Whether you are a B2C or B2B organization, social media needs to be a part of your marketing plan. Between its low costs and big reach (3.2 billion people to be exact), social media will remain a crucial factor for successful growth in 2019. The key is to have a presence where your target audience exists and to manage that presence effectively. If you are ready to be a marketing ninja in 2019, add these social media tools to your arsenal:
Ripl is a nifty little app with big impact. This app allows you to create animated images and slideshows. With an easy to use drag and drop interface, Ripl connects to your various social media platforms. You can then schedule and post directly from the app. It even tracks your posts and offers suggestions for content. Ripl has two pricing plans, basic or pro. Basic is free with no branding and limited options while Pro is only $14.99/month.
GIFs are one of the most popular ways to communicate ideas or feelings on the internet. Rather than say a something annoyed you, why not post an eye-rolling gif of Robert Downey, Jr.? You can take advantage of this seemingly silly communication method to strengthen connections with your audience. GIPHY helps you do it. This tool allows you to create GIFs from photos or videos via upload or URL. You can also build GIFs from scratch using GIPHY’s templates. GIPHY also has the option to make a brand channel to share and promote your gifs. This feature allows offers unlimited uploads, official GIF cred (people will know who created their new favorite gif), and even an analytics dashboard to track performance. While you do have to apply for the branded channel feature, you can still harness the power of GIFs with GIPHY’s other free tools.
Video is an absolute must for marketing success in 2019. However, finding the time to create eye-catching and engaging videos is challenging, to say the least. That’s where Promo comes in. This app is a powerful tool allows you to create professional, branded videos using templates, premium footage, and royalty free music. With a few clicks, you can have stunning, shareworthy videos. You also have the option to upload your own videos and edit with Promo’s video editor. Pricing starts at $49/month for one video download. Downloads also carry over to the next month. So if you don’t use it, you can wow your audience with even more content later. Promo also provides a monthly social media calendar to keep you on track.
A free tool offered by Promo is the Promo Image Resizer. This simple tool resizes your images for different social media platforms. You can either upload an image or use a URL and enter the desired size or select based on the social profile. It also includes image sizes for each post type based on the platform, from banners to page covers. This saves you time while posting and makes sure your content always looks great. And of course, this tool is free.
So where exactly do you get all these awesome, shareworthy images? Try Unsplash. This site offers high quality, royalty-free stock images for personal and commercial use. Powered by photographers and other creatives that share their content, you often find unique and interesting images. The site also offers the opportunity to advertise, which is an excellent way to connect with a more targeted audience. This tool is also free. Gratisography is another cool stock image site if you want creative and quirky images.
Another excellent app for visual content is Canva. This tool allows you to design graphics like a pro without the skills. The app provides access to thousands of templates and images to build the perfect content for your brand. Templates are specifically sized for the specific platform and range from ads to infographics. You can even design logos in Canva. Canva also has templates and graphics for more traditional promotions such as flyers and brochures. Plans start at $9.95/month per member annually.
People love to test their knowledge or learn something new. They also love handy tools that provide quick insights. OutGrow uses this fact to generate growth through interactive quizzes and calculators. More than just a quiz maker, OutGrow tracks conversion and engagement at different stages of promotion. You can create in-depth, interactive content that uses logic jump and conditional messaging for targeted results. Pre-made layouts are optimized for best conversion and engagement rates. Pricing starts at $14/month for a basic annual plan. OutGrow also offers a free 7-day trial, no credit card required.
Hashtags are crucial to an effective social media strategy. However, it is difficult to know what to use and how to use it. All Hashtag can help. Just as the name suggests, All Hashtag is a hashtag generator. This generator works for all social networks and is an excellent resource for creating online content. Simply enter a word or topic, and All Hashtag provides relevant hashtags. You can sort hashtags using top, random, and live (aka trending) filters. This app also has an analytics tool to track hashtag performance. Best part, All Hashtag is absolutely free.
Another hashtag-driven app is Tagboard. Tagboard uses hashtags to find user-generated content across the web. This means that you can easily display and share content created by your followers. It takes audience participation to a whole new level. It also removes the complexities of manually searching for brand mentions and hashtags. Having this content all in one place also allows you to easily add to other marketing efforts, such as live broadcasts. Additionally, showcasing your favorite content from followers encourages online engagement with your brand. Tagboard offers demos of their service with custom quotes.
Awario is a powerful social monitoring app that tracks your mentions. This app goes beyond hashtags and searches your keywords anywhere and everywhere online. It prioritizes content with the most buzz to make sure you are a part of the most important conversations regarding your brand. Awario is not hindered by language or device either and sorts conversations into specific folders for easy access. Use their analytics tools to track and grow your mentions as well as identify top influencers. Pricing starts as low as $24/month for an annual plan.
Simple yet mighty, Bit.ly optimizes links for online content. At its most basic, Bit.ly condenses long URLs into short, bite-sized links perfect for social media. By doing this, you not only have a lengthy link in condensed form but a way to track your content. You can see what is performing the best for your organization and make marketing decisions based on that information. The basic plan allows you to monitor clicks, referrals, and location for a global understanding of your social media performance. The enterprise version includes an analytics dashboard, custom links, and campaign building features. The basic plan is free while enterprise requires a custom quote.
One of the most important things to consider when building your social media campaign is your competition. You want to differentiate, creating content with a unique voice that speaks directly to your audience. BuzzSumo helps you accomplish this. The free version allows you to search by topic or domain to find related posts. Then BuzzSumo provides a list of posts, with engagement metrics, backlinks, and user information. There are also filters such as date, language, word count, and content type you can use to sort posts. More advanced features include a Facebook and question analyzer, influencer search tools, and brand monitoring. Paid plans start at $79/month annually.
Staying in the know is a huge part of effective marketing. However, it can be difficult to keep up with a myriad of daily alerts posts. Feedly aggregates this information into one convenient dashboard. Follow relevant publications, blogs, YouTube channels, keywords, and tweets that you can easily organize and share with team members. It even has integrations for platforms such as Hootsuite (more on that later) to quickly post content to your social profiles. The basic plan is free, allowing up to 100 sources and three feeds. For integrations and other advanced features, get Feedly Pro at $5.41/month (billed annually) or Feedly Team at $18/month.
Contests and giveaways are one of the best ways to boost your social media presence. Wyng is the perfect tool for this type of marketing strategy. This app creates what it calls “micro-experiences,” which are interactive posts with specific calls to action. The goal is to make content as interactive as possible, using eye-catching graphics and user-friendly design. Wyng’s drag and drop builder makes it easy to use, along with campaign ideas and community support. It also offers tools for scoring, benchmarking and analyzing data. Wyng has DIY plans starting at $99/month as well as plans for brands and agencies that require special pricing. The app offers a 14/day free trial for all plan types.
Although Hootsuite has been around for a while, it has gotten some recent upgrades. Hootsuite is a social media management app that allows you to schedule and post your content directly from the app. It connects to the top six social networks and a dashboard to analyze post performance. It also offers browser plugins to curate content straight from the web. Additionally, there are over 150 integrations available and ad boosting capabilities to maximize your marketing efforts. Hootsuite’s learning academy is industry recognized, providing training and certifications that can further your knowledge and your career. Best of all, you can start using some of these features for free. The free plan includes three social profiles with up to 30 scheduled messages a month. Paid plans start at $29/month with 30-day free trials.
Similar to Hootsuite, Post Planner allows you to schedule and monitor your social media posts. While it does not have the same browser plugins as Hootsuite, Post Planner does have a robust “content recommendation engine.” With this engine, you can search for relevant content and compile the results in an RSS feed for easy access. It also provides post suggestions based on trends and performance. Post Planner can even predict how well your post will perform before you post it, saving time and effort. A drawback is the app only currently supports Facebook and Twitter. Pricing for Post Planner is pretty cheap, starting at $3/month, billed annually.
Quuu furthers the concept of content curation. Much like Post Planner, Quuu provides post suggestions and tools for collecting and sharing content. Unlike Post Planner, Quuu has its own database of hand-selected content, removing the need to search manually. Quu also supports LinkedIn and its most basic plan allows you to add up to 10 social profiles. A particularly cool feature Quu has is content recycling. This feature reuses evergreen content to fill in gaps with your social media calendar. It also maximizes how many people actually see your posts. Plans start at $15/month with 30-day free trials available.
The key to any good marketing plan is understanding your audience. Socialbakers is an audience-centric tool that uses AI to build customer personas for your brand. These personas are used to identify what content to share and when to share it. It also discovers the best influencers to help promote your content. Socialbakers has a variety of filters for specific targeting and can help you discover new niche audiences. It also has tools that analyze content and paid ad performance. There is even a suite of free social media tools available to strengthen your online impact. The online plan is $20/month for up 20 social profiles. Other plans require special pricing and each offer a free trial.
Another way to strengthen your social media is to understand what others are doing online. Seekmetrics provides analytics about Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube profiles of your competitors and clients. Metrics include follower growth, top posts, interactions, most used hashtags, and average engagement. You can access up to a year’s worth of data for an unlimited number of profiles. This information is invaluable when building a unique social media presence. You need to understand everyone else’s strategy so you can do it better. Seekmetrics is absolutely free, which means you can start developing your strategy asap.
Building a strong social media presence takes time. Even with these tools, you still need to be consistent and patient. Do not become discouraged if you do not see results initially. The goal is not to create an audience quickly but to create one that lasts. Make 2019 simply the start of your marketing growth.