Amplify Your SROI with These SMM Tools
ROI—”return on investment”—has long been the watchword of businesses and investors, and with good reason. All else being equal, you want to spend your money where it will give you the highest return. In the investment world, this is a very straightforward concept—you invest cash in a business and expect to see cash given back to you down the line when that business makes a profit. If a $100 investment yields you $110 a year later, that’s a 10% annual ROI. If a $100 investment yields you $120 a year later, that’s a 20% ROI and clearly a better investment.
Businesses large and small need to make the same basic ROI calculations: money gets spent on things like human resources, marketing efforts, materials and supplies, and businesses try to ensure that this money is spent in a way that will maximize earnings—$100 on a piece of software that increases productivity by 10% has a decent ROI, and $100 on a piece of advertising that increases sales by 20% has a better one. With limited resources, businesses will try to allocate them in the way that yields the highest return or ROI.
Social ROI is a little bit different. Rather than looking at direct monetary returns to determine how useful or effective a specific endeavor or social media “investment” is—whether it’s an investment of money, time, or other resources—social ROI is a measurement (or, more often, an estimate) of how well a business’s efforts are paying off in terms of public perception, brand reach, and “buzz” about their products and services. You can spend all day on your social media accounts, but if that’s not translating to increased interest in your business your social ROI is flat-lining, and your social media efforts aren’t doing you any good.
Keeping your social ROI up to snuff is essential, and we’ve selected ten tools that can help you make the most of your social media efforts. You probably won’t need all of them, but with just a handful of the right tools in place you can not only make your social media marketing more effective, but also better measure your results and adjust your resource allocation accordingly. Increasing social ROI almost invariably leads to revenue increases and other opportunities for your business, so we encourage you to check these tools out and take them for a social media spin!
QR codes—those funky black-and-white boxes that look (and work) like complicated barcodes—are a popular way of taking people from your offline products or marketing efforts to your website, blog, or other online property as a way to generate leads and sales and to grow your audience. People scan the code with their smartphone or tablet and go straight to your webpage, your facebook post, or wherever you want to send them. Hipscan is an increasingly popular way of generating these QR codes, and the service comes with a lot of other functions and benefits, as well/
You can use Hipscan for free and create a Hipscan profile (what they call a “digital business card”), get basic analytics about your Hipscan usage and customer interactions, and point a single Hipscan QR code anywhere on the web you want it to go. Their paid services (which start with a free trial!) include the ability to create a custom mobile website to showcase your company and products/services, advanced analytics, multiple Hipscan tracking, and more. The folks at Hipscan also offer plenty of great advice on how to use QR codes to the best advantage.
2. Bizness Apps
All the numbers point to a migration to mobile ecommerce and a greater reliance on mobile devices to connects us online. Many small businesses have responded to the changing cyber landscape with mobile friendly websites but will this be enough to retain customer loyalty? Enter Bizness Apps. At Bizness Apps, small business owners can easily create their own mobile app for $59/month – that’s right – business owners don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for mobile app development.
Owners start by picking an industry-specific template (real estate, restaurant, retail, gyms, bars, spas, salons, and more) and then enter their business specific data. Bizness Apps offers tons of capability and features to keep you in constant contact with your customer base such as mobile reservations, SMS marketing campaigns, event-scheduling, loyalty card programs, social media sharing, microblogging and many more features. Bizness Apps mobile apps can be easily created for couples planning a wedding that want to keep in contact with their guests, event-planners seeking to keep tabs on their attendees, and etc.
Hootsuite is one of the original social media efficiency-enhancing tools, and it remains one of the best. Schedule and manage posts on more than 35 social media platforms and 100 different social media profiles, for those of you managing more than one social media brand. Detailed analytics that are easy to use and put into action and team member accounts that come with varying permission levels make it easy for your company to run its social media with a high level of effectiveness and security.
You can also integrate a multitude of apps, including popular social media tools like Instagram and great e-commerce enhancers like Cashie Commerce directly into your Hootsuite control panel. Share photos and news about your products and use Hootsuite’s social media power not just to increase your audience and reach, but to directly grow your revenue.
4. Sprout Social
Social Sprout gives businesses a simple, comprehensive way to manage their social media accounts on the Big 4 social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Scheduling, drafting and approval, viewing activity, and interacting with your audience are all made easier with a single interface enabling you to do everything you want across all four social media properties. Broad and message-specific analytics are available for each profile, allowing you to compare your social media reach and individual successes.
Sprout Social doesn’t boast the bells and whistles offered by other similar services, but it allows the majority of social media users to accomplish exactly what they need using one of the most intuitive and straightforward interfaces around.
ClickMeter is a very different kind of social media ROI-enhancing tool, and while it won’t be useful for everyone it will be incredibly useful for many. At first blush this tool is just a link-tracking service, allowing you to track what links are being clicked, when, and with some demographic information along the way. This is already an important part of tracking social ROI and general online marketing efficacy, but ClickMeter takes things even further with awesome analytics, comparison charts, maps of users, link lists with basic performance metrics on easy view, SEO, link affiliate link protection and more.
If you’re engaging in a variety of online marketing efforts, using multiple social media platforms and websites to spread the word about your business, ClickMeter provides an easy yet powerful way for you to determine where your time and resources are having the biggest payoff.
There are loads of fly-by-night services promising to get you more Twitter followers, but most can’t really deliver the quality followers that will actually be useful to your business. TweetAdder is a different kind of beast; it doesn’t just turn your cash into hordes of couldn’t-care-less followers using gimmicks to trick people into signing up, but instead uses carefully targeted searches to locate active Twitter users who might actually be interested in your tweets and your brand. You follow the identified users (which can be automated), and most will follow you right back.
TweetAdder basically uses Twitter’s own recommended best practices for finding people to follow and building your own follower base, it just automates the process and brings computing power in to make things more efficient and effective. The result is a totally above-board way to build a fan base and increase your social media reach.
7. KnowEm Social Media Optimizer
KnowEm’s Social Media Optimizer is a quick free tool that lets you see how well your site is optimized for social media postings—how Facebook, Google+, and Twitter will view posts that link back to your site, and how these social media sites will judge your site’s overall relevance and authority. If your site has problems, KnowEm will identify them for you and, with their one-time payment service plans, help you fix issues and protect your brand across up to 300 different social media and business listing sites.
KnowEm is more about getting your social media brand established and keeping your company’s information consistent across all channels, and for many businesses is an important part of successfully launching an online marketing effort.
Swizly is a social media aggregator that consolidates your social media communication into one destination that can be embedded in your website, WordPress blog, or Facebook page and can literally be viewed on any type of display, from you mobile to your digital social wall at your next launch event.
Swizly allows you to aggregate your social feed from over 10 different networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Vimeo, Flickr, Tumbler and much more. Swizly also populates and moderates user generated content (UGC) from hashtags from both Instagram & Twitter bridging the gap between your brand and its fans.
Another prominent feature that Swizly offers its clients is the ability to monitor and assess their social engagement with Google Analytics integration.
Display your social feed in an attractive intuitive layout
Populate User Generated Content from Twitter & Instagram hashtags
Add multiple RSS feeds to enrich your content
Embed Swizly into your website and increase your incoming traffic and user engagement
Easily customize Swizly to reflect your brand’s look & feel
Showcase your social feed on any type of display thanks to Swizly’s responsive design
Moderate and filter user generated content using our online publishing queue
Track your post engagement using our integrated monitoring tool
Benefit from Swizly’s exceptional customer service