Using social media for marketing can be incredibly effective, it is an important element of any digital marketing plan. It can also be tricky, time consuming and frustrating. Each platform works in a different way; everything is 24/7, algorithms changes make it harder to reach your audience and platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are constantly evolving, so keeping up with changes is a constant challenge.
The good news is there are lots of brilliant tools available to make the whole task of managing and capitalising on social media easier. There are literally hundreds of different tools out there and new ones being developed all the time. This list is far from exhaustive but here’s a guide to some of the tools we think are useful, effective or time saving.
Hootsuite (other scheduling tools are available!)
Whether you choose Hootsuite or one of the other scheduling tools (such as Sprout Social, Edgar, Tweetdeck or Buffer) a scheduling tool will make life easier, particularly if you are managing a number of different platforms or multiple accounts.
Social media doesn’t have an off button. Planning for platforms which are 24/7 takes time and commitment; a scheduling tool makes the whole process more manageable. Posting regularly is crucial in order to maintain a strong presence and a good scheduling tool can help with this. It keeps all your planned posts organised and enables you to see where the gaps are.
A good scheduling tool also helps with monitoring engagement and analysing the success of your social media activity.
Visuals are incredibly important for engagement on social media, if you have design skills or an in-house graphic designer to create eye catching images for your social posts then you will appreciate the value good imagery brings to any social media account.
If you don’t have the skills yourself or access to a graphic designer then Canva is a brilliant tool for non-designers. Easy to use and with a range of templates to choose from and customise Canva is perfect for creating ready to use, branded graphics which look professional and help you get your message across.
Your mobile phone does so much and with the right Apps it is possible to manage your social media from the palm of your hand. This is perfect for when you are away from your desk or need to respond to something out of typical working hours.
Your phone is also the perfect tool for creating the sort of real-time content that followers love to engage with. If you have your phone to hand when something happens in the workplace then capture it with a photo or video which can be shared. Using your own photos and videos is a really effective way of showcasing your business, strengthening your brand and adding authenticity to your content.
When you don’t have your own images to match a post Pixabay is a great place to look for an image that will work. With more than 1 million free to download and use images the choice is vast. As well as photographs there are illustrations, vector graphics and video too.
GIFs are everywhere on social media and they are a brilliant way to quickly convey an emotion or grab attention. Shareable and often funny or entertaining, it is definitely worth including GIFs in your content. GIPHY is the place to search for relevant GIFs or even to create your own.
Using video on your social media will definitely improve engagement. When you don’t have your own video, just like with photography, you can choose from a range of stock video to support and convey your messages.
Wave.video is easy to use and offers free, as well as premium, stock video templates. These can be customised to include your own messages or branding.
Answer the public
This website can be a great tool for inspiring content ideas and helping you to understand what people are searching for, the types of questions they ask and the information they are interested in.
If using Hootsuite then the extension Hootlet is brilliant for quickly and easily sharing and scheduling content found online. If you routinely share news and content from other websites and spend time browsing online for ideas and content to share then Hootlet makes that process easier and allows you to schedule a link straight from the site without leaving the page.
People often think of Google Analytics as helpful when assessing the performance of a website but it is important to remember that it can help you to understand where your web visitors are coming from and whether your social media activity is having the impact that you want it to.
For business profiles the different social platforms also offer their own analytics which can provide a wealth of information and insight into how different content is performing. This can help inform your overall digital strategy including the platforms you focus on, the type of content you create, when you post and how often.
BuzzSumo is an ideal tool for sourcing trending topics and finding content which is relevant to your audience. It can help you to understand the content which is most effective and to find influencers who can share your messages.
National Day Calendar
The National Day Calendar website lists all the national days, weeks and months as well as international days. This can be useful for generating ideas for content for different platforms and finding events which fit with your products, services or activities.
For many businesses even with a raft of tools in place to help managing social media accounts can prove too time consuming. It is often the activity that falls by the wayside when thigs get busy which can undo much of the good work which has been done. If you are struggling to maintain your social media marketing or feel you could benefit from some creative input get in touch to discuss how we could help.