in bulk and create repository folders for your marketing messages, which you can also include in your scheduled posts.


Bundle Post plans start at $19.99 per month. A free 30-day trial where you get to test drive the Pro plan (costs $100 per month) is available.


  • Allows the creation of folders for each client or campaign
  • Lets users add single time slots for posting or specify posting intervals to maintain complete control over their scheduled posts
  • Has a time-saving #FollowFriday feature that helps you figure out what to say in your posts or who to mention
  • Integrates with Hootsuite
  • Offers a Chrome extension


Tech support may be limited to tutorials only for certain plans

4. ClickToTweet

Best known for: One-click content sharing and analytics

ClickToTweet is a Twitter app that lets you create tweetable links you can then embed on your website, email messages, or press releases. It comes with features that make promoting, sharing, and tracking your content easier.


ClickToTweet paid plans start at $4.97 monthly. Other plans are Expert at $49.70 per year, and the Enterprise plan at $499 per year. A free ClickToTweet plan is also available.


  • Tweetable links generation for easier content sharing
  • Central dashboard for all your links
  • Analytics for click activities on your links
  • Click mapping so you know where people clicking on your links are located in the world
  • Suggested users feature to increase followers
  • URL shortener to redirect all your links
  • ClickToTweet WordPress plugin available


  • No full support for embedding images, just a workaround
  • Free plan only includes five links

5. ContentGems

ContentGems homepage

Best known for: Content discovery and distribution

ContentGems is a content discovery engine that scans thousands of online content from trusted sources, helping marketers automatically find timely and relevant content for distribution to their audience on various channels: social media, email newsletters, website, portals/intranets, or mobile app. This, in turn, allows them to attract more qualified traffic to their sites and build thought leadership for the company.


Depending on the package you choose, paid plans cost $99 per month (Business) and $199 per month (Agencies). A free plan with limited features is likewise available.


  • Monitors leading blog and news sites for top-rated content, which you can further cherry-pick or automatically stream to your followers
  • Gives users immediate access to hundreds of thousands of RSS feeds
  • Sends out weekly or daily email digests
  • Comes with Twitter filters to weed out sub-par content
  • Lets you build customized feed bundles
  • Allows the usage of custom keywords and content filtering by media type and social signals
  • Offers a developer API for customized data sharing between apps
  • Works with a range of third-party platforms, such as MailChimp, Slack, Buffer, Hootsuite, Feedly, Campaign Monitor, and Sendible


  • Mainly built for content discovery and distribution, no advanced social media management capabilities
  • Advanced features come at a cost that may be steep for small businesses or startups

6. EpicBeat

EpicBeat homepage

Best known for: Content discovery and analysis

EpicBeat is a social media software system that assists marketers with content, influencers, and trend discovery.


EpicBeat costs $49 per month or $490 per year. A 14-day free trial is available.


  • Available features: saved searches, downloadable data, real-time alerts, and multiple users
  • Helps businesses find influencers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, SoundCloud, and SlideShare
  • Provides insights such as best-performing content types and formats, top authors and domains, trending themes, comprehensive sentiment analysis, and ideal posting times across platforms
  • Various filter options for content refinement
  • Comes with a curation API for WordPress blogs


  • Allows use of the tool without signing up but will only grant you access to Twitter influencers

7. Everypost

Everypost homepage

Best known for: Content curation and social media publishing

Everypost is an all-in-one social media publishing tool that simplifies content curation and maintaining control over your social media pages. Supported platforms include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr.


Everypost has a free option plus four different paid tiers, which start at at $9.99 per month.


  • Team collaboration and role management
  • Visual content curation from various social media sources including Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, and RSS feeds
  • Post scheduling and customization to suit the needs of each platform’s audience
  • Social analytics tools for building granular, platform-specific reports
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS devices
  • Automatic syncing of personal contacts to Everypost
  • Twitter mentions monitoring and location activation
  • Filters and image manipulation


Free version is limited to one account per channel and doesn’t support team management

8. Google Trends

Best known for: Trends tracking and market research

Google Trends is a forecasting and historical analysis tool that aids with market research and web user behavior tracking. It provides interest trends over time for certain keyword searches.


Google Trends is a free service.


  • Shows insights into interest spikes for relevant terms
  • Can be used to research on practically anything of interest to you, including predicting economic indicators
  • Aside from time trends, also renders rising interest reports (related terms not in the top 10 but show sustained increase and should be noticed)
  • Contains filters to narrow search results: location filter, category filter, time span filter, and type of search filter


  • Minimum traffic requirement for your website to be featured
  • Data may contain inaccuracies
  • Better to use Google Analytics over Google Trends if you want accurate data on your website

9. Hashtagify.me

Best known for: Hashtag discovery and influencer marketing

Hashtagify.me is a Twitter hashtag search and discovery tool that lets you find the best hashtags to expand your social media reach. It also helps you pinpoint the right influencers to amplify your message.


Hashtagify offers a free account. Pro plans start at $9.99 per month. If you pay annually, you get two months free.


  • Has a Research Assistant feature that analyzes your Twitter accounts to give you the best hashtag recommendations, up to 30 related hashtags
  • Lets you find hashtags from competitors and influencers
  • HashSmart Filter feature automatically filters out generic and spammy hashtags
  • Drills down to individual tweets to measure hashtag influence
  • Comes with analytics and in-depth reports that detail the hashtag’s usage patterns
  • Shows you a live stream of the public posts using the hashtag


  • Support for Instagram only available to Business and Enterprise accounts
  • Requires credit card information to start using the free trial

10. Hootsuite

Hootsuite homepage

Best known for: Social media management in one place

Hootsuite is a time-saving social media and analytics app that lets users manage all of their social profiles from a single location. It allows you to discover and schedule social content, identify influencers, and connect with customers and social media followers faster.


A paid one-user plan starts at $19 per month. For teams and businesses, multi-user subscriptions start at $99 per month. A free and limited single-user plan is likewise available.


  • Clean, easy-to-use dashboard
  • Offers a complete set of social media management tools for scheduling, content curation, analytics, monitoring, team management, and contests/sweepstakes hosting
  • Also functions as helpdesk for social media teams, allowing businesses to protect their reputation straight from the app
  • Integrates with 250+ business apps
  • Works with the following mobile devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android


  • Supports a limited number of URL shorteners
  • Adding more users and advanced features can be very expensive for small businesses


IFTTT homepage

Best known for: Integration of otherwise disparate apps

Short for “if this, then that,” IFTTT is more than just a social media management tool. It’s a web-based task automation app that performs actions triggered by conditional statements or applets. For IFTTT to work, you need a channel, a recipe, and an action.

For example, if you’re tagged in an Instagram photo, IFTTT can automatically download the photo to Google Drive.


IFTTT can be used totally free. But if you want to publish a service and embed it in your own apps or website, that will cost you $199 per month. For custom options and services for your brand, Partner Plus starts at $499 per month.


  • Connects disparate services without learning how to code
  • Hundreds of service combinations you can use upon signup
  • Works seamlessly between desktop and mobile devices
  • Can build your own recipe if you don’t find what you need
  • Totally free to use


  • Can only combine two services at a time
  • Can result in double postings on your social accounts if you go crazy with your combinations

12. Keyhole

Keyhole homepage

Best known for: Hashtag tracking and keyword analysis

Keyhole is a hashtag analytics and social media marketing tool that works with the major social networks: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Keyhole tracks data from your account, analyzes generated reports, and gives out suggestions on how to better optimize your social media marketing campaigns.


Keyhole offers several pricing tiers: Professional ($165 per month), Team ($349 per month), Corporate ($599 per month), Agency ($999 per month), and Enterprise (call their sales team for custom pricing). Although there are no yearly commitments, Keyhole offers discounts on one- and two-year prepayments.

You can also test-drive the app for three days for free.


  • Carries a suite of social media marketing features: hashtag and keyword analytics, influencer marketing, competitor tracking, sentiment analysis, demographic analysis, locations heatmap, live streams, historical data reports, and automated reporting
  • Analytics for both brand mentions and hashtags
  • Embed widgets available for your website or blog
  • Tracks which devices users commonly post with
  • Customized alert notifications via email
  • Reports that are exportable to Excel and similar software tools


  • In-depth social media analytics and reporting features limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • May be pricey for small businesses and startups

13. MeetEdgar

Meetedgar homepage

Best known for: Content scheduling and amplification

MeetEdgar is a social media scheduling tool that ensures your posts and updates get the most attention from your fans, followers, and connections. MeetEdgar doesn’t just schedule your posts and track their performance, it also allows you to build a library of social media updates that you can use over and over again.


MeetEdgar pricing is at $49 per month. A free 14-day trial is offered.


  • Automatically reshares evergreen content
  • Builds a queue of updates for sharing across your different social networks
  • Supports unlimited content in your library
  • Lets you assign expiration dates to seasonal content
  • Pulls content from RSS feeds
  • Allows category-based scheduling for different types of posts
  • Supported URL shorteners: Rebrandly and Edgar’s proprietary custom link shortener
  • Offers a Chrome extension and bookmarklet
  • Provides statistics to better increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts


  • Only supports Twitter, Facebook (profiles, groups, pages), and Linkedin (profiles, company pages)
  • No dedicated plugin for Firefox or Safari
  • Doesn’t support retweeting or commenting on content in-app

14. Ninja Outreach

Ninja Outreach homepage

Best known for: Influencer research, content discovery, and outreach automation

Ninja Outreach is primarily an influencer marketing tool, but it goes way beyond that. It can also be used for lead generation, content promotion, Twitter and Instagram prospecting, list management, content research, blogger outreach, and link building.


Ninja Outreach plans start at $69 per month. Other plans cost $99 per month (Small Agency), $249 per month (Large Agency), and $599 per month (Enterprise.) Free 14-day trials are available for each.


  • Gives you immediate access to thousands, if not millions, of influencers in your industry
  • Saves you tons of time on blogger prospecting and outreach
  • All your contacts, notes, email history, and RSS feeds in one place
  • Easy clients and campaign segmentation using relevant keywords
  • Supports team management and collaboration
  • Carries SEO, location, special posts, and social filters for more targeted results
  • Has customizable built-in outreach templates
  • Includes a Chrome extension
  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee


  • We can be a little biased about Ninja Outreach. It’s our baby, after all. We work hard to deliver the best possible influencer marketing solution for you, but if there’s anything at all that bothers you about the software, let us know, and we’ll do our utmost to get that fixed.

15. Oktopost

Oktapost Homepage

Best known for: Social publishing and lead management

Oktopost is a social media management platform for B2B marketers. It helps with lead generation, lead tracking and analysis, social publishing, social listening and engagement, and content curation.


Oktopost pricing depends on the package your company needs. Please contact their sales department for custom pricing.


  • Comes with a suite of social publishing features: campaign categorization, editorial calendar, content pipeline, publishing automation, and a mobile app for Android and iOS devices
  • Social analytics feature that tracks acquisition and lead attribution, audience growth, social engagement, and content performance
  • Data that can be exported to Excel or any business intelligence solution
  • Supports the use of custom RSS feeds for content discovery
  • Live streams to monitor keywords, company pages, mentions, customer feedback, and competitor activities
  • Promotes employee advocacy and thought leadership for social amplification
  • Supports team management and collaboration
  • Upholds data security through role-based user controls


  • Because it’s feature-rich, may take some getting used to
  • Integration with Twitter Insights (or other marketing automation software) is a separate purchase

16. Pocket

Pocket Homepage

Best known for: “Save for later” content curation

Pocket is a content curation tool that allows users to save content for later viewing. It offers different ways to save: via email, your web browser, or from 1,500 connected apps, such as Twitter, Digg, and Flipboard.


You can use Pocket for free. However, if you want it ad-free or need access to more features, such as a permanent library of the webpages and articles you save (even when they’re deleted from the web entirely), full-text search, customized reading experience, and suggested tags, Pocket Premium costs $4.99 per month, or $44.99 per year.


  • Comes with a clean, minimalistic, and user-friendly interface
  • Allows offline viewing of saved content
  • Lets users send links to [email protected] if the app they use doesn’t support auto-saving to Pocket
  • Tagging system for content categorization and easy retrieval
  • Content recommendation based on the content you save
  • Premium plan supports multiple languages, including English, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish
  • Integrates with 1,500+ apps
  • Has native apps for Androids, iPhones, and iPads; also works with Kobo e-readers, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry devices
  • Offers extensions for the major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera


  • List of user-created applications on the website not updated
  • Articles won’t be available offline if you’ve closed Pocket down before full download is complete
  • Free account removes copies of archived items from the device

17. Post Planner

Best known for: Content discovery and trends tracking

Post Planner is a content discovery tool that assists social media managers with finding the right content using keywords, hashtags, and industry recommendations. The app also measures content performance through a five-star rating system so you can cherry-pick the content to showcase to your target audience.


Post Planner offers five subscription plans, aside from a free-for-life basic version and a custom package for organizations requiring unlimited features. Paid plans start at $3 per month (Starter plan), if billed annually.


  • Lets you add your own content, which is then scored for virality
  • Allows posting to Facebook groups that you manage
  • Supports sharing and uploading of photos
  • Automatically adds evergreen content back to plan rotation
  • Star rating system to predict content performance - more stars, better content performance
  • Automates publishing from RSS feeds


  • Works with Facebook and Twitter only
  • No free trial for the paid options
  • No native mobile app yet

18. RightTag

Best known for: Hashtag analysis and optimization

RiteTag is a hashtag optimization tool that helps users find the right hashtags for their social media campaigns. Using real-time engagement data, it provides instant feedback on your hashtags and identifies those that will generate good results.


The pricing scheme for RightTag is simple and straightforward: $49 per year. A seven-day free trial is available.


  • Visibly warns you of problematic hashtags through color coding
  • Provides granular statistics on your chosen hashtag, such as unique tweets per hour, retweets per hour, hashtag exposure per hour, tweets with images, tweets with links, and tweets with mentions
  • Provides statistics on recommended hashtags, making it easy to pick out the most promising ones
  • Lists down which hashtags not to use
  • Available browser extensions: Chrome and Firefox
  • Available mobile apps: Android and iOS


  • Exclusively used for hashtag optimization only

19. Simply Measured

Best known for: Social listening and analytics

Simply Measured is a social listening tool that aids with brand reputation management. It also analyzes metrics across the different social networks, giving social media managers an in-depth look into their social media activities.


Pricing for a Simply Measured subscription is not available on their website. Schedule a demo or call their sales department for more information.


  • Aggregation and analysis of social media data in one location
  • Supports the major social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest
  • Other solutions offered aside from social listening and analysis: conversion and content share tracking
  • Reports that can be generated in a variety of formats: Excel, Word, or PowerPoint
  • Helps improve SEO and tracks traffic generated via AdWords
  • Has built-in integrations with Tableau
  • Offers a social analytics API to analyze your data however you want it analyzed
  • Gathers data from Google Analytics
  • Provides free reports for a sampling of the data it generates, such as Twitter follower report,
  • Facebook fan page report, Facebook content analysis, Instagram user report, Vine tweet analysis, and social traffic report


  • Custom reporting may not be available for all users
  • Because it’s feature-rich, may take a little getting used to

20. Social Mention

Best known for: Social listening and reputation management

Social Mention is a social listening tool that lets businesses track and monitor the conversations around their brands. It can be used for reputation management and for research into what piques the interest of your target market.


Social Mention can be used for free. There are review channels, however, that peg the price per user per month anywhere from $20 to $29. Social Mention doesn’t publicly provide such data. Please contact them for more information.


  • Simple and straightforward usage: input your query into the toolbar and specify the channel/s you want the app to perform a search on
  • Covers 100+ social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, and Google
  • Functions as a user-generated content aggregator, as well as a search and analysis platform
  • Carries a third-party API for companies that want to stream real-time social media data into the applications they already use
  • Allows the setup of daily social media alerts


  • Doesn’t offer advanced filtering options as most social media management tools do

21. Socialert

Best known for: Hashtag tracking and reputation management

Socialert makes hashtag tracking simpler and easier. The app, however, is more than just that. It also carries features and tools that perform brand monitoring, influencer marketing, and Twitter analytics.


Socialert offers multiple subscription plans: Starter ($9.95 per month), Professional ($29.95 per month), Enterprise ($49.95 per month), and Corporate ($99.95 per month). A free three-day trial is likewise available.


  • Multiple functionalities in one platform: brand monitoring, hashtag tracking, influencer marketing, and Twitter analytics
  • Allows monitoring of every related keyword to amplify your brand’s reach
  • Supports competitor analysis by helping you uncover their influencers, viral content, customers, and trending hashtags
  • Tracks hashtag mentions and usage
  • Provides top tweets, hashtags, and links
  • Allows social media managers to directly communicate with their audience from the dashboard
  • Has noise-reducing filters that let you hone in on the data that matter


  • Mainly focused on Twitter

22. SocialOomph

Best known for: Content discovery and posts scheduling

SocialOomph is a social media management and productivity app that lets you schedule posts, find people to follow, and monitor activities in your different networks from one centralized dashboard.


A free account for Twitter-only management can accommodate up to five different profiles. If you need to monitor more than five, SocialOomph Twitter Unlimited costs $6.97 once every two weeks. SocialOomph Professional, on the other hand, costs $17.97 once every two weeks.


  • Supported social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Plurk
  • Supports URL shortening and keywords tracking
  • Allows usage of RSS feeds to create updates
  • Supports unlimited accounts
  • Supports tweeting via email


  • Additional fees for auto-DM and follow-back features
  • Free account covers Twitter only

23. Sprout Social

Best known for: Social media marketing and analytics

Sprout Social offers a host of social media management tools to facilitate the way brands communicate with their customers. It carries features that allows individual users and teams to manage their messages in one place, schedule and publish posts, collaborate on content via a shared content calendar, and unlock valuable social media insights through in-depth analytics.


Sprout Social offers three pricing tiers: Premium at $99 per user per month, Corporate at $149 per user per month, and Enterprise at $249 per user per month. Free 30-day trials are available for all plans.


  • Clean and intuitive user interface
  • Detailed reporting
  • Solutions offered: smart inbox, post scheduling and publishing, keyword and location monitoring, a shared content calendar, task management and social CRM, in-depth reports, trends and engagement reports, competitive benchmark reporting, custom URL tracking, and advanced keyword listening
  • Supports multiple account management
  • Single-stream inbox for easier engagement with customers
  • Proprietary analytics tools to monitor and measure individual and team performance against responsiveness and engagement targets
  • Integrates with Google Analytics
  • Available apps: web app, browser plugin, Android, iPad and iOS apps


  • Doesn’t connect with Pinterest
  • Cost on the high side to include an entire team
  • Advanced features only available to higher-priced subscription packages

24. Tagboard

Best known for: Hashtag tracking and content publishing

Tagboard is not your ordinary hashtag tracker. While it does use hashtags to aggregate data from the various social media networks in real time, the app also embeds, reposts, and broadcasts content on various display screens.


Tagboard offers two pricing categories: Social Media Displays and Digital + Web Only. The Starter plan for social media displays costs $500 per event, while Starter Digital for digital and web use only starts at $99 monthly, if billed annually.


  • Carries an intuitive, user-friendly interface
  • Allows content curation through hashtags
  • Supports sharing of content to your live audience at events such as conferences or sports arenas
  • Has filters for blocking negative or offensive posts
  • Supports retweeting and commenting from the Tagboard account
  • Automatic notifications for social media users who get featured
  • Comes with plugins for Chrome, Hootsuite, and Eventbrite


  • Social media display packages are on the pricey side
  • Valuable features come at an extra cost

25. Talkwalker

Best known for: Social media listening and analytics

Talkwalker does more than social listening, influencer identification, and hashtag tracking. In all, it’s an online reputation management system that enables businesses to monitor what people are saying about their brands and take immediate action where necessary.


Talkwalker plans start at $8,400 yearly (or $700 per month). A seven-day free trial is offered.


  • Social listening across 10+ social networks, 150 million websites, and in 187 languages automatically translated in-platform
  • Carries a proprietary image recognition technology, allowing users to analyze both images and text in social posts
  • Analytics features include virality map to replicate viral campaigns, trending score to pinpoint trends, use case dashboards, in-depth social channel analytics, and smart theme detection for issue identification
  • Sentiment analysis available in 25 languages
  • Instant and automatic alerts
  • Fully customizable crisis dashboards
  • Time-lapse visuals for trend comparison and measurement
  • Integrates with third-party apps such as Hootsuite and Tableau


  • Too pricey for startups and small businesses
  • Lacks the ability to directly publish to social media

26. Tweet Binder

Best known for: Social media tracking and analysis

Tweet Binder is a social media tracking tool that allows users to classify, analyze, and optimize their Twitter and Instagram content for better campaign results. Aside from the ability to track hashtags and keywords, the app has features that showcases stats in just a click, which, in turn, helps social media managers understand their content’s performance in real time.


Tweet Binder offers three subscription packages: Twitter Plan (€150 per month), Twitter and Instagram Plan (€310 per month), and Instagram Plan (€210 per month).


  • Categorizes tweets or topics into binders for stats comparison between binders
  • Carries an analytics suite to know and measure the reach and impact of your Twitter campaigns
  • Can be used to integrate Twitter on customized “tweet walls” to show tweets, images, leaderboards, and rankings to your audience in real time
  • Creates customized microsites for your campaigns and events
  • Allows exportation of reports to Excel


  • Price may be on the steep side for small businesses and startups
  • Can only store up to 6,000 tweets from the last seven days and up to 35,000 tweets per month for real-time reports

27. TweetDeck

Best known for: Twitter marketing and monitoring

An app by Twitter for Twitter users, TweetDeck is a social media management tool that monitors how users interact with the content posted on your different accounts. It gives you an at-a-glance view of your mentions, messages, notifications, and real-time activity in your network.


TweetDeck is absolutely free to use.


  • Supports link shortening
  • Lets you set up keyboard shortcuts and configurable alerts
  • Allows tweet scheduling
  • 15 different column types that can be added to or deleted from your timeline anytime
  • Easily customizable look and feel
  • Tweet Grid, which basically is a collection of tweets, that can be customized and embedded on your website
  • Supports multiple users and team management


  • Shortened URLs that cannot be customized
  • Twitter-only application

28. Viraltag

Best known for: Social media publishing and analytics

Viraltag is a multi-featured social media management and analytics tool that allows social media professionals to manage multiple social networks, schedule unlimited posts and updates, reuse evergreen content, collaborate with teams, and track and measure performance from one dashboard.


Subscription packages start at $24 per month, if billed annually. Free 14-day trials are available.


  • Schedules multiple shares for a single post over different time periods
  • Lets users customize their messages to suit specific platforms’ audiences
  • Supports sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram
  • Carries a built-in image editor
  • Supports uploading of multiple images at once
  • Integrates with Google Drive and Dropbox for uploading, editing, and scheduling of content in bulk
  • Provides the ability to add multiple RSS feeds, Flickr, and Instagram accounts for content curation
  • Has a Chrome extension and bookmarklet
  • Allows users to pin on multiple Pinterest accounts and boards at once
  • Supports URL shortening


  • Requires manual setup of each day’s schedule
  • URL shortening may not automatically work across the board, such as on Facebook image posts with a URL in the description

29. Cyfe

Social Media Tools 2017- Cyfe

Cyfe is a dashboard app that monitors not just how your company fares on social media but in other aspects as well. It provides prebuilt widgets so you can start monitoring your social media and other KPIs immediately after signup.


Cyfe Premium costs $19 per month ($14 per month for annual payments). Cyfe can also be used for free.


  • Offers unlimited widgets and dashboards
  • Data can be exported in various formats: PNG, PDF, JPEG, and CSV
  • Archives data older than 30 days - meaning, you never lose it
  • Allows you to showcase your data on any screen type
  • Lets you customize your data sources using its Push API and present your data however you want via custom widgets
  • Gives you the ability to share read-only URLs to the public
  • Offers prebuilt integrations with a number of third-party apps, such as Salesforce, Google AdWords, MailChimp, Freshbooks, Facebook, WordPress, YouTube, PayPal, Amazon Web Services, GoToWebinar, Constant Contact, Shopify, Stripe, Bing Ads, Vimeo, and many more


  • Offers limited reporting options for certain connections
  • Some reports may not be customizable
  • Limited panel design options

30. Digimind Social

Social Media Tools 2017- Digimind

Digimind Social is a social media monitoring tool that allows marketers to listen to what people are saying about their brand. To help with brand reputation and management, real-time brand sentiment is analyzed across millions of sources that include social media and top publications.


Pricing depends on the monitoring features you need for your business. Contact their sales team for more details.


  • Helps you protect your company’s overall brand health
  • Lets you monitor your content’s performance through Digimind’s built-in social analytics feature
  • Allows you to track what people are saying about your company, products, services, your competitors, and even any topic that interests you
  • Provides the intelligence data you need to better engage with your target audience
  • Helps you tweak and improve your marketing strategy
  • Integrates with Hootsuite


  • May require some tech support at setup
  • Social data from some sources may be limited

31. PromoRepublic

Best known for: Content creation, promotion, and automation.

Promo Republic is designed to help small businesses minimize their social media efforts with an extremely user-friendly tool. It features a graphic editor tool for you to create thumb-stopping visual posts, followed by content promotion ideas you can schedule with a click. And if creating and curating your own content takes up too much time, Promo Republic even has the option for you to go on autopilot - suggesting relevant content for you on a daily basis.


7-day free trial. Paid plan starts at $9 per month.


  • Amazing tool for small businesses to understand the type of content to post
  • Autopilot: daily post ideas and inspirations
  • Seamless integration to all social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Integration with top industry apps such as Hubspot and Buffer
  • Great UI/UX: easy to use, easy to navigate


  • You can only use pre-built templates; you can’t create your own.
  • Limited flexibility in graphic editor; you can’t change the font colours of individual words/letters in the same sentence.
  • Non-responsive canvas. If you chose a Facebook pre-built template and shared the image on Instagram, the dimensions stay the same.

32. Design Wizard

Best known for: Being an effortless way to create high-quality visuals with thousands of templates and personalised images.

Design Wizard is as its name says: a wizard in helping you create top-notch visual contents with its thousands of templates and over 1 million personalised images without the effort or the time necessary. It’s easy to use and lets you create a stunning graphic - creative genius or otherwise.


Design Wizard is free to use. They do have a paid plan starting at $9.99 per month.


  • Access to over 1.2 million curated images.
  • Ability to customise colour palettes and fonts.
  • Allows you to share your images instantly.
  • Responsive resizing for your designs
  • You can create folders of your favourite images.
  • Downloadable images with free preview
  • A simple use of licensing plan.
  • Database of over 120 free fonts.


  • System is still a little slow
  • Limited space to store uploaded photos

Final word

There you have it - the top 30 social media tools for 2018. We will be updating this post throughout 2018, so if there are any tools you’d like added to the list, feel free to send us a message.

Why Branded Short Links Work [Infographic]

Shortened URLs are great, but shouldn’t your links promote your brand?

Branded links may be the solution you are looking for.

They take your shortened links to the next level and quickly build your brand.

Some of the biggest brands in the world are using branded links, such as YouTube (youtu.be), the New York Times (nyti.ms), Virgin (virg.in) and Pepsi (pep.si).

These brands understand that branded links maximise brand awareness and take marketing to the next level.

Shortening a link takes up less characters for your post, which is especially helpful when it comes to Twitter posts.

A branded short link also shortens the original url, but includes the brand name in the link.

By branding a link, the audience associates the company with the links, information and content shared online.

Branding has become incredibly important with some great benefits.

72% of marketers are saying that branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine.

69% of those marketers also believe that branded content is superior to direct mail and PR.

Among most consumers, “authenticity of content” is their greatest influencer for whether or not to become loyal to a brand.

With branded links, you can incorporate your company’s name and associate them with the quality content being shared, thus better increasing consumer loyalty.

Branded links also increase brand recognition, which for millennials, is the second most important driver for brand loyalty.

Generic shortened links like bit.ly or goo.gl don’t reinforce brand awareness or leave a branded impression on the audience like branded links can do.

In addition to this, branded links increase the click through rate (CTR) by 35% or more.

They convey a strong quality signal about the content being shared.

If the content is authentic and valuable, it will signal to the audience that the brand is also authentic and of value.

In this way, you can kill two birds with one stone: gain brand recognition by including a branded link, as well as grow customer loyalty when the audience associates your brand with content that matters.

An increased CTR is a clear sign that audiences prefer branded links.

This means that they will also share more content when it includes branded links.

Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Search, has said, “Since shortened links get shared more often, there is an added SEO benefit from this greater exposure.”

Greater SEO? More brand awareness?

Higher CTR? It’s probably time to start using branded links.

Make the change and begin using branded links today.

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Fashion Influencer Marketing: Why You Shouldn’t Get Left Behind

In the industry of fashion, influencer marketing has often been taken for granted, don’t you think? We see all these bloggers with thousands of followers on Facebook, fashion influencers on Instagram, or any other social media platform, and we don’t even realize they’re recommending a product because they have a partnership with the company producing it.

If you’re a business owner in the fashion industry or in charge of a company’s fashion marketing efforts, here’s why this is a problem.

It’s a fact that over one-third of online consumers trust the opinions of people they’ve never met more than they trust branded ads and marketing collateral.

In other words, we turn to our fellow consumers when we want to make informed purchasing decisions.

This is a major shift.

Up until now, people simply looked at how companies represented themselves and made the decision to buy based on their commercials.

Now, they look at their favorite personalities, which are often bloggers or vloggers with massive fan bases on their social channels.

bloggers social channels


This means there’s an enormous opportunity for your brand to get great exposure through fashion influencer marketing.

The Pack Leaders On Fashion Influencer Marketing Programs

This type of partnership with a fashion influencer can be one of the most powerful fashion marketing tools at your possession.

A lot of businesses in the fashion industry have already boarded the influencer train by entering into mutually beneficial relationships.

A great example can be found with GQ and their media company, Condé Nast.

They used their connections with fashion influencers to create story-telling video content.

As this type of content is very popular with influencers, many fashion brands use in-house services to edit the videos; however, small brands usually need to outsource this to web-based agencies like Valoso or to freelancing websites like Upwork for a more professional look.

Luxury jewelry brand, de GRISOGONO also generated a lot of buzz during the Cannes film festival by focusing on live content surrounding the event.

As a result, the fourteen influencers the company selected triggered over 19 million impressions for the brand.

Doubting Thomases

Unfortunately, even though almost 60% of fashion brands have an influencer strategy in place, this still leaves quite a few companies that are not in the influencer game yet. Just like with social media 5 years ago, many business owners are still doubting the efficacy of this strategy, even though there’s proof everywhere that it can produce results worthy of more than just a high-five.

It has become virtually impossible to deny the selling power that the majority of these social media personalities possess.

A lot of articles trying to convince companies to venture into the influencer marketing world already exist all over the Internet—so here’s another strategy to make you rethink your hesitation.

It’s time to outline the most important aspects of the concept, which may just help you make a decision about it.

Finding the Perfect Fit

When it comes to influencer marketing, there’s something we can’t deny: we’ve grown to love many of our online stars over the last few years.

However, the most important thing when searching for influencers to connect your business with is for them to be a contextual fit.

Keep in mind that not all fashion brands are the same—they have different target groups, which means they direct their content to very different types of consumers. Finding the relevant influencers for you is definitely a challenge, but it’s not impossible.

Here are just a few examples of the most popular influencers on the Internet.

popular influencers on the Internet

1. Jenna Marbles

We’ve all grown to love YouTube star Jenna Marbles—the top female comedian in the vlogging niche.

She has an enormous following and people seem to hang on to her every word. But is she the right person to promote your high-end fashion brand? Well, so far she hasn’t been affiliated with any brands, at least not officially. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance.

2. Aimee Song

If we’re talking about influencers, there’s no way we can avoid mentioning Instagram star Aimee Song.

An interior designer and a fashion blogger, she currently has over 4.1 million followers on Instagram alone. She became even more popular after she reportedly signed a deal to become Laura Mercier’s first digital influencer and brand ambassador. The deal is not even exclusive, which means she’s free to work with other brands as well.

3. Jaclyn Hill

Even though the platform is already 6 years old, Snapchat is still a mystery to most fashion brands.

One of the most profitable ways to develop a partnership with an influencer is to look out of the fashion industry. Jaclyn Hill, for instance, is a beauty blogger with an enormous Snapchat following.

She’s been affiliated with companies like Becca Cosmetics, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be open to collaborating with a fashion brand. Usually, this means she would casually wear a product by the brand and let her audience ask about it.

Here Come the Brand Ambassadors

Influencer marketing is all about long-term relationships—it makes no sense to go through all that trouble and research to find the right people and to let them go after a one-time promotion.

Brand Ambassadors

Most companies pay their influencers to post pictures with their clothes and accessories, but that’s far from your only option—it’s the experience that person has from your partnership that will make them stick with you in the long run.

Here are 3 examples of creative partnerships between fashion brands and influencers.

1. Pinterest contest

It’s essential for a fashion brand to have an endless supply of high-quality images. As Pinterest is a very inspirational and practical platform, the key is to make your content shareable.

You can, for instance, get in touch with a fashion blogger and have them pin some of your images on their own boards, or even ask them to create and dedicate an entire board to your brand.

Pinterest is currently the second largest driver of traffic from social media sites, so even a single pin by an influencer could potentially make a big difference.

2. Custom-made pieces

Everyone likes to feel unique—fashion bloggers included!

One of the great things that make the fashion industry stand out is the opportunity to provide your partners with custom-made pieces in exchange for, let’s say, a blog post or an Instagram post reviewing the product.

This would certainly make them feel valued enough to want to continue the collaboration.

3. Video content

Did you know that 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google are video results? Not to mention that over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

All things considered, you need to invest in video if you want your content to reach as many people as possible.

If you choose to collaborate with an influential vlogger, you might even end up with a viral video.

The Quest for Authenticity

Think about it: Internet stars can make your items sell out within days or even hours with just one post.

When Lord & Taylor got 50 influencers to post a picture with the same dress on Instagram claiming it’s a “must-have”, the product sold out just a few days later.

Braboo’s influencer campaign is an even more interesting example, since the company was only 1 year old when it collaborated with German YouTube stars, Lisha and Lou. The result: the lingerie website was flooded with orders, and the products featured in the video were sold out.

Influencer Lord & Taylor

The key ingredient in the influencers’ image is authenticity—they can’t possibly make this happen without being genuine.

It’s a hard thing to be sure of: you need to go through their profiles and their interactions carefully in order to make sure they are honest and always reply to their followers.

There are plenty of people with a huge following who’d like to be influencers, but aren’t: a lot of them even buy their social media numbers without realizing the lack of engagement is a clear sign that something’s wrong.

Keeping Your Fashion Influencers When the Competition Gets Tough

While many are still making up their minds, a lot of fashion brands are already gaining a lot of traction from their influencer marketing.

Generally, that’s a good thing, but not if you want to approach the same people they’re in contact with.

In addition to that, since fashion bloggers are learning fast that their influence is valuable, they’re starting to get more demanding—which usually means you need to devote quite a big chunk of your budget to this tool, even if you’re not paying influencers with money.

Let’s face it: there’s always going to be the risk that your competitors will find a way to “steal” the influencers you’re working with. The best way to avoid it, perhaps, is to instill loyalty in them.

Outreach 101: How to Attract Fashion Influencers

It also has to do with the way you attract influencers. I suggest creating a contact list with every person that might be a good choice (based on their influence on Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat, for instance), and then instead of emailing each of them with a standardized template, attempt to build a relationship.

This means sharing their photos, leaving comments, responding to questions: anything positive that will get you noticed. Once you feel like enough time has passed, it’s time to reach out.

ZenSpill has a great guide for creating a killer outreach email. Remember: they’ll never leave if you give them a reason to be loyal to your brand.

A great example is Zoella, a beauty vlogger from the UK who has over 7 million YouTube subscribers.

In cooperation with the health and beauty retailer Superdrug in the UK, she has already published her first novel and has launched her own product line.

Zoella, a beauty vlogger

A good way to excite influencers enough for them to stay on is to include them in social media takeovers.

This means you give an influencer access to your brand’s social media account.

It’s a great way to hold contests and do giveaways.

Birchbox does Instagram takeovers all the time, with one of the most notable ones being Christina Zilber’s 4 Instagram photos on Mother’s Day, that resulted in 1,135 user-generated posts.

The Most Effective Communication Channels

85% of companies say email is the most effective channel to reach influencers. As great as that is, because it means you don’t have to get up from your desk to do your job, it’s not the whole story.

A lot of the most influential fashion bloggers attend events where you can connect with them in person and later create a more meaningful relationship offline.

However, there’s something even better that you can do: instead of chasing them, let them come to you!

Host a VIP event only for top influencers in the industry and encourage them to post about the experience with a pre-planned hashtag.

This way you won’t only get to meet the best, but you’ll also get a lot of exposure, thanks to their posts.

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, one of the famous hotels in Dubai, organized an event for 10 of the most influential instagrammers in the world and gave them a free visit to the city, as well as all of the hotel’s activities.

The result: 25,000 comments and 3.2 million new followers. It’s not just Burj Al Arab though—Bellagio Las Vegas was quick to host 20 influencers with a vast presence outside of Instagram, with the most famous ones being Murad Osmann and Natalia Zakharova.

Murad Osmann and Natalia Zakharova

TechMunch NYC by BakeSpace is another great example. It’s a conference for food bloggers and culinary influencers. It combines networking, panels, tastings, and demos for everyone to enjoy, even if you’re not a food blogger.

Twitter is definitely part of the game as well, wit the Twitter Influencer Networking Event in London being another example.

Hosted by City Steps Guided Tours, it invites mainly women in business to network and collaborate.

YouTube stars seem to have some of the most fun events (and after parties) though, with VidCon being the most famous one.

The video conference is held every year in California and is now expanding to Europe and Australia.


The voice of the customer has been one of the most powerful aspects of marketing for a long time.

With the tools the Internet brings us today, this voice can be enhanced quite a lot.

Marketing in the fashion industry is constantly evolving and it’s extremely difficult to predict what will be the new “black” five years from now, but one thing is for sure: adopting an influencer marketing strategy now gives you access to a much larger audience rather than relying only on your existing one.

It opens up a world of possibilities that you can explore and it enables you to establish connections with people with a credible voice and a built-in audience.

About the author: Desislava is a Brand Strategist whose work involves building strong and profitable brands in a genuine way. Apart from writing and coaching, she enjoys the occasional sarcastic remark and her pet sloth. Connect with her at www.badassbrandsquad.com

Commercial Marketing vs Social marketing (What You Need To Know)

All those who have interaction with marketing concepts, better know what exactly social marketing is. Going through with the commercial marketing definition, we can say that marketing is the process of creating, communicating, and delivering value to the customers in order to retain the benefit of the organization and stakeholders as a whole.

Social marketing is something different than the commercial marketing.

Social Marketing vs Commercial Marketing

Recommended Read: https://ninjaoutreach.com/coca-cola-marketing-plan/

Products and services but in social marketing we have a customer behavior, more deeply society’s behavior to focus.

So by the end of this explanation, we can say that commercial marketing is about focusing customer needs and social marketing is about focusing customer behaviors.

Commercial Marketing Techniques Utilized in Social Marketing

Most of commercial marketing techniques rapidly used in social marketing. For example, market research is an essential tool of commercial marketing and this is also used in social marketing. Before launching social marketing campaign, there is a need to conduct a market research to analyze the target audience and barriers of social marketing campaign.

  • Market research
  • Segmentation
  • Find out the needs, problems related to behavior
  • Selection of target market
  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  • Positioning
  • Marketing Mix (4 P’s)
    • Product
    • Price
    • Place
    • Promotion (5 M’s of advertising)
  • Implementation of marketing plans and strategies
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Course

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Main difference between commercial marketing and social marketing

Social marketing is more difficult than commercial marketing.

Commercial MarketingSocial Marketing
ProductSelling of tangible goods and servicesSelling desired behavior
Primary objectivesPrimary objective in commercial marketing is to satisfy customer by selling products to them and fulfilling their needs and earn profit.The primary objective of social marketing is to benefit society in term of social gain.
FocusFocus on physical products or services.Focus on to reach the target audience and change the behavior.
Marketing toolsMarketing tools use for selling products.Marketing tool use for changing behaviors.
Satisfying needsIn commercial marketing, marketers satisfy individual needs.In social marketing, marketers satisfy society needs.

Similarities between commercial marketing and social marketing

  • A customer orientation is critical.
  • Exchange theory is fundamental.
  • Market research is used throughout the process.
  • Audiences are segmented.
  • The proper target market is selected.
  • All 4 P’s are considered.
  • Results are measured and evaluated and used for improvement.

Social Marketers

Commercial organizations do not do social marketing. There are other organizations that develop and process social marketing campaigns:

  • Public sector organizations
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Department of Health
  • NGO’s
  • Department of Social and Human Services
  • National Highways Traffic Safety Administration
  • Schools, Parks, community health clinics
  • Governments

Ways to handle social issues

  • Technology
  • Science.
  • Legal/ Political/ Policy making
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Built environment
  • Changes in corporate policies
  • Schools training
  • Education
  • Media

Social marketing is different from commercial marketing. Social marketing is about society behavior. What do you think how social marketing can be performed so well? Tell us your thoughts by commenting on this article.

115 Fascinating Facts about the Rise of Social Media [Inforgraphic]

It is undeniable that social media has become a huge aspect of modern society.

In today’s society, 92% of teenagers are online every day, and 71% use more than one social network.

In total, 31% of the global population engage in social media.

As social media is still a relatively new concept, it is unclear what the instant and future implications of social media are.

The term addiction has started to frequently be applied to people that have extremely high social media usage habits.

There are 1.23 billion people that log into Facebook every day for an average of 17 minutes.

18% of participants surveyed reported that they could not even go a few hours without checking their news feed.

Every second there are on average 4.17 million likes and 293,000 statuses updated.

These statistics contribute to the platform’s staggering $312.78 billion market cap.

If people are using social media in record numbers and there are no signs of this slowing down, what is it being used for?

The days of turning on the TV and watching the morning news may soon be over, according to new data collected.

85% of social media users surveyed said that they relied on Twitter and Facebook for their news when they wake up.

68% of millennials, in particular, consume most of their news through Facebook, and 24% of high school students get their news through Instagram.

Job Hunting and Recruitment
83% of active job seekers are on Facebook, 40% are on Twitter, and 36% are on LinkedIn.

It makes sense for companies to recruit people via social media.

Recent data reports that 73% of successful recruitment has been done through social media.

To reach people 45 years and older, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most efficient platforms.

Younger people, however,(between 18 and 29) are turning to Twitter to promote their skills and employability.

To find out different ways that social media is used in day-to-day life, check out the infographic below...


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