hootsuite

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Tools

DON'T QUIT
DON'T QUIT


Whether you handle the social media accounts for one business or juggling multiple accounts for multiple businesses, there are so many tools out there that can help you get the job done efficiently and effectively! We have decided to dive into several tools that we at Social Ape use daily to make the most of our time and work. Hootsuite: Hootsuite should be your go-to tool for Twitter. It allows you to do everything you can do on Twitter, like tweet, retweet, direct message, view the Twitter feed, etc. But it takes Twitter a step further by allowing you to control multiple accounts at once and schedule your tweets in advance. This is a complete life-saver!

hootsuite.png
hootsuite2.png
sproutsocial
sproutsocial
sproutsocial2
sproutsocial2

Sprout Social: Sprout Social is an extremely user-friendly social media dashboard with a clean and intuitive interface. At Social Ape, we use Sprout Social to monitor keywords for our clients' businesses, find social media users who would be interested in our clients' brands, and promptly handle customer service issues. We also use Sprout Social to schedule out content and create stunning analytics reports.

evernote
evernote

Evernote: This tool organizes all your social media materials in one place at the ease and convenience of your laptop or smart phone. Your notes, reminders, blog content ideas, photos, documents and more will be stored for you to access whenever you need. You can also share content with clients or employees, which is great for brainstorming ideas or keeping social media log-in passwords where social media managers can access them.

Buffer: Is an amazing social media management tool, especially for handling large or multiple accounts (although you do have to upgrade for multiple accounts on one social network). You can schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn in advance, get detailed analytics, and share content easily with a Buffer extension. You can also download the extension and share photos, text, web pages at the click of the Buffer button.

picmonkey
picmonkey

PicMonkey:PicMonkey is a free picture-editing website. It's easy to use and has quality options for editing pictures, making memes, etc.

canva
canva

Canva: I brag on Canva a lot, but it's not without merit. This website is hands down the best program to make images for any marketing material you could ever need. It comes with pre-made customized image sizes for Facebook posts, Facebook Ads, Twitter posts, email headers, Instagram posts, invitations, fliers, etc. to make it easy to use proper image sizes for social media posts. It has millions of icons, backgrounds and graphics for free or awesome stock photos and illustrations you can purchase for $1. This website may as well be photoshop for people who don't have the time or knowledge to deal with layers.

acticonosquare
acticonosquare
iconosquare
iconosquare

Iconosquare: Iconosquare is analytics tool you need for Instagram. All you have to do is log-in with an Instagram account and it lets you view posts, comments, messages, etc. Click Statistics at the top of the page and in 5-10 minutes you will receive an email with a report based on your Instagram activity and suggestions for optimizing it. It has other cool features like contests in your area, help for your own contests, help promoting your Instagram, etc. 

repostapp
repostapp

Repost App: The Repost App is a great app to have for sharing other Instagram accounts' Instagrams. Whether you are a restaurant wanting to share a customers' picture of your food or simply love a quote that you want to share, it's the easiest way to attribute where the photo came from, engage, and share Instagram pictures.

likealyzer
likealyzer

LikeAlyzer: LikeAlyzer will help you keep your Facebook on track with simple suggestions to make the most of your account. It gives insights into how many posts per day you should have, the optimal time to post, length of your posts, whether you should share more links or videos, and more! I actually don't use this tool daily, but I plug in my multiple Facebook accounts every month-ish to see how I'm doing and what I could be doing better. It's a free tool, all you have to do is paste the Facebook page's URL and it gives you insights in 5 minutes or less. 

bit.ly
bit.ly

Bit.ly: Bit.ly is a tool that takes links to a whole new level. Paste a long link into bit.ly and it will shorten the link, allow you to rename a bit.ly link like so, from "bit.ly/1JzTJT1" to "bit.ly/BPAOpenMicNight", and give you stats on your links to see how many times it's been clicked on. There's no reason not to shorten and store your links in an organized fashion, while also keeping tabs on your link stats. Bit.ly makes it easy.

Are there other social media tools that you can't live without? Let us know, we love learning about new ways to optimize social media!

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6 Free Tools To Enhance Your Social Media Marketing

When surveying business owners and entrepreneurs, I've found that the #1 obstacle in marketing their businesses via social media is simply time management. Running a business is extremely time-consuming as is without having to market and advertise as well. Here I've put together a list of tools that can help you save time when reaching your existing and potential new customers online as well as increase your online reach.  

Facebook Post Scheduler

I've met people who have been Facebook Page admins for years and still somehow do not know that this tool exists within Facebook. Facebook's Post Scheduler is truly a life-saver for those who cannot afford to be glued to their computer all day. To access the scheduler, create a post within the status update box on your Facebook page. Then simply click on the icon on the bottom left-hand side of the post that looks like a clock as seen in the screenshot below.

Screen shot FB scheduler
Screen shot FB scheduler

You will then need to individually add the year, month, day and time that you want your post to be sent out in the future. Then click "Schedule". Your post has now been scheduled for the later date and time that you chose. For good measure, though, you may want to click on the prompted box saying "View Activity Log" to review your post to be sure it is error-free and has been scheduled for the correct time. See the photo below for an example. (Just a side-note: Make sure you are monitoring your page when you have a post scheduled. You don't want to abandon your fans if they are still interacting with your page.)

Facebook Activity Log
Facebook Activity Log

Picmonkey

Picmonkey is a great tool for creating and editing content for your social media marketing. For those of you who are not proficient in Photoshop, Corel or other photo-editing software, this site is great because it is very user-friendly and simple. With Picmonkey you can create collages to showcase several of your products at once or edit a photo of a product or service with text, overlays, logos or patterns to create great-looking content. See the examples below for some content inspiration!

Collage win 2 tickets twitter
Collage win 2 tickets twitter
SuperQ platter
SuperQ platter

Hootsuite

Although Hootsuite has now been a mainstream social media tool for years, it is still one of the easiest social media monitoring tools to manage while being extremely effective at the same time. Hootsuite is an excellent tool for listening to what consumers are saying about your brand and your industry as well as a life-saver when you have more than one social media account to manage. This tool allows you to see all of your network streams within one dashboard; therefore, eliminating the need to toggle back and forth between multiple screens. You can also schedule out posts or tweets for future dates as well as bulk-uploading.

Bitly

Bitly is a tool that not only shortens the links to content that you post, but also tracks the number of click-throughs of those links. Posting Bitly links can help you to discover which content works best for you and your company as well as the days or times of day that your links are being clicked more often. It's a very simple tool for those who don't want to bother with analytics for their own website or just want to discover how many people have clicked on certain links. Below is an example of a link tracked through Bitly.

Bitly screenshot
Bitly screenshot

Facebook Insights

Reading analytics graphs and reports can sometimes be overwhelming for those who don't care for numbers but if you're are an admin of a Facebook page, it is very beneficial to keep an eye on the analytics of your Facebook page, also called Facebook Insights. This information can be found at the very top of your Facebook business page in the "Admin Panel". In the bottom center box of the Admin Panel you will find the Insights for your page. Click on "See All" to dive into the analytics that are provided. This information can tell you a lot about your Facebook page: What is the demographic of my fans? In what city am I reaching the most people with my page? Which Facebook posts perform better than others? Which days do my posts fare better? Which posts caused Unlikes on my page?

Knowing which information to look for and how to interpret this data can give you a leg up on your competition and also make your efforts much easier and more effective.

Facebook Insights Screenshot
Facebook Insights Screenshot

Buffer

Buffer is a pretty neat tool (similar to Bitly) that allows you to pick ideal times for your posts or tweets to go out (only for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and then simply "buffer" the content that you want to share to go out at those assigned times. Buffer has just recently teamed up with Followerwonk so the app can now send out your posts based on the times that your posts perform the best. The free Buffer account only allows a user to connect one account on each network but the paid version (at $19/month)  allows up to 12 additional accounts.

Whether you are just getting started with your social media marketing or have been at it for a while, these free social media tools can help to save you time as well as streamline your efforts to produce measurable results.

If you would like to schedule a Social Media Training Session to go over these tools more in detail, please email me at april@socialapemarketing.com.

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!