Make social media work for you!
By Aleh Barysevich
Marketers and entrepreneurs have a lot in common. Both have a dozen of very different tasks to do every day. The workload is overwhelming and ever-expanding. Luckily, the world came up with software. A couple of tools under the sleeve and the lives of marketers and entrepreneurs instantly become much easier.
The only question that remains is how to choose the right tools. For this list, I’ve chosen the ones that are reliable, easy to get a hold of, and don’t require an enterprise-level budget.
1. Awario for social media listening
Awario is a robust social media monitoring tool that searches for mentions of your brand or any other keywords on social media, news, blogs, forums, and the web. It’s used for campaign tracking and reputation monitoring: Awario analyzes the sentiment behind your brand or your campaign in real time, telling you if people are perceiving your brand/campaign well and if there’s a risk of a social media crisis. It shows a topic cloud with the words that most often surround your brand. The tool also finds social media influencers so that you can start with influencer marketing and hot leads coming from social media so that you can start with social selling.
2. Buffer for scheduling
Being able to schedule across many social networks is crucial for marketers and entrepreneurs that promote their brand on social media. Buffer is just the tool for that. It allows you to either tailor the post for every social network or share the same one everywhere. In all cases, you spend some time setting it up, and then the tool does the publishing for you. Buffer Chrome extension lets you add any content you find on the web to the Buffer queue. Once it’s added (which takes one click), it will be shared at the best possible timing.
Pricing: Buffer is a great choice for marketing on a budget: it has a free plan that includes only a couple of social networks, but might be enough for a business. Its Pro plan is $15/month, Premium is $65/month, and Small Business is $99/month.
3. Quuu for content curation
Finding valuable, relevant content on the world wide web is not an easy task. Quuu, which is conveniently integrated with Buffer, was made exactly for that. It takes hand-picked, interesting, relevant content based on the topics you’ve chosen, and adds it to the Buffer queue. This way, most of your social media marketing work is done without much of your involvement.
Pricing: Quuu allows you to add 3 social media profiles and 6 new content suggestions per day per profile for free. This is quite enough for many small businesses! Their Pro plan is $19/month, and Business plan is $50/month.
4. Canva for design
Lots of marketing tasks require design, and hiring a designer is not always an option. That’s why Canva is a tool of choice for many marketers. It helps create attractive visuals and graphics for business social media pages. It also makes it easy to do infographics, posters, business cards, flyers, and brochures. For those who have no designer knowledge or skills, Canva offers lots of tutorials and templates to make the task simple and satisfying.
Pricing: Canva is free, however, there’s a paid plan for $9.95/month if you want to access all of its features.
5. BuzzSumo for content inspiration
BuzzSumo lets you know which content performs best. It helps marketers see which topics and types of content attract traffic for any given niche. This is analytics done with minimal effort. You can filter the content by type: for example, if you’re interested in exclusively video content. Based on what BuzzSumo shows, marketers and entrepreneurs can come up with new ideas for their blogs and social media pages.
Pricing: BuzzSumo gives you some results for free, but to use it properly, you’ll have to get a paid plan. Pro is $79/month, and Plus is $139/month. Buying a yearly subscription saves you 20%.
6. IFTTT for automation
Nothing saves quite as much time as full automation. That’s what drives the progress, after all. IFTTT (stands for If This, Then That) lets you automate almost everything including and excluding your social media tasks. It connects dozens of apps to let you create workflows. For example, you can set it up so that your Twitter profile updates when your Facebook profile changes, all new followers are copied to a Google Spreadsheet, a Tweet and an Instagram post is created when a blog post is published.
7. Qwaya for paid Facebook and Instagram advertising
Advertising on Facebook and Facebook-owned platforms is harder than the company would like you to believe. Depending on one’s previous experience with paid advertising, it might be valuable to use a third-party app. If it came to this, Qwaya is the way to go. The tool lets you A/B test your ads, schedule ads, and pause your campaign in case the performance isn’t living up to your expectations. It’s also integrated with Google Analytics and allows multi-user access.
Pricing: Qwaya starts at $149/month.
8. Grammarly for proofreading
Marketers write a lot. Social media posts, blog posts, comments, replies… I would argue that all of them require copywriting skills, but also all of them require next to perfect grammar and spelling. While it might be best to have your colleagues proofread every Tweet and every email sent, it’s not usually possible. This is why every marketer and every entrepreneur that does social media writing (and any other kind of writing) needs Grammarly. The tool checks your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and goes beyond that to suggest better wording.
Pricing: freemium, paid plan is $20.95/month billed monthly or $11.66/month billed annually.
9. Animoto for video marketing
Posting videos on social media has become a common practice among marketers. It’s the way to promote product, content, share ideas, and connect with the audience. Making a decent video, however, isn’t a simple task. It requires skills, equipment, and, of course, time and practice. Alternatively, you can use Animoto – a tool that makes video marketing easy. It creates videos using your images, video clips, voice, and text overlay. It also has tons of photo- and video-editing tools.
Price: Animoto is $9/month for a Personal plan, $65/month for a Professional plan, and $94/month for a Business plan. A yearly subscription saves you almost 50%. Free trial is available.
10. HYPR for PR
HYPR is a platform that connects you with celebrities and social media influencers. It’s social media PR done from start to finish. The platform houses information for over 10 million influencers across major social channels, which can be contacted right from the platform. Every influencer profile includes audience demographics such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, and nationality as well as reach, engagement, and amplification per post.
Price: available on request.
As you might’ve noticed, each tool on this list is responsible for a different task. It’s now your turn to choose which ones you need for your business and which ones can be safely ignored. What do you prioritize: your brand’s reputation, regular social media content, diverse social media content? PR? Choose wisely, and your follower count, engagement, and conversions will always grow.
Aleh Barysevich is Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at companies behind SEO PowerSuite, professional software for full-cycle SEO campaigns, and Awario, a social media monitoring app. He is a seasoned SEO and social media expert and speaker at major industry conferences, including 2018’s SMX London, BrightonSEO and SMX East.