I have discussed in my social media series the basics of using social media for your messaging, the importance of communicating clearly, securing your social media with passwords and policies, and training your social media manager to know the industry. Now it’s time to get to the most important thing a Social Media Manager needs – great tools. Having the right tools are crucial for any profession and social media management is no different. Here are the fundamental tools needed:
Management Program. Having one program where content can be scheduled is a time saver. There are free and paid options. Programs like Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social tend to be the ones used most among my colleagues. I personally use Hootsuite. It is user friendly and has plenty of options that can grow as my business grows. I suggest using the free option of any program you are considering before you commit to a monthly plan.
Source for Photos and Editing. Regardless of the social media platform, posts with photos get more views. Having a good source for quality photos can be difficult. Pexels.com is a website with free quality photos. Quality photos are not enough, they need to be resized, cropped or written on at times. PicMonkey.com has a free option to crop and resize photos. The paid option is very affordable if you determine this is a valued resource for your business. Font Candy is an app that is great to use to manipulate photos. In the Font Candy app, you can write on photos, add frames, use different fonts, apply fills and much more with the paid version. Posting multiple photos using a layout app like PicCollage is another way to spice up your photo posting on social media.
Great Video. Photos get viewed but videos go viral and going viral is social media gold. Taking great video from your phone is made easy with today’s smartphones but to stand out you need to be able to make your video different than the millions uploaded every day. The Boomerang Android App will make mini videos that loop. These videos are fun ways to show personality on social media.
Shared Folders. The Social Media Manager is a team player in your business and sometimes will need help collecting the media necessary for phenomenal posts. Using DropBox or Google Drive shared folders to upload media content, will save time and help. A Social Media Manager can’t be expected to be on every install, trade show or training event but this tool will make it seem like your manager is everywhere.
Original Content. These tools are worthless without great, ORIGINAL content. To create great content, it takes research and exceptional writing skills. Research can be done with one app – Feedly. Feedly compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources that you customize. There is a free or paid option. Writing skills come from your Social Media Manager. Hire one that can write extremely well to convey your message on social media. Taking industry relevant articles and using them on social for your business message is an art. Spelling and grammar mistakes are a big no-no and so is plagiarism. Being able to write for social media is different than writing short stories or a novel. The message must be witty, relevant and engaging for it to attract an audience. Get someone with the skills that can put these tools listed above to good use and build your business’s social media presence.