Social media expands and shifts how we connect and communicate
Now more than ever, popular platforms like YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok create brand sensations overnight.
We know that brands are challenged with how to reach audiences and stay connected through these channels. There are many tools and WordPress plugins to help you schedule posts, connect platforms, improve the presentation of posts, make sharing easy, track user engagement and more. So how do you choose the best options to help your brand stay relevant, responsive, and keep a pulse on your customer engagement? That’s where we come in.
It all begins with a clear social media strategy. The mistake many companies make is trying to be on all platforms at once versus selecting the top few that they can truly spend time building, growing, and maintaining. Being consistent on two key chosen platforms is more valuable than having outdated posts across all. For example, a musician targeting those in their 20’s and 30’s should elect for a strong Instagram and YouTube presence while an engineering firm should consider a blog, LinkedIn or Facebook initiative.
Every social platform is as unique as each individual business type.
Social Strategy Basics
- Outline what platforms best serve your business based on your target audiences and brand story
- Ensure you can develop a content posting strategy that is consistent (daily, weekly, monthly)
- Create strong designs for logo display areas and cover images
- Prepare brand descriptions that are appealing to your audiences in your profiles
- Develop a consistent content editorial calendar to organize post content (audience interest, brand features, offers)
Tools & Plugins
Tools and plugins come into play once your social media strategy is set.
The Lion’s Share Digital team prepared a few of our top picks.
Content Creation & Design
One of the biggest hurdles brands face is preparing posts that look great without a full time creative team. Canva is a great tool to help you design templates for your social platforms with thousands of designs to choose from. With pre-set designs, you can change photos, text, colors, and fonts. It even gives you options to create video posts.
There is a free version, but we recommend an upgrade to gain access to more features. With a mobile app option, you can create content anytime.
Scheduling & Presentation
There are many social sharing platforms that allow you to schedule posts in advance across all platforms such as, Zoho Social, Sprout Social, and Later (the list goes on).
We recommend Buffer. Many platforms only allow you to post the same post across channels, where with Buffer, you can plan and schedule unique posts for each platform including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all from a single dashboard.This tool also allows you to coordinate posts with a team, including review features.
The Instagram features allow you to not only schedule posts but also include the first comment on a post and drive sales directly from your bio. Soon brands will have the option to engage with the most important comments through a new engagement tool. Buffer also includes reporting with easy-to-understand and visually appealing reports for you to share across your organization.
You want your posts to be shared quickly and easily. Social Warfare is one of the best plugins for your WordPress website with visually appealing share buttons that can be matched to your brand look and feel and that adjust to any display.
We love this plugin not only for the button customization but for the many sharing options that allow you to define what displays when someone shares a post. (Customizable Pinterest images, Twitter posts, shareable quotes) The plugin allows for setting a minimum number of shares to be reached before displaying on your site and convenient tools that prevent people from putting their own CTA’s over your content. With added tracking codes you’ll always have analytics at your fingertips with this plugin.
Monitoring social results and what others are saying about your brand is key. Each social media platform provides tracking information that is extremely valuable, but having a tool that helps to track everything at once is even better.
One of our top choices is Mention. This tool monitors billions of resources across the web to find mentions of your brand on blogs, social media, review sites, forums, etc. It also allows you to monitor the competition. Overall it provides you with an opportunity to get insights from your audience base to better customize your content and give your audience what they want.
This is one of our favorites. Not only can you quickly and easily shorten a link for posts, but you can name them specifically for your brand. We can vouch for the statement that branded links generate at least 34% more clicks. Bit.ly also provides real-time metrics on every link you create so you have visibility into the content your followers are most interested in across all of your social media platforms, website, or other marketing channels where your link is displayed.
Other features include mobile links for SMS campaigns, QR code generator for any link you create, and integrations with key programs like Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Spredfast, Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Saving links to articles, videos, blogs, posts, apps, publications, etc. can be a challenge. Pocket allows you to save links as you come across them throughout your day. This is a great tool to keep what you find organized by topic for your own social sharing strategies. We suggest splurging for a premium version to keep a permanent library of your saved links, read and watch in an ad-free display, upgrades to searching and tagging, and capture your ideas with a handy highlighting tool.
Create efficiencies, produce consistent and polished content, and provide analytics to help your social media strategies improve with these featured tools.
These are just a few of our tips and favorite tools. Contact us to learn more about structuring your customized social media strategy. Let us help you stay connected, stay relevant, and track results.