Social media is a great way to begin marketing your blog, website or portfolio and with our updating catalogue of social media apps (check out our new social media icons) it has become easier than ever to get started! In this article we’re going to tell you about some of our favourite social media management tools and how we use them to share content online.
Finding relevant content
Feedly is a powerful search engine that allows you to create feeds and boards made up from your chosen sources from across the web – otherwise known as content curation. These boards will update automatically as your sources publish new content and you can use this new content to find out which topics specific to your niche(s) are trending. You can also share this content on your own social media channels.
Pocket is a lightweight and efficient way to build a catalogue of quality, shareable, curated content. Using Pocket you can quickly save articles as you browse the web in order to store them all for scheduling on your social media channels later. Pocket also features a search engine with content recommendations based on what the community is reading as well as the option to explore popular content in different niches.
Trendsmap is a realtime map of local Twitter trends in which you can find the most trending topics, hashtags or mentions. It is particularly useful for finding out what people are talking about within an immediate area, and a great way for your brand to get involved in the conversation. Remember not all social media is about selling – it’s also about providing a unique and valuable perspective to build a rapport with your audience.
Creating beautiful images
Canva is a simple to use tool with a lot of depth that allows you to create high quality images for your social media channels. They provide a wide range of fully editable templates designed for social media – including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Simply upload your own images into an existing template, then add text and other elements to your graphics to really sell the message of your content.
Buffer has proven time and time again that using images in your social media posts can increase social media engagement from your audience. With this said, they created Pablo. Pablo is an all-in-one solution to sourcing images, resizing them for different social networks, adding text and scheduling or immediately publishing. If you’re familiar with the Buffer platform we’d suggest using Buffer alongside Pablo for a smooth workflow (although you can use Pablo alone).
We had to include Adobe Photoshop for anyone with at least novice-level experience with the image editing software. While you may not necessarily have the time to manage your social media channels and churn out consistently fresh content simultaneously, it’s always a great choice for creating content which is unique and on-brand. It’s also a great way to publish content produced by your audience (user generated content or UGC) while still retaining consistent quality and branding.
You can create reusable templates using assets (such as a brand logo or watermark) which you can then apply to images you’ve sourced yourself or via UGC. Photoshop uses an extensive layering system so different assets can overlay an image before you publish it to social media. Stock images can also be edited to be consistent with your brand – take a look at How to Quickly Brand Stock Images with Photoshop by It’s Organised.
Choosing valuable content topics
Hashtagify is another Twitter tool designed to let you find out how popular a hashtag is as well as other popular hashtags related to it. We use Hashtagify to find interests that might appeal to our niche by testing new content against popular hashtags which are closely related to our main audience. For example, rather than using the #design hashtag we might test the #webdesign hashtag to see how our content resonates with people using this hashtag.
A great way to understand your audience in order to write copy that really resonates with them is to use the native analytics tools of your social media platform. These tools are a great way to find out who is engaging with your content. If you have a Facebook or Twitter page you can use the platform’s native analytics to analyse your audience. 25% of our Facebook audience are men between the ages of 25 and 34, so in order to create captivating content for this audience we must discover the audience’s needs and fulfil them by creating useful content using while also speaking their language.
Buffer is another lightweight and efficient tool that allows you schedule content, either from within the platform or from any webpage using their free browser extension. With Buffer you can schedule posts to all your social media channels, write the copy for each post and add images to each post – all at the same time. Buffer also provides an easy to understand ‘Overview’ screen which allows you to view the overall performance of your social media channels, as well as how much engagement each of your posts have received.
Hootsuite is a powerhouse scheduling tool which allows you to manage a large number of social media channels from a single dashboard. It’s a great option if you work in a large organisation, or freelance and have multiple clients. You can also create live feeds in Hootsuite so that you don’t need to leave the dashboard to engage with your audiences or stay up to date with the people you follow or hashtags you subscribe to. Hootsuite also allows you to integrate add-ons to take the platform’s capabilities further and enhance the way you work.
Measuring social media success
At Moonfruit we personally like to grab data directly from our social media platforms and collate them into a spreadsheet. For ease of use and the ability to quickly share information with colleagues we use Google Sheets to break down engagement, channel growth, brand advocacy, traffic back to our site and conversions. By using a spreadsheet you have a report which is highly customisable and can suit the needs of who ever you choose to share it with.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have built-in analytics tools you can use if you have a business account on the platform. This is where you can find even more information on how your audience is engaging with you.
If you’ve setup Google Analytics with your website (which we highly recommend) you will be able to find very detailed information on exactly where you are receiving your traffic from. Using this platform you can find out which landing pages your visitors are coming from, their journey through your website and whether or not they are converting into sales, sign-ups, etc. If they are falling off your website before they’ve completed what you wanted them to do, you can use Google Analytics to discover where they are falling off then rectify this either in your social media strategy or website design.
Depending on your goals you may ultimately ascertain the quality of your social media strategy efforts by using the data provided by Google Analytics. This will likely give you the most accurate representation of all social platforms.