The Tools You Need to Build A Strong Social Media Presence
Social media has claimed a permanent part of our lives. In 2019, 42% of the world’s population used social media. That was 3.2 billion people.
Today we rely on social for everything from news, gossip and entertainment to life hacks. It’s no surprise that it has become the go-to channel for marketing and building brand awareness.
With its extensive reach social media is the cheapest option to use to reach out to a targeted audience of potential customers. And it comes with the added benefit of being able to geo-target and connect in real-time.
But it’s not necessarily easy to build a strong social media presence. Competition for consumers’ attention is pretty stiff. From individual influencers to international companies – everyone’s trying to pull out all the stops.
Here’s where leveraging tools can help build up a strong social media presence.
Get To Know Your Audience
To be successful with social media you have to know your audience. The more you know about them, the more you can cater to them. This is where building buyer personas comes in.
Buyer personas are representations of potential customers. They include details about demographics, motivations, preferences, goals, and typical behaviours. They’re a combination of marketing research and real data about your existing customers (if you don’t have many customers yet, taking a look at your competitors’ audiences can help here).
Here are some tools that can help you with generating your buyer personas:
Socialbakers prides itself on being an all-in-one social media marketing tool. From understanding your audience, to creating content, to analyzing engagement. They offer a free template to help you organize buyer personas. And they also have a tool that uses AI to generate personas. If you’re interested in investing in this you can book a demo with them.
In the meantime, on to more free tools!
Xtensio allows you to create 5 personas for free within their platform. They have a paid option as well if you need more. Their persona templates are dynamic, allowing you to shift different fields. And you can also invite your team members to collaborate with you. Check out their guide on how to use their platform to create personas here.
Hubspot’s Make My Persona helps you build personas by taking you through a guided questionnaire. If you’re not sure where to start, this can be a great way to get the ball rolling. Once you’re done with the tool, you can build on the personas it’s generated for you with more information.
Kimp Tip: Besides generating your leads, lead generation tools can also be really handy to get insights about your target audience. This can then help you tailor your content to them. And of course, target them with sponsored posts and ads.
Leadfeeder is a tool that tells you which companies are visiting your website. It also provides details on how they found you, what they’re interested in and contact details for their employees. If you won’t need a tool like Leadfeeder on an ongoing basis, you’ll be happy to know that they offer a 14-day free trial. That’s a good chunk of time to get some info on members of your target audience who are likely to purchase your product or service.
Create Great Content
Content is the lifeblood of your social media. Actually you may as well call it the lifeblood of your brand. It’s the way that people come to know about what you do, why you do it, and how well you do it.
Each piece of content you share serves up a small taste of what you have to offer. So it’s important to be deliberate. And to focus on creating quality over quantity. As you figure out what works best to engage your audience you’ll be able to scale up in the right direction.
But even at a small scale, coming up with great content is tough. But thankfully there are some great tools that can help. From creating new content to scheduling and resharing your posts, these tools can go a long way:
Websites that have stock images that you can use in commercial and non-commercial applications, like Envato, Deposit Photos and Unplash are a great resource. They’re full of lifestyle images that can help you show your audience what it’s like to use your products or services. Or even for content that’s more general, like inspirational quotes or memes, you can opt to choose images that reflect your target audience.
Video creation sites like Biteable or Renderforest can help you create content that will draw attention. And video is definitely something you’ll want to consider as 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others.
And of course, you’ve got your pick of quite a few options if you’re looking for photo editing or designing tools (e.g. Canva, InPixio, or Fotor) or help to make infographics (e.g. Piktochart or Venngage) Not everyone is keen to spend a lot of time figuring out how to design and DIY, though. So remember you’ve also got options like Kimp 🙂
Finding The Right Social Media Scheduler
There’s a ton out there and most have a free, or low priced option for startups, and solopreneurs. So rather than suggest specific tools, we’ll suggest features that you may want to consider:
- Different roles and approval flows (if you have a team and want to have content reviewed before it’s published).
- Analytics (knowing the impact of what you’re posting will help you plan for how to post effectively to engage your audience).
- Direct publishing to Instagram or Zapier integrations that make this possible. Many tools allow you to publish to Instagram via a reminder sent to your phone. But it’s nice to skip this extra step.
- The ability to post to all of the platforms you want to publish to.
- Content ideas or content curation tools (it’s always helpful to get some suggestions for keeping your content timely and relevant).
- Social media listening tools to allow you to monitor conversations about your brand and your competitors.
- Web browser extensions to easily add links, and images
- Options to automate reposting evergreen content.
- Bulk uploading and the ease with which you can schedule posts.
Don’t Just Create – Curate Content Too!
Curating content saves you time and allows you to share content that is timely and relevant to your target audience. Curated content can also help reinforce your brand’s values and image. If curating content means Googling to you right now, please stop. Content curation tools can help you do this better. They allow you to uncover better content and share it quickly with your audience with fewer steps.
Post Planner is a popular tool that helps you curate content to share on social media. It does this based on your industry, interests and even the past performance of similar types of content. Plans start at $3 a month for 3 social accounts and 30 posts per day.
Scoop.it allows you to create and save content queries and then build up credibility by sharing the best content across networks. It also has a cool integration with Mailchimp that allows you to build newsletters using curated content. A pretty cool way to extend your engagement efforts on social media! Scoop.it has plans ranging from free to enterprise.
Triberr offers a unique spin on typical content curation. It connects bloggers to one another to discover shareable content. It also supports the development of relationships with influencers to promote content. With Triberr you can participate in over 60 000 tribes or manage your own to discover and share content. Triberr has plans ranging from free to $20 or $50 per month.
Choosing The Right Hashtags
You’ve got great content lined up. Amazing! But what are you going to say about your posts? What about the hashtags that you’ll use? How do you figure those out? Posting random captions on your accounts will confuse your audience. And they may just tune you out if they can’t figure you out.
But if you get it right, you can connect with your audience, boost your marketing and build your brand. So it’s best you take a data-driven approach to your posts and hashtags and use tools to help you with this.
First off, how you use your hashtags will vary by platform. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook posts are recommended to have 1-2 hashtags – so make them count! Instagram posts meanwhile should have between 9-15 and up to 30.
When it comes to figuring out which hashtags to use, there are a few great tools out there. RiteTag gives you hashtag suggestions for images and text based on real-time hashtag engagement. It offers options to enhance your posts in your favourite scheduler, starting at $7.5 per month.
Next, you might want to check out what influencers in your niche are doing. With hashtagify.me you can search different keywords on Twitter and Instagram and find top influencers for each. You’ll then be able to check out how they’re posting and which hashtags are working best for them.
Keyhole provides you with real-time analysis of industry and campaign-specific hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. With this info, brands can figure out which tags are most popular with their audience and how to promote during peak times.
Another helpful tool for finding top content, bloggers, publications and writers in your niches – and their hashtags, is Buzzsumo.
Do Deep Dives Into Your Data
Social media analytical tools are worth their weight in gold. They observe your audience’s behaviours and make recommendations to help you increase your engagement levels. Basically more data means more success with everything from your content to your marketing campaigns.
Most social media schedulers come with analytics tools built-in, but it’s worth your time to have a look at the analytics provided by social media platforms themselves as well.
Depending on the platforms that you’re using, you have your choice of Facebook Insights, Pinterest Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights (available for business accounts only) and YouTube Analytics.
Google Analytics is also worth a mention here because they reveal which social platforms your site visitors are coming from.
If you’re mainly engaging with your audience on one social media platform, like Twitter, you may want to invest in analytics specific to it.
Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool that allows you to gather and analyze information twitter users. This tool gives you detailed breakdowns of your followers and their activity. It also helps to determine trends in twitter and identify brand influencers in your niche. With Follwerwonk, you can gather information on any profile and compare two or three users to discover a new overlapping audience.
Keeping Your Social Media Secure
Something that’s easy to overlook as you’re building up your social media presence is how secure your accounts are. Make sure that your team establishes and follows protocols to keep your social account safe. A few things you may want to consider here include:
- Regularly reviewing your accounts’ privacy settings and permissions granted to apps.
- Regularly reviewing who has access to your social accounts, and their levels of access (e.g. admins or editors).
- Ensuring password security by using two-factor authentication for all logins.
- Securing all of the devices that you use to access your accounts – anti-virus software and secure passwords are crucial to this point. A tool like Lastpass can help you with the latter. Lastpass saves all of your passwords in a virtual vault encrypted with one master password. You’ll only need to remember that one password, and this means you can set up secure, difficult to guess passwords for your various accounts.
- Use social media listening to keep an eye out for imposter accounts, inappropriate mentions of your brand by anyone associated with your company, and negative conversations about your brand. Brandwatch is a free app that allows you to monitor tone and impact across 95 million data sources. This includes everything from blogs and social networks to reviews and forums. Mention is another helpful tool that allows you to monitor the web for…mentions of your brand. They’ve got free and paid options, with the free service allowing you to set up 1 alert, to track up to 250 mentions and 3 social accounts for 1 user.
Maintaining social media accounts is not easy. But the reward for doing it right is worth all the trouble and some more. The tools we’ve shared with you won’t just help you get rid of the stress of managing social accounts. They’ll help you build a strong social media presence with them.