Building an effective social media strategy is far from a cakewalk. When you’re challenged to navigate confusing algorithms and develop engaging content, you’d be crazy trying to tackle it alone. You need someone (or something!) to keep you accountable, to make you look good, and to keep you on track.
Here is a list of tools to help you build your team and begin streamlining your social strategy.
Build a content calendar strictly for social
If you publish a blog or newsletter regularly, you probably already use a calendar to keep track of what kind of content is being posted and when. So why do some of us choose to fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to the content we publish on social media?
Developing a formal calendar designated to your social media content is the first step towards making your strategy more effective. Planning your posts ahead of time not only helps ensure you’re scheduling content on a regular basis, but it will also help you keep track of which platforms you’re posting on.
You can create your calendar on Google Drive using Google Sheets or Google Calendar (which is what our team uses) or choose another type of platform such as Trello, which tends to appeal to a more visual crowd.
While both platforms facilitate healthy collaboration and precise organization, Trello achieves the function of a spreadsheet without looking like one. You also have the flexibility of customizing the structure of your calendar, allowing you to organize a system that works best for you.
Track success by assessing your page’s performance
Most of us spend hours pouring over page analytics only to get lost in a minefield of numbers and are left with no clue of whether or not we’re actually making progress. That’s where a third party analytic software can deliver the helpful insight you’re looking for.
These programs can help compile useful data such as the average rate of audience engagement, the increase of likes, and your page’s overall ranking compared to those similar to it. They also provide helpful tips to enhance your page’s performance such as what time of day is ideal for posting and how long your posts should be to engage users.
For a pretty penny, you could purchase a fancy program such as Hubspot. However, Likealyzer, a program we use quite often, is free. You can also consider enlisting the help of a local team of social media gurus if you’re looking for a more personable explanation.
Create professional-grade graphics without a graphic designer
Enticing images are the key to catching a user's eye when they’re casually skimming their news feed. However, you don’t have to be a Photoshop wiz to create impressive graphics. Design programs such as Canva allow you to select from a variety of pre-designed templates specific to the type of platform you wish to post on. Their simple drag-and-drop editing style makes customizing your image a no-brainer.
Overlay pictures with text, add your logo, and incorporate your brand colors without creating a graphic that looks like a fifth grader designed it! #Score!
Use basic apps to edit your photos quickly
Keeping with the theme of image aesthetics, not all of us have the luxury (or the time) to meticulously edit every photo we take in Adobe Lightroom. For those photos you quickly snap with your phone, basic photo editing apps such as Facetune, Afterlight, and VSCOcam allow you to make a few minor tweaks to enhance your image’s quality.
While these apps allow you to adjust image contrast, brightness, and apply a filter, try to refrain from going overboard. While you want your pictures to look nice, you still want them to be authentic. In other words, basic editing rules still apply.
Save yourself from embarrassment and always use proper grammar
We get it, grammar is tedious and annoying, especially when you’re trying to whip up a social media post on the fly. However, running your post through an editing software can save you from unruly embarrassment. That’s why our team swears by Grammarly and has at least two people review every post. Copy and paste your desired content into the app and the program will highlight grammatical errors for you while suggesting corrections. But beware, the app doesn’t always catch every little detail. So be sure to carefully reread your status (twice).
Equipping yourself with the right tools is the key to executing a social media strategy that helps you achieve your goals. What kind of tools are you using to streamline your social media?
Still feeling overwhelmed? Let’s have a social media brainstorming session!