Social media management can be tricky. From creating amazing content, to posting wonderful posts and tracking those KPIs, you can be kept very busy. Every little helps and there is a whole plethora of social media tools out there that can help you do the job well. Here are a few tools that I love and use on a day-to-day basis.
I love infographs, but they have always put me in a little bit of a quandary; how on earth do you create such lovely images without a degree or two in design. Here is the answer.
After trying a few different platforms, Pik-to-Chart revealed itself as the most easy-to-use infograph designer. It has some great templates which are helpful to get ideas, but not that useful in practice as they are far too specific. It has a multitude of backgrounds, styles, shapes etc. that make creating something splendid very quick and easy. It is actually quite similar to Canva in style, which makes the UI easier to navigate
My favourite features:
- stunning styles/background/shapes/text suggestions
- alignment functionality (which helps you align all the items perfectly)
- easy upload
The free version is fine, but for a small monthly fee, you can download your infographs in a higher resolution, without the watermark at the bottom. There is no cancellation fee, so you can pay as you go.
Create an account here.
This is a very handy tool where you can very quickly make a moving GIF from images, videos or even youtube videos.
There is no need to sign in/register to make a GIF, but having a profile gives you more flexibility (there is a limit to the length of the GIF you can make without signing in). Registration is free, and very quick and easy. Once you are registered you can remove the watermark. They have an chrome extension which works pretty well and is easy to use. Its also possible to share to your social profiles (in many different ways) from within the app.
Free to use here.
This is a free, online image editing platform. It works seamlessly, has a lovely UI and plenty of free images to use. You can purchase stock photos directly for the price of a very cheap coffee in the States, and so it offers plenty of flexibility. They have also just added a new version – Canva for work, which, for a small premium, really benefits work flow!
My favourite features:
- instant image sizes for heaps of social platforms
- lovely free templates and formats
- drag-and-drop download functionality
Did I mention they run you through a tutorial at the start, so you ultimately have the whole thing figured out within 10 mins of signing up?
You can set up an account here.
So you have the images, and now you are creating a post with links. So you need a url shortner. I like Owly. Its very quick for once offs, but the best aspect for me is they offer branded short links. I firmly believe this means folks are more likely to click on your links. Also, you can track the link success (i.e. how often people click on your link) which, lets agree, is one of the most important KPIs. Need I say more?
Social Media Scheduling is vital to create ongoing reach and engagement, but which one to use? There is a massive selection of scheduling platforms, and I have tried a few. It does depend on how much functionality you need.
The most pervasive social media scheduling (and to some extent analysis) tool I have come across is Hootsuite. It’s user-friendly, publishes to multiple channels, and the interface can be edited to suit you. Again, the free version works fine if you are a single user, posting to all your social accounts. Buffer is another very light-weight tool which also works easily for those less adept at BIS; hootsuites UI can be challenging at first.
My favourite features:
- posts to multiple social accounts
- easy to schedule and edit
- easy to edit what you see (mentions, followers, scheduled posts, etc.)
- Drag-and-drop images into posts
The only hang-up I have is that it states ‘posted by Hootsuite’ in your posts. I don’t think this is a major deterrent to user engagement, but its hard to prove that its not.
The social channels themselves
You may not like me saying this, but I actually love dealing directly with each channel. You can schedule through Facebook. You can tag more effectively on both Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes, its just feels good to be on the pages that make things happen.
Its also good to plug straight ‘into the feed’, meaning you are more aware of what’s being said at the exact moment you tweet.
The only downside is you could get a bit distracted… there’s just so much to see!