10 Must Have Free Social Media Tools for Startups

A bird’s eye view of Free Social Media Tools for Startups

Social Media marketing strategies are cost effective and result oriented amplifiers of business and revenues. Startups which are stung by barriers of cost and competition need to bootstrap and review social media tools which can enable them to wield an influential presence on social media. A multitude of free tools is available on the internet which would adequately complement your social media promotional strategies. Since a majority of these tools can be enjoyed free of cost, startups cannot waste time in exploring them, before competition conquers the prime mover advantages.

A bird’s eye view of these user-friendly Free Social Media Tools for Startups has been attempted:

# 1 Buffer

Buffer is a powerful social media management tool that helps startups and SMEs gain maximum mileage out of their social media presence. With Buffer, it is easy to retain control and manage all your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest at one go.

  • Send personalized content in each post by adding context
  • Time your posts so that you can capture your customers when they are most likely to view them on social media; create a schedule of when your posts should go live
  • Share images and videos to make your value propositions interesting
  • Instant posting of articles without queuing
  • Sharing to selective social media networks at the click of a button
  • Easy to download buffer app is available for smartphones

The most welcome feature with Buffer is that you can save a whole lot of time by completing all your content generating, curating and articulating work in one stroke and then go in for batching your social media posting process, at timelines which are most advantageous.

# 2 Canva

The Canva graphic software comes in handy if you want to create engaging pictorials for your PowerPoint presentations, website, and online campaigns. It is stunningly simple to use with thousands of images and design patterns, textures and images to choose from. It is a design program equipped to produce aesthetic designs to your online content. Be it online posters, flyers, social media graphics or visuals for your presentations, illustrious portfolios, Canva is available for free right in your desktop. There are thousands of awesome layouts that can be chosen. Creating a neat design with Canva is as simple as child’s play with its excellent drag and drop feature. There are paid images and templates also available. Templates for social media like a Facebook cover, Pinterest Cover , Instagram Post and Google+ header to mention a very few. Canva is not about images alone. It is stacked with a number of vectors, illustrations, fonts, icons and shapes. Tools for filtering photos are available so that you can pick the best. The layouts can be brushed with a spectrum of special effects for weaving high-quality imagery.

# 3 Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful back-end tool for detailed analysis of customer movement across your social media platforms. It is a ready reckoner of your social media and website ROI. This free tool is rich in functionality in terms of tracking social media activity. Having spent your promotional budget for social media marketing, you will be interested in fathoming the below:

  • What is the total of visitors on each platform?
  • What is the percentage of conversion?
  • Has website traffic improved?
  • How did visitors come to know your website?
  • Is it Facebook or Twitter that is successful in drawing more visitors?

Google Analytics does the hard work of studying your social media influence and crunching numbers for statistical analysis. You can customize your dashboard for taking cognizance of top-level inferences. Start using Google analytics for efficient traffic analysis. It comes in different versions like Google Analytics 360 and Google Analytics for mobile apps. It is amazing that GA can tell you from what devices customers accessed your website and how much time they spent on which page.

# 4 Bitly

Ever mystified with the length of your links? Finding it difficult to use them for linking? If the answer is yes,Bitly is the perfect solution. Bitly is a URL shortener. To make your URL crisp and easy-to-remember, make use of Bitly which can compress it for you. Bitly offers flexibility by allowing you to brand links, by adding a custom URL shortener. Through its deep linking functionality, Bitly offers a bouquet of services in addition to mere shortening of links

  • Tracking and measuring link analytics
  • Analyzing them to evaluate online campaigns
  • Bitlinks optimize your promotional budget by highlighting strengths and weaknesses
  • Bitly enterprise leverages the power of links in assessing customer behavior

# 5 Feedly

This free tool allows you to take control of the vast ocean of website content concerning articles, blogs, and websites. It allows you to organize topics of your interest and read them at your convenience. That is not all. You can share customized collections with others across social media or save them for later use. You can analyze your custom sorted and curated stories. By sharing them in peer groups and with subordinates, you can make communication more engaging. If you prioritize topics and ideas you want to share, you can attract a lot of followers. Instead of wading through the marsh of online stories, you can choose to stay on top of a chosen few that are relevant to your industry.

# 6 SumoMe

If you are looking for a store to purchase the apt applications and tools to enhance your online mileage, SumoMe would be your ultimate destination. It is an app store that offers a list of user-friendly tools that customers can install and uninstall effortlessly. The range offered falls in three major buckets namely, email, social sharing, and analytics. The growth plugin provided by SumoMe is the fastest way to expand your mailing list with the List Builder tool which welcomes visitors with an attractive pop-up to subscribe. Similarly, the highlighter tool enables your visitors to highlight lines of interest.

# 7 Google Keyword Planner

It is common knowledge that customers search the web for information using keywords. An understanding of the keywords that may be used to find your business on search engines will provide meaningful insights into articulating your content accordingly. Google Keyword Planner is an AdWords tool that helps in

  • Generating a set of keywords for the chosen URL
  • Providing data on search volumes
  • Estimate performances of keywords for planning campaigns

# 8 Yoast SEO for WordPress

Yoast SEO tops the list of currently available WordPress plug-ins and is the most downloaded tool that guides you to optimize your WordPress content. By including meta description, title and meta keywords, you can ensure that your web pages and posts are geared for top class visibility. During technical optimization, Yoast offers a snippet preview of your content appears in search results. Page Analysis functionality assures that your content is powered for top ranking in search engines. XML sitemaps improve visibility for your content as well as images. Outwit fake content by enabling RSS optimization or improve navigation with breadcrumbs functionality, and make the most of Yoast.

# 9 MailChimp

As the name suggests, this is free to use mailing software. If you have a reasonable number of leads, prospects or customers, MailChimp is the ideal way to reach them by email. However, there is a cap on the number of contacts you can save for free on mail chimp. Post consumption of the free limit, you need to upgrade to paid version. The highlights of using mail chimp are:

  • Mass mailing campaigns
  • Beautiful templates to choose from, for your background
  • Send plain text campaigns or make them visually appealing by making tiles and columns
  • Embed images and customize them with your logo and tagline
  • Selective emailing is possible with different lists for different campaigns
  • Statistics on success of campaigns, tracking recipients responses
  • Online integration of your e-commerce store, CRM, WordPress and social media
  • Targeted campaigns including automated product back-ups, stock refurbishment mails

About 12 million users find their sales boosted with quality emails sent through mail chimp. Startups can optimize their marketing spend by using MailChimp.

# 10 Social Mention

This is a holistic search tool that combs for mentions, emotions and activities on the social media platforms. The unique feature of social mention is that the social media search engine is geared to filter all user-generated online content and present the result thereof for analysis. The searches are conducted real-time. If you are a startup who desires to gauge customer preferences, reviews and responses on your newly launched niche product or service, across a target market of net savvy customers, social mention is the apt tool.

With Spize Media – a leading social media marketing agency from Chennai, startups find their every need fed with pragmatic, down to earth solutions, which do not dent your marketing outlay. On signing up with one of the multi-pronged social media consultants in the digital landscape, you can perceive that no effort is spared to boost your brand. Our team understands the concerns of startups and works at the grassroots level in evolving aggressive promotional strategies. Visit www.spizemedia.com and sensitize your organization to classy and hassle-free handholding, as you set your initial steps into digital media marketing.

8 Top Reasons Why Local SEO is Important For Your Business

8 Top Reasons Why Local SEO is Important For Your Business

Search Engine Optimization, more popularly known as SEO has become a household term in the space of digital marketing. Triggered by competition and the urge to reinforce brand visibility, the SEO wave has captivated all businesses alike. In the fast paced marketing ecosystem, localized targeting of customers is brewing hot. Also referred to as geotargeting, start-ups and SMEs have found it more profitable to use local SEO in preference to reaching out to the world at large. Local SEO is founded on the logic that when customers browse the search engine without defining their needs geographically, they get frustrated with the results. For example when you search for a bookstores stocking children books, the search engine throws up names of bookstore from anywhere in the world. Try rephrasing your search by typing bookstores for children in Chennai, India, you get more practical results. Local searches are becoming very prominent and as a result local SEO is emerging as an indispensable marketing tactic for local businesses.

#1 Driving Targeted Traffic to your business

Since local SEO focuses on generating more targeted traffic to the business, visitors to your showroom would include more customers who are neighborhood inhabitants. This underlines the fact that rate of conversion is high. When local customers visit your business, you can count on converting them because of the proximity factor. For the business, customers who live in geographically close locations are a profitable database. Once you know your customers inside out, it is possible to analyze their buying preferences. By reaching out to them with relevant products and services that correspond with their purchasing pattern, you succeed in bringing targeted traffic. Customers also stand to benefit from local SEO. They need not travel miles to reach their favorite shop. They need not set aside considerable amount of time for the visit or for shopping. They find it easy to shop on their way to or from their workplaces. A local store in the corner of the road is always preferred to a sprawling mall in the outskirts of the city.

#2 Google is in favor of local businesses

Google promotes start-ups and SMEs by offering them lot of free tools like Google Analytics. This is mainly because big businesses who have already established their brand wield command over a huge clientele. They can afford to earmark huge chunk of the marketing budget for promotional and marketing collaterals. But new and small businesses that are yet to position their niche in the target market and handicapped in terms of a shoestring budget. From the perspective of Google, local SEO is very influential in to meet customer demands. Needless to say, customers turn to Google for almost all of their searches. Google goes every extra mile in ensuring people get realistic and effective results as opposed to far-fetched and incompatible results for their searches. The prominence of Google as the most sought after search engine is leverage when the search results throw up names of local businesses. Only businesses that do their homework properly on employing local SEO can be assured of making it to the top list in Google searches.

#3 Combatting competition threats

Competition is omnipresent in commerce. Name any product or service, and you will find a hundred competitors who market the same. The Law of Markets state that it is impossible for firms to enjoy 100% market monopoly for long. Competitors are the most direct threat to brand loyalty. To position your brand and ensure that your business is not just another brick on the shopping wall, to exercise control over market share in your vicinity is the first step towards surviving competition. With countless start-ups entering the arena every day, a million new websites are created. Customers go in for the ones who are easily shown on the search engine. Local SEO helps with search engine visibility which is also a cost effective methods of improving brand awareness. Instead of reaching out to the whole nation with negligible conversion rates, micro targeting will result in better conversion. Competitors may outwit you at brand level, industry level or by converting any factors that are a weakness to your enterprise that are imposed by the macro environment. A business must be on the constant lookout for such factors by sharpening market analysis and synthesizing the results on a periodic basis.

#4 Hyper-specific locations for businesses

These days search engines are accessed on the go. For example you have a meeting in Fremont with 30 minutes to spare and you need to grab something to eat before the same. You tend to search for eat outs in Fremont, regardless of the fact you stay in San-Diego. Businesses need to make use of digital marketing and SEO tools which can link your business for the mobile population in your area. This is because of the advent of wearable devices and accessing internet from apps on these devices. It does not merely suffice to target customers who live in your neighborhood. Local SEO goes one step further and gears your visibility on the searches made on the go. It will not be an understatement to mention that the advent of smart phones and mobile applications have shrunk the divide between the physical and virtual markets. Search engines are working with extremely accurate search algorithms which filter search results with precision and only the most relevant and location-specific results are thrown up for customers.

# 5 Positive reviews from local customers can attract new customers

As a result of local SEO, the footfall of neighborhood customers will undoubtedly rise. Such customers not only visit and shop from your store or order services from you, but will serve as very useful propagators of word-of-mouth publicity. Customers are always skeptical to subscribe to novelty and the entry barrier is negated by an endorsement from your man next door. Similarly, the getting positive reviews from the customers with regards to product satisfaction, product life, and user-friendliness and after sales service will bring more new customers to the business. By ensuring your postal address and telephone numbers are mentioned correctly and in comprehensive format, across the internet, you need to nullify discrepancies between different sources where you have publicized your business. Unless you do this, local SEO results will not be impressive.

#6 Long term relationship with customers

This is a very important edge that you can gain over your competitors , by making use of Local SEO techniques. A customer within your geography, who is satisfied with your value proposition is bound to come calling in the near future. He may engage your services regularly. You can personalize your product portfolio for a regular customer so that you give him the comfort level of shopping with your business. In these days of diminishing brand loyalty with customers switching between brands without so much as a rethought, employing local SEO and keeping your local customers hooked is of pivotal importance. This assumes much more relevance when you launch a brand new array of merchandize. When you have a bunch of long-term customers, you can appeal to them with ease for persuading them to try out your signature creations, without having to resort to marketing from the scratch.

#7 Increased revenue streams and profitability

This is the ultimate goal for which all businesses function and exist. Local SEO tactics contribute in a most candid function to leverage your stream of revenues and boost your profits. Since it caters productively to business extension with local customers, both existing and new, you can be assured to see your profit index zoom forward. Local SEO techniques can be promoted as a chief marketing strategy, especially for small businesses who are not craving to attain national or international recognition, at least till brand awareness and loyalty are gained. By using relevant keywords that may be typed by customers when they search for your products.

#8 Leveraging Social Media Marketing endeavors with Local SEO

Holistic use of local SEO techniques can leverage the advantages of social media to your business. There has to be a right combination and a diligent choice of appropriate social media networks for the business. The needs of business to business marketing and business to customer marketing are different. Local SEO strategies are also different. For example, to make local SEO work on Quora, you can answer sector-specific questions, while with snap chat you can tap local publicity for improving the buzz. You can benefit from the interplay of different social media networks. To cash in on the viral effects of social media ads, local customers can be reached effectively with the blend of SEO strategies and social media posts.

If you are a business with a physical location and have prudently decided not to get lost in the maze of the world wide web and its global outreach, visit www.spizemedia.com and check out the versatile digital marketing portfolio. We pioneer administration of tailor-made and result-oriented local SEO tactics which fit your budget neatly. To experience the magnitude of traffic that local targeting can invite, sign up for our state-of-art digital marketing services.

5 Top Digital Marketing Trends For 2017

 

5 Top Digital Marketing Trends For 2017

The realm of digital marketing has been very influential in expanding customer base as well making a firm imprint on brand awareness and brand loyalty. As against conventional marketing, they avoid the run-the-mill canvassing campaigns where there is a huge gap between the target market and the business, digital marketing focuses on the human element in marketing. Customers are bound to visit and re-visit a business when they are convinced they are not dealing with a robotic company but interacting with people.

As we stand in the last leg of 2016, businesses realize that the digital marketing wave is so strong that it is not possible for any enterprise to remain unscathed. 2017 holds the key to harness social media marketing to its fullest use, optimizing strategies for start-ups and SMEs to achieve greater productivity and profitability while being watchful of the promotional budgets. Some of the important trends which would architect the digital marketing landscape for 2017 have been outlined.

# 1 Live Video Streaming

2017 will witness a radical shift towards interactive form of promotions. With social media platforms like you tube, Periscope and Facebook Live offering to feature live videos, customers are captivated by seeing their product real time. It is a welcome departure from the erstwhile pre-recorded video sessions which have outlived their efficient phase in marketing. Live Video streaming is actually a glimpse of real-time activities of the business; a sneak peek into behind-the-veils happenings in the floor of the business. In the words of the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Live has secured more than 9 million views. The plus points with live video streaming would include:

  • Cost effectiveness. It is a myth when people feel that live video streaming may be costlier than traditional video recording system
  • The flexibility to edit your video before uploading on social media platforms
  • Greater mileage when used consistently. When it is planned to use live videos in digital marketing, the entrepreneur has to commit to using it regularly.
  • Live videos have already caught the like and attention of the tech savvy. The concept is trendy and new now. There is no better time than now, for start-ups to skim-the-cream of the intrigue of customers.
  • Since Live Videos are crowd pullers, conversion becomes easier as also audience database is widened.
  • By playing a video of your warehouse or workshop while the product is on the make, customers feel a sense of belonging.

#2 Content Marketing

A piece of well-articulated, lucidly written and engaging content forms the heart of digital marketing. Amidst the bellows and hues of going viral on social media, businesses need to focus on what is being depicted on the walls of their Facebook Pages or Twitter or Websites. Smart customers do not visit your website to watch a an animation movie, they must find something that is informative and sensible, for them to follow your business with loyalty. 2017 sees a soaring surge in using content marketing across all social media avenues like blogs, podcasts, webinars, network pages, white papers and so on. For the customers of today who are sharply street smart, it is no longer possible to push your niche using aggressive marketing. They do their own research and analyze the pros and cons of your value proposition with that of competitors. Brand Loyalty is diminishing at an alarming rate. Start-ups and SMEs can very well employ content marketing techniques and improve their visibility on the internet by using search engine optimization techniques.

Personalizing content is the secret stone to be uncovered to make your business appealing to customers over social media. 2017 will witness more and more entrepreneurs keen on loading their online space with helpful content that represent issues of public interest and widens their horizons of knowledge.

# 3 Snapchat

Snapchat is no longer a fun game. It forms a large and cheesy chunk of the social media marketing menu for any enterprise, regardless of size or age. Snapchat is a brilliant multimedia mobile app that was conceptualized by a bunch of students of the Stanford University. That was just the humble start. What happened after that has been nothing but phenomenal leaps and bounds, with millions of people subscribing to the image messaging service. Businesses have found it extremely effective and rewarding to blend their content with messaging. The result is a whole new and diverse segment of target audience for their business. The snap chat vantage points are the following:

  • It is a cost effective means of social media marketing. Mobile apps are free to download, so customers especially the youth will have no hassle in subscribing.
  • The images can be made creative by captioning them doodles or lens graphics. Video clips with access to live events can be used for brand strengthening
  • When you have planned to shower your customers with freebies and offers, make them visually appealing with Snapchat
  • It lends itself for partnerships with other social media networks

#4 Mobile Marketing

Smart phones have literally transformed the purpose of mobile phone from a device for making phone calls to that of a mini-computer. Businesses have identified the advent of android, i-phones, i-pads and tablets to leverage their digital marketing strategies. Marketing experts foresee a path-breaking increase in the contribution of mobile marketing techniques. Some noteworthy trends in mobile marketing will include:

  • Usage of QR (quick response) codes so that mobile ads take them to specific landing pages to improve brand awareness.
  • SMS marketing can be used to reach out to a large number of customers who are not randomly chosen, but selectively filtered based on parameters like proximity, likeliness to communicate with the business, social presence across various networking sites and a host of other demographic factors. Multimedia messages can also be used.
  • Mobile users tend to look for specific and direct information on the keywords that they search for. Businesses are preparing themselves to position their products to show up as results for their knowledge hunt.
  • Online tools which provide data for mobile marketing analytics are being used fervently by digital marketing experts to gauge receptiveness of promotions.
  • Mobile marketing is closely related with Geo targeting or proximity marketing where customers living in the vicinity of the business are targeted. Some examples will include Google Hotspot and Bluecasting.
  • E commerce start-ups provide free-to-download apps so that customers can shop on the go. With mobile banking and mobile payment processors on the rise, mobile shopping happens in a jiffy.

#5 Real time interaction with target market

This is an off-shoot of the growing need for customers to expect the business to interact with them as human beings. They require real time support and are impatient to write emails to the company or listen to the automated IVRS on their helplines to know about the product portfolio. Most websites and social media pages are powered with online chat sessions where the customer can interact real time with the business. Twitter is an apt example used in digital marketing for real time customer care. 2017 will see businesses set their own dedicated teams or seek professional support from veteran digital marketing  experts to run their social media accounts effectively.

Where online guided tours of the product or the service is embedded on social media, gathering feedback through real time interaction with visitors will provide the required analytics for improving the value proposition. Customer pings can be increased by interacting with them effectively and on a one-to-one basis, for them to feel that they are being accorded undivided attention. Essential data with regards to customers can be collected. There is an upward trend towards social media networks which effectively capture various details of customers like their income levels, geographies, family situation, interest areas and many demographic and informative inputs. The data gathered will be synthesized to draw key inferences leading to augmented customer service and brand loyalty.

Positive and upward trend for digital marketing in 2017

Thus, the projections for 2017 include among others, a demand for social analytics tools like Buffer and Google Analytics for measuring efficiency. Businesses gain credibility and trust when their own employees connect with the outside world, representing the business on social media. They become in-house brand ambassadors for your product and visitors, leveraging in-bound traffic among peer groups. The evolution of social media from a leisure-time activity to targeted and scientific ways of analyzing customer behavior as well as a rewarding strategy for outreach is truly a metamorphosis that will percolate into 2017.

For steering your business towards tangible and targeted commercial win during the coming year, your one-stop destination is www.spizemedia.com. We offer sound go to market strategies in-sync with your product characteristics, target audience, the macro and micro environment that houses your business. By signing up with Spize Media, you can confidently pick your luxury seat in the digital marketing bandwagon. Sit back and relax as a dedicated and professional team does the hard work and translates them for your analysis in solid, quantitative figures of the profit curve.