Social media is all around us, it’s our touchpoint to the wider world. Although most of us will post sporadically when we hear a great comment, when we see an image we want to share, or when we want to rant about the world and all its problems there are people who manage social media profiles as a profession. So if you are here I’m going to assume that you have some level of interest in the world of Social Media and how to go about planning its use. But if not, and you’ve found this article from its clever SEO and pretty design, well then I hope you find some element of it useful to you. What we will discuss is a very basic outline of how to plan for a social media strategy plus some useful, and more importantly, free tools that can help you implement and maintain your plan.
Get Some Ideas Together
Personally, I’m a fan of getting in front of a whiteboard and sketching out my ideas. Sketching out the hierarchy of my plans, and adding some doodles to remind me what I was thinking. To take that process digital, and considering that most don’t have a whiteboard at their disposal, then the online app MindMup is a great alternative. Some of our ideas can be light bulb moments while others might need validation, this is where a little market research will come in useful. Google is most certainly your friend in this step with its applications of Trends where a user can observe what the world is searching for and the Consumer Barometer – where you can get insights into how people use the internet.
Make a Plan and Stick To It
Once you have your ideas together and added some performance indicators, then it’s time to plan out how you will go about activating your strategy. One of the cleanest and most intuitive apps out there for task management is Asana, and it has a free version for individuals. Asana is great for laying out a plan in a step by step process and making sure that each step is accountable for. The feeling of achievement when ticking a job done is made all the more pleasing with its interactive celebrations. The paid version, of course, gives more customisation, but for beginners and to familiarise users with task management, in general, it’s a great tool to use. They also have a YouTube channel with an extensive series of How-To videos. I’ve picked out their Editorial Calendar video as one that would be of use for social media managers.
Create your Social Media Content
This is the fun part when we get to be creative with our work. Being creative doesn’t have to be a chore, or time-consuming, and one of the best tools out there for inspiration and usability has to be Canva. The free version of this tool is fantastically capable of creating stunning visuals with the help of its built-in templates for a number of social platforms and it’s portfolio of imagery. Canva does have a mobile app, but my go-to when on the move has to be Snapseed. Owned now by Google, this app offers a huge amount of features to augment photography and create unique imagery for your social profiles. As users become more accustomed to visual media, videos have become more and more popular but creating good video content is not easy. Thankfully, in a recent blog post my colleague has composed a list of tips on making videos on smartphones, check it out here.
Launch Your Social Media Content
Fun stuff over, its back to business and time to launch your content. Buffer has been the tried and tested free social media management free app for me. Download the app, and add the extension to your desktop. Now you’re ready to rock the social world with your strategy and thoughtfully created content. The free version for individuals allows the use of three platforms and is limited to the amount of pre-scheduling but its ease of use and integrations make it a top tool for social media management. The recent update of posting directly to Instagram is also a great addition.
Analyse your Social Media Content
Now that your content is out there in the big bad digital world you can sit back, relax and watch the engagement come in. Nope, your work is not over! The digital stratosphere is a constantly changing one. With new advancements in technology, understanding the behaviour of its users grows. This means social media managers need to stay on top of their game. My top tools for beginners to monitor and assess their content is to make use of the native insights the platform allow users to freely access. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (if you have a business page) all allow you to view how your posts are performing. The best way to understand the metrics is to get your head into them and find out what works for you. It will ultimately come down to objectives but your success may be from the timing of posts, how often you post, they type of post (text, pictures, videos, gifs). It is most certainly a process of try and test.
Once you’ve done all the above, do it again. But this time you should know more, you should have made tweaks, your objectives may change. It’s an ongoing process.
If you’ve lasted until the end of this article you’ve done well, but I hope you have found some if not all the information useful. At Trigger Movement we cater to a host of digital marketing needs including social media management. If you want to hear more about our services feel free to get in touch, you’ll catch me at email@example.com