The job of a social media marketer is multifaceted and constantly changing in order to adapt to new platforms, more useful and functional tools and the whims of the customer. Thankfully, there are a pile of apps and tools for social media marketers to use in order to streamline this important communication job. There are even specific tools for niche industries like trade show marketing. When researching Trade Show Apps, I came across these two websites that had great apps.
Crowd Compass offers educational information on their site and believes that events are not one-size-fits-all and allows you to create a unique attendee experience through using their apps. http://www.crowdcompass.com/
Another lead source is https://www.handshake.com/blog/trade-show-apps-lead-capture/
They offer a quick tap survey app that allows you to conduct surveys on your Android tablets or iPads. This app can be used for any type of data capture and market research scenario. It allows you to gather feedback while qualifying leads and collecting contact information for lead follow-up after the show.
When looking for the best tools to use you should take into account a few key features:
- Does the app have the ability to manage multiple accounts across the major platforms?
- Can it monitor keywords, hashtags, competitor accounts?
- Is there a detailed analytics report?
- Can you assign tasks to team members and add/remove collaborators?
- Can you schedule posts across the platforms?
- Is the tool user-friendly and easy-to-learn with great customer service?
- Does it meet the particular needs of your business?
Let’s take a look at a dozen tools and apps for social media marketing that help you become more productive and efficient.
According to a poll conducted by Seriously Social and G2Crowd, the top 5 best social media scheduling tools are Agorapulse, Sprout Social, Sendible, Buffer and Hootsuite. A scheduling tool allows for logging in to one website to manage multiple social media accounts. Most allow for posting on the various platforms your business is active on as well as scheduling posts for a later time. Many offer robust analytics helping you to hone your message, time of day delivery, content and more.
Agorapulse is touted for its user interface, capabilities to schedule and send, analyze posts, and great customer service. A key metric for social media marketers looking to increase their customer base is the ability to use Agorapulse to identify your brand ambassadors and influencers. This allows for tagging and targeting your most engaged users and utilizing them to spread the word about your brand.
SproutSocial also has an easy-to-use interface making understanding your community easier. It also supports scheduling posts across the main social media platforms. You can add team members to manage the tool and review each member’s activity.
Sendible is another social media tool that allows for gathering all your accounts into one login. The monitoring feature helps you keep an eye on mentions of your brand and shows you a sentiment analysis that highlights any message that may require your attention. Another feature that is somewhat unique to Sendible is its ability to find prospects and opportunities for you and to engage in conversation for you through the Twitter welcome messages and auto reply.
Buffer is most useful as an engagement tool and works well for individuals and teams. Its aim is to increase clicks, traffic to your website, engagement on the social platforms and reach. A unique feature is Buffer’s ability to curate a feed from your customer’s favorite website and blogs in order to easily share relevant information. As with the others, Buffer offers detailed analytics with their Business plan.
Hootsuite is certainly a staple social media management tool for many digital marketers. It is one of the original tools and has worked hard to stay up to date on the changing landscape. Hootsuite currently connects to over 35 different social networks! You can schedule post updates or allow the platform’s AutoSchedule feature to pick the best time for engagement. Hootsuite monitors for keywords, hashtags, mentions and more allowing for a broad picture of your brand online.
Marketers know that successful communication is not only written, but engagement increases exponentially with eye-catching visuals. They also understand that having useful tools available on all devices increases productivity. With the steady rise of video, social media marketers must use this medium to engage with their customers on the platforms where they consume moving pictures.
For those of us who are not artists, graphic designers or photographers, there is a tool created just for us: Canva. Canva creates beautiful social media posts at the right size for each platform. It is free to use but also has a vast and ever-growing library of stock photos and graphics available for your visuals. You can even upload your own brand elements and create all posts on your theme.
7. Spark Post
Speaking of visuals enhancing the user experience and therefore increasing your customer base, try using Spark Post on iOS devices to create beautiful graphics on your mobile device. This tool from Adobe allows you to save your projects and store them in Adobe Creative Cloud for use in any of the other proprietary apps. It already contains free high-quality photos for use as well as an intuitive interface for increasing and altering text. Spark Post also comes with professionally designed templates.
Finding content to share with your niche audience can be time-consuming but is vital to a successful curation campaign. With a tool like Feedly though, content ideation can be on autopilot. Feedly accepts the RSS feeds of the blogs and writers that your customers are most interested in hearing from. You can use this tool to know what niche influencers are talking about, join in on those conversations and stay up to date with the latest industry trends and current events. Feedly also works in conjunction with Hootsuite, Buffer and other scheduling tools so you can share content and schedule posts from within the dashboard.
Page load times on your website can make or break a user engaging with your content, and ultimately staying long enough to engage in a purchase. If your images are too large, the page will load too slowly and you’ll lose that customer. TinyPNG.com will compress image files for your website without any loss of visual quality. All you have to do is drop your graphics into the header of the website and it will shrink the image size for you, or your designer, to upload to your website. You can even upload 20 images for processing at one time saving you a lot of time to open and resize each individually.
Have you found yourself looking for hours for that perfect photograph to use in marketing material only to find it and realize it’s copywritten or out of budget to purchase? Enter Unsplash, a website full of high-resolution photos available for you to use for free. All the images in the vast library are licensed under creative commons.
11. Music for Makers
We have read about the importance and rise of video in digital marketing. Music for Makers contains background music that is royalty- and commercial -free to use in your videos. Once you sign up with your email address, you’ll receive a free song each week that you can use in any personal or commercial project.
Another robust video creation tool that is easy to use is Animoto. You can use it to create marketing videos, slideshows and more. As we know, many videos are watched with no sound as users scroll through Facebook or Twitter or other platforms. Therefore a tool that makes it easy to add text overlays onto beautiful videos is important. Animoto does that as well as allowing you to set the style of the video and the song and more.
This is just a sampling of the tools and apps that abound for social media marketers to use. New tools are constantly being presented, and the originals are consistently evolving.
Which tools do you use? What do you look for in a social media management tool? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.