Save time and improve your social media presence with these 6 Social Media Tools
The crazy/awesome/funny/cool thing about blogging is how much we learn “on the job” and how much our visions expand from where they were at inception to, well, however big you dare to make them. For me, blogging started as a running log turned hobby and has transformed into a passion, which someday I hope to make a career.
In it 4 the Long Run evolved from the literal interpretation of the name, a blog where I shared my running journey, into a much broader exploration of living a healthy life 4 the long run (see what I did there?). Along the way, a common thread has always been sharing whatever knowledge and experience I have, in hopes that it can help others, whether that’s how to run start running, how to make a great smoothie or how to grow your Instagram following.
To say social media can feel overwhelming, is probably the understatement of the year for 99.9% of bloggers – if you’re in that .01% please call me I have a lot of questions for you. Bloggers are busy peeps and trying to be present and and authentic on social media can feel like a full time job and while it can be a lot of fun, let’s be real, at times it definitely feels like a chore.
So I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tools I’ve found over the years that have helped me save time, sanity and improve my blog.
Below are just a couple of my favorite social media tools from my digital tool belt (totally the next thing after the apple watch, just you wait). These are tools I’ve used from a community manager and blogger perspective and they’re just so damn useful. As a community manager, and general social media nerd, I love trying out different tools to help improve and optimize my social efforts so I’ve culled down my massive list of favorites into the most useful, because ain’t nobody got time for a 50 item list.
If I could only use one social media tool, it would probably be Buffer. Buffer is a social media management tool that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. You can connect your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ Pages, and with a pro account your Pinterest too. Buffer also gives you analytics for each post including how many favorites, retweets, replies, clicks, comments or shares it got.
They have a dope little chrome plugin that let’s you quickly add a link you want to tweet to your queue right from that page. But my favorite part? It’s so simple to use. A lot of tools can be overwhelming and covered in crazy bells and whistles but Buffer keeps it simple with a clean interface and only the most useful features.
Bonus: they have a rad super simple text/graphic creator called Pablo that allows you to quickly make Twitter and Facebook graphics, then buffer them in one click. Adding an image to your tweet is hugely important (aka will get you on average double the engagement) if you want it to stand out and this saves so much time!
Sprout Social, TweetDeck and Hootsuite are all similar content publishing tools I’ve used and enjoyed as a community manager, they’re all a little more robust with features and analytics but probably not necessary for blogging.
While many networks like Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook have native analytics tools built into their platform, Instagram does not. While I think it’s just a matter of time, in the meanwhile my go-to Instagram analytics tool is Iconosquare. This is your one stop shop to making the most of your blog’s Instagram.
It shows you your engagement rate by percentage, your account’s growth, the best times to post and so much more. My favorite feature is the ability to sort your photos by most liked and most commented, which is a great way to see what kinds of photos are really resonating with your audience.
As you can see, people love the smoothie bowls… which is great because I love making and eating them 😉
Bit.ly is an easy-to-use link shortener and tracker. I use Bit.ly to track traffic coming to my blog from Instagram. I go into more detail about why your analytics won’t show you Instagram referral traffic in this post.
For example: I want to share a picture on my Instagram account of my a recent recipe, my Hemp Heart Superfood Cookies for example. I go to bit.ly, create a short link, “bit.ly/superfoodcookies” and paste that in my link bio. Then, in the caption of the Instagram I tell people to go to the link in my bio for the recipe. I can then go back to Bit.ly and see how many people have clicked that exact link. Typically for one photo I’ll get anywhere from 50-200 clicks so it’s great to see what types of recipes and posts my Instagram following likes.
This tool is great for growing your Twitter and Instagram presence. Not only can you see who’s not following you back, but you can also find followers and new accounts to follow through similar accounts to yours and by keyword. For Twitter I often search accounts by keywords related to my blog or keywords that include blogger networks I’m in.
Ever wonder how many times one of your posts has been shared? This tools answers that exact question across a ton of different social platforms including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, StumbleUpon and more. All you have to do is enter in a URL and you can see how many times it’s been shared and engaged with on different networks.
This is my absolute favorite app when it comes to hosting giveaways. I totally prefer it over Rafflecopter. It’s so easy to use and setup and has great tracking so you can see exactly how many new followers a giveaway earned you. #clutch.
- Add “click to tweet” button to your posts for easy sharing.
- I’ve just started using this app for Pinterest scheduling, I’ll let you know if I see any measurable difference.
- Canva is a great, free, online graphics editor perfect for making Pinnable images on to go. It’s also great if you don’t have Photoshop.
There you have it! Among the many tools I use, those are my 6 favorites. If you enjoy these blogging/social media posts let me know in the comments. I have tons of idea, but I want to know if you’re into them.
- Do you have any favorite tools for your blog’s social media?
- Have you tried any on the list? Am I missing your favorite?