Three Tools to Improve Social Media
In the last blog post, we went through the prominent social media sites and unpacked some key differences between them, including the best practices for each and the demographic breakdown of their respective users.
Now that you know what Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are more deeply, and how they differ, there are a number of services that you can leverage to maximize your time and effort on the sites.
Buffer is a program that is free to use, but includes a premium version that costs $15 a month. The free version allows you to schedule posts on all sorts of social media accounts, but only three can be linked at one time. For example, if your campaign has a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page, you can link all three to Buffer and start scheduling posts.
The options for social media accounts are: Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn pages and LinkedIn profiles. A premium account adds the option of using a Pinterest page, too.
If you’ve heard of Hootsuite, Buffer is a similar program, but I have found it to be a lot more intuitive and user-friendly. For example, Buffer has an extension that you can install on Safari or Chrome that allows you to add articles to your queue immediately, without having to copy a link or open a new tab.
Buffer also lets you establish times that you want to post, so instead of scheduling each post individually you can toss articles and content into a queue. Every day, or multiple times a day if you want, Buffer publishes the next item on the list automatically. With a free account, you can put up to 10 items in your queue at a time.
Buffer is simple, low-effort and gets the job done. It’s easy to plan out a week of posts in advance and know that they are queued up to post exactly when you want them published.
Canva is another site that you can use for free, but has a premium version to unlock extra features.
If you ever see posts on social media that are clean, colorful graphics and wanted to replicate that without a graphic designer, Canva is for you.
The site offers hundreds of templates that are pre-formatted for any social media sites you use, ensuring that the dimensions are going to fit perfectly. No longer will you need to worry about whether an image you share on Instagram needs to be cropped, or if it looks just a bit off on Twitter. Canva has the exact proportions already.
Not only are the templates the right size, but they also have numerous designs already created. If you want to start with a blank slate, you certainly can, but Canva already has most of the graphics you want pre-made. Just upload your own photos and rewrite the placeholder copy with your own text.
Canva also saves all of your designs online, meaning you don’t have to keep up with random images all over your desktop. Simply return to Canva’s site and all of your past work is housed right where you left it.
If you want quality graphics with little effort, Canva is a great first place to go.
Google Trends is not a content creator, per se, but it should help to inform your work on other platforms. Major companies leverage Google Trends to keep track of what is trending online. Keeping abreast of important changes in the social media world can be the difference between capturing a moment and seeing it pass in the rearview mirror.
There are endless possibilities regarding what one might search. Keep up with sports coverage, celebrity popularity or more pressing issues like political campaigns, popular legislation or public opinion.
Creating unique content is great, but if it isn’t timely then it may fall on deaf ears. Using Google Trends, especially in tandem with the trending information on Twitter and other social media, can position you to succeed in spreading your message.
Social media savvy cannot be an afterthought in 2019. As time continues, the number of digital natives online will only grow as a proportion of total users. Younger users have a better eye for what works and what doesn’t, making the job of the content creator all the more important.
At Targeted Persuasion, we understand how social media works and how to leverage it to achieve success. If you want to contact us to start a conversation about how we can help your project, campaign or business succeed, click here.
How to Maximize Your Presence Online in 2019
Nowadays, if you don’t have a presence online, a substantial number of people may never see your business, candidacy or campaign. In 2019, the question is not whether or not you should have social media — it’s how much time you spend perfecting it. As of last year, 69% of United States adults use at least one social media site. That number continues to grow.
Understanding the fundamental differences between the major platforms, and the different users on each, will inform the way digital campaigns target their audiences.
Facebook is your bread and butter. 68% of U.S. adults use Facebook. More than two-thirds of marketable, targetable adults. To leave that platform unused is to tell those people that you do not want their business, attention or vote.
Besides being the largest platform, apart from YouTube, Facebook is very straightforward in its capabilities. Users can post text updates, photographs, videos and, more recently, polls, which are a great way to gauge your followers.
Photos tend to receive more interactions than plain text, and videos most of all. Knowing how to leverage the tools available to companies and campaigns that Facebook has available is essential to unlocking its full potential. Because most people are “friends” with their actual friends on the website, word of mouth spreads quickly and you can tap into an entire network quickly if content is shared by users.
Here’s an example of utilizing Facebook to solicit comments from an audience via a poll, taken from a Raleigh City Council race:
On Facebook, 62% of men and 74% of women use the social media site. 81% of 18-29 year-olds, 78% of 30-49 year-olds, 65% of 50-64 year-olds and 41% of 65+ year-olds are on the platform.
74% of Facebook users log in daily, 17% weekly and 10% less often than weekly.
Twitter is quite a different beast than Facebook, and many make the mistake of treating them exactly the same way when publishing content online. As of last year, about 24% of U.S. adults used the site.
Whereas Facebook is geared toward friends, families and acquaintances, Twitter is more conducive to interactions with influencers, companies and reporters. Users on Twitter are more plugged in to the day-to-day messages that are shared on the platform. Twitter is more conducive to quick messages, updates and calls to action. It also puts the user squarely in front of media influencers like reporters, columnists and reporters.
For example, Blackstone recently announced that they were converting to a publicly traded company. A video promoted on Twitter put their explanation in front of people that would want to know, like financial reporters, investors and politicians.
On Twitter, 23% of men and 24% of women use the site. 40% of 18-29 year-olds, 27% of 30-49 year-olds, 19% of 50-64 year-olds and 8% of 65+ year-olds.
46% of Twitter users log in daily, 25% weekly and 29% less often than weekly.
Instagram was purchased by Facebook a few years ago, so any presence on one allows easy crossover with the other. The difference in audiences makes the pair a nice complement, too. 35% of U.S. adults use the platform.
Instagram is a platform to share photos and videos with followers. It ballooned in popularity amongst high school and college-aged people upon its release, and still has an outsized number of users in the 18-24 age group.
Well-executed graphics can be very effective on Instagram, with easy-to–share capabilities. As with Facebook, the users often follow friends and family, so shared posts carry the endorsement of a familiar face.
Apart from the credibility of friends, affiliate marketing is extremely popular on Instagram. Celebrities and other influencers often share images that appear organic and sincere but are actually advertisements for some product or another. Game of Thrones is a great example; excitement around the final season of the HBO series allowed for endless marketing campaigns with celebrities and numerous brands. An example:
30% of men and 39% of women use Instagram. 64% of 18-29 year-olds, 40% of 30-49 year-olds, 21% of 50-64 year-olds and 10% of 65+ year-olds use the platform. Of those users, 60% log on daily, 21% weekly and 18% less often than weekly.
Each social media platform has quirks and unique features. To be successful with your online presence, it is essential both to understand each platform separately and to see how they complement one another. No single social media site has a monopoly on United States adults. It is not a question of which site to use, but how to use them all effectively, maximizing the value of each.
At Targeted Persuasion, we know how to make the most of your time spent on social media and web presence. In fact, we can do it for you. Contact us today to begin a conversation.
In the next blog post, we will unpack a few ways to make producing and sharing content on social media easy, saving time and impressing audiences.
Want a pro’s guide to running an effective public affairs campaign? You came to the right place. We’ve broken down a recent campaign we ran for the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. Learn about the tools we used and how they all came together to make this a success!