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5 tools for brainy social media managers
2016-01-28

Here are some of the lesser-known tools that I’ve grown to love for their unique and valuable offerings. It’s important to note that all of them will enhance your day-to-day social media strategy implementation, while simplifying the process.

 1. Canva for Work

Social media has forced managers to become experts in creating and re-sizing images for different social platforms. With each platform demanding its own size, you need an in-house designer, or you have to devote your own time to creating imagery.

 That’s where Canva can help you create beautiful images with templates, photos, fonts, text, and more. I use Adobe Photoshop less and less the more I discover about the capabilities of Canva.

Say you create a square image for Instagram, but then realize you need a landscape version for Twitter. How great would a magic “resize” button be? Prayer answered. Look at this image being created for a business. A drop-down menu lets you create duplicates of the image and its elements in different sizes for different platforms:

Once you duplicate the image for different sizes, Canva opens each image in a separate tab so you can make any changes. Maybe you want to offer your Pinterest followers a promotional deal. Click and edit the Pinterest image to incorporate the offer and save the file.

Once all changes are final, you can download and share the images to each of your social channels.

 2. Sniply

Sniply is Bitly on steroids. Social media managers know the importance of sharing content other than our own when looking to build a community and engage with others. What might be lesser known is how to get some added value out of that sharing. When users click on your shared links, you can direct them back to your own content and track it.

SafeWise, a home safety blog I’ve written for, promoted a home security checklist by tweeting the Sniply link to its guest post on another site titled “What Stats Say About Home Security":

People who clicked the link were sent to the page with the article. In the bottom corner of the blog’s landing page, a pop-up suggested the reader check out the home safety checklist on SafeWise.com:

The pop-up suggestion is relevant, but not too invasive. This helps capture a targeted audience through content on other sites that you share.

Sniply’s reporting platform continues to get better, making it easier to track your results. Not only will it tell you how many people clicked your Sniply link, it will also tell you how many people clicked through to your site, conversion rate, originating platform and more.

 3. BuzzSumo

I use BuzzSumo for link alerts, to help me write click-worthy headlines, brainstorm content ideas, find "influencers" and more. You also can use it to build a Twitter-tailored audience.

 I were promoting a piece about solar panels, I'd first search BuzzSumo to find similar content:

With BuzzSumo, you can see the most-shared piece of content has over 4,000 Twitter shares. Click “View Shares” and BuzzSumo lists exactly who tweeted the piece, floating the most heavily influenced to the top. The magic happens when you export the list into Excel and create a tailored audience from the usernames to target for Twitter ads. It’s a defined audience of active users who already expressed an interest in the topic.

It’s important to note that a Twitter promotion to tailored audiences requires a minimum of 500 user names. To keep your costs low, layer multiple searches and exports to create a list of 1,000 or more.

BuzzSumo’s free version will allow four searches a day, so make those count or upgrade to one of the paid plans.

 4. SumoRank

SumoRank is another tool from the makers of BuzzSumo that is a must-have tool in the social media business. SumoRank give you an in-depth look into any Facebook page. You can see the previous month’s interactions, what day of the week posts received the most engagement and even, top-engaged posts.

When learning to navigate, it’s helpful to start by analyzing your own Facebook page, then search for a few competitors. You can identify what’s working for them, areas for improvement and additional opportunities for your page.

RELATED: Get your employees engaged and active online. Download this free guide to crafting an internal social media plan.

 Maybe all your competitors post between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Knowing this, you could then test posts between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to see if your audience engagement increases:

Like BuzzSumo, SumoRank allows four free searches per day.

 5. Followerwonk

Follwerwonk from Moz will be your new best friend if you are a heavy Twitter user. I love being able to find influential social media users in any given industry or topic.

 If you’re looking for influential social media users to share your new tech product on Kickstarter. You can search Twitter bios for keywords such as “writer at TechCrunch,” “editor at TechCrunch,” "writer at Mashable” and so on. Filter by social authority, and boom, you have a list of "influencers":

Additionally, Followerwonk enables you to view and compare your competitors’ followers, track every change to your Twitter following (daily follows and unfollows) and analyze any Twitter account, if you use its PRO version.

 It’s a little pricey at $99 a month, but you can start with a 30-day free trial to make sure you’ll use it. However, the basic free version may give you enough of what you need.

I recommend checking out each tool, even if you don't adopt any. You can find your next secret weapon that will free up some time or allow you to reach the audience you’ve been chasing.

What about you, PR Daily readers? Have you found other ways to use these tools?

 Paige Sjoblom is a social media strategist at Clearlink where she continues to explore and grow its social media channel. A version of this article originally appeared on Contentmarketinginstitute.com.

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