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Why You Need a Social Media Scheduler and How to Find One

Why You Need a Social Media Scheduler and How to Find One
27Feb

Like everyone else marketing on social media, you’re probably looking for a way to simplify the process. If you’re not already using a scheduler, then you’re making the entire process of social media marketing so much harder on yourself.

I hate to see people wasting their time like this, so keep reading for a total explanation of why you need one of these tools and how to find the right one for your needs!

Why You Should Already Have a Social Media Scheduler
It’s a Huge Time Saver
Consistency is a must-have if you want your business to build a loyal following. And while sure, maybe you’re free at 3:00pm (or whenever) to regularly share your posts, you then have to remember this every single day on top of keeping your schedule clear for such a simple task. All in all, it’s a colossal waste of time and energy.

Using a scheduler allows you to write all of your content at once, add the visual elements, then schedule it for posting. So you’re doing the same amount of work, but blocking out a specific amount of time to handle social media content each week is infinitely easier than keeping a time slot open every day for posting.

It Makes Your Content Better
Beyond the simple fact that it’s faster, a scheduling tool can help you produce better content. How? When you’re looking at everything laid out on a calendar, it’s easier to identify the trends in your updates. You can look at the big picture to see if you’re sticking to your planned content mix!

It also helps make sure you’re not repeating anything too often. If you’re writing a new update every day, it’s probably going to be challenging to remember what services you have and haven’t covered this week. But a scheduler makes it easy to line up content so that it’s varied and interesting for your audience!

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Popular Social Media Schedulers
1. Onlypult: If you’re looking for a great Instagram scheduling tool, you can stop the search. Onlypult will post automatically so you don’t have to worry about it and, even more impressively, it stores your hashtags! Copying and pasting hashtags is a huge pain, so there’s a reason this tool is so popular. Add in some analytic capabilities, and it’s no surprise that Onlypult is one of the leading Instagram schedulers!

2. Later: Another great Instagram scheduler, Later features analytics tools to help you track the success of your social media posts. It also offers nominal support for Facebook and Twitter, so it might serve you well if you’re not doing anything particularly fancy on those sites. But for Later, their Instagram scheduling is definitely the main attraction!

3. Hootsuite: If your business is on a lot of social media channels, Hootsuite is the place to be. They’ve got support for every site you could want to be on, along with a nice little analytics package. The add-ons can put a bit of a strain on your wallet, but if you’ve got the budget and want a one-stop-shop for scheduling social media posts, Hootsuite is a serious contender.

4. Buffer: Buffer is a bit friendlier to smaller budgets and still offers support for just about every site you could think of. That said, some users report that Buffer isn’t always optimal for visual platforms like Pinterest or Instagram. And while you will get the occasional complaint of lagging, on the whole this scheduler is simple, easy-to-use, and doesn’t break the bank!

5. Sprout Social: One of its best features is Sprout Social’s smart inbox, which allows you to respond to comments and messages from one central hub. While the main site offers a nice analytics suite, it’s worth noting that these features aren’t available from the app. If you want to create and manage your social media campaigns in one place, Sprout Social is worth looking into!

Find a Match for You
There isn’t an objective “best” scheduling tool—that’s going to depend on your budget, what sites your business is on, and what sort of analytical support your campaign needs. Consider each of these tools and see what makes the most sense for your business. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how much simpler everything becomes!

Would you like a little extra guidance on managing your social media pages? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Go!TV Episode 10

GOTV Episode 10 (3)
9Nov

Welcome back to another Go!TV episode recap! We’re bringing you the information you need to have a successful social media campaign!

Social Media Management Tools
Managing your business’ social media is going to be all but impossible without some extra help. Between graphic design, writing content, and scheduling your final posts, it’s just too much for one person to handle!

That’s why we’re sharing the social media management tools that you absolutely need to use. We look at scheduling softwares to let you plan an effective content posting strategy, design tools to make sure your visuals are drawing in your audience, and writing tools so you’re not wasting hours trying to come up with new ideas for content!

The Go! Agency

And that is the end of another Go!TV episode recap! As a marketer, you need to use your time as efficiently as possible! Take the initiative and check out our podcast and blog for even more useful social media guidance!

Want to see what other marketing advice we dish out? Check us out across social media: FacebookInstagramTwitter!

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The Essential Social Media Manager Tools

The Essential Social Media Manager Tools
7Nov

You’ve set up your social media pages and you’re ready to get posting, but you’re quickly finding that keeping up with all these different platforms is next to impossible. It’s a common feeling among social media managers, and there is a solution!

In a word: tools. There are plenty of great resources out there to make your job easier and let you get ahead on your social media strategy!

I’m going to share the social media management tools that my team uses every day to make sure our clients’ pages are running smoothly and getting them closer to their goals!

Scheduling
Nobody has the time to go through and publish each individual post at just the right time every day. So what’s the solution? Scheduling tools! These little guys can let you write up a bunch of content, then schedule it to post at specific times on your preferred platforms:

  • Hootsuite: This is one of the most intuitive scheduling tools out there!
  • HubSpot: If you want a scheduling tool with all the bells and whistles (including monitoring your content’s performance metrics), this is the program for you.
  • Buffer: While not quite as well-known as the other items on this list, it’s a great program if you find that the other options aren’t suiting your needs.

Instagram is notoriously finicky for its scheduling, which is why you should consider using a tool that’s optimized for Instagram. I’d suggest:

Photos
Need to find stock images for your visuals? I’ve got a few resources that have always done right by us:

  • Pixabay: Want a huge, international stock of public domain photos, graphics, and footage? Look no further!
  • Unsplash: More than 70,000 photographers post their content here, all copyright-free under the Unsplash license!
  • Pexels: Another great source for public domain photographs!

Design
You’ve got your images, but how do you alter them to create your own unique, branded visuals? Try these tools:

  • Canva: This is a great tool for beginners, as it’s popular among professional and rookie graphic designers alike!
  • Photoshop: If you’re comfortable using more complex programs, this tool should be right up your alley!
  • Animoto: This is one of the top platforms for creating video slideshows and other short, moving content!
  • Ripl: A comparable product to Animoto, Ripl makes it easy to create animated visuals!
  • PicMonkey: Want to go back to basics? PicMonkey is a no-fuss image-editing program that’s also great for graphic design!

Writing
Writing up heaps of copy and content is no walk in the park! Creating content takes time, which is why I recommend not just creating original content for your business but also curating content from other sources. Instead of searching the internet for hours, these tools gather the content into one spot for you!

  • Feedly: Feedly lets you search by topics and pulls up great, usable content to help springboard your ideas!
  • Grammarly: To proofread any technical issues you may have missed!
  • Google Alerts: Set up alerts on industry-relevant keywords to make sure your writing is current and following trends in your field!
  • Hootsuite Streams: Track keywords and hashtags to see what others in your industry are posting. If you know what your competitors are talking about, you can figure out how to fill in the gaps they’re missing!
  • Hashtagify: Not sure what hashtags will get you attention? Use Hashtagify to track the impact of a hashtag and see what’s best for your posts!

When linking to another site, it’s important not to include the full URL. Many link shorteners allow you to see how many times the link has been clicked, which can help you track how your audience responds to content. Use any of the following tools to get shortened, convenient URLs for your posts:

Don’t Feel Overwhelmed
Being a social media manager is stressful, especially if you’re not using the right tools. Skip that anxiety and use these resources to make sure you’re not only doing your work efficiently, but as easily as possible. No social media manager can be successful without a little extra help, and that includes you!

Do you feel like you could use a little extra help? You can have a free consultation with our team of marketing experts!

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How Online Marketers Can Hit The Bullseye

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10Oct

It’s easy to miss the mark with social media marketing. Every now and again, your analytics may show low points in which your content just didn’t attract a crowd. Every marketer can appreciate the frustration when their efforts are fruitless. Online marketing, especially social media marketing, gives us a significant advantage to help us hit the mark.

Every week, gather up your social media marketing team to study your analytics. Whether you use Hootsuite, Buffer, or just analyze the native numbers on the platform of choice, you need to review your data.

 Your company’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts should have a decent amount of posts to study. Which ones rocked and which flopped? Did a particular hashtag gather in the readers? Did a picture or video get people talking? What advertising efforts really struck a cord? All of these questions need to be answered. Since most successful social media marketers write for the upcoming week, you have the opportunity to change your formula ahead of time to make things work.

Every month, look at the past several weeks and study your marketing efforts at a macro level. How have your numbers risen or fallen? This data should help you set up goals for the next month, and reveal areas you need to improve. It’s important to work on things when you notice them, don’t push them off. Additionally, look at the present trending topics and what is coming up, so you can take advantage of contemporary topics.

Does your team know how to study analytics and data metrics? We do! We can help your business hit the spot on social media.

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4 Elements Of Social Media That Need Your Attention

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14Aug

When companies create a budget, they want to make sure they are paying for the most efficient tools, products, and services available. Companies are gradually starting to realize that social media fits into these categories. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy a box labeled “Social Media Marketing” once a year and call it a day. There are many facets to this industry, some that must be considered when budgeting for the coming year.

Our previous article covered the advertising side of social media, so today we are talking about four additional major elements to social media marketing. Whether you are just clicking “Sign Up” or you are a social media veteran, these areas require constant attention. Luckily, there’s also helpful resources just a few clicks away. Here are some areas of social media marketing that will be benefited by some paid services:

Scheduling – Unless you want to create a team of 24/7 vigilant workers that stare at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all day and night, you will need help with scheduling. You have the ability to write posts for the week ahead and schedule accordingly. Several sites can help with this, but we recommend Hootsuite. This handy tool is a fantastic, multi-layered solution that helps marketers set up content for the coming days. However, it doesn’t work for every social media platform. You will be able to schedule Instagram posts via Onlypult, and Tailwind can schedule your pins on Pinterest.

Analytics – A majority of the above schedulers also offer data analysis features so you can study how your social media is working. This is crucial to your online marketing success so you can see what posts, publishing times, subject matter, and platforms are working better than others so you can fine-tune your approach. There are many companies offering tools that help you track this data on a regular basis. A simple Google search will bring back relevant results to get you started.

Reach Optimization – Social media is all about reach. For Twitter, this is particularly important. You need to make sure you have lots of people following you, but you also need to reciprocate so your brand is active in the community. To do this, there are certain tools like Crowdfire that have the potential to deliver amazing results. With programs like this, you can connect with those who follow your industry’s leaders, which will raise brand awareness. You will also be able to switch between accounts quickly if such a case arises. All this can be done with just a few clicks given the right software. As you plan for the coming year, consider these services.

Creative Software – Anyone who spends more than a few minutes on social media will run into eye-catching imagery, captivating videos, and enjoyable GIFs. Since it’s only natural for the eye to gravitate towards attractive visuals, social media marketers need to keep this in mind when creating content. Even the most powerful writing can only do so much. Unfortunately, the power to be an artist isn’t typically free. Adobe Photoshop, video editing software, and creative apps all offer premium services either in the form of one-time fees or subscriptions that will pay off once you start incorporating them into your content.

Social media marketing is most certainly a multifunctional machine. There are many cogs and gears needed to be maintained, so it moves along smoothly. However, as you can see, you don’t go in without assistance. There are many programs, apps, and services that will bring your marketing to a whole new level.

Which programs do you use for your social media content? Share below!

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New Tools of Trade

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5Jun

Okay, so say you’ve finally decided to sign up for social media and you have some fresh accounts. For starters, you’ll most likely have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and maybe a LinkedIn account. You might start the first few weeks strong, one to two posts a day, sending out really engaging content to the internet. However, maybe you take a day off and you start to falter, or your work day was too busy to post. Now you’re two days behind, three days, four… soon this whole social media marketing thing seems to be too much than its worth and you give up. If done incorrectly, social media can be a slippery slope to internet anonymity. The pressure to post on a constant basis can be daunting for many, if you’re doing it alone. So, how can you stop this from happening?

Software developers aren’t oblivious to the digital world around them. There’s tons of helpful third party apps, programs, and websites that can help you tackle the social media landscape with ease.

Hootsuite – We’ve mentioned this big helper before, but it’s definitely worth talking about twice. Hootsuite offers multiple features to make you a social media pro. Their Streams feature lets you view multiple news feeds of content at once. You can post from any social media account, or schedule them for the future. Hootsuite is, in a word, irreplaceable.

Notifier Yet as awesome as Hootsuite is, it is not a one stop shop. Notifier does something few other programs can. It analyses your content for references to other companies and does research so you can tag the appropriate accounts to get a little extra publicity. Most social media managers try to tag other users if possible, but Notifier is an excellent tool to utilize.

Crate– One of the most important tactics a social media pro uses is to analyze trending topics. Crate is here to help you figure out the hot topics that are relevant to your brand and interests. It’s primarily aimed towards Twitter users so they can hone their content to get the most views and followers.

Canva- The above tools are great for text content, but what about visual? After all, social media success requires a nice balance between pictures and text. Canva is a great tool to help users make stunning imagery. While graphic designers are always amazing resources, websites like Canva can be quick alternatives that can make your posts look amazing.

Tagboard- Hashtags may seem to be a mystery to novice users. But in reality, they’re cornerstones to popular posts. Tagboard is a resource that offers you lists of the most used hashtags in present day. This is a great way to keep relevant.

As you can see, these five tools go above and beyond and will help your content do the same.

Have you tried any of these tools? Did we miss any great ones you’d like to share? Comment below!

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Hootsuite: Your Social Media Sidekick

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31May

When you start getting more involved with social media, you’ll find that it’s a little bit like chess: easy to learn, hard to master. This is especially true when you manage multiple pages on multiple platforms. How can somebody keep up with it all? Introducing Hootsuite!

Hootsuite is a great way to manage the social media frontier. Not only can you post to all your accounts and pages from a single browser window, you can also view a ton of content at one time. Their “Streams” feature allows you to view how certain hashtags, keywords, and trending subjects are doing in cyberspace. Streams will help you get inspiration by seeing a stream of similar content that you want to post. You’ll also be able to do a quick search if you don’t feel like investing a whole column to a particular subject, or if you just want to see if a topic is still relevant. After all, things quickly change in the social media world, and you could use a hand to keep up with it all.

Consider Hootsuite your social media HUB. This is true for content, but also for posting your own original work. Hootsuite lets you post directly from its dashboard, but you can also schedule your posts so you don’t have to be glued to a screen all the time. While you’re out enjoying life, you can tell Hootsuite to keep your pages freshly supplied with content.

One of its more recent additions is a widget called Hootlet. This will help you make a post on the fly with the right account, a shortened URL, and it can even keep track of character count for Twitter. It’s a great way to be able to stay on the page you’re reading while getting it ready for sharing.

There are many wonderful features Hootsuite has to offer in both free and premium versions. You’ll wonder how you managed without it!

What do you think of Hootsuite? Comment below!

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Improving Facebook Engagement: What You Need to Know About Native Scheduling

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1Jun

As a busy executive myself, I am sure that you are pressed for time on a daily basis.  Who isn’t?  With all the questions, requests, appointments, and projects that you need to complete – I am surprised at times that we can keep it all together.

So what is one thing we always look for?  Shortcuts and time-savers!

This couldn’t be more evident when it comes to us administering our social media marketing campaigns.  We are always on the lookout for shortcuts, or shortcut tools, that will help us save time with many aspects of executing our campaigns.

But, little do many of you know, these tools can also come back to bite you in the end – without you even knowing.

A prime example of this – Facebook.

Facebook has recently altered its algorithm (their custom self-contained step-by-step set of operations and how they are performed) to favor content that is posted DIRECTLY to Facebook.

Not through Hootsuite.  Not through Buffer. Not through SocialOomph. Not through SproutSocial. Not through…well, you get the idea.

So, what can you stand to lose by using a third-party tool to schedule your Facebook Page posts?  Here are 4 very important factors:

*Images: Many scheduling tools struggle with images and in many instances are very limited in terms of customization.  This limits your success level as images are powerhouses of engagement.

*No Facebook Insights: When you post using third-party tools many times, if not all, the posts you schedule will not be picked up by Facebook Analytics.  Meaning that you will not be able to see how your posts stack up against each other when it comes to engagement.  This means Facebook Analytics will not track the likes, shares and comments associated with any post that you scheduled using the third-party tool.  So if you are using Hootsuite, and then refer to Facebook Analytics, the data that you see is not representative of actual engagement.

*Drop in Views: Many companies have reported large drops recently in their post viewership recently.  This has been attributed to their posts being scheduled through a third-party application.

*Tagging: It is very tough to tag other businesses through a third-party application, which results in a loss of valuable exposure.

These are the current issues that many companies are facing…but there are surely more to come.

How do you get around this?  When it comes to Facebook, use the Native Facebook Scheduling tool that is available on your page (and appears as an option on every post that you write).

The process is simple.  If you want to work a week at a time, get all of your posts handy and then one-by-one go through the 5 step process:

1.  Go to your Facebook Page and input your update in the “What have you been up to?” box at the top of your timeline.
2.  Make sure that the hyperlink has produced an image preview.  Don’t like the image? Replace it by clicking the “+Upload Image” button at the bottom of the image.
3.  Don’t like the headline or the short description that has been automatically generated by the link?  Click to the right of the title AND body copy and write something more engaging in each spot.
4.  Make sure that you have hashtags in your post and that they are hyperlinked and relevant.
5.  Do you mention another company, product, service, etc that has a Facebook Page.  Make sure to tag them!  Use @ and then the company name to choose them from a drop-down list.  The more tags the merrier.  Just make sure they are relevant.

Now it is time to schedule, which is even easier!

Click the arrow next to the word “Publish” at the bottom of your update box and choose the time in the future that you would like your post to go out.

Click “Schedule” and you are done!

When the set time comes, the post will go out exactly as you have customized it during the process listed above.

What you may have noticed here is that by doing the scheduling directly through Facebook, you have more options to customize your message and how it appears to your target audience.  When using a third-party application you do not get this exact same set of options.

While this may add a bit more time to your weekly schedule, it is time well spent.  Why spend your valued time writing, when no one is going to see it.  Try this and watch your post engagement go up over time.

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Is Hootsuite Right For My Business?

16Jul

For many of you marketing your businesses on social media, you know there are many other tools you can utilize to effectively keep on top of your daily social media marketing commitments.

Third-party tools are available for free, or a small charge, and can help you do everything from schedule posts to find influential people to connect and engage with.

Hootsuite is one such tool and can be an asset to your social media marketing strategy.  But first thing, first: you need to have a social media marketing strategy in order to get the most out of Hootsuite.  My disclaimer here is that before you begin using third-party tools, you have a clear idea of the capabilities of the social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+) you want to use for marketing purposes and what sorts of activities are going to make up your overall strategy.

Having these elements clearly presented will allow you to not only look at Hootsuite more analytically, but it will also help you get the hang of it quickly.

Here are some reasons why Hootsuite could be good for your marketing strategy…..does this sound like you?:

  • “It is impossible to keep up with posting daily updates to our social media profiles!”  This is definitely one of the areas where Hootsuite excels as you are able to schedule your posts to go out on your chosen social media networks whenever you want.  It allows you to do both the date and time, allowing you with lots of flexibility.  I am not saying that social media marketing all comes down to scheduling posts to go out via Hootsuite and waiting for the wonderful results to roll in.  Scheduling posts helps you stay consistent when you have to travel, have a busy week ahead, lost a member of staff, or even if you are just starting out and need to use a bulk of your time researching your new social networks.  Scheduling really can be a help at these times.
  • “My company has 4 social media accounts, how can I keep up with that?”  You are able to add multiple social networks to Hootsuite and manage your accounts from one place.  While it doesn’t take the place of on-site visits and daily check-ins with your audience, it is wonderful to be able to post and see the news feeds for each of your networks added.
  • “I have no idea how many people are clicking my links!”  There is a reporting area on Hootsuite which will track links from the accounts you specify.  Then a report will be generated and emailed to you showing how many total clicks your links received as well as which links were clicked.  Of course, it will only track the links that you schedule through Hootsuite, but still it is handy to check and track the effectiveness of your campaign!
  • “I want to share things instantly or I’ll forget to do it later!”   There is a wonderful plugin for Hootsuite called Hootlet.  Once installed into your internet browser bar, when you are reading a story online that you want to share with your audience, you simply click the Hootlet button and a popup window will appear with the link shortened and a title.  Just customize this as needed and share instantly….or schedule it to go out later.  Another great way to share your knowledge in real time.
  • “I want to get my email blasts in front of more people!” Currently there are free plugins that Hootsuite provides supporting Mail Chimp and Constant Contact that enable you to share your email blasts with your social networks by a click of the button.  A great way to get that email blast to go the extra mile and increase your exposure by the size of your network reach.  This is one of the lesser important functions, but there are many other plugins that you will want to explore that can support other areas of your online marketing plan.

While Hootsuite has many wonderful features, there is no tool out there that does everything.  Hootsuite is best utilized as a tool in your social media toolbox.  Using Hootsuite does not mean that you will never have to log into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to interact with your audience, answer questions, post discussions and build your network.  Social media marketing is not down to one solution, but having good solid tools in your toolbox makes it all the more simpler!

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