How can you keep up with your Twitter account when you haven’t even checked Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok today? What about all those new social media sites that are popping up every other day (or so it seems)?
How do you know which ones to target for your brand and which to skip?
Take a deep breath.
Managing your social media shouldn’t be overwhelming. Social media tools can help:
Save you time by doing the posting, social listening, and hashtag research for you.
Save you money by allowing you to allocate resources to other tasks.
Maybe even save your brand’s reputation by catching a negative post in time for you to run interference and resolve the issue quickly.
I’ve done the research for you and organized the top social media marketing into five categories. We start with tools that help with the four stages of social media marketing: discovery, creation, monitoring and scheduling, and analyzing. Then, I added a fifth miscellaneous category at the end.
If you find yourself stuck in a particular stage, just head down to the relevant section.
Feedly aggregates the top content in your niche from industry blogs and other publications. Their AI bot, Leo, acts as a research assistant that learns your reading habits and delivers articles you’ll be interested in.
It then “reads” each article and annotates them with relevant summaries, analyses, and links to relevant content.
Leo learns from your behavior. If you save an article, it will show you more like it. If you click “less like this,” Leo will remember and show you fewer articles on that topic.
You can also set up priorities within topics. Choose a sub-topic, and Leo will include those articles under a Priorities tab.
This is a simple graphic design web tool with pre-made templates for all kinds of social networks and uses.
It combines some of the best elements of Photoshop with a drag-and-drop functionality.
For every template, there are a variety of layouts, fonts, and backgrounds to choose from. And if you find yourself having trouble with a particular functionality, there are free tutorials to help you design better graphics.
For example, if you’re considering repurposing your most shared content for an infographic, there’s a tutorial for creating simple infographics with Canva.
Here are ten websites to source free and premium stock photos you can use in your designs.
Pixlr is a freemium service with a lot of the functionality of Photoshop.
Its free services include Pixlr X (for express) with essential tools for quick editing. Pixlr E (for editor) offers a more extensive selection of tools for more sophisticated content creation and Remove BG, an AI-based background removal tool.
If you need even more photo editing capabilities, they offer a subscription-based plan that includes more stickers, overlays, and visual effects, as well.
Pixlr offers templates, as well, some free and some part of the subscription service.
Pro Tip: One-Pixel Pinterest Image
The images you share on Pinterest should be vertically aligned. But, if you insert a tall image directly into a blog post, it’ll take up a lot of real estate.
The solution is uploading the tall Pinterest image below the first picture of your post. Then, change its height and width to one pixel each.
Now, the image will appear when you click on the “Pin it” button to share on Pinterest. The alt text of the Pinterest image automatically serves as the caption for the image.
Monitoring and Scheduling
It’s impossible to manage your brand’s social media accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But the world of social media doesn’t turn off at 5 p.m.
Social media tools for monitoring and scheduling can help. They can save you hours every week by combining your brand activity from multiple social media networks into one dashboard.
Hoot is a full-service social media management tool that lets you track mentions, engagement, and other metrics across all of your social platforms. You can schedule and track posts using their analytics tools and respond to mentions via your dashboard.
CoSchedule is a simple, integrated social media and blog publishing calendar.
It also includes a suite of organizing tools for social media, brand assets, work, and content. Schedule your blog posts, collaborate with different authors on a post, and assign specific tasks to different people.
It has an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface, as well.
In the calendar view itself, you can also keep track of the most shared and engaged with content.
If This Then That is a fantastic social media tool to connect applications and automate social actions. IFTTT offers a series of applets that allow you to connect platforms and streamline your work.
For example, you can send your Instagrams to Twitter as native tweets. You can also get a weekly notification email of all of the people who followed you on Twitter. You can also archive tweets to a Google spreadsheet.
You can create your own applet from scratch by choosing a trigger and appending an action to it.
Or, you can use applets created by other people.
In this article, Kristi Hines explains a killer recipe to directly schedule social media updates from your Feedly account.
You can schedule the articles you choose to read later in Feedly on your social network accounts through Buffer. You only need Gmail and Buffer accounts to set up this applet.
Social Media Analytics
The best way to find the most effective social network for your business is by tracking your social media marketing efforts.
HubSpot has a number of tools, from marketing automation to a full content management system. Their Marketing Hub allows you to create and manage social media posts, video for social, and conversations from their platform.
Olapic is a great tool to add to your visual marketing arsenal. You can use the tool to discover, curate, and schedule user-generated content across Instagram, Pinterest, and all your other social accounts.
Use it on your site, in your social ads, and in your emails to lift engagement and increase conversions.
A simple way to increase the number of tweets on your blog post is by adding a link to every actionable comment. When a reader clicks on the link, it automatically adds a tweet to their Twitter account.
You can track all of your embedded links from the dashboard.
You can also analyze their performance using their analytics tool.
Floating share buttons can either help or hurt your engagement and conversions, according to BigCommerce. For example, sharing buttons with counters can hurt conversions if the number of shares is low, while adding share buttons to product pages can actually distract users.
The best way to find out when and where to use share buttons is through extensive testing.
If you’re on WordPress, you can start with Share Buttons by AddToAny plugin. It has the option to activate share buttons in the sidebar, as well as above and below every content piece.
You can also customize the number of social networks you want to show your visitors, from the ones below.
If a large section of your audience hangs out on Facebook, then activating Facebook Comments on your website can increase engagement and bring you closer to your social media marketing goals.
But, beware. There is a risk of comment scams that easily pass spam filters. You’ll need to stay on top of comment moderation.
Social media can become a huge distraction, even if it does help drive your business. Manually logging in to post blogs and business updates can eat up valuable time you could use to build a new product, take care of vendor orders, or handle customer concerns.
Start incorporating the above tools in your armory to automate repetitive tasks and batch your social media posts.
They’ll save you time every week. They’ll also improve your ROI from social media marketing and your bottom line.
Have I missed any of your favorite social media marketing tools? Can you share your social media productivity secrets? Please let me know in the comments below.