Social social social!
You may have read my post from earlier in the year which examined whether or not your business needs social media. The comments from that still stand — if you’re not ready and willing to commit to a strategy, create great content and measure your results, you may as well not even bother setting up accounts.
However, as so many businesses have realised, social media can bring buyers to your doorstep from down the street or the other side of the world. When executed well, posts on platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have the potential to revolutionise your customer base and your profits.
In this post, I’m going to zoom you through a list of tools, tips and tricks to make executing your social media strategy a breeze. You don’t have to use all of them but pick and choose the ones which will ease the burden.
- 1. Pen and paper
Nope, that’s not a fancy new online tool. That’s literally a pen and some paper. To make social media easier, you must start with a plan. Outline what you want to achieve, clarify how you will achieve that and create a schedule for the content you will post over the coming weeks or months.
Putting a plan in place means you’re in control of your social media, rather than leaving it as an afterthought. Once you have the ball rolling, you can measure your results and make changes accordingly.
Wondering what makes people click? Buzzsumo will tell you. This tool shares the most liked, most shared and most engaged with articles across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can search by topic and see the most popular content from the past 24 hours, week, or even year, breaking down the results by country and content type.
[Refine your results for relevant content inspiration]
Buzzsumo is an incredibly handy tool for your content planning strategy and it will also suggest some top influences to tag in your posts. Get started by visiting www.buzzsumo.com
Smart brands are using video in their social media offerings nowadays but you don’t need a production team to create snippets promoting your business. The Magisto app lets you turn a selection of clips and images into an automated montage for posting on social media. You’re not going to win at Cannes with your creations but this tool is a great way to pull together video content on the go.
Win More Clients ‘hearts’ Canva for creating quality graphics without the need for expensive designers or hours spent fiddling around with photoshop.
Click, drag, click, drag, click… you get the drift. Do this a few times on Canva and you’ll have great promotional images which match your brand.
[One of eleventy-billion templates on Canva]
The link: www.canva.com (there’s heeeeaaaps of free stuff on here so have fun)
Use this tool to program your posts on multiple accounts from the one place and schedule them to go live at the times you specify.
HootSuite is also useful for tracking the engagement your posts receive and measuring return on investment.
Go to www.hootsuite.com
On Twitter and Insta, hashtags rule. But how do you come up with a dozen ones which relate to your topic and attract the right audience?
Enter one term into hashtagify and it will give you a few suggestions of other tags to use. You can also investigate the popularity of the term you want to use and see the top three influencers who have been using the hashtag so you can @mention them in your post.
[These hashtags are all related to #digitalmarketing]
Find it at www.hashtagify.me
Sourcing images is one of the most expensive areas of online marketing. Unsplash offers you a watermark free, royalty free photographs. These images are high quality and free to use, having been donated by photographers all over the world.
[This stock-style photo, with added hipsters, is free on Unsplash]
Add www.unsplash.com to your browser
Animated posts on Instagram stand out. With Fastory, you can edit graphics to create a mini-narrative. All you need is a graphic or video, some text and a logo. Upload them to Fastory and you’ll be emailed a ‘story’ to share on social.
Check it out: www.fastory.com
Too many enquiries? Feel like you’re losing customers because you can’t get to them all? A social media chatbot may be the answer. For not too many $$$, you can program these to respond to basic customer FAQs such as opening hours and price guides.
[You don’t need people to engage with your followers on social media]
Feel free to have a stab at developing a Chatbot on your own using a program like www.chatfuel.com or contact a professional to put something together for you.
According to Forbes, SocialDrift is an Instagram marketer’s best friend. The platform automates Instagram interactions, which help to organically increase follower count.
Users just need to provide SocialDrift with information about ideal Instagram followers, and the platform will use machine learning to engage users through likes, comments and follows. Because of this engagement, users will frequently follow accounts in return.
Open an account at www.socialdrift.com
This clever URL shortener allows you to include a retargeting pixel in a link and continue to reach out to your customers as they visit the web and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
[Pixelme makes retargeting easier]
When you shorten your link, simply add the pixel ids of the ad platforms you want your ads to appear on. You can also access reports about your progress, at individual link level.
Shorten your links at www.pixelme.me
If sharing other people’s content is part of your social media strategy, ContentStudio can help. This tool allows you to discover content, schedule posts and automate campaigns. With this platform, you can share trending content before it is done to death and fill your social channels with articles, videos, images, GIFs and quotes which are relevant to your industry or niche.
Using ContentStudio, you can filter by country and date to narrow down the content you have to choose from.
Do so via www.contentstudio.io
Another recommendation from Forbes, Buffer “offers a swift solution for businesses swamped by the multiple social media accounts they must manage. Available on smartphone or desktop, the app lets you schedule posts across different social media accounts. Using Buffer, you can manage photo editing and access detailed data analytics.
For a better way to manage your social media, view www.buffer.com
Easily run Instagram giveaways with Tagwin. Use this tool to run a Hashtag or ‘Follow to Win’ contest, and to create additional entry conditions such as ‘require follow’, ‘require like on post’, ‘require comment on post’ and ‘require mention on post’:
[It’s no secret; people love free stuff]
You can make running contests a regular part of your Instagram Marketing strategy. With your monthly subscription, you can regularly run giveaways that engage your audience and increase the value of your account.
Set up an Instagram competition at https://www.tagwin.me/
The beauty of Facebook is that it lets you create custom audiences and advertise to the people you know will be more likely to be interested in your product.
With AdEspresso, you can
- Create thousands of variants of your Facebook Ads with only three clicks.
- Easily test all the versions of your creatives across all your target audiences, building powerful ads that convert.
- Save your preferences for audience demographics to instantly be reused for any campaign.
- Store all your media so you don’t have to keep uploading that same picture.
This platform also allows you to optimise campaign returns and create customisable dashboards so you can follow key metrics.
Jump over to www.adespresso.com
- Focus on one platform
Again, this isn’t an online tool but a piece of advice. You don’t need to be everywhere when it comes to social media. To make managing your accounts easier, have fewer of them!
Some businesses find Facebook is their most effective platform while others will benefit from posting regularly on Instagram. LinkedIn works well for B2B businesses who have quality content to share and less ubiquitous platforms like Snapchat and Tumblr can attract the younger generation.
- Test, measure and optimise
When you start out using social media to promote your business it can be overwhelming. However, over time you should be able to refine your strategy and stick with what works. Analyse the results of your efforts, look at what is working and scrap the efforts which aren’t bringing in returns. This should help you run your accounts more efficiently and reap better return on investment.
Most social media scheduling tools allow for analysis so take advantages of dashboards to discover how to refine your strategy.
Once you get into the swing of things on social media and are following a schedule which reflects your plans and your goals, you should notice it bringing business your way. However, if you’re a busy business owner, you may not be able to give this area of your marketing the attention it requires. If you’re looking for advice on the best way to implement and manage a social media strategy, get in touch with Win More Clients.