Daniel A. Ogiku
Social Media has become an essential part of our daily lives. As a result, more and more SMEs are gradually becoming aware of the importance of social media networks as a platform to reach their target audience. Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to engage, connect with a brand’s target audience and achieve set objectives such as brand building, increase in sales and website traffic. The major social media platforms right now include; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.
What Are Social Media Marketing Tools?
Social media marketing tools are applications that help online businesses and brands to get the most out of social media platforms and minimize workflows. As a brand, social media marketing can help you improve your online awareness, boost your engagement with your followers and even explore new opportunities with potential customers. Managing different social media platforms at the same time can become herculean. With the right tools and practice, you can become more efficient in managing your social media handles and the content you put out.
There are many social media management tools options available. You may find it hard to decide the right one for your business. I have therefore carefully compiled ten tools that will help you with your online engagement strategies- from scheduling to automatically sharing contents, creating social media images, analyzing insights, to improving your social presence.
If there is one tool on this list you have probably heard of, it is Hootsuite. It’s one of the most popular social media management tools around. Hootsuite helps you manage all your social accounts in one place; making it easy for you to post the same content across multiple platforms at once, assisting you at different stages of content development, finding new publishing ideas and measuring their performances. Hootsuite allows for collaboration amongst team members. It also allows you to see all comments and mentions in one place. You can assign tasks, plot a social media calendar and schedule updates. Hootsuite handles multiple social media accounts, bringing them into a single dashboard. You can sign up free of charge.
2. Google Analytics
Since its introduction in 2005, Google Analytics has been serving crucial data for websites in all industries. Various websites across the world utilize Google Analytics as a go-to tool. Google Analytics is a completely free tool to track and analyze visitors on your website. You can have thousands or even millions of monthly visitors but those visitors are practically meaningless if you do not know anything about them. Knowing specific information about your target audience will help you strategize better on how to engage them. With its robust web analytics and reporting tools, Google Analytics can help you make the most out of visitors and turn them into potential customers. In addition to tracking the number of visitors, Google Analytics provides key insights into how your website is performing and what you can do to meet your goals.
Some of the questions Google Analytics helps you answer include:
How many people visited my website?
How long did people stay on my website?
Where is my website traffic coming from?
Do more people visit my website using mobile devices or PCs?
How many people visit my website from social media sites?
What countries are my website visitors from?
In the hands of the right user, Google Analytics is a powerful tool for analyzing the success of your online business and developing new strategies to help you continue to drive revenue.
MailChimp is a popular platform for building email lists for email marketing campaigns. Every business, no matter the size should build an email list. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective strategies for a business because it allows you to establish direct contact with your customers. MailChimp is a leading email marketing tool that provides strong features and technology to reach clients and prospects. This platform helps you to manage subscribers and view click-through rates. In addition, it generates custom reports and tracks your emails.
MailChimp also has great plans for small businesses and medium-sized enterprises. Apart from this, it is able to handle large volumes of emails, making it a decent choice for large organizations too. So, whether you are a startup or a well-established company, MailChimp is a valuable addition to your marketing. It is packed with amazing features that ensure effective email marketing.
Grammarly is an automated grammar checker that helps you improve text composition. Trust me, you don’t want to be one of those brands that chase prospects away with their badly composed contents. Grammarly is not designed specifically for social media but I recommend this application as it prevents you from making unnecessary grammatical errors.
When creating a text-content, you want to ensure your spellings are correct; you want to ensure that what your audience is reading is well constructed and free from basic grammar mistakes. Simple grammar and spelling errors can hurt your brand. Even if you are a scholar in the English Language, it is not a bad idea to play it safe.
5. Google Trends
Google trends is an incredibly useful and completely free tool, created by Google to help anyone search for trending topics. Many professionals use this medium to discover important marketing insights. You can use Google Trends to monitor keywords to see if they are trending and if their current volume exceed previous months or years. The insights provided can then guide your content and social media marketing strategy. Online businesses use this tool to monitor notable things happening in the world and use same to improve content creation and promotion.
6. Viva Video (Pro)
If you are conscious of the social media landscape right now, you will probably notice that videos are already taking over your newsfeeds. The good news is that you don’t need to be a professional videographer, or buy expensive kits to create engaging video contents for your social media pages. With over a 100 million downloads, it is safe to say that VivaVideo Pro is one of the best video editor apps on Google Play Store. It has rich features, easy enough to use. You can quickly create a video about your products/ services and share it with your followers online. Embedding visual content as part of your social media is an essential step to take. And if you still doubt how engaging videos are, here are some insights: One-third of time spent online is devoted to watching videos, according to Social Media Today; Hubspot found that 45 percent of people watch Facebook or YouTube videos for an hour or more each week; YouTube reports that mobile video consumption rises 100% every year; 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter; and according to Buffer, companies that market with video on Social have 27 percent higher click-through rate and 34 percent higher conversion rates than those who don’t. Good visual content can help you take your social media strategy to the next level. It’s a necessity for your online marketing strategy.
7. Native Analytics
This article will not be complete if I fail to mention native analytics for each social platform, which is completely free and holds a lot of important information that you can use to execute social media campaigns. Let’s take a look at the top three: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Facebook Analytics: The Insights tab on your Facebook page contains so much information about your audience, ranging from your engagement, number of likes and followers, and how your posts are doing. Facebook’s pages also lets you compare the performance of your page and posts with similar pages on Facebook. You also get insights for Facebook Groups.
Instagram Analytics: With Instagram Insights, you can see activity like how frequently individuals and brands interact with your posts; see how your posts are performing over time; find out your audience demographics and when they are online. This allows you to monitor and know the appropriate time to post.
Twitter Analytics: Twitter Analytics can reveal a lot of valuable data about your audience, how well you’re engaging your following, and what your top performing contents are. All you have to do is go to analytics.twitter.com, log in and start learning more about your audience and their interests.
The information obtained from these three main social platforms can influence social media campaigns a great deal.
Long web links are so old-fashioned, and boy! Do they ever look spammy? When it comes to link shortening, Bitly is one of the most widely used options out there, taking lengthy URLs and shrinking them into much smaller ones. Often, the original links can be impossible to remember and tricky to share, while short URLs look better and are easier to remember. How many leads did you drive? How many sales did you convert? Traffic? Every marketer wants to hit the mark and be able to prove it. You want to make sure you are using the right campaign tracking tools to capture the list of critical metrics. Who clicked on what, when, and where? Bitly will tell you.
Bitly is more than just a pretty face, it is a powerful online marketing tool for tracking clicks, viewing site referrals, and pinpointing geographical locations with the most clicks.
For those of you that lack graphic design skills, Canva is a life-saver. Canva makes creating gorgeous infographics, cover images, thumbnails and web-optimized graphics easy. You can use them to spice up your social media accounts. It’s a drag-and-drop image tool. It also has pre-sized designs optimized for every platform. With Canva, you can create sterling image contents for social media. Canva continues to be one of the most impactful social media marketing tools out there. This tool is free to use!
IFTTT is a fantastic tool for all marketers. It stands for If This Then That. The IFTTT is a great app for time management when dealing with repetitive and recurring posts. This tool posts, reads and responds. It works with almost all major social networks. Each series of events that you create using the application are called ‘recipes,’ and there are thousands of social media recipes that let you automate and connect different apps you love with ‘If this, then that’ statements. For example, you can thank new followers with the ‘If I get new followers then send them thank you for following tweets’. Or you can create ‘recipes’ that use multiple applets to describe more complex circumstances. For instance, if you get a positive tweet, you can auto-retweet it. Where you get a negative one, you auto-respond with a DM request. The application also allows you to find super simple ‘applets’ that create a single time-saving response to a pre-set condition. IFTTT can save a lot of time and make you more effective in your online engagement.
The most important thing in driving your online business is to find the right tools that support your marketing efforts. It is equally important to invest time in getting to know how to use them. Don’t be afraid to add new tools to this list, experiment a bit so you can find a good combination of tools that will improve your social media marketing strategy.
Daniel .A. Ogiku is a social media influencer and a digital marketing strategist. Follow him on twitter @daniambitious_ and Instagram @mister.ambitious .