12 Social Media Tools Your Business Can’t Live Without

Running social media marketing becomes infinitely easier when you find the right tech tools to do most of the work for you.

There are countless platforms out there designed to help you save time while adding more power and control.

We sifted through the absolute best of these social media tools to bring you our top recommendations. Use them to open your social media profiles up to become more diverse and creative. You will also end the frustration of struggling through complex workflow to complete tasks.

We tried to avoid any platforms that require a significant buy-in. As a result, most of the following tools are free or have a low-cost option for business owners. We’re also leaving out the big total management tools like Buffer, HootSuite, SproutSocial, AgoraPulse and others.

The following 21 best apps and browser-based platforms fit our criteria and can improve your social media marketing success in 2018 and beyond.

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8 Secrets of Social Media Marketing That Everyone Misses

Social media marketing sounds simple enough to many newbie business owners, but they need to recognize the difference between personal social media use and professional use.

Think about it like this: if you make a good pot of coffee to serve your family, then that’s something you can manage on your own. But if you plan on serving 1,000 cups of coffee to peers over the course of a three-day business conference, then that’s an entirely more complex matter!

Everything gets more complicated when you move from personal to professional, and the results matter more, too.

Suddenly, you aren’t just posting on your Facebook when you feel like it. Nor can you just feel good about the occasional reply and like. Instead, you’re actively trying to drive business goals and represent your brand in a likeable way.

The dramatic difference between the two approaches catches many business owners off-guard. To help them out, here are a eight secrets the pros use when it comes to social media marketing — and that many small businesses overlook.

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Video Marketing Continues to Dominate Into 2018 — Four Trends You Need to Know

In 2018, use of video among small business owners will mature and solidify into a “must have” marketing component. Businesses able to make strategic use of video will seize critical opportunities for sales lift and market share.

Many marketers hailed 2017 as “the year of video,” and with good reason. Video marketing, video advertising and overall video consumption boomed in the past 10 months.

61% of all businesses now use video content in their digital marketing plans. Two out of every three of these businesses are newcomers to video.

Additionally, video consumption continues to rise online. Estimates from this summer predict that overall video consumption via mobile will increase by 35% by the end of this year.

All of these developments foretell a new year where digital video will be more important than ever for business owners’ success. Those who take advantage of the following four video marketing trends in 2018 will likely be in for a great year ahead.

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2018 Instagram and Influencer Trends That Can Help Your Business Drive Engagement

 

Instagram has changed from a way to post artistic photos to a legitimate vehicle for small businesses looking to drive engagement. The rise of influencers and influencer marketing for small businesses has played a huge part in this evolution.

In 2018, expect more small businesses than ever to jump aboard the Instagram marketing train. The eye-catching format is easy to use, and provides businesses with tools to keep their audiences engaged and informed.

New features and toolsets, like Instagram Stories, have also expanded what the platform can do for small business owners. Thanks to Instagram’s powerful advertising tools, evolving features, and highly active audiences, small businesses can use the platform to make big gains.

To help your business prepare its digital marketing strategy for the year ahead, take note of the following Instagram and influencer marketing trends that have nearly every small business owner saying, “Oh, that’s Insta-worthy!”

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2018 Trends in Content Marketing to Help You Attract and Engage Prospects

2018 is just around the bend, and content marketing has changed a whole lot in the past few years. While it was once a small component of larger digital marketing campaigns and strategies, big brands have started to realize that content can be a marketing end unto itself.

As a result, most marketers are betting big on content. 60% of marketers publish a piece of content daily. In 2015, content marketing had its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth in spending.

People also spend around six hours a day consuming content online, on average. Note that this statistic includes people using two screens at once, so we often consume content on two different devices for hours on end.

All of these facts point to one thing: the demand for content marketing is there, and marketers are putting more and more effort into satisfying it.

How should you align your content priorities in order to reach prospects in 2018? Look to the following trends for answers on how to develop a winning strategy in the coming year ahead.

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