Three Tools to Improve Social Media

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

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.

A look at an empty queue on Buffer. Any posts added to the queue automatically post in the next available slot; in this case, we have posts scheduled for 11:00AM.

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

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 Canva homepage. Templates at the bottom are just a fraction of the hundreds of free options available, with even more unlocked if you become a paid member.

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

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.

A screenshot of the currents trends. Users can input custom searches to track any phrase or topic online.

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.

Summary

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.

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