Social Media Marketing July 9th, 2014
It’s Dangerous To Go Alone – Social Media Tools for Beginners
It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this… Well, maybe it’s not dangerous, but it’s going to be a whole lot harder without our assistance. Whether you’re an aspiring social media angel, or rugged journeyman veteran; it’s important to keep your tool belt stocked with an arsenal of social media weapons. So let us be your guide with this short list of social media tools, to lead you on the way to social domination, without any further adieu, let’s get to our list!
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So presumably because your boss heard you have one of those Instagramy things, you’ve now been tasked with taking over your business’s social media. The first major issue you want to tackle is curating content, you need to get the right stuff on the right social outlets. Don’t freak out, this can be easier than you think.
First of all stick with what you know. Those countless spent on websites like Reddit, or Pinterest can finally pay off! You can use your expertise on sites like these to generate your own, personalized industry content page. Set up a new account, a find great social materials such as pictures, news articles, or even hot topics relating to your industry to discuss on your pages.
An example of this for myself, working in the Internet marketing industry, I use a variety of different Subreddits such as /r/bigseo, /r/socialmedia, /r/webmarketing, /r/entrepreneur to garner content. Using Subreddit’s and Pinterest as a tool, allows you to create your own personalized news feed to pull from. It’s a tool that’s vital to your kit, and does the work for you! If you have any questions on how to create your own we’d be happy to help.
Are you utilizing your own content? Often, we see a separation between content marketing, and social media. If this is the case with your business, talk to whoever is in charge of content. If you have a blog that is being updated regularly, this is material that should be shared on your social media pages. With that being said, it can be difficult to coordinate schedules when blogs are going live.
Instead of having to communicate with your content department, or using an auto-poster plugin (which we don’t recommend), try setting a ChangeDetection using https://www.changedetection.com/. It’s a simple, and straightforward concept. ChangeDetection allows you to monitor a page for example your blog i.e. www.techwyse.com/blog. You can set a daily email alert to receive notifications when your pages update with new blogs, comments, etc. You could also use a ChangeDetection to monitor pages such as http://www.angieslist.com/ or http://homestars.com/ to monitor reviews and comments about your brand online and reach out to customers/clients.
Social media is a game that demands keeping your ear to the pavement. It’s vital to your success to know what is being said about your brand. There are a lot of tools out there that do this, but I like HootSuite the best.
HootSuite’s applications are numerous, including scheduling updates, performing searches, monitoring your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and G+. It is truly your hub as a social media professional and acts as the nexus to all your social activity.There are cheaper options out there, but I don’t think they give you the full control that HootSuite does. You can start off as low as $5.99 a month, and I suggest it’s an investment you make.
Today’s social media professional must possess a level of graphic design skills. Don’t fret, we’re not proposing you become a level 9 Photoshop Ninja overnight, we’re talking rudimentary graphic skills here. You’re not always going to be able to find the perfect image, or be able to send your graphic designer a request for a Facebook post. Your solution? If you’re not very familiar with Photoshop, trying using the online application Pixlr. It’s a watered down, completely free Photoshop alternative with a more forgiving learning curve. This program will allow you to make quick edits to images like adding a company logo, text, or brushing up a picture. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube for beginners. If don’t have a background in Photoshop and are not all the interested in learning, Pixlr is definitely for you.
Another web based program that can really help spruce up your pictures is Fotor. Fotor is similar to the features offered in Pixlr, but allows you to do something simple, and great with your photos, create robust collages. Simply drag and drop your photos in and intuitively add borders, dimensions etc. It’s a great tool to add some zest to your photos.
The character length of your social message is key. It’s not only on Twitter with it’s 140 character limit, that length is important. In numerous case studies we’ve seen that the longer the message, the poorer performance. Using a URL shortener helps you cut down on character space when posting on social media outlets that don’t accept link previews like Twitter.
It’s all about real estate here. We want to make sure the URL is tidy, as short as possible, and not a distraction. Some of the top URL Shorteners in the game are https://bitly.com/, Google’s https://goo.gl/, or if your using HootSuite http://ow.ly/. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages, if you’re working within HootSuite for example http://ow.ly/. is a good fit. Google’s allows certain Google’s integration, and Bitly offers some great tracking elements. Which ever you use is up to you, but remember the goal here is to keep your URL’s tidy and neat.
If you want to take your social media efforts to the next level, social advertising may be your next step. One of the first places people commonly start is Facebook. Facebook offers such advertising options as growing Likes, Promoted Posts, Domain Link Ads + much more.
When undertaking ads on Facebook, and in particularly Promoted Posts, images must pass a strict 20% maximum text test so the advertisement isn’t cluttered in text.
This was a problem for awhile as Facebook advertisers would wait with baited breath to see if their post would pass this examination. Tools like the Facebook Image Checker have allowed social media professionals to confidently pass this test.
The concept and execution are simple, just upload the image you’re going to use for your Facebook ad and select the grids where text occurs. The tool then tells you if your image passes the 20% rule, and is thus able to use for your ad.
These are just a couple of tools that come to mind to make your life as a social media manager a little easier. It’s a tool kit that will continue to grow and shift with the everyday new challenges of social media. Feel free to share your suggestions with us, so we can continue to grow our arsenal together!